Successful Montréal-based writer Joshua Shapiro, in middle age, is facing both professional and personal crises, which make him reflect on his unusual life bringing him to where he is today. That success belies having grown up in the working class Jewish district of the city with his multi-career father, Reuben Shapiro (with most of those careers veering into the realm of the illegal), and his mother, Esther Shapiro, whose penchant for performing, which she demonstrated much to the delight of Joshua's friends at his bar mitzvah, took her into her own highly "exposed" career. Wanting to go to Spain to cover the conflict there in his younger years, he initially went to London instead, where he met arguably two of who would be the most important people in his life. The first is writer Sidney Murdoch, the two who eventually came up with a money making scheme at that time which is now the cause for one of those crises. The other is who was named Pauline Fraser (née Hornby) at the time of ...Written by
This is a wonderful movie that never sinks into sentimentality or farce. It would have been easy to overplay both of the Alan Arkin and the James Woods roles, and this movie could have become sappy or too slapstick. This is a gem of a movie that, unfortunately, probably has limited appeal. I think that it was finely written and wonderfully acted and deserves more attention that it has received.
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