Movie review of “Dough”: Jonathan Pryce masterfully portrays a Jewish widower struggling to keep his kosher bakery open in this sometimes-frivolous but ultimately sensitive comedy-drama. Rating: 3 stars out of 4.

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Though “Dough” is often in danger of running off the rails with improbable and unnecessary plot twists, it is always essentially entertaining and warm in its observations of hope rekindled through simple relationships.

Above all, this briskly paced comedy-drama by veteran director John Goldschmidt is a fine showcase for star Jonathan Pryce (“Game of Thrones”). Pryce, a British institution of stage and screen, wholly absorbs — and is wholly absorbed by — his prickly, desperate central character, Nat, a Jewish widower struggling to keep his kosher bakery open in East London.

With his customer base shrinking, his landlady (Pauline Collins) putting romantic moves on him and an evil developer (Philip Davis) breathing down his neck, Nat and his shop — in his family for generations — are in peril.

Movie Review ★★★  

‘Dough,’ with Jonathan Pryce, Jerome Holder, Pauline Collins, Ian Hart, Philip Davis. Directed by John Goldschmidt, from a screenplay by Jonathan Benson and Jez Freedman. 94 minutes. Not rated; for mature audiences. Seven Gables.

When Nat’s new apprentice, Ayyash (Jerome Holder), a Muslim immigrant from Africa, accidentally spills marijuana into challah dough, sales start climbing, though Nat has no idea of the truth. The police, the developer and a local drug dealer (Ian Hart), however, soon catch on.

The pot subplot and all that goes with it seem wholly unnecessary in a story emotionally driven by the emerging, unlikely bond between Nat and Ayyash. The sensitivity in their connection endures long after the film’s sillier high wears off.