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Sterritt ** An aging man reads a lengthy love story to a debilitated old woman, and gradually we realize its profound relevance to their own former lives. Rowlands is superb, as usual, and Garner partners her with the grace of a dancer. Cassavetes's directing style is slow and stilted, indicating yet again that his notion of moviemaking is the opposite of everything his father, the great John Cassavetes, stood for.Skip to next paragraph
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Director: Abigail Honor. With Edward DeBonis, Vincent Maniscalco, the Rev. Raymond Lefebvre. (80 min.)
Sterritt *** Documentary about the efforts of a profoundly religious gay couple to get married in the Roman Catholic church. The movie is sociologically rich, if not very memorable in the personalities it depicts.
Directors: Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury, Conrad Vernon. With voices of Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz. (92 min.)
Sterritt *** The gentle ogre is dragged by his new spouse, Fiona, to meet her royal mom and dad, stirring up trouble with a fairy godmother who's furious with him for beating Prince Charming in the race for Fiona's hand. At its best, this "Shrek" sequel draws up a brilliant new blueprint for all-ages animation, blending fairy-tale whimsy with edgy social satire.
Staff *** Worthy sequel, playful, slam-dunk finish.
Sex/Nudity: 6 instances of innuendo. Violence: 12 scenes. Profanity: None. Drugs: 3 instances of drinking, 1 of drugs.
Director: Jean-François Pouliot. With Raymond Bouchard, David Boutin, Benoît Brière, Lucie Laurier. (110 min.)
Sterritt *** A tiny French-Canadian village desperately wants a factory to set up shop - but the factory won't cooperate unless a physician opens a practice in the community, so the townsfolk devise an elaborate set of ruses to lure a big-city plastic surgeon who'd much rather stay in Montreal with his girlfriend. The story isn't as funny as it tries to be, but it grows increasingly winning. Originally titled "La Grande Séduction." In French with subtitles.
Director: Steven Spielberg. With Tom Hanks, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Stanley Tucci, Kumar Pallana. (128 min.)
Sterritt * Hanks plays an eastern European man whose visit to the US turns sour when a coup topples his nation's government while he's in the air, making him a man without a country and forcing him to make his home in the New York airport he's forbidden by law to leave. Hanks's character is sentimentalized, and Tucci's lacks all plausibility, and Zeta-Jones's has little to do. A totally false picture of human nature and of what it's really like to be in a security-conscious airport. A Spielbergian bomb.
Director: Michael Haneke. With Isabelle Huppert, Olivier Gourmet, Patrice Chéreau, Béatrice Dalle. (114 min.)
Sterritt *** A family struggles to survive in a Europe decimated by catastrophe sometime in the not-so-distant future. This is one of Haneke's least powerful films, although the excellent cast is interesting to watch. In French with subtitles.
Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud. With Guy Pearce, Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu, Kumal, Sangha. (109 min.)
Sterritt *** The brothers are Cambodian tigers forced by humans to take on very different lives, one in a circus and the other in a dysfunctional royal family's private zoo. The animal action is often gripping and suspenseful. As a whole, a giant step beyond Annaud's earlier animal movie, "The Bear," a more gimmicky film of 1988.