Freeze Frames A weekly update of film releases

THE JOURNEY OF NATTY GANN -- In the midst of the 1930s depression, a young girl starts a lonely search for her father, who has headed west to take a job. It's refreshing to see a strong female character at the center of the plot, and the movie plunks her into all kinds of situations, some of them fairly suspenseful. But the supporting characters are too familiar; the dialogue is often trite; and the ending, which tries very hard to be inspiring, drowns in its own corn. There's also a surpris ing amount of dubious taste for a Walt Disney picture, including vulgar language, bathroom humor, and even a dogfight scene. Directed by Jeremy Kagan. (Rated PG) SWEET DREAMS -- Jessica Lange plays the late country singer Patsy Cline in this well-made but downbeat ``biopic,'' which focuses on her career and her turbulent relationship with her second husband. Directed with a sharp eye and a steady hand by Karel Reisz. (Rated R)

DREAM CHILD -- Many years earlier, author Lewis Carroll told his ``Alice in Wonderland'' stories to a real-life little girl named Alice. Now, in the 1930s, she's an old woman making her first voyage to the United States as part of a Carroll celebration. The movie shifts between her experiences, her dreams, and her memories as she moves toward the end of her life in a confusing new environment, yet never quite loses her natural inner strength. Gavin Millar directed this unusual and sensitive drama. (Rated PG) RATINGS: Films with ratings other than G may contain varying degrees of vulgar language, nudity, sex, and violence.

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