Director: Delphine Gleize. With Chiara Mastroianni, Jacques Gamblin, Ángela Molina. (130 min.)Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Sterritt *** After a bull is slain in a Spanish bullring, parts of the deceased creature's carcass are sent for various reasons to various places in Europe, affecting a wide range of characters in an equally wide number of ways. Funny, sad, and tinged with magic realism, this ambitious comedy-drama is as original as it is nimbly directed. In French and Spanish with English subtitles.
Director: Sam Weisman. With David Spade, Mary McCormack, Jon Lovitz, Rob Reiner. (99 min.)
Sterritt * Now a 35-year-old failure in every sense of the word, a once-famous actor prepares for a big audition by reliving his childhood, moving in with a nice suburban family that turns out to have problems of its own. Four chuckles and a lively final-credits sequence are a mighty poor score for 99 minutes of alleged comedy, and the sentimental stuff is even worse. Spade will be a former grownup star if he can't find funnier material than this.
Directors: Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato. With Macauley Culkin, Chloë Sevigny, Seth Green. (98 min.)
Sterritt ** This is a fact-based story of an imaginative young man (Culkin) who makes himself and his sidekicks conspicuous figures in the New York nightclub circuit, which is quite a feat given the pride he takes in having no particular talent except a knack for showing off. The plot is sordid and predictable - indiscriminate nightclubbing leads to escalating drugs, promiscuity, and violence. Things perk up cinematically in the last few scenes, but by then it's almost too late.
Director: István Szabó. With Harvey Keitel, Stellan Skarsgard, Birgit Minichmayr, Moritz Bleibtreu. (105 min.)
Sterritt *** This is a fictionalized account of the post-World War II effort by American authorities to discredit brilliant German conductor Wilhelm Furtwangler as having been a Hitler supporter during the Nazi period. Ronald Harwood's screenplay, based on his stage play, brings an impressive range of moral and political issues into play. The acting is also strong, especially by Skarsgard as the legendary musician and Keitel as the American in charge of the investigation.
Directors: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini. With Paul Giamatti, Hope Davis, Harvey Pekar. (100 min.)
Sterritt **** This movie breaks all the rules, offering a partly fictionalized look at the life and times of Pekar, a writer of underground comic books who earns most of his living as a file clerk and finds an equally idiosyncratic comics fan, Brabner, to be his wife. Pekar and Brabner are played by Giamatti and Davis, but also appear as themselves in interview sequences. It's emotionally poignant, socially revealing, and wildly entertaining.
Staff ***1/2 Wry humor, ode to an antihero, triumphant.
Sex/Nudity: 2 innuendoes. Violence: 1 slap. Profanity: 20 profanities. Drugs: 2 drinking, smoking scenes.
Directors: Efram Potelle, Kyle Rankin. With: Shia LaBeouf, Elden Henson, Amy Smart, Kathleen Quinlan. (88 min.)
Staff ** See review.