Treasure review – Lena Dunham and Stephen Fry uneasy in well-intentioned Holocaust drama

Wonky-toned story follows Dunham as a journalist visiting Poland, and Fry as her cuddly European dad, both trying to get to grips with family history

An uncomfortable experience this: a laboriously acted odd-couple heartwarmer starring Lena Dunham and Stephen Fry, with a sentimentality unsuited to its theme: the horrors of the Holocaust. Director and co-writer Julia Von Heinz has adapted the 1999 autobiographical novel Too Many Men by Lily Brett, whose father Max was a Holocaust survivor from the Lodz ghetto.

It is 1991 and Dunham plays Ruth, a New York journalist recently divorced, who has come to Poland to get to grips with family history. With a heavy heart she has brought along her eccentric, affectionate widower dad Edek, played by Stephen Fry in full teddy-bear mode with a cod Polish accent. The pair of them travel through the country staying at down-at-heel hotels, squabbling but of course finally and cathartically getting to know each other. Yet Ruth, though always reading about the Holocaust, is unable to understand why Edek does not want to take any of the trains for which she has bought advance tickets. Instead, he impulsively hires a driver at the airport. This is Stefan, played by Zbigniew Zamachowski (from Kieslowski’s Three Colours White), whose unshowy authenticity rather exposes Fry’s stagey, if heartfelt performance.