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Movie Guide

October 15, 2004

Anatomy of Hell (Not rated)

Director: Catherine Breillat. Amira Casar, Rocco Siffredi, voice of Catherine Breillat. (73 min.)

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Sterritt * A lonely woman pays a man to watch her during intimate moments. Breillat is a smart, serious observer of sexuality's often disruptive role in human life, but this existential drama is sadly pretentious. In French with subtitles.

Being Julia (R)

Director: István Szabó. With Annette Bening, Jeremy Irons, Michael Gambon, Juliet Stevenson. (103 min.)

Sterritt *** See review at right.

Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (PG)

Director: Stanley Kubrick. With Peter Sellers, Sterling Hayden, George C. Scott, Keenan Wynn. (93 min.)

Sterritt **** Kubrick's great 1964 tragicomedy about superpowers on the nuclear brink continues to fascinate new generations of moviegoers, as its frequent reissues attest. A genuine classic.

The Hillside Strangler (R)

Director: Chuck Parello. With C. Thomas Howell, Nicholas Turturro, Lin Shaye, Allison Lange. (96 min.)

Sterritt * Melodrama based on a real serial-killer case. Sordid and sleazy, although the lead performances are hard to fault.

Lightning in a Bottle (PG-13)

Director: Antoine Fuqua. With Buddy Guy, Ruth Brown, B.B. King, Odetta. (103 min.)

Sterritt **** Concert documentary offering a history of the blues in a set of performances recorded at New York's legendary Radio City Music Hall on a single night. To point out that not all the music is blues just seems like quibbling, so see it with an open heart and a tapping toe.

Moolaadé (Not rated)

Director: Ousmane Sembène. With Fatoumata Coulibali, Maimouna Helene Diarra, Aminata Dao, Salimata Traoré. (124 min.)

Sterritt **** The title means "protection," which is what an African woman tries to give a small group of girls due to be savagely circumcised according to tribal custom. Once again Sembène confirms his much-deserved reputation as Africa's greatest filmmaker, working this time in Burkina Faso instead of Senegal, where he's usually based. This sometimes harrowing, often delightful drama stands with his most compassionate, colorful, and artfully filmed works. In Wolof, Diola, Bambara, and French, with subtitles.

P.S. (R)

Director: Dylan Kidd. With Laura Linney, Topher Grace, Marcia Gay Harden, Gabriel Byrne. (97 min.)

Sterritt *** An admissions officer at an Ivy League university starts an affair with an arts-school applicant who reminds her uncannily of an old flame who died very young. Not as supercharged as Kidd's earlier "Roger Dodger," but the offbeat screenplay turns even the corny bits in unpredictable directions, and it's rare indeed to see such consistently superb ensemble acting.

Shall We Dance (PG-13)

Director: Peter Chelsom. With Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci, Jennifer Lopez. (106 min.)

Sterritt * For inexplicable reasons, a middle-aged man decides to take dancing lessons but keep this secret from his wife, who suspects something worse is going on. The cast is promising, but this remake of the popular Japanese movie falls flat, with more "sound design" than delicious music, more slick film editing than graceful ballroom gliding.

Team America: World Police (R)

Director: Trey Parker. With voices of Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Kristen Miller, Elle Russ. (98 min.)

Sterritt ** See review, page 13.

The Forgotten (PG-13)

Director: Joseph Ruben. With Julianne Moore, Dominic West, Gary Sinise, Alfre Woodard. (91 min.)