DUPLICITY

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Funny how crusading liberal movie stars love to play crooks—such as Julia Roberts’ role as Claire Stenwick, a double-dealing CIA agent in Duplicity. Like George Clooney, Denzel Washington, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon, Roberts doesn’t seem to realize her own duplicity in selling the romance of greed. Duplicity takes movie-star hypocrisy even further: Claire competes [&hellip
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Z

Written by admin on . Posted in Arts & Film, Film

When Costa-Gavras’ Z opened 40 years ago it was a sensation. There wasn’t another movie with such pop and political excitement until Do the Right Thing in 1989—and nothing comparable since. Back in 1969, a foreign-language film became a hit in America because people felt it—as they had with La Dolce Vita, Never on Sunday, [&hellip
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PARTLY CLOUDY

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Despite the claims of clever marketing tactics, Sunshine Cleaning bears no resemblance to the 2006 indie Sundance hit Little Miss Sunshine. While the studio had hoped to garner as much success as their quirky “sunshine” predecessor (even by bringing on the same producers), this new feature tries too hard to mold itself into an indie [&hellip
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DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE

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The invasion of the Fannings continues with Elle Fanning’s star turn in Phoebe in Wonderland. And, being a Fanning, her role isn’t quite the oddball schoolgirl that Phoebe at first appears to be, which is writer-director Daniel Barnz’s biggest misstep. Despite finding refuge in a school production of Alice in Wonderland, led by the seriously [&hellip
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WATCHMEN

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Movie versions of The Great Gatsby and Beloved opened with fewer expectations than Watchmen. Maybe that’s because less was at stake in film versions of conventional literary classics. Now, with Hollywood’s adaptation of Alan Moore’s 1986 graphic novel, the future of pop culture hangs in the balance: Post-literary hipster culture meets post-cinematic movie culture to [&hellip
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EVERLASTING MOMENTS

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Jan Troell’s films (The Emigrants, The New Land, Flight of the Eagle, Hamsun) stick in one’s memory like souvenirs, not as drama. Nature and human nature are Troell’s themes—most famously displayed in the 1970s two-part saga The Emigrants and The New Land, which portrayed the fierce ambitions and hard struggles of the first Swedish settlers [&hellip
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A RENDEZ-VOUS FOR FRENCH CINEPHILES

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March usually arrives like a lion in the form of the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s “Rendez-Vous with French Cinema,” the annual showcase of the latest films from France. The 14th edition of Rendez-Vous (18 new films—all New York premieres, and some U.S. and world premieres—and, for the first time, a collection of shorts) is [&hellip
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CRASH LANDING

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Not a single film nominated for this year’s best picture Oscar had the excitement of Wayne Kramer’s 2006 Running Scared. It was a thrilling, beautifully acted consideration of parenthood, adolescent terror and warped immigrant ambition, all in the framework of a chase movie-—genre usually ignored at award time. This year’s Oscars reflected how movie taste [&hellip
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NO GREATER GLORY IS THIS WEEK’S MUST-SEE AT FILM FORUM’S CHAMPAGNE & BREADLINES SERIES

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“They took our marbles!” a boy cries when one neighborhood gang in 1930s Budapest humiliates another. That’s how Frank Borzage’s No Greater Glory brilliantly sums up war as boys’ folly. Classical Hollywood’s most spiritual filmmaker, Borzage made nothing so trivial as an “anti-war” movie. No Greater Glory starts out with a sad-satirical war montage and [&hellip
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