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Sixty Six

A pleasing, if unbalanced, period piece
By PEG ALOI  |  August 20, 2008
2.0 2.0 Stars

Paul Weiland (Made of Honor) directs this autobiographical coming-of-age comedy set in London in 1966, the year England took on Germany in the World Cup final. Unpopular bookworm Bernie Reuben (Gregg Sulkin) plans to redeem his tortured pre-teen years with a lavish bar mitzvah that’ll outshine the one his older brother Alvie (Ben Newton) had. When he learns that the final is set for his special day, Bernie wills England to lose, resorting to everything from hate mail to voodoo. Meanwhile, his parents (Eddie Marsan, a perfect mensch, and Helena Bonham Carter, oddly matronly) are experiencing money woes, so Bernie has to downscale his party plans, and on top of that he develops asthma, for which his doctor (Stephen Rea) designs eccentric breathing exercises. The authenticity of the details and the soundtrack make this a pleasing period piece, and Sulkin’s screen debut is fine. But the film has trouble balancing humor and pathos, and the exploration of being Jewish in post-war England is not satisfactory. 93 minutes | Kendall Square

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  Topics: Reviews , Paul Weiland , Gregg Sulkin , Eddie Marsan ,  More more >
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