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Antoine de Caunes,
Although based on the director's childhood memories,the movie looks like the thirties melodramas ,if we forget the Jews' traditions.The quality of the playing reinforces this feeling.
A Jewish family arrives in France where the father finds it hard to feed his family.He meets the local godfather who will be his evil genius: soon he' s part of his hold-up men gang and winds up in jail;the mother has to take care of her unfortunate family;her husband never talked up about his "activities".
Good sequences :
The little hideaway where the children keep their "treasures".
-The free-for-all in the apartment,during the projection of a movie showing Israel's willpower .
-The kiddish ceremony ,to the sound of Mike Brant's (the late singer who was himself a Jew) " Qui Pourra Me Dire?"
-The final runaway/godfather confrontation,as imagined by Michel,and then as it really happened .
Marco Carmel does not forget humor: he shows both sons hiding comics in their Torah ;the grandma in awe of teenage idol Mike Brant.
Richard Berry ,one of the greatest contemporary French actors is absolutely excellent as Serge ,a very ambiguous character:when the movie ends,it's almost impossible to tell whether he is a double- face villain or a "brother" who really wants to help his fellow man.
Gad Elmaleh is quite credible as this naive easily influenced man who really loves his family:note how the judge has no mercy (or so little) on the poor immigrant when he loses his mamma .
Let's not forget Yael Abecassis's restrained portrayal of the worthy mother (see how she reacts to Serge's words:"you're young and beautiful ,so you could make a lot of money".)
With a sense of decency,Marco Carmel shows how,abetted by Serge ,Michel could become his father without a sound .
An underrated movie,worth watching.
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