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    REVIEW | Post Traumatic Stress: Aditya Assarat's "Wonderful Town"

    In many ways, the debut feature from Bangkok-born, American-educated Aditya Assarat, "Wonderful Town," has all the hallmarks of a workshopped Sundance indie: an eminently tasteful romance between two ingratiatingly sweet people burgeoning against a backdrop of recent tragedy, buoyed by delicate guit...

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    REVIEW | Sympathy Strike: Charles Oliver's "Take"

    Like Lee Chang-dong's 2007 "Secret Sunshine," Charles Oliver's debut feature "Take" deals with the awkward moral quandaries of infanticide and the subsequent, touchy relations between a killer and his victim's mother. That Lee's film remains unreleased in this country is no doubt due in part to the ...

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    REVIEW | Dear Johns: Jacques Nolot's "Before I Forget"

    The catchwords for "Before I Forget" would seem to be direct, intimate, unsparing; yet, conversely, it also feels cavernous and, in its seeming brutal frankness, slippery and elusive. Either drenched in unyielding shadow or flooded with harsh light, "Before I Forget" follows the sixty-something Pier...

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    REVIEW | The Material World: Silvio Soldini's "Days and Clouds"

    In its detailing of a couple's financial freefall after the loss of a job, Silvio Soldini's "Days and Clouds" -- recently featured in the Film Society of Lincoln Center's annual roundup of new Italian cinema -- couldn't ask for a more fittingly precipitous point in time for its American theatrical r...

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    REVIEW | Los Angeles Plays With Itself: Jason Freeland's "Garden Party"

    What is it about Los Angeles that makes it prone to multicharacter, excess-minded ensembles and devoted tributes to itself disguised as critiques? Well, as we learned from Paul Haggis's ethnography-as-racial-burlesque "Crash," everyone in that city just sort of, well, crashes into each other--presum...

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    REVIEW | Gathering Moss: Alex Gibney's "Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson"

    Hunter S. Thompson's prose was nervy and pugnacious, his judgments bullying and hyperbolic, his life as volatile as any in postwar American letters. "Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson" couldn't be any more different in mien and spirit. A couple of passages aside, it is almost perver...

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    REVIEW | House of Cards: Terry Kinney's "Diminished Capacity"

    One could surmise the mediocrity of "Diminished Capacity" from reading the synopsis alone: Cooper (Matthew Broderick), a small-town-boy-made-good in the big city but lately suffering from the lasting effects of a serious concussion, heads back home to visit his fading Uncle Rollie (Alan Alda). As ...

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    REVIEW | Best Kept Secret: Guillaume Canet's "Tell No One"

    Guillaume Canet's "Tell No One" begins with a certain nonchalance that one wouldn't ordinarily expect from a suspense thriller, least of all one that adapts Harlan Coben's multi-twist mystery plotting with the brio of a distinctly "Bourne"-again action film. In its first minutes, the film draws us i...

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    REVIEW | Woman on Top: Catherine Breillat's "The Last Mistress"

    The first time Asia Argento appears in Catherine Breillat's "The Last Mistress," she fills the frame, reclining on a couch with devilish confidence as her character, Vellini, discusses the upcoming marriage of Ryno (Fu'ad Ait Aattou), her lover of ten years, to another woman. It's an appropriate ent...

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    REVIEW | Found and Lost: Peter Tolan's "Finding Amanda"

    Over the years, it's been both disconcerting and somehow satisfying to watch Matthew Broderick gradually morph from a lithe, cocky teen heartthrob to a pudgy, middle-aged sad sack. The puppy-dog eyes have sunken deeper into down-turned crevices of disappointment, and he seems lost in his burly torso...

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