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Timothy Patrick Murphy
Leo Spivak is drifting through life without a compass. His father is aging fast, his teenage daughter is rebelling, his protégé is after his job and his wife is losing her patience. A twist of fate and some bizarre wisdom from a "freelance rabbi" help Leo navigate the murky waters of his life and turn his crisis into a second-chance. Written by
Ardustry Home Entertainment LLC
Peter Riegert's film, King of the Corner, based on Gerald Shapiro's work, Bad Jews and Other Stories, offers a remarkable glimpse into one man's struggle to balance the demands of dealing with an aging parent, raising a teenager daughter, remaining faithful in his marriage, maintaining some sort of credibility at work, as well as coming to terms with his own past choices. I absolutely loved the way in which the central metaphors worked in the film--Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken," the image of the "bad Jew" dancing around the idol while Moses is receiving the stone tablets, and the story of Leo's father playing "King of the Corner" in the swimming pool. These sorts of symbolic connections give this movie a measure of humanity and much more depth than you would find in a typical Hollywood film.
Riegert's performance was wonderfully low key. Leo doesn't whine, he doesn't rant (except maybe in the scene with the focus group), and he doesn't degenerate into farce (except maybe in the scene when he confronts his lover's husband). For the most part, he remains sensitive and thoughtful as he tries to put his world back together. The highlight of Riegert's portrayal is the scene at his father's funeral. It was an emotionally charged scene, a scene that many actors would have been tempted to overdo, that was played perfectly by Riegert.
This is truly wonderful film. Eli Wallach, Rita Moreno, Beverly D'Angelo...everyone does a terrific job. If you want to see a warm, thoughtful film about real people trying to come to terms with real issues in a sometimes crazy world, then this is a film you shouldn't miss.
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