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Cut Me Some Slack 

Wednesday, Nov 28 2007
If you missed it while you were out thrift-store shopping, the semi-esteemed New Oxford American Dictionary picked mumblecore as one of its runners-up for the 2007 Word of the Year. According to the erudite yet trend-happy editors, mumblecore is "an independent film movement featuring low-budget production, nonprofessional actors, and largely improvised dialogue." Its leading figure is Andrew Bujalski, the director, writer, and star of Funny Ha Ha and Mutual Appreciation. He turns up as one of the engaging twentysomething male leads in pal Joe Swanberg's Hannah Takes the Stairs, but this low-key slice of summery Chicago life belongs to Greta Gerwig in the title role. Smart and likable yet self-diagnosed with chronic dissatisfaction, Hannah drifts from one relationship to the next, always hoping this One will provide the cure. Gerwig has an appealing loopiness that she uses brilliantly to camouflage, and eventually convey, Hannah's misery. The New Oxford's word of the year, incidentally, was locavore. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
Wed., Dec. 12, 2 p.m.; Dec. 12-4, 7:15 & 9:15 p.m.; Dec. 13-2, 7:15 & 9:15 p.m., 2007

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Michael Fox


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