Two Family House

Rated 4.0 During the 1950s, a Long Island veteran of World War II (Michael Rispoli) tries his hand at a succession of careers, meeting nothing but criticism from his small-minded wife (Kathrine Narducci)—until he gets to know the abandoned mother who lives upstairs (Kelly MacDonald). Writer/director Raymond De Felitta’s low-budget slice-of-life is one of those rare feel-good movies that earns its emotion honestly without resorting to cheap manipulation. Rispoli gives a sensitive, self-effacing performance as a man of limited abilities—perhaps—but with an abundance of simple human decency, coming slowly to understand that his neighbors, family and so-called friends don’t think very much of him. It’s a sweet and touching look at the simple heroism of everyday life, lit by the glow of nostalgic affection.