A weekly update of film releases


Some children wish every day were Christmas, but a less glamorous holiday becomes the daily experience of a jaded weather forecaster in this amiable fantasy. Admirers of European cinema may find echoes of Jacques Rivette's prodigious "Celine and Julie Go Boating" in the movie's structure, but the mood is closer to the antic Hollywood farces that director Harold Ramis has specialized in for years. Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell have a ball with the main roles. (Rated PG) RIFF-RAFF - A former convict takes a construction job in London, transforming a defunct hospital into a luxury-apartment building, and finds himself involved with a motley crew of mates who care as much about a good time as a day's work. Directed by Ken Loach, who shows the keen sensitivity to visual details and nuances of speech that have marked his best work for decades; also present is his realization of harsh working-class realities. (Not rated) UTZ - The title character, gently played by Armin Mueller-Stahl, is a figurine collector whose life is a mixture of aesthetics, business, and eccentricity. Dutch filmmaker George Sluizer, best known for shocking audiences with "The Vanishing," directed this understated drama, which does for porcelain what "Babette's Feast" did for food. (Not rated)

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