The Arty Semite

My Big, Gay Jewish Seder

By Michael Kaminer

Courtesy Zeitgeist Films

A wacky, coincidence-laden plot. Super-saturated colors. Over-the-top, emotion-drenched songs. And even Spanish superstar Carmen Maura.

“Let My People Go!” opening January 11, has everything a Pedro Almodovar picture should have. Except Almodovar.

Instead, it’s helmed by 29-year-old French filmmaker Mikael Buch, here directing his first full-length feature. Buch transports Almodovar-esque high drama and low comedy to Paris — and, probably for financing, Finland — to tell the story of a dysfunctional Jewish family’s nearly shipwrecked Seder one overly eventful Passover.

The journey, unfortunately, isn’t worth the schmaltzy payoff, which feels predictable from the film’s opening frames.

In a bucolic Finnish village, where fussy French transplant Ruben (Nicolas Maury) and beefy blond boyfriend Teemu (Jarkko Niemi) share a cozy cottage, the couple is starting what seems like another workday.

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