Papadopoulos & Sons (15) 109 mins ***
Playwright-turned-director Marcus Markou’s debut is a cheerful, foursquare comedy-drama along East is East lines. Stephen Dillane – an actor whose droll choices are always a pleasure to watch – gives it some class as Harry Papadopoulos, the North London comestibles magnate obliged to downsize when he discovers even an empire founded on taramasalata cannot survive a double-dip recession; Georges Corraface brings the energy as Harry’s estranged brother, who sees reopening a chippy as a way of securing the clan’s future. Rivalry with a Turkish kebab shop follows – Markou isn’t beyond broad, crowdpleasing tactics – but it’s set against a sincere exploration of the brothers’ differences, and an ambitious attempt to rewrite Lear for laughter rather than tears. It’s something of a throwback, but relaxed, sweet and funny with it: a first feature that makes an impression by not pushing too hard to make an impression.
Papadopoulos & Sons is playing in selected cinemas.