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Monsieur Ibrahim

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In François Dupeyron's period drama set in a working-class Jewish neighborhood in Paris in the 1960s, a neglected teen, Momo (Pierre Moulangier) finds an unlikely kinship with an elderly Muslim shopkeeper, Monsieur Ibrahim (Omar Sharif). Despite the disparity in their lives, each slowly opens up to the other in this bittersweet coming-of-age tale. In one memorable scene, Ibrahim advises the purchase of cat food to be served as pate to Momo's distant and demanding father. Dupeyron's script curiously hurries past rather large developments in the pair's lives -- and there is an extraneous subplot about the local hookers (all with those proverbial hearts of gold) to remind us that the French are so blasé about les affaires sexuel. But, in its accumulation of small details, and the winning, low-key performance of Sharif, the film makes its gentle case for a relationship that easily spans borders. In French with subtitles. 2.5 cameras

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