Sixty Six 

Bernie Rubens' life sucks. He wears glasses and has a speech impediment. He's picked last for soccer, even after the kid with polio. All Bernie (Gregg Sulkin) has to look forward to is his bar mitzvah—where, for once in his life, he'll be the center of attention. Unfortunately for him, though, his family is running out of money and his birthday is the day of the 1966 World Cup finals, the most important sporting event ever for his North London community. In other words, no one is going to show up to his party, which shrinks in size and elegance after each misfortune that befalls the troubled Rubens household.

So many catastrophes happen in Sixty Six, though, that you sort of stop caring: At one point, I found myself nodding and thinking, "Yeah, of course Bernie's house catches on fire." It's like director Paul Weiland decided to make Sixty Six after viewing one too many darling indie flicks, pitching it thusly: "The nebbish father should suffer from a cute version of OCD, and the rabbi will be adorably blind! The film must be visually rich, but only in a Wes Anderson-y way." Weiland's audience deserves more than what he delivers: some cuteness with a little tragedy thrown in.

Sixty Six
Rated PG-13 · 93 min.
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Director: Paul Weiland
Writer: Bridget O'Connor and Peter Straughan
Producer: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Elizabeth Karlsen
Cast: Eddie Marsan, Helena Bonham Carter, Stephen Rea, Catherine Tate, Peter Serafinowicz, Gregg Sulkin, David Bark-Jones, Stephen Greif, Daniel Marks and Ben Newton

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