574 results
    • Goya’s Ghosts

        Goya’s Ghosts is the work of an old master who, like the painter he depicts, is a tireless chronicler of his tumultuous times, even when he’s making a period film. Czech-born director Milos Forman has said he wanted to explore the effects of the Spanish Inquisition long before the current War on Terror began, but his historical fiction works as a pointed commentary on the belligerent righteousness of contemporary politics. In addition to the religious intolerance epitomized by the Inquisition, the film delves into the paradoxical aftermath of the French Revolution, when the self-anointed Emperor Napoleon I imposed freedom by violently overthrowing a sovereign government in Spain. All of which makes Forman’s backwards glance feel incredibly timely. Too bad the resulting film isn’t as good as its intentions.
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    • My First Mister

        Good actors giving solid, realistic performances can often make a mediocre film better than it has any right to be. In Christine Lahti’s directorial debut, intelligent performers Leelee Sobieski and Albert Brooks embrace not the glib, melodramatic script from sitcom writer Jill Franklin but dig deep to touch the inner lives of their isolated characters.
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    • America’s Sweethearts

        A behind-the-scenes tale of stars juggling romance and PR, this frothy comedy could have made a statement about the pursuit of power in Hollywood. It doesn’t make a statement on much of anything. Stars include John Cusack, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Julia Roberts, Billy Crystal and Hank Azaria.
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    • Las Vegas tango

      Wayne Wang’s latest narrates a grammar of sex for hire.
        Like Bernardo Bertolucci before him, director Wayne Wang has made a frankly sexual film which titillates while commenting on its own obsession with carnal pleasures. The magnificently complex performances of Peter Sarsgaard and Molly Parker are emblematic of a generation that’s been both eroticized and demoralized.
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    • Miss Congeniality

        Sandra Bullock is so lively and so funny so often in this outing that you wish she could display her comedy talents in a better film — next time trading by-the-numbers director Donald Petrie and cliche-dependant writer Marc Lawrence for filmmakers not afraid to showcase all her goofy charm.
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    • Gang of four

      Feature film caps the successful series with a story that's skimpy on sex but long on love
        The central character, Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), may have written a newspaper sex column, but it was as much about the importance of friendship and the vagaries of romantic relationships, and so — in the end — was the show. Men came and went; it was the bond between Carrie, publicist Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall), gallery manager Charlotte York (Kristin Davis), and attorney Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon) that served as their vital support system and emotional outlet. That remains true in the film, which picks up four years after the show’s happily-ever-after conclusion. Samantha has moved to Los Angeles to oversee the career of her protégé, and Carrie is now a best-selling author, but otherwise, little has changed. Carrie doesn’t ask it in her trademark voiceover, but the big question hanging over the women is this: they’ve settled in, but are they settling? Over the course of nearly 2-1/2 hours (that’s five back-to-back episodes), there are betrayals and reconnections, expectations do battle with fear and disappointment, and the primacy of the union between these women is re-asserted with a new maturity.
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    • Girl on the Bridge

        When it comes to a decidedly different perspective on romance, leave it to French director Patrice Leconte (Monsieur Hire) to redefine the parameters of love and obsession. The film’s fuel is the kinetic chemistry between veteran Daniel Auteuil and newcomer Vanessa Paradis.
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    • Total recoil

        When Andreas Ramsfjell (Trond Fausa Aurvåg) finds himself dropped off in a lovely, well-ordered city, handed the keys to his apartment and a dossier detailing his new job, he’s befuddled but accepting. He gets along by going along with his cheerful and accommodating co-workers, including his boss Håvard (Johannes Joner), who’s more concerned with his happiness than productivity. Something is off, Andreas can feel it, but he seems to be the only one. Everyone around him seems satisfied to continually decorate their stylish homes, like his girlfriend Anne-Britt (Petronella Barker), and keep their surfaces shiny and immaculate. It isn’t until he hears Hugo (Per Schaanning), who uses the anonymity of a men’s room stall to unleash a tirade about how nothing has a taste anymore, that Andreas can begin to pinpoint his gnawing dissatisfaction. It’s as if his memory of a past life wasn’t sufficiently washed away, and he becomes grimly determined to break out of the suffocating cocoon, even if it means only a short time flying free. Expect the unexpected. Just when you think you know where screenwriter Per Schreiner is heading, the story swerves into uncharted territory.
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    • Good show

        In a brisk opening sequence set in rainy London, Mr. Bean wins a trip to the sunny French Riviera in a church raffle. Director Steve Bendelack (The League of Gentlemen’s Apocalypse) knows how to make slapstick that’s not slapdash, and hits on all the essential Beanisms — from his affection for his vintage Mini to the absolutely shameless way he expresses his emotions — before he quickly puts the character in motion. That forward momentum is what makes Mr. Bean’s Holiday such a romp.
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    • Jump Tomorrow

        Director Joel Hopkins takes a simple premise — a hesitant groom on his way to the altar — and fashions a sweet and charming pop art fable about the random nature of love. Delightfully subtle in its humor and big-hearted in its emotions, it’s a road movie about losing your inhibitions along the way.
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    • Indestructibly feminine

      Girls and "girls" make their way through thick and thin.
        This is the ultimate coming-out party, striking for the way Barbra Streisand, making her big-screen debut in her portrayal of vaudeville-era comedienne and chanteuse Fanny Brice, so effectively created her own mythology — with complex performances from both Streisand and Omar Sharif.

        The Iron Ladies

        HHH 1/2

        Using entertainment as a vehicle for social change, director Yongyoot Thongkongtoon recreates the 1996 winning season of a volleyball team composed primarily of gay men who became media darlings in Thailand. The Iron Ladies, as they christen themselves, are wildly flamboyant on the court and off, flying in the face of Asian expectations of proper manhood.

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    • The Luzhin Defence

        Director Marleen Gorris (Antonia’s Line) deftly inserts key moments from chess prodigy Alexander Luzhin’s childhood throughout this beautifully crafted, unconventional film, ably demonstrating how a boy obsessed with chess could become the shambling recluse who surfaces at the 1929 world championship tournament — with John Turturro and Emily Watson.
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