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Film, "Lay the Favorite": One Day She'll Win

"Lay the Favorite": One Day She'll Win

A wan comedy about gambling that takes no risks, Stephen Frears' Lay the Favorite has none of the stinging sordidness of The Grifters, his 1990 movie about chiselers and con artists. That tight, nimble adaptation of Jim Thompson's high-pulp, strained-through,…
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Film, "Tamara Drew": Stephen Frears and Gemma Arterton go plastic in rural England

"Tamara Drew": Stephen Frears and Gemma Arterton go plastic in rural England

Comely, independent, willful young lass returns to collect family inheritance in rural England, drives the local men wild, makes several misalliances, and inadvertently precipitates a catastrophe before nature finally takes its course. Adapted from Posy Simmonds' excellent graphic novel, Tamara…
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Calendar, Night&Day No Haneke-Panky

No Haneke-Panky

While the provincial Austrian town of Neustadt sleeps through another colorless night at the end of the '50s, a faceless vandal smashes the windows and mirrors of a line of parked cars and rips off the hood ornaments. The wordless…
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Film, Royal Pains

Royal Pains

The Queen is more fun than any movie about the violent death of a 36-year-old woman has a right to be. It's also as exotic an English-language picture as the season is likely to bring. Directed by Stephen Frears from…
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Film, Charlie & the Shoe Factory

Charlie & the Shoe Factory

If you're a regular moviegoer with a gift for remembering unusual names, chances are you've started paying attention to Chiwetel Ejiofor, the black English actor with a chameleon's talent for disappearing into a role. You may not have caught his…
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Film, The Nude Bomb

The Nude Bomb

The studied British theatricality and sharp wit of Mrs. Henderson Presents are likely to make it a favorite among nostalgiaphiles, theater buffs, and the tea-and-crumpets set. Sailing along on the strength of another showy performance by Judi Dench, Stephen Frears'…
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Film, London Underground

London Underground

It's a great pleasure to behold a chunk of art that's both dank and fresh at the same time, and this appraisal perfectly fits the superb Dirty Pretty Things. The latest from veteran director Stephen Frears (Gumshoe, Prick Up Your…
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Film, Pump It Up

Pump It Up

It's hard to escape the potent magic of pop music. Some consumers never do, hovering forever in thrall to three-minute sermons of neurotic idiocy blasting from the commercially conjoined pulpits of R&B, rock, and country. (To keep this point sharp,…
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The Mild Bunch

The Hi-Lo Country Directed by Stephen Frears. Written by Walon Green, from the novel by Max Evans. Starring Woody Harrelson, Billy Crudup, and Patricia Arquette. Opens Friday, Jan. 15, at the Cinema 21. "Freedom's just another word for nothin' left…
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Second Time Around

"The Century of Cinema" In 1955 the British Film Institute commissioned 18 TV documentaries from 18 different nations and regions to commemorate "The Century of Cinema." Twelve of these, plus Martin Scorsese's huge, three-part meditation on American cinema, will be…
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