This charming mystery/adventure was this year’s Uruguayan entry for the best foreign language Oscar. Jacob Kaplan has built a happy life after fleeing to Uruguay from Poland during World War II. He has been married 50 years, raised two sons and enjoys the company of his spunky teenage granddaughter. He also plays an active role at his synagogue. But at 76, his health starts to fail and he has a crisis. Comparing himself to Winston Churchill and Simon Wiesenthal, he fears that he is a failure. When a doctor takes away his driver license after a disastrous parking job, he rashly decides to act. His granddaughter has mentioned there’s an old man her friends call “The Nazi,” who owns a beach bar outside Montevideo. Kaplan hastily concludes the man is a Nazi. When his family hires a hapless ex-cop, Wilson Contreras, to chauffeur him around, he enlists Contreras in a scheme modeled on Wiesenthal’s capture of Adolf Eichmann to kidnap the man and ship him by boat to Israel to stand trial. Kaplan and Contreras make a fantastic odd couple: the lean, wizened grump and the effusive, drunken clown. Their beachfront stakeouts make for scenic viewing while the “Nazi’s” true identity is a moving surprise.
—Emily Kaiser Thelin