Slow start, exciting finish. Thoughtful and nice 'slice of life' family portrait
I like all kinds of movies, and this quiet, thoughtful, 'homemade' kind of Brit-flick was enjoyable. There's not much of a plot--- a kid's approaching bar mitzvahs happens to fall on the same day as the 1966 soccer World Cup Final match. That scheduling conflict means no one will attend his event, and he has been taught and primed to expect the bar mitzvahs to be the most significant and important day in his life. So he is freaking out a bit--- but the soccer game is an issue only if Englands winds enough qualification games to enter the finals, and no one expects them to. Done. That's the plot. Obviously, the Big Day arrives; I leave it to you to discover how England fares, and how the kid's family life unfolds.
An important sub-plot is the kid's family. the dad is a retiring and overly-shy shlub, contrasted with his dynamic and 'life of the party', go-getter brother, the kid's uncle. The kid's older brother is a vicious bully, and his mom (Helena Bonham Carter) is the only loving, reasonable voice of strength in the family. Oh--- the kid's blind rabbi and bar mitzvahs coach, and Stephen Rae as the kid's physician also play a guiding roles for the boy.
Anyway--- things kind of creep along for the first half. It became a bit tedious, and I contemplated leaving. However, the second half was much perkier than the first, and the ending was genuinely exciting and thrilling. So, overall, while the pace was bit uneven, the end result was a pretty satisfying movie. In retrospect, I kind of wished the front end could have been a bit racier, or less 'portraiting' of the depressing family, or something. On balance, I liked it.
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