The late Edward Asner, whose incomparable body of work includes The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Pixar’s Up, demonstrates his versatility yet again in one of his final roles. He plays Samuel, a Holocaust survivor who develops an unlikely friendship with Casey (Margot Josefsohn in her feature film debut), a troubled teenage runaway who sports a swastika on her leather jacket. In time Samuel comes to offer Casey the kindness and direction she never found at home, while she provides the elderly widower with a renewed sense of purpose. While its story is familiar in broad strokes, Tiger Within defies predictability with the genuinely surprising chemistry between confident 14-year-old Josefsohn and graceful nonagenarian Asner. Screenwriter Gina Wendkos (The Princess Diaries) balances grit and sentiment astutely in her study of friendship where it’s least expected.
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