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SIXTY SIX

Director: PAUL WEILAND

UK • 2006 • 93 MIN


WILD STRAWBERRIES IS OUR MONTHLY FILM CLUB FOR OLDER PEOPLE. SCREENINGS ARE FREE OF CHARGE BUT YOU MUST RESERVE A SEAT WELL IN ADVANCE. PRIORITY BOOKING IS GIVEN TO IFI MEMBERS. BOOKINGS CAN BE MADE BY RINGING 01 612 9407 OR 01 612 9415 OR BY EMAIL WILDSTRAWBERRIES@IRISHFILM.IE.
Based on the experiences of director Paul Weiland – it’s subtitled ‘a true-ish story’ – this warm comedy has the ring of truth in its remarkable tale of childhood expectations and disappointments.
Bernie Reuben (Gregg Sulkin) is looking forward to his bar mitzvah in the summer of 1966 – he’ll finally become a man and shake off the humiliations of childhood. He’s planning a party even bigger than his older brother had, but everything conspires against him. His obsessive-compulsive father (Eddie Marsan) and live-wire uncle have serious business troubles, while his mother (Helena Bonham Carter) struggles to hold the family together. Then England’s football team confounds predictions and makes it to the World Cup final on the same day. Who’ll come to his party now? It’s a terrific story of how a nation’s greatest ever sporting achievement spoils a boy’s big day, and the script captures this tension, mining humour and pathos from every corner. Weiland directs with a knowing attention to detail, using exciting authentic match footage to recreate the period and craft an entertaining subplot that documents the ’66 World Cup. Meanwhile, most of the humour centres on Bernie’s profound embarrassment – and the mortifying behaviour of his father (who delivers the worst wedding speech ever). Sulkin is a wonderfull discovery, and captures Bernie’s lively personality perfectly. Marsan is superb as always and this is one of Bonham Carter’s most subtle and engaging performances.

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