Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The wonderful Jonathan Pryce enlivens John Goldschmidt's feel-good dramedy, DOUGH

An unusually smart and intuitive actor, Jonathan Pryce (shown at left and further below) always seems to know just how far to go in bringing to life curmudgeonly characters. His latest -- and one of his most low-key charming -- is the Jewish baker/widower who is one of the two main characters in DOUGH, a little wisp of a movie that makes its U.S. debut down here in Southern Florida this Friday and manages to hit almost all its marks, leaving you feeling good and gooey and maybe a little teary, too.

From almost its first scene, you will have little doubt where the movie -- directed by John Goldschmidt (shown at right) and written by Jonathan Benson and Jez Freedman -- is headed. But so charmingly is it conceived and executed that I suspect you will follow along eagerly as it makes its way toward that feel-good ending. From its juxtaposition of rites/prayers and Muslims/Jews to the genuine annoyance/ attraction between its two charismatic stars -- old-timer Pryce and younger veteran Jerome Holder (below, left) -- the movie easily maintains rhythm, focus and thrust.

The plot brings together a pair of mother/son Muslim immigrants, the latter of whom is having trouble finding legal employment, and that aforementioned baker, who has business and family problems of his own.

Toss in an sweet and attractive local widow (a nicely-used Pauline Collins, above) who owns the block that houses the building in which our baker works, a nasty entrepreneur who wants to buy that block, a not-so-nice drug dealer (the fine-but-underused Ian Hart) whose pot the immigrant son is peddling, along with some cops and other locals and you've got a small community's worth of problems on your hands.

Eventually, the movie becomes a simmering mix of baking, marijuana, gentrification and communication in which ideas about doing wrong things for the right reasons, as well as the meaning(s) of family and Muslim/Jew rapprochement bubble repeatedly to the surface.

If a little too much coincidence leads to a little too much melodrama, not to worry. The occasional extra-clever bit of dialog keeps things rolling, as do the good performances. By the time of the feel-good finale, you'll be smiling. shaking your head and muttering, "If only...."

Dough, from Menemsha Films and running just 95 minutes, opens here in South Florida on Friday, February 12, in Boca Raton at the Living Room Theaters FAU and the Regal Shadowood 16; in Delray Beach at the Movies of Delray; in Lake Worth at the Movies of Lake Worth; in Tamarac at The Last Picture Show; in Fort Lauderdale at The Gateway Theatre; in Aventura at the AMC Aventura 24; in Miami Beach at the Regal South Beach 18; and in Miami at the O Cinema Wynwood. On April 29, the movie will open in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, DC and other cities.

Note the  personal appearance -- doing Q&As at several 
theaters -- by the film's young star, Jerome Holder (shown above, left).
Jerome -- whom TrustMovies met during Holder's P.A.s in Florida
last February, is a real doll -- as gracious and charming
as he is handsome and talented.
He'll will be in in the Boston area next weekend: on Friday, April 29,
 at the West Newton for Q and A's after the 3:30, 5:50 and 8:20 showings,
 and again on Saturday April 30 after the 1:00, 3:30, 5:50 and 8:20.
On Sunday, May 1, at Cape Cod Cinema, there will be Q and A's
with Jerome after the 1:00 and 4:00 P.M. shows .

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