Release Date: 3rd November 2006
Director: Paul Weiland
Writer: Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan
Producer: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner & Elizabeth Karlsen
Executive Producer: Richard Curtis & Natascha Wharton
Runtime: 1hr 33mins
It is the summer of ’66, and England is consumed by World Cup Fever. For 12 year-old Bernie though, the biggest day of his life is looming: his Bar Mitzvah, the day he becomes a man. However, Bernie’s parents are increasingly distracted by the threat of losing their business; in addition, Bernie’s older wayward brother is constantly verbally and physically challenging him. An accident to Bernie’s Uncle and a house fire cause more mayhem with Bernie’s family.
All of this causes the scale and grandeur of Bernie’s Bar Mitzvah to diminish daily.
As Bernie starts to track the wins and losses of the World Cup, he realizes to his horror that if England “runs the table”, the final in London will occur on the day of his Bar Mitzvah. Bernie’s longed-for Bar Mitzvah looks set to be a complete disaster.
Though Bernie tries all sorts of methods to prevent England from winning, it is fate. England gets to the finals vs. Germany. Suddenly, relatives and family friends who said they would be at the ceremony take ill or are required to stay late at work.
One day, while looking for Bernie, his parents discover the videos shot of Bernie’s brother’s Bar Mitzvah; a grand event where he was pushed into the background. His parents realize how they had been neglecting his feelings, and his dad then takes Bernie and they race to the final by car to try and catch the end of the match.
The movie ends on a high note, and is fact-based on the director having his Bar Mitzvah fall on the actual World Cup final of 1966.
Gregg Sulkin…as Bernie Reubens
Helena Bonham Carter…as Esther Reubens
Eddie Marsan…as Manny Reubens
Ben Newton…as Alvie Reubens
Thomas Drewson…as Terry Shivers
Peter Serafinowicz…as Uncle Jimmy / Mr. Reubens, Sr. / Football Commentator
Stephen Grief…as Uncle Henry
Catherine Tate…as Aunt Lila
Stephen Rea…as Dr. Barrie
Geraldine Somerville…as Alice Barrie