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Film, "The Impossible": A Thorough Whitewashing

"The Impossible": A Thorough Whitewashing

When the words "true story" appear twice in a film's opening disclaimer, it's a guarantee that what follows will include at least one questionable fiction. The Impossible is inspired by the Alvarez Belons, a Spanish family of five who survived…
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Film, "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen": Romance Diverts Humor

"Salmon Fishing in the Yemen": Romance Diverts Humor

The kind of benign, swooningly humanist crowd-pleaser Lasse Hallstrom (The Cider House Rules, Chocolat) could make in his sleep (and by this point, possibly does), Salmon Fishing in the Yemen mostly sacrifices the political satire and epistolary structure of Paul…
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Calendar, Night&Day Out and Proud -- and 75

Out and Proud -- and 75

Playing an emotionally asphyxiated illustrator whose cancer-stricken dad comes out of the closet at age 75, Ewan McGregor looks positively yummy in this gay-is-OK dramedy from the distributor that brought us The Kids Are All Right. In fact, Beginners, a…
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Film, "Beginners": Mike Mills' Twee Autobiographical Film Is a Charmer

"Beginners": Mike Mills' Twee Autobiographical Film Is a Charmer

Playing an emotionally asphyxiated illustrator whose cancer-stricken dad comes out of the closet at age 75, Ewan McGregor looks positively yummy in Beginners, a gay-is-okay dramedy from the distributor that brought us The Kids Are All Right. In fact, this…
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Calendar, Night&Day Roman Knows

Roman Knows

It's hard not to picture Polanski under house arrest in Gstaad editing his diverting new thriller, in which a former British prime minister dodges extradition while having his memoirs rewritten. Then again, when your life is like a mash-up of…
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Film, <i>Miss </i>Congeniality

Miss Congeniality

I am sorry to say that Peter did not feel very well that evening. His mother put him to bed and gave him a dose of chamomile tea. "One tablespoon to be taken at bedtime." But Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail…
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Film, Bird Droppings

Bird Droppings

Even today, British kids grow up listening to stories about life during the London Blitz and the hardships their grandparents endured during the Second World War. American children, by comparison, would be hard-pressed to tell you which nations fought on…
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Film, Send in the Clones

Send in the Clones

It should come as no surprise that the hero and heroine of the new Michael Bay action extravaganza are clones. Exact copies of other people. You don't get to be a Hollywood hitmeister like Bay -- 200 Zillion Tickets Sold!…
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Film, <i>Sith</i> Is It

Sith Is It

"Somewhere, this could all be happening right now," spoke the narrator in the trailer for the first Star Wars movie (thereafter known as Episode IV: A New Hope), and to those who were small children then, it rang true. For…
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Film, Talkin' 'Bot Love

Talkin' 'Bot Love

"From the creators of Ice Age," boasts the poster for Robots, which is no ringing endorsement. That 2002 animated feature, a sort of Three Mammals and a Baby in a prehistoric setting, looked and felt every bit as frigid as…
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Film, After the Fall

After the Fall

Those seeking a spiritual counterpart to the yin of Lynne Ramsay's masterfully moody Morvern Callar will find their yang in David Mackenzie's exquisitely sorrowful Young Adam. Art-house aficionados may recall that in Ramsay's recent film, a young male writer commits…
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News, Dog Bites

The Fine Art of Restroom Rating

I fantasize about a massive, pristine convenience. Brilliant gold taps, virginal white marble, a seat carved from ebony, a cistern full of Chanel No. 5, and a flunky handing me pieces of raw silk toilet roll .... -- Mark Renton…
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Film, American Psycho

American Psycho

Ewan McGregor. You can't toss a caber in Scotland these days without toppling a gaggle of blokes who closely resemble him. Yet some magical combination of talent, charm, and shrewd management has thrown wide the gates of choice projects for…
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Film,

Life Is Semisweet

Little Voice Written and directed by Mark Herman. Based on a play by Jim Cartwright. Starring Jane Horrocks, Michael Caine, Brenda Blethyn, and Ewan McGregor. At the Embarcadero Center. British actress Jane Horrocks is thrice-gifted: She can act, she can…
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Calendar, Halloween

REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): Imagine that I'm waving a fan-shaped splay of hundred-dollar bills in front of your face. I'm teasing and provoking you with jibes. "What would you be willing to do to earn this cash, Aries?" I say.…
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