WAY TO HAPPINESS, THE (2021)
[LE CHEMIN DU BONHEUR]
As a child, Saül Birnbaum was separated from his parents when he was sent from Vienna to Brussels by the Kindertransport during the Holocaust. Now, in 1986, he runs a snazzy delicatessen styled after an American '50s diner and dedicated to his love of cinema, adorned with Golden Age Hollywood film posters and a collection of treasured props, including a Roman helmet from SPARTACUS. The passionate cinephile who constantly quotes classic films finds kinship in Joakin, a young Chilean director who fled Pinochet's regime with his mother, and the two collaborate on a screenplay inspired by Saül's childhood. When love enters Saül's life in the form of a comely blonde film projectionist, he must learn to let go of the past for a chance at a happy future. Producer-turned director Nicolas Steil's sophomore feature is a warm, comic film about trauma and the important role relationships play in helping people overcome their fears. Simon Abkarian (GETT: THE TRIAL OF VIVIANE AMSALEM) gives a charming performance as Saül, and hearing him rattle off iconic lines from Hollywood films of yore is an utter delight. DIR/PROD Nicolas Steil; SCR Michel Fessler, Henri Roanne-Rosenblatt, from his novel "Le cinéma de Saül Birnbaum." Belgium/France/Luxembourg, 2021, color, 112 min. In Yiddish, German and French with English subtitles. NOT RATED
No AFI Member passes accepted.
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