On first viewing, the rehearsal scenes in this film about Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet are fascinating & the actual performance scenes are breathtaking. But see it again to appreciate how screenwriter Barbara Turner has cued up one of Altman’s most evocative microworlds, an exquisite auditory/visual tableau comparable to McCABE & NASHVILLE. More on THE COMPANY.
Poetic doc about the role of laundry in women’s lives, with beautiful musical score by Alice Eve Cohen. The film presents a vivid account of how various women respond to the monotony of mundane tasks with creative determination, & use laundry as a means of communicating their values to their daughters. More on CLOTHESLINES.
Israeli girls, still in their teens, begin military service in the Jerusalem Border Patrol, where adolescent pranks play out in the most serious of contexts. Powerful story doesn’t quite come together & awards from ’06 Berlin FF may not be for the right reasons, but definitely thought-provoking on many levels. More on CLOSE TO HOME.
Sly, inventive dramedy about life in a corporate office tower told from the perspective of 4 clerical temps. The problem is that such close attention to boredom gets… well… a bit boring. But Collette’s very good as the main mouthpiece for the Sprecher sisters, who’ve clearly walked this talk personally. More on CLOCKWATCHERS.
Matlin enters the pantheon of stars who met Oscar on their debut. Hurt is a well-intentioned teacher at a school for the deaf shaken out of his personal & professional complacency by a ferocious young woman whose world of silence is both her prison & her palace. More on CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD.
This is a dark, obsessive tale of loneliness/lust/love set in a British prison. Tim Roth is a surprisingly charismatic, albeit unconventional “leading man.” And Julia Ormond proves once again that she’s better at brooding than pretending to be winsome in sunny comedies like her ill-fated SABRINA remake. More on CAPTIVES.
Captured by Afghani mujahideen, Danish major is rescued after his family’s been told that he’s dead. Film masterfully counterpoints their grief with his fight for survival, then depicts the consequences of his return. Extraordinary acting ensemble: Nielsen = wife, Thomsen = major, Kaas = younger brother raised in major’s shadow. More on BROTHERS.
30something Manhattanite (Posey) surprises herself by chasing a young man home to Paris after a brief post-party fling. Maybe she’s ready for romance after all? Rich felt he understood “Nora” & empathized with her anxious reticence, but even though “Julien” (Poupaud) was adorable, Jan never fully bought into it. More on BROKEN ENGLISH.
Deliberately “cheeky” melding of Jane Austen & Bollywood moves briskly thru essential plot elements while lingering lovingly over riotously-colorful dance numbers. Rai’s the self-possessed Indian “Elizabeth Bennett” & Henderson’s the peevish American “Darcy.” Babbar’s hilarious as Mom & so’s Ganatra as “Mr. Collins.” Caution: Film’s not over till Harvey arrives!!! More on BRIDE & PREJUDICE.
The acting in this film is so compelling that you simply see the lead character the way she sees herself. The director creates such a complete world that the truth of this “true story” resonates deep in the heart. Brandon is every “misfit” who ever struggled for acceptance. More on BOYS DON’T CRY.