TIFF Film Review: “The Cobbler” (2014)


Writers: Thomas McCarthy, Paul Sado

Director: Thomas McCarthy

Stars: Adam Sandler, Dan Stevens, Steve Buschemi, Dustin Hoffman, Ellen Barkin, Elena Kampouris, Glen Flesher, Melonie Diaz


Max Simkin (Sandler) repairs shoes in the same shop that has been in his family for generations. On a busy day, the shoe repair machine breaks down, and being afraid that he will not be  able to fix the shoes on time, Max goes to the basement, where he finds an old shoe repair machine and uses it to complete an urgent order. But, when he tries on the shoes, he suddenly transforms into the person that owns the shoes. Now having this power, Miskin gets a unique opportunity to step into the lives of his customers, and see them for who they really are…

“The Cobbler” is written and directed by Thomas McCarthy, who is mostly known as an actor more than a director.  However, this does not mean that McCarthy is unable to make his fairy tale watchable and and acceptable for the viewers. The Cobbler revolves around Max Simkin, who lives with his Mother, and has only one friend, played by Steve Buchemi, who works next door. Miskin has nothing going on in his life, except to deal with annoying, and potentially dangerous customers, like Ludlow (Method Man). So when the opportunity arises to make his life more colourful, Miskin does what is expected – he takes the opportunity to walk in the shoes of his customers.

Thomas McCarthy`s story sometimes looks really silly, and unrealistic, however, we can’t expect him to write another “The Godfather”. McCarthy manages to cast Dustin Hoffman, as Sandler`s father, and Buschemi, as Max`s only friend. The entire cast delivers a solid performance required from this type of film. The story is not perfect and really nothing special, but is still family friendly, except for a few violent scenes, which fails to make this film totally suitable for kids. McCarthy can consider his mission accomplished and a success; “The Cobbler” is Charming and a delight to watch.

In conclusion, despite silliness to the story, The Cobbler has something sweet and cute to offer us. It is quite a charming film, about a man who tries to change the world around him; using an opportunity he is given. The film delivers a message and teaches us to be kind and goodhearted people; Max Simkin is this kind of person. The Cobbler is an interesting and sometimes funny film, with an outstanding soundtrack, which will certainly make you look for the music once you have finished watching the film.


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