The Polka King


The story of Jan Lewan, a charismatic Polish-American performer and entrepreneur who was revealed in 2004 to have been running a Ponzi scheme, has been told in two documentaries. This is the unremarkable but entertaining fictional version. It has the same look and approach as many other movies about con men, told with a dark sense of humor and a certain degree of love for its subject. Above all, this is Jack Black’s film – he’s fascinating as the eternally optimistic polka king with a thick accent. Jacki Weaver is also good as his mother-in-law who never for a second believes anything other than that Jan is crooked.

2018-U.S. 95 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Maya Forbes. Cast: Jack Black (Jan Lewan), Jenny Slate (Maria Lewan), Jason Schwartzman (Mickey Pizzazz), Jacki Weaver, Vanessa Bayer, J.B. Smoove.

Trivia: Co-produced by Black. First shown at the Sundance festival, then released on Netflix.



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