Directed by Eytan Fox
Starring Dana Ivgy, Efrat Dor, Ofer Shechter, Yael Bar-Zohar, Anat Waxman and Keren Berger
In UK Cinemas April 25th, 2014

For its closing night gala, the UK Jewish Film Festival selected the Israeli-French film Cupcakes, directed by Eytan Fox.  After digesting this film, I feel like I have personally eaten an entire batch of cupcakes.  It is so sickeningly sweet, my cynical self wasn’t convinced it would satiate my apetite for good cinema.  By the end of the film, I was bouncing off the walls from a sugar rush of charm, endearment and pure joy.  This film is a celebration of music, friendship, love and free spirit.

Featuring music by Babydaddy of Scissor Sisters fame, how could this film be anything but the extravagantly camp genius that it is?  Cupcakes is set around a group of friendly neighbours as they live their lives obsessed with love and pop music.  One night they fulfill their annual tradition of watching Universong, a blatant representation of the Eurovision Song Contest.  While watching the show, they spontaneously break into song to cheer up their friend Anat who is down on her luck in love.  The man of the group, Ofer, films the song and after some words of encouragement from his lover, he sends off the video to enter himself and his friends into the Eurovision Song Contest Universong.  They are the chosen ones, and one by one reluctantly agree to overcome their fears, live life rather than observe it, and all band together to take part in this once in a lifetime opportunity.

As cringeworthy as this may sound to some, and as awesome as it may sound to others, there is no room for cynicism.  In addition to the purity of its charm, Cupcakes also touches upon social issues including relationships, homosexuality, social conformity, and most importantly – the current state of the pop music industry.  This film is a celebration, and the perfect way to close this year’s UK Jewish Film Festival.

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