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Rated NR · 2007
Unlike his intensely committed and colorful lawyer father, Ariel Perelman (a deadpan Daniel Hendler) is anal, inexpressive, becalmed in a dull job, and unsure of his place in life. Forced to loosen up a little when he snags a lively, beautiful wife he thought was out of his league and becomes a parent, Ariel is further unsettled when his father comes to him with a proposition. On paper, Family Law follows the familiar arc of domestic trouble and redemption. On screen, it's a visually puckish, tragicomic celebration of an unassuming man's unsung goodness that broadens, like Argentinean filmmaker Daniel Burman's other movies, into a meditation on secular-Jewish identity in a less-than-tolerant society. Like his equally father-fixated and equally wonderful 2003 film Lost Embrace, Burman's beguiling tribute to his Jewish father -- or, for all I know, the one he wishes he had -- is warm and deep enough to give humanism a good name.

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