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Film, "Words and Pictures": Continuing the Ancient Feud Between Written Stuff and Drawn Stuff

"Words and Pictures": Continuing the Ancient Feud Between Written Stuff and Drawn Stuff

Say this for Batman vs. Superman: You do at least kinda want to see how that'll play out. Less so Words and Pictures, which hinges on another for-argument's-sake sort of conflict, even if the conjunction in its title implies magnanimous…
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Film, "Elles": French Film Compares Housewives and Prostitutes

"Elles": French Film Compares Housewives and Prostitutes

As she prepares for a dinner party and fields rude dismissals from her two spoiled sons, journalist Anne (Juliette Binoche) thinks back on her probing interviews for a just-filed French Elle profile of two student-prostitutes who cater to a rich…
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Film, Old money meets a new world in Olivier Assayas' <i>Summer Hours</i>

Old money meets a new world in Olivier Assayas' Summer Hours

Throughout his career, festival favorite Olivier Assayas has alternated between meta-pop, sometimes lurid, neo–New Wave genre flicks and their antithesis — genteel, talk-driven ensemble dramas. With Summer Hours, the 54-year-old director brings it all back home, staging a tactical retreat…
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Film, Floating Life

Floating Life

About a thousand movies ago, I made the truculent, unprovable assertion that if Chinese grandmaster Hou Hsiao-hsien were French, he'd be a household name. Now the moment of truth arrives with Hou's Flight of the Red Balloon — set in…
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Film, Dan in Reel Life

Dan in Reel Life

Dan in Real Life has this much going for it: It is not the worst Steve Carell film of 2007. That honor, of course, goes to Evan Almighty, which even the Lord walked out of during the second reel. Fact…
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Home Entertainment, DVDish The Graduate: Legs to Spare

The Graduate: Legs to Spare

The Graduate: 40th Anniversary Edition (MGM) Fifteen years after its last home-video commemorative edition (extras from which appear here), The Graduate once more gets the bonus-laden makeover — and if ever a movie deserved its kudos, it's Mike Nichols' masterwork.…
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Film, Spell It Out

Spell It Out

Richard Gere? That's the first thought that came to mind upon learning that Mr. Salt-and-Pepper-Sexy-Buddhist-Wasp had been cast as Saul Naumann in Bee Season, the film version of Myla Goldberg's best-selling novel. In the book, Saul is an oppressive and…
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Film, Love, African Style

Love, African Style

It's always difficult to pan a movie that features good actors, important issues, and noble intentions. But In My Country, a romantic drama about two journalists covering the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings in post-apartheid South Africa, leaves little choice.…
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Film, Sacr&eacute; bleu!

Sacré bleu!

Sobering news, friends: The war between the sexes has reached the land that invented romance (or at least the cinematic myth of it). French films have always provided genteel tips for seduction and lovemaking, and pointers for meeting partners as…
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