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Film, To Sir, with Attitude

To Sir, with Attitude

Compare and contrast Laurent Cantet's terrific The Class with any of the following schoolroom chestnuts — Mr. Holland's Opus, Dangerous Minds, or To Sir, with Love. Note the structural similarities: misbehaving students, an educator who wants them to succeed, and…
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Film, To Sir, with Attitude

To Sir, with Attitude

Compare and contrast Laurent Cantet's terrific The Class with any of the following schoolroom chestnuts — Mr. Holland's Opus, Dangerous Minds, or To Sir, with Love. Note the structural similarities: misbehaving students, an educator who wants them to succeed, and…
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Film, Film Feature Belle de 50 Ans

Belle de 50 Ans

Siren. Icon. Muse. You can apply any or all of those labels to Catherine Deneuve but trying to make any one of them stick is trickier than lighting a match in a rainstorm. Ask her about her five-decade career in…
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Film, Holiday Feast, Extra Stuffing

Holiday Feast, Extra Stuffing

Arnaud Desplechin is a cinema maximalist: A Christmas Tale feels like all 12 days of seasonal merriment and then some. This comic, ultimately touching family melodrama is a heady plum pudding of a movie, studded with outsized performances and drenched…
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Film, Film Feature Shots in the Dark

Shots in the Dark

CANNES, France—No need for dreaming here. Each Cannes Film Festival generates its own metaphors for a 10-day regimen of visions in the dark. It's impossible to forget, let alone transcend, one's unnatural situation here. The opening film of Cannes's 2008…
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Film, Gallic Anxiety

Gallic Anxiety

The festival has displayed exceptional enthusiasm in recent years for the most transgressive inclinations of French filmmakers, from the serious self-mutilation study In My Skin to the bad-girls-with-guns hokum of Baise Moi. At first blush, Lucile Hadzihalilovic's exquisitely etched Innocence…
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Film, Stylish Savagery

Stylish Savagery

The sophistication -- sexual and otherwise -- that once epitomized French cinema certainly hasn't gone out of style. However, Gallic filmmakers increasingly present civilization as merely a polished illusion barely masking society's brutality. Their movies, while teeming with style, verve,…
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