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Movie Guide

March 4, 2005



NEW RELEASES
Be Cool (PG-13)

Director: F. Gary Gray. With John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Cedric the Entertainer, Christina Milian. (114 min.)

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Sterritt *Sequel to the 1995 hit "Get Shorty," with crook Chili Palmer putting his muscle behind the career of a gifted African-American singer. The overlong comedy has few laughs and flirts far too much with racist, homophobic humor. A waste of a fine cast.

The Best of Youth (Not rated)

Director: Marco Tullio Giordana. With Luigi Lo Cascio, Alessio Boni, Adriana Asti, Sonia Bergamasco. (366 min.)

Sterritt **** The story of two smart and ornery Italian brothers, one of whom becomes a psychiatrist after a detour through radical politics, while the other copes with self-control problems by joining the police. Also present are the doctor's wife - a far-left activist with dangerous companions - and a mentally troubled young woman whom both brothers try to help. Don't be deterred by the movie's novelistic length. Stretching from the tumultuous 1960s to the start of the 21st century, it uses every moment to the fullest, bringing us so far inside the characters that you feel you know them as well as your family and friends. This is epic filmmaking on a profoundly human scale, directed to perfection and magnificently acted by everyone in sight. Not to be missed by anyone who cares about the joys, sorrows, and challenges of living in the modern world. In Italian with subtitles.

Dear Frankie (PG-13)

Director: Shona Auerbach. With Emily Mortimer, Jack McElhone, Sharon Small, Gerard Butler. (102 min.)

Sterritt **After years of pretending her estranged husband is just working far away, a Scottish woman hires a stranger to impersonate him so her deaf son and his "dad" can meet. Well acted, capably directed, not as substantial as it might have been.

Face (Not rated)

Director: Bertha Bay-Sa Pan. With Ling Bai, Kristy Wu, Kieu Chinh, Ken Leung. (89 min.)

Sterritt **A young Chinese-American gives birth to a daughter who grows up in New York and then meets her mother years afterward, while she's also coping with the highly traditional grandmother who raised her and who's not crazy about her African-American boyfriend. Well made, nice performances, very slowly paced.

Gunner Palace (R)

Directors: Michael Tucker, Petra Epperlein. With American soldiers in Baghdad. (86 min.)

Sterritt **** Documentary giving a grunt's-eye view of the Iraq war. Illuminating, disturbing, evenhanded.

Intimate Stories (Not rated)

Director: Carlos Sorin. With Antonio Benedicti, Javiera Bravo, Javier Lombardo, Julia Solomonoff. (92 min.)

Sterritt **** Three interwoven stories set among southern Argentina's poor - a young mother who wins a spot on a TV game show, an elderly peasant looking for his runaway dog, and a small-time businessman hoping to impress a woman with a birthday cake for her child. Gentle, humanistic, delicious. In Spanish with subtitles.

The Jacket (R)

Director: John Maybury. With Adrien Brody, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kris Kristofferson, Keira Knightley. (102 min.)

Sterritt *** See review.

Walk on Water (Not rated)

Director: Eytan Fox. With Lior Ashkenazi, Caroline Peters, Knut Berger, Gideon Shemer. (105 min.)

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