Gabby the Girl Scout Reviews SIFF Film 'Ira Finkelstein's Christmas'June 11, 2012 @ 5:50 pm (Updated: 7:16 pm - 6/11/12 )
By Rachel Belle
The Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) is in full effect and we thought, who better to review one of the most popular family movies of the festival than Gabby the Girl Scout? The movie in question is Ira Finkelstein's Christmas, co-written, directed and produced by Seattle's Sue Corcoran. Basically, the film is about a Jewish boy in Los Angeles who is obsessed with celebrating Christmas in the classic dreamy, snowy, hot chocolaty kind of way. Gabby helps explain Ira's situation:
"His mom sets up Christmas parties and his dad is a Christmas movie director. He's Jewish and he really wants to celebrate Christmas. So [his parents] send him off to Florida to go see his grandparents. But while he's in the airport he meets this kid named Mikey."
Mikey and Ira decide to switch places: Ira goes to Christmastown to visit Mikey's cousins, who haven't seen him in years, and Mikey heads off to Florida to visit Ira's grandparents. Grandpa is played by 74-year-old actor Elliott Gould. Gould is one of the few out-of-town actors in the film because director Sue Corcoran used a mostly local cast and crew.
"We shot in Leavenworth and they rolled out the red carpet for us," says Corcoran. "We shot in March; it hadn't snowed in two months and it started snowing and it snowed the whole time we were there. The [locals] were wonderful, they left out their Christmas decorations for us."
The Florida scenes were shot in sunny West Seattle.
So let's see what sort of rating Gabby the Girl Scout gives Ira Finkelstein's Christmas.
"Five stars because it's very interesting. This movie should become a holiday classic. I really think that this is a great movie for all ages."
I wondered if Gabby has ever felt like Ira, if she's ever wanted to trade places with someone in another culture.
"Yes, I really want to experience what they do in Egypt and how they build houses and pyramids and how they get successful in life there."
Gould and Gabby got to meet at the film's premiere in Seattle over the weekend and he says he loves working with kids. His foray into showbiz began when he was a child.
"I was very inhibited, withdrawn and repressed," Gould told me from a room in Seattle W Hotel. "There was a neighborhood song and dance school, and so I went. I was a tap dancer."
Every respectable family movie ends with a moral, and Gabby has managed to fish one out of this flick.
"It teaches you that Christmas is for everybody and you don't have to be un-Jewish to celebrate Christmas."
If you missed Ira Finkelstein's Christmas, it was voted one of the SIFF favorites, and will replay on Father's Day, June 17th at 2pm at the SIFF Cinema Uptown in Queen Anne.
Bonneville Media encourages site users to express their opinions by posting comments. Our goal is to maintain a civil dialogue in which readers feel comfortable. At times, the comments can descend to personal attacks. Please do not engage in such behavior. We encourage your thoughtful comments which: have a positive and constructive tone, are on topic, are respectful toward others and their opinions. Bonneville reserves the right to remove comments which do not conform to these criteria.