William H. Macy, Laura Dern, David Paymer, Meat Loaf Aday
Widescreen; closed caption; English subtitles; making-of featurette.
|With Arthur Miller's late-'40s novel as its source material, director Neal Slavin's drama confronts the very real issue of anti-Semitism on the American home front during World War II. The cast, headed by the trusty William H. Macy ("Panic," "Boogie Nights"), the versatile Laura Dern ("Wild at Heart"), the skilled David Paymer ("Mr. Saturday Night") and hyperbolic-rocker-turned-shrewd-actor Meat Loaf Aday, gamely tries to make it come alive. But the stagy film veers toward overly preachy and didactic. Macy is Larry Newman, a longtime personnel director for a New York company. When the quiet, middle-aged fellow's failing eyesight requires that he wear prescription glasses, his world begins to crumble. Why? Well, even though Larry's a gentile, his new specs make him look Jewish to co-workers and neighbors. Soon, Larry's job is on the line, and he and his new bride (Dern) are being threatened by fascist vigilantes who have already harassed the Jewish shopkeeper (Paymer) up the block.|