Sixty Six: Preview 2008

“Sixty Six” is set in England, the summer of 66, when the country is about to be consumed by World Cup Fever. Based on the real life experience of director Paul Weiland, SIXTY SIX is a coming-of-age comedy starring Eddie Marsan (Mission Impossible III, Vera Drake), Helena Bonham Carter (Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, Big Fish), Stephen Rea (V for Vendetta, Breakfast on Pluto), Catherine Tate, Peter Serafinowicz (Shaun Of The Dead), Geraldine Somerville, Richard Katz, Ben Newton and Gregg Sulkin.

For 12-year-old Bernie (GREGG SULKIN), the biggest day of his life is looming, the day he becomes a man – his Bar Mitzvah. However Bernies North London family seems a little distracted. His father Manny (EDDIE MARSAN) is concerned about the giant supermarket opening opposite his grocery shop, a business he shares with his more charismatic younger brother, Jimmy (PETER SERAFINOWICZ) — and its making Mannys bizarre obsessive compulsive disorder even worse than usual. Between worrying about Manny and Bernies older brother Alvie (BEN NEWTON), mother Esther (HELENA BONHAM CARTER) barely has time to notice her better behaved younger son, and the only attention Bernie ever gets from Alvie is a punch for stepping onto the wrong side of their shared bedroom. Bernie believes his Bar Mitzvah is about to change all this. Hell no longer be the kid everyone ignores, and he envisions and begins to plan the perfect ceremony and reception, where everyone assembled will acknowledge his new status as a man.

Unfortunately for Bernie, things dont quite go according to plan. First, Mannys business fails, and suddenly the lavish hotel party that Bernie had been promised is replaced with a tiny affair in his parents front room. Worse than that though, the World Cup Final is scheduled for the same day as his Bar Mitzvah. Despite Bernies pleas, Manny and Esther wont hear of moving the date, as England will never get through to the
final.

Bernie senses its not wise to push the issue with his increasingly neurotic parents, but he is panic-stricken. His only solace comes from his relationships with asthma specialist, Dr. Barrie (STEPHEN REA), and his blind Hebrew instructor, Rabbi Linov (RICHARD KATZ), who give Bernie life lessons reminding him what it really means to become a man. Over the next few weeks, Bernie spends his spare time watching the World Cup like a hawk as England wins through the qualifying rounds, and ultimately earns a spot in the final against West Germany. Bernies worst nightmare has come true. Back at home things reach crisis point when the house catches fire and Mannys life savings go up in smoke. Manny is so depressed he is prepared to walk out on his family. Its only when Jimmy falls off a ladder and injures himself and impresses upon Manny his familial responsibilities that he finally pulls himself together.

The big day finally arrives and an excited hum spreads across the country – not so for Bernie. As he predicted, only a handful of relatives turn up to his Bar Mitzvah, and even they cant hide their desperation to get back home to watch the match. Amidst the chaos and disappointment, Bernie decides enough is enough. He runs to the sanctuary of Dr. Barries house only to discover that Dr. Barries life isnt so perfect either. Meanwhile, Manny and Esther discover their sons meticulously laid plans for the biggest Bar Mitzvah ever, and realize how much this day meant to him. Manny decides to make it up to his son the only way he can – by taking him to the biggest celebration in England that day – the World Cup final. As father and son unite, they make a mad dash for Wembley and arrive just in time to see the final goal making Bernies Bar Mitzvah day one to remember.

Sixty Six will be coming to theatres in New York on August 1st, and then expanding throughout August.

The L.A. Film Festival will be screening Sixty Six on June 25th at 7:00pm at the Mann Festival Theatre in Westwood.