Tickling Leo (2009)

Not Rated   |    |  Drama


Tickling Leo (2009) Poster

A man unwillingly tries to get to the bottom of his families dysfunctionality. It all has something to do with the deportation of Jews from Hungary during WWII, something his grandfather ... See full summary »


7.7/10
29

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1 win.

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28 July 2009 | editfilmr
10
| A family's Secret - un-folds, un-winds and touches . . .
An endearing and very engaging fictional family's ties and hidden history , linked to an actual historic event [ the Kasztner train rescue of beleaguered Hungarian Jews in 1943 ] .

The attendees and myself viewing this very dramatic movie , at The Stony Brook Film Festival this weekend , could not help but be drawn into the interwoven plot lines of a family's secret , and it's impact on individual family members. What unfolds before you is a story of past choices that not only impact and shape those involved in a life and death struggle to survive , but the psyches and values each fall back on as they navigate their own way through life .

Generations from family patriarch , Emil Pikler [ expertly played by actor Eli Wallach ] , his sons Warren and Robert , and grandson Issac - "Zak" interplay , as years of emotional knots and protective walls start to unwind and come down . The inherited genes are subtly displayed , linking family traits ( i.e. love of the "game" - baseball , stubbornness , etc. ) . Yet , it's the impact of seeing a traumatic event take place that sets the stage for the knots and walls to be formed , and hence , individual actions and reactions on one's own life path [ navigating through the cosmos ] .

Eli Wallach is indeed an American theatrical and dramatic institution . (93 years young and still giving us engaging performances. Mazel tov ! ) . Lawrence Pressman gives a fantastically warm performance as the beleaguered and scarred son , Warren . Look for Daniel Sauli , portraying the grandson Zak , ably backed up by his girl friend Delphina ( Annie Parisse ) , who slice us through the plot lines and family history . Kudos as well to Ronald Guttman , as the counter-point brother Robert , who brings shaded comic release and vivid stark reality to the varying situations .

This presentation could apply to a multitude of families whose members have survived WWII ( or other horrific family altering conflicts ) . It's the untold stories ( and secrets ) that may yet haunt and contort warm and strong family ties , causing sad separations . Perhaps , some secrets and histories are better kept hidden . Sadly , many are dying off with their holders , as generations pass away.

Gauging the audience's reaction , this entry should capture at a top prize at the festival , and do well as it's released to the public . Director and writer Jeremy Davidson has constructed a moving and emotional vehicle to be enjoyed with your own families (regardless of nationalities, religions, creeds , etc . ) . Meanwhile , here's to living ( on ) , and to Life ! L' Chaim !

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