A weekly update of film releases


This dramatic comedy starts like an instant remake of ``Mrs. Doubtfire,'' with Ray Liotta as a widowed dad auditioning nannies for his little girl. He settles on a sensitive music-lover played by Whoopi Goldberg. Soon his affection for her turns into love, pleasing her but straining the tolerance of their painfully normal 1950s community, which is convinced that whites and blacks should stick to their own kind. Written and directed by Jessie Nelson, the movie has good intentions and a big heart. It has a wobbly grasp of '50s social history, though, and paints a simplistic portrait of American racial tensions, raising real and troubling issues only to wish them away in moments of feel-good romanticism. Call this the ``Forrest Gump'' syndrome, and keep a wary eye on it even as you're succumbing to the picture's undeniable charm. (Rated PG) * L.627 - Named after a law in the French penal code, Bertrand Tavernier's ambitious policier centers on a hard-working cop who's up to his neck in the most sordid aspects of the Paris underworld, including the drug scene that's killing his best friend, a prostitute whose life has almost hit bottom. The action moves slowly, and some of its racial attitudes seem surprisingly rude, even in the context of a hard-boiled crime drama. Still, the story gets under your skin through strong performances and the relentless buildup of harrowing details. (Not rated) * ZOMBIE AND THE GHOST TRAIN - Zombie is a rock musician with a drinking problem, and the Ghost Train is a mysterious rock band. At first the story seems designed to exploit Zombie's offbeat personality and wild experiences, but as his circumstances become more desperate the movie becomes more compassionate, mourning his misspent life with an intensity that's both touching and unexpected. Imaginatively directed by Finnish filmmaker Mika Kaurismaki. (Not rated)

Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today