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Movie Guide

December 12, 2003

Big Fish (PG-13)

Director: Tim Burton. With Albert Finney, Jessica Lange, Ewan McGregor, Billy Crudup, Alison Lohman. (110 min.)

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Sterritt ** A young man (McGregor) tries to understand the life of his estranged, now dying father (Finney) by sifting grains of truth from the mountains of tall tales the old guy was forever telling about himself. Burton spices up the story with touches of his trademarked surrealism, but they're swamped by the trickiness and sentimentality of John August's screenplay, based on Daniel Wallace's novel. What a waste of a fine cast.

Girl With a Pearl Earring (PG-13)

Director: Peter Webber. With Scarlett Johansson, Colin Firth, Judy Parfitt, Tom Wilkinson. (95 min.)

Sterritt **** See review.

Power Trip (Not rated)

Director: Paul Devlin. With residents of Tblisi, Georgia. (86 min.)

Sterritt **** Behind that vague-sounding title stands a riveting documentary, filmed in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, about the bewilderment of citizens who can't understand why the United States-based electric utility of their newly capitalist country insists on charging them for a power supply - something they've always considered a basic human right. Intelligent, revealing, and sometimes hilarious. In English and Georgian with English subtitles

Something's Gotta Give (PG-13)

Director: Nancy Meyers. With Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, Keanu Reeves, Amanda Peet. (121 min.)

Sterritt *** See review.

The Statement (R)

Director: Norman Jewison. With Michael Caine, Tilda Swinton, Jeremy Northam, Charlotte Rampling. (120 min.)

Sterritt ** A sharp-eyed investigator (Swinton) hunts a Holocaust collaborator (Caine) in present-day France, where he's been living unnoticed for decades with support from an ultraconservative Roman Catholic organization. The drama starts with great promise, but loses credibility when it lapses into long stretches of hackneyed dialogue and a general failure to make the central character convincing as a deeply religious man who is also a self-absorbed psychopath. Caine puts all his formidable talent into pulling this off, but Jewison's directing and Roland Harwood's screenplay (based on Brian Moore's novel) provide a regrettably shaky foundation for him to build on.

Stuck on You (PG-13)

Directors: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly. With Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Wen Yann Shih, Cher. (118 min.)

Sterritt ** Conjoined twins from New England have new problems in their relationship when one of them (Kinnear) decides to try for Hollywood stardom and the other (Damon) gets nervous about finally meeting an Internet pen pal he's never seen in person. The comedy is tooooo loooooong for the two or three jokes it has to play with, and Kinnear does the picture's only three-dimensional acting. Celebrities like Meryl Streep and Griffin Dunne are very good sports in their small supporting roles, though, and the Farrelly brothers again show their commendable interest in bringing out the talents of disabled performers most filmmakers would shy away from.

21 Grams (R)

Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu. With Sean Penn, Naomi Watts, Benicio Del Toro, Clea DuVall. (125 min.)