A weekly update of film releases

THE DOUBLE LIFE OF VERONIQUE - The story of two women named Veronica, who live in different countries and have never heard of each other, yet are connected by a mysterious link until one of them meets an untimely death. Irene Jacob is radiant in her dual role, and the film's extraordinary visual beauty is rivaled by a haunting music score. Krzysztof Kieslowski directed the Polish-French production, which includes a couple of sexual encounters that don't share the bold ambiguity of the film as a whole. (Not rated) MEETING VENUS - Arriving in Paris for a multinational production of Wagner's magnificent "Tannhuser," a Hungarian conductor strikes up a complicated relationship with an American diva. There are strong performances and bursts of appealing wit, and the music is naturally superb. But the story is tired and Hungarian filmmaker Istvan Szabo has not done a very imaginative job of directing it. (Rated PG-13)

29TH STREET - The story of a Brooklyn man who's too lucky in life, at least until his family gets in trouble with the mob. Rarely have so many Italian-American stereotypes been crammed into one movie, and rarely has a life-affirming finale seemed more thuddingly sentimental. Directed by George Gallo. (Rated R)

THE GOLDEN BRAID - A quiet, reclusive man falls madly in love with a lock of hair, with unpredictable results. This minor but original movie was directed by Australian filmmaker Paul Cox, whose individual works are sometimes less impressive than his overall project of producing small-scale, humanly oriented films as a political response to big-budget Hollywoodism. (Not rated)

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