Movie Guide

New in Theaters
Heading South (Vers le Sud) (Unrated)

Director: Laurent Cantet. With Charlotte Rampling, Karen Young. (105 min.)

The new film by Laurent Cantet ("Human Resources" and the masterpiece "Time Out") is evocative and disturbing. It takes place at a beach resort in Haiti in the late '70s, before the AIDS epidemic hit and while Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier was still in power. The middle-aged white women who frequent the resort, mostly from North America, indulge in sexual favors with young black men. Charlotte Rampling plays a frequent visitor to the resort who vies with Karen Young's Brenda for the services of Legba (Ménothy Cesar), who ultimately falls prey to the Macoute militia. One drawback to Cantet's film is that he keeps us at an emotional distance from Legba and the other men – only the women express to us their inner thoughts in a series of monologues spoken to the camera. Grade: B
– Peter Rainer

Strangers With Candy (R)

Director: Paul Dinello. With Amy Sedaris, Stephen Colbert. (97 min.)

Recommended: Bestselling books the week of 12/20/12, according to IndieBound*

In order to like this movie, it probably helps if you are already a fan of the Comedy Central series (1999-2000) that spawned a cultlike following. Amy Sedaris recaps her role as Jerri Blank, the 40-ish ex-con junkie hooker who is back in high school to complete her freshman year. She hopes to win the school's science fair in order to win back the love of her father, whose response to his daughter's transgressions was to go into a coma. Sedaris co-wrote the movie with the TV show's creators/stars Stephen Colbert and director Paul Dinello, and many others from the original cast turn up as well. As a kind of gonzo "Afterschool Special," this camp farce has its moments of high hilarity, and Sedaris is a spark plug, but it's wildly uneven. Grade: B
– P.R.

Still in Release
Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man (PG-13)

Director: Lian Lunson. With Bono, Nick Cave, Rufus Wainright. (98 min.)

Montreal poet, novelist, and songwriter Leonard Cohen may not be universally known in the US, but his songs grace soundtracks of dozens of movies from "McCabe & Mrs. Miller" to "Shrek." Other artists have recorded tribute albums and more than 1,100 covers of his songs, and several stars honored him in a recent Sydney Opera House concert titled "Came So Far for Beauty." Bono and The Edge of U2 speak in near-reverential terms and back Cohen up when he takes the stage at a club date. Fans may want more, but this is recommended viewing and an eye-opener for anyone unfamiliar with his work. Grade: B+
– M.K. Terrell

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