By “Cinema” Dave
With full Michael Moore mass media pomp and circumstance, Where to Invade Next opens tomorrow in neighborhood theaters. Moore “invades” European countries in a quest to solve the problems of the United States of America. It has been said this documentary will present Moore in a kinder and gentler light.
Also opening this weekend is Dough, an independent comedy that tackles serious themes of racism and capitalism. The situations are painful, but director John Goldschmidt sets a lighthearted tone that does not alienate the ticket buyer.
Nat (Jonathan Pryce) is an old Jewish baker who is trying to maintain his business in a financially depressed London neighborhood. With Sam Cotton (Phillip Davis) attempting to use Eminent Domain tactics upon Nat, the old man stubbornly maintains his discipline and focus.
Enter Ayyash (Jerome Holder), a Muslim refugee from Darfur who lives with his mother. Ayyash hangs with a bad crowd who sells drugs. When caught with his pants down, Ayyash comes under his mother’s wrath.
She works for Nat and convinces him to hire her son. Ayyash and Nat find similarities through their differences – both adhere to their respective faiths with disciplined prayer. However, they discover they have generational differences, too; Ayyash ends up using his drug connections to increase the sales revenue for Nat.
Unlike a Cheech & Chong comedy, Dough takes a sophisticated approach to the effects of narcotic usage, much more in line with the Craig Ferguson comedy from 16 years ago, Saving Grace, starring Brenda Blethyn. Jonathan Price and Jerome Holder forge a unique comedy team, and I would love to see these two actors work together again on a future project.
As football withdrawal weekend takes effect, Oscar season comes into full force. Brooklyn, The Revenant, Spotlight and Carol are on the local big screen this President’s Day, weekend.