Some stories are so formulaic and pre-determined, you can almost feel annoyed that it starts to work on you at all. Jonathan Pryce stars as Nat Dayan, a widowed Orthodox Jewish baker struggling to keep his family’s Kosher bakery running in London; he finds a new apprentice in Ayyash (Jerome Holder), a young Sudanese refugee working as a small-time drug courier to help support himself and his mother. But fear not that there’s any unsettling threat on the horizon: The pun-intended “high-concept” finds Ayyash accidentally mixing some marijuana into a batch of challah, leading to a sudden surge in the popularity of Nat’s goods. The premise is fueled almost entirely by the earnestness of Pryce’s performance, and the growing friendship between Jew and Muslim as each one provides the surrogate family member each one lacks. It’s all terribly rote in every beat, from the needy widow (Pauline Collins) courting Nat, to the nasty corporate big-wig trying to drive Nat out of business. And still there are those few minutes when you can surrender to a nice feel-good tale with its heart—if not its art—in the right place.
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