Monsieur Ibrahim

A Muslim grocery store owner in France (an excellent Omar Sharif) befriends a troubled young boy, Momo (Pierre Boulanger), becoming a father figure to the teen after his actual father abandons him. The two eventually leave Paris in a brand-new automobile to travel through Turkey, turning the film into a sweet road movie. While the story could best be described as routine, Sharif and Boulanger make it worthwhile. Momo’s coming of age is a mixture of comedy (he frequents the town hookers to gain sexual experience) and tragedy (the loss of his father), and Boulanger proves himself a capable actor. One of the film’s best scenes involves his quick reunion with a long-lost mother. A better ending would’ve garnered a higher recommendation; the finale feels a little too convenient from a storytelling standpoint. Most of the film feels quite genuine, with the conclusion coming off as abrupt and silly. Sharif fares much better here than he does in the recently released Hidalgo.

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