By all means a typical coming-of-age tale, French in origin, set during the 1960s and heavy with a pop and rock-‘n-roll soundtrack (“Why Can’t We Live Together,” “Last Night,” “Wooly Bully,” “Rock Around the Clock”), about a teenager who is befriended by a local shopkeeper (“I’m not an Arab. I’m from the Golden Crescent”) and is taught a different perspective on the Koran.The biggest advancement in the movie is when the Jewish teen moves his way up from the only prostitute that will have him to the one he wants, until the friendship between he and the storeowner stretch over into metaphorical (first) and literal (second) adoption, all of which plays out in a lightweight atmosphere that A Bronx Tale begins in, without much ever crossing into a social context. (Next to the end, the heaviest issue the teen has to deal with is when his flame-haired girlfriend trades him in to dance “Excusez-moi Partenaire” with another guy.) The bond between Omar Sharif and Pierre Boulanger is sentimentally but pleasantly handled by François Dupeyron, who makes a genuine effort to keep things light and unforced. A lack of dramatic weight until the change of pace (but not beat) nearing the home stretch is one preventative measure from much more substance, and the neckless ambulatory camera is the main argument against style. With Lola Naymark.[Worth-seeing.]
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Palm Springs Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Palm Springs Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Chicago Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Chicago Film Festival series, click here.