It is the summer of '66, and England is consumed by World Cup Fever. For 12 year-old Bernie though, the biggest day of his life is looming: his Bar Mitzvah, the day he becomes a man. However, Bernie's parents (played by Eddie Marsan & Helena Bonham-Carter) are increasingly distracted by the threat of losing their business; in addition, Bernie's older wayward brother is constantly verbally and physically challenging him. An accident to Bernie's Uncle and a house fire cause more mayhem with Bernie's family.
All of this causes the scale and grandeur of Bernie's Bar Mitzvah to diminish daily.
As Bernie starts to track the wins and losses of the World Cup, he realizes to his horror that if England "runs the table", the final in London will occur on the day of his Bar Mitzvah. Bernie's longed-for Bar Mitzvah looks set to be a complete disaster.
Though Bernie tries all sorts of methods to prevent England from winning, it is fate. England gets to the finals vs. Germany (actual footage from matches is included). Suddenly, relatives and family friends who said they would be at the ceremony take ill or are required to stay late at work.
One day, while looking for Bernie, his parents discover the videos shot of Bernie's brother's Bar Mitzvah; a grand event where he was pushed into the background. His parents realize how they had been neglecting his feelings, and his dad then takes Bernie and they race to the final by car to try and catch the end of the match.
The movie ends on a high note, and is fact-based on the director having his Bar Mitzvah fall on the actual World Cup final of 1966.