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Review

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    Rome Review: 'Hand In Hand' Is A Gently Surreal Parisian Romantic Comedy Featuring Your New French Crush

    Whimsical and high-concept, and featuring a standout performance from our new boyfriend Jérémie Elkaïm, who has just won Best Actor at the Rome Film Festival for this role (clearly the jury was crushin' on him too), "Hand in Hand" ("Main dans la Main") is a gentle, quirky take on the mystical and so...

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    Rome Review: '1942' Is A Long, Old-Fashioned But Absorbing Epic Of Chinese Historical Cinema

    If the appropriate length of a film were calculated in proportion to the scope of its subject, all 144 minutes of Feng Xiaogang's "1942" (also known as "Back to 1942"), which played In Competition at the Rome Film Festival, would be wholly justified. While the Henan Famine of the early 1940s is not ...

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    Rome Review: 'Tar' With James Franco Is A Dreamy Collage Of Pretty But Overfamiliar Aesthetics

    It's difficult to know quite what to make of 'Tar,' a multi-authored project seemingly coaxed into being by the sheer force of James Franco's current artistic cachet. Playing In Competition in the XXI sidebar of the Rome Film Festival, the film represents the work of twelve newbie directors -- NYU f...

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    Rome Review: Cesc Gay's 'A Gun In Each Hand' Is A Gem - A Sharp, Witty Look At Masculinity In Crisis

    Not, in fact, the Spaghetti Western from Spain (Paella Western?) that it sounds like, "A Gun In Each Hand" ("Una Pistola En Cada Mano"), which plays Out of Competition at the Rome Film Festival, is a contemporary comedy detailing a series of encounters in which pairs of friends, acquaintances, ex-sp...

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    Rome Review: Anthology Film 'Centro Historico' Is Decent, Wearying, Excellent And Slight, In That Order

    Reviewing omnibus films, in which the component parts came from different directors, can be a tricky job because the decision needs to be made whether to review those contributions separately, or to take a helicopter view and treat a film which is being packaged as a feature, as a feature. "Centro H...

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    AFI Review: 'The ABCs Of Death' Won't Win Over Non-Horror Fans, But That's OK

    Horror anthologies have been on the rise of late, with movies like "Trick 'r Treat," "Chillerama" and the found footage anthology "V/H/S" keeping the tradition alive. The latest anthology is "The ABCs of Death," which combines 26 shorts in what is less of an interwoven narrative like "Trick 'r Treat...

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    Review: 'La Rafle' A Somber, Flat, Occasionally Moving Reminder Of One Of France's Darkest Moments

    If we accept that Holocaust films have become a genre onto themselves, espousing survival against impossible odds or perhaps bravery in the face of organized genocide, a chance to hold on to a shred of humanity when up against deplorable conditions, then it's fair game to discuss the cliches many le...

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    Rome Review: Marjane Satrapi Gets Loose, Has Fun In Black Comedy 'The Gang Of The Jotas'

    For her third feature film after 2007's beloved "Persepolis" and 2011's "Chicken with Plums," writer-director Marjane Satrapi changes it up once again with "The Gang of the Jotas" ("La Bande des Jotas") which bows today Out of Competition at the Rome Film Festival. Having made the move, with her pre...

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    Rome Review: 'The Motel Life' A Small But Perfectly Formed Indie With A Sweet, Sad Heart Of Gold

    On the surface, there should be nothing particularly special about producer-turned-director brothers Gabe and Alan Polsky's debut, "The Motel Life," which premieres tonight at the Rome Film Festival. Threatening to sound like indie-by-numbers on paper, the film, based on the well-received novel of t...

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    Review: Heightened Melodrama Carries Overheated 'Festival Of Lights'

    The afterschool special is alive and well in immigration drama “Festival Of Lights,” an amateurish independent film tracking the evolution of one family in their path from Guyana to America, and the roots they leave behind. Forgive a generation of filmmakers, well-intentioned, but unawar...

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