22 December 2010 | mjneu59
a sensitive and amusing coming-of-age story
The title character is a twelve-year old boy in a small Canadian prairie town awaiting his Bar Mitzvah, which according to Jewish Custom will make him a man in the eyes of God, But it isn't God he's worried about: his real problems are the cute (but Catholic) new girl in town, his suddenly overprotective parents, and a new Rabbi who seems more than a little bit crazy. It all adds up to a modest little movie perhaps too easy to find fault with, but none worth arguing about. Noam Zylberman as Max is forced to carry the entire film, a tough enough burden for even a veteran actor (which he obviously wasn't yet), especially with a script relying so heavily on voice-over narration and strained Jewish humor. But the film is rescued by Saul Rubinek's performance as the jubilant, half-mad Rabbi Teitelman, an orthodox Jew with some very unorthodox ambitions. His lively presence makes this something more than just a glorified made-for-TV movie.