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Movie Guide

June 17, 2005

Batman Begins (PG-13)

Director: Christopher Nolan. With Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman. (141 min.)

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Sterritt ** See review, at right.

Café Lumière (Not rated)

Director: Hou Hsiao-hsien. With Yo Hitoto, Tadanobu Asano, Kimiko Yo, Nenji Kobayashi. (104 min.)

Sterritt **** A pregnant young woman and a bookstore owner deal gently, if uncertainly, with life's vicissitudes. Hou, the best of today's Taiwanese filmmakers, dedicates this cinematic marvel to Yasujiro Ozu, the best of all Japanese filmmakers. Hou's sensitivity plus Ozu's inspiration equals sublimity of sight and sound. In Japanese with subtitles.

Caterina in the Big City (Not rated)

Director: Paolo Virzi. With Alice Teghil, Sergio Castellito, Federica Sbrenna, Antonio Carnevale. (90 min.)

Sterritt *** A teenage girl tries to adjust after her family moves to Rome from the Italian boondocks. This dramatic comedy is an Italian style "Mean Girls" when Castellito isn't stealing the show as a dysfunctional dad. In Italian with subtitles.

The Deal (R)

Director: Harvey Kahn. With Christian Slater, Selma Blair, John Heard, Robert Loggia. (108 min.)

Sterritt ** During a war between the US and the Arab world, a Wall Street wheeler-dealer gets seduced into a shady deal involving Russian money laundering. The subject is intriguing even if the dialogue is stilted and the acting is uneven.

Edvard Munch (Not rated)

Director: Peter Watkins. With Geir Westby, Gro Fraas, Gro Jarto, Gunnar Skjetne. (174 min.)

Sterritt **** The culturally astute Watkins used nonprofessional actors for this 1976 portrait of the troubled artist who painted "The Scream" and other works. A masterly biopic. In Norwegian with subtitles.

The Great Water (Not rated)

Director: Ivo Trajkov. With Saso Kekenovski, Maja Stankovska, Verica Nedeska. (93 min.)

Sterritt *** An old politician recalls his childhood at an indoctrination camp in Yugoslavia after World War II, run under Stalinist principles. This unusual Macedonian release is engrossing if not always nimbly directed. In English and Macedonian with subtitles.

Heights (R)

Director: Chris Terrio. With Glenn Close, Jesse Bradford, Elizabeth Banks, James Marsden. (93 min.)

Sterritt **** A young actor, a middle-aged actress, a snoopy journalist, a rising photographer, and her possibly gay fiancé are among the diverse characters of this psychological comedy-drama, which unfolds in New York in a 24-hour period. There's much subtle beauty in the last movie completed by Merchant Ivory Productions before Merchant's untimely death.

Joint Security Area (Not rated)

Director: Park Chan-Wook. With Lee Yeong-ae, Lee Byung-hun, Song Kang-ho, Shin Ha-kyun. (110 min.)

Sterritt *** Friendship vies with hostility among Korean soldiers of the north and south at the peninsula's demilitarized zone during a tense period. Suspenseful and psychologically rich. In English and Korean with subtitles.

Me and You and Everyone We Know (R)

Director: Miranda July. With Miranda July, John Hawkes, Ellen Geer, Hector Elias. (90 min.)

Sterritt *** In her first movie, performance artist July plays a performance artist with a sudden crush on a young shoe salesman. Many other characters also weave in and out of the story, which is sometimes sweet and ingenious, extremely explicit about adolescent sex. and occasionally too clever for its own good. A mixed package, but often fun to watch.

My Summer of Love (R)