This surprisingly genuine drama reminds us that homelessness can be a frighteningly simple – even mundane – process. Take underemployment, mix it with overdue rent and taxes and add a dash of plain old bad luck, and suddenly you’re fighting for a place in line at a shelter. That’s the predicament faced by Chris Gardner (Will Smith), a single father struggling on the poverty line in 1980s San Francisco. Smith’s low-key performance never strains for an Oscar nod, and the movie as a whole never gives in to manipulative, treacly sentimentality. Restrained and honest, this is the rare tear-jerker that earns every drop.