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Movie Guide

November 8, 2002

8 Mile (R)

Director: Curtis Hanson. With Eminem, Kim Basinger, Mekhi Phifer, Brittany Murphy. (111 min.)

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Sterritt ** See review.

Étoiles: Dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet (Not rated)

Director: Nils Tavernier. With dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet. (100 min.)

Sterritt *** This graceful documentary explores dance, life, and love through interviews with gifted ballerinas at various stages of their careers. While more performance views would have been welcome, this is a treat no balletomane can afford to miss. In French with English subtitles.

Far From Heaven (PG-13)

Director: Todd Haynes. With Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid, Dennis Haysbert, Patricia Clarkson. (107 min.)

Sterritt **** See review.

Femme Fatale (R)

Director: Brian De Palma. With Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Antonio Banderas, Peter Coyote. (110 min.)

Sterritt ** See review.

Interview With the Assassin (Not rated)

Director: Neil Burger. With Raymond J. Barry, Dylan Haggerty, Christel Khalil, Jack Tate. (88 min.)

Sterritt ** An unemployed newsman probes the story of an enigmatic neighbor who claims he wants to unveil his experiences as the second gunman in John F. Kennedy's assassination. This documentary-style fiction is no "JFK," but the story is weirdly compelling when it focuses on the journalist's growing paranoia as he plunges ever more deeply into a world of conspiracies that may or may not really exist.

The Phantom of Liberty (Not rated)

Director: Luis Buñuel. With Monica Vitti, Jean-Claude Brialy, Michel Lonsdale, Michel Piccoli. (105 min.)

Sterritt **** Poker-playing monks, police looking for a missing girl who is right under their noses, and an uproariously bizarre dinner party are among the ingredients of this dreamlike 1974 comedy, directed by the greatest surrealist in the history of film. Made near the end of Buñuel's career, it's not his greatest movie, but it contains some of his most memorable moments. In French with English subtitles.

The Rising Place (PG-13)

Director: Tom Rice. With Frances Fisher, Gary Cole, Tess Harper, Laurel Holloman. (93 min.)

Sterritt ** Reading a stack of decades-old letters she's found, a woman learns about 1940s life in the Mississippi Delta through the words of her aunt, whose adventures included giving birth to a baby out of wedlock and having an African-American best friend. This low-key drama is always warm and mellow, although it doesn't build much of an emotional charge.

Strange Fruit (Not rated)

Director: Joel Katz. With Amiri Baraka, Abbey Lincoln, Pete Seeger, Michael Meeropol, Robert Meeropol. (57 min.)

Sterritt **** This film documents the story behind Billie Holliday's longtime association with the jazz protest song "Strange Fruit," including the tale of its authorship by a Jewish high school teacher in New York whose other good deeds included adopting the children of executed communists Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. This is a riveting treatment of a fascinating subject.

All or Nothing (R)

Director: Mike Leigh. With Timothy Spall, Lesley Manville, Alison Garland, James Corden. (127 min.)

Sterritt *** A downbeat portrait of Britain's working poor, focusing on an unhappy cab driver, his common-law wife, and their two grown kids, who make up in girth what they lack in civility. Leigh is at his best when etching their daily experiences and showing how a catastrophe delivers a crushing blow to their meager amount of hard-won comfort, and then encourages them toward new levels of loyalty and understanding. Unfortunately, the last portion isn't quite convincing in its elements of uplift and redemption.

Sex/Nudity: 6 scenes innuendo, implied sex. Violence: 2 scenes, including accident. Profanity: 126 harsh expressions. Drugs: 24 scenes of drinking, smoking.

Comedian (R)

Director: Christian Charles. With Jerry Seinfeld, Colin Quinn, Chris Rock, Garry Shandling. (100 min.)