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Reuniting the Rubins


Stars: Timothy Spall, Blake Harrison, Rhona Mitra, James Callis, Honor Blackman, Theo Stevenson, Hugh O'Conor

Director: Yoav Factir

Says writer-and debut director Yoav Factor, “I set out to make a truly uplifting feel-good movie that balanced the glory of American sentimentality with the sharpness of dry English wit”. The ambition is praiseworthy, the result sadly less so.

Spall (who does not seem completely at ease in a film not directed by Mike Leigh) is forced to put his holiday cruise on hold when his elderly and unwell mother Blackman (with a startling but interesting 'Yiddish' accent) insists on his reuniting his estranged children for a Jewish holiday. Given one sibling is a Buddhist Monk, another a savage businessman, an eco-warrior and a rabbi, the reunion is never going to be easy…

Everyone works hard but not to great comic or emotional effect. The entertainment factor is significantly missing.

Alan Frank

UK 2010. UK Distributor: Kaleidoscope Entertainment. Colour.
98 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 20 Oct 2011