Dates in parentheses indicate a full-length review of the film in the Monitor.
* CORRINA, CORRINA -- (New Line Home Video, PG). The fabulous '50s are the backdrop for this sweet story of a housekeeper who helps a recently widowed suburbanite and his seven-year-old daughter get on with their lives. Although the subject of death is ever-present, the movie has many humorous moments and even makes an attempt, albeit superficial, at dealing with the racist attitudes prevalent at the time. Whoopi Goldberg, as Corrina, gives a good but unmemorable performance in this slow-moving drama.
* Angels in the Outfield -- (PG, Warner Bros. Home Video). You've seen this plot before: A bunch of losers begin to believe in themselves and (with a little help) turn into winners. In this case, the team is baseball's California Angels, and the twist is that 11-year-old Roger prays for divine intervention. Angels invisible to everyone but him help the team make impossible plays and allow him to tell the manager (Danny Glover) which players to put into the game.
This 1994 remake of a 1951 film has funny moments, but the bubbly fantasy is steamrollered by some harsh premises: Roger is in a foster home, about to be given up for adoption by his father; one player, we're told, is terminally ill.
Religion and Hollywood have never gotten along very well, and the strains show here.
* The Scent of Green Papaya -- (Not Rated, Columbia TriStar Pictures). This slow-paced but engrossing film is the story of Mui, a 10-year-old girl who comes to Saigon in 1951 to work as a household servant. Mui, a shy girl who is curious about nature and the people around her, does more for the family than serve up papaya dishes and wash floors. In a home that lacks love and marital bliss, Mui helps smooth over discord with her warmth and good nature. A movie that has depth and distinct camera angles, it is easy to see why it was nominated for the Academy Award for best foreign-language film. (Jan. 26, 1994)
Lisa Leigh Parney