Dough is the story of a kosher baker in a transitional neighborhood in London. He's a widower, his only child, a son, is a fancy-schmancy barrister and his apprentice has just politely resigned to go to work for the chain store next door. His grandfather started the business - what's a chap to do? Sell the shop to the sleazy guy who owns the chain?
Jonathan Pryce (who's currently on Broadway in The Merchant of Venice) is Nat, the owner, a nice guy, maybe a little volatile, but when your family business is threatened, what do you expect? He ends up hiring the son of the Eritrean woman who cleans the shop. Ayyash (Jerome Holder) takes the job under some duress, but is - sort of - working out, when Nat discovers him on the floor, praying. It's sunrise, and the mother and son are Muslim. Nat's wearing a tallit, the prayer shawl, and tfillin, the bindings, both traditional, when he finds Ayyash, so it would seem to be an even encounter, but Nat's upset.
Still, the kid seems to be working out. And then there's an upsurge in the number of customers after he accidentally dumps some marijuana he's reselling into a batch of bagel dough. The senior baker has no idea, of course, but things roll (or bagel) prosperously along until Mr. Sleazy Chain-owning Neighbor puts two and two together. Needless to say, havoc ensues.
Who would have thought that a film about drugs and religious conflict could be almost gentle? And yet it is, coming close to downright charming at times. There's even a little romance in it. Me, I would have liked to have seen more work being done in the bakery, but that's just my professional instincts coming out.
Plaza Frontenac Cinema