Short subjectives 

Capsule reviews of films by CL critics

Opening Friday
IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE (PG) 1/2 Luminous and beguiling, Wong Kar-Wai's brooding tale of a lovesick couple in 1960s Hong Kong achieves a tone of aesthetic beauty and aching desire rarely approached by contemporary filmmakers. Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung star as neighbors in a cramped apartment building who drift, almost reluctantly, into a relationship of deep yearning and unspoken desire, while their spouses are busy will dalliances elsewhere. Wong's visual finesse (lushly photographed by Christopher Doyle) imbues the delicate plot with a unique flavor of romance-noir, and the carefully chosen music and brilliantly realized period fashions only make this heady romantic brew only more intoxicating. -- Felicia Feaster

THE MEXICAN (R) Jerry Welbach (Brad Pitt) heads South of the Border to complete one final task (retrieving a "cursed" antique pistol known as the "Mexican") for his mob boss. But girlfriend Samantha (Julia Roberts) has promised to give him the heave ho unless he cuts ties with the wise guys. Choosing life over love, Jerry heads out in search of the gun and Samantha is taken hostage by a hit man (James Gandolfini) to ensure the "Mexican's" safe return.

POLLOCK (R) * This cinematically conventional biopic of abstract expressionist painter Jackson Pollock is a vivid portrait of a veritable sphinx. Directed by and starring Ed Harris, Pollock follows the professional rise and obligatory unraveling of the gifted painter, focusing on his marriage to fellow artist Lee Krasner. As evocative as Harris's portrayal of the sinewy and scowling artist is, he fails (or chooses not) to offer any insights into Pollock's swollen ego, alcoholic rage and generic mad genius behavior, leaving Pollock unavoidably unsatisfying as a result. -- FF

SEE SPOT RUN (PG) David Arquette plays the Adam Sandler role in a virtual remake of Big Daddy that adds a dog to the young boy he has to bond with to win his lady love. They all are chased by hitmen because the dog is the FBI's top canine agent and has bitten off one of Paul Sorvino's testicles. With so much plot, See Spot Run has less depth than Big Daddy -- and that's a terrible thing to say about any movie! Michael Clarke Duncan plays the dog's FBI partner in a humiliating piece of buffoonery and racial stereotyping. -- Steve Warren

Opening Wednesday
BLOW DRY (R) The working-class city of Keighley E experiences a stylist invasion when it hosts the glamorous National Hair Championships. Retired hairdresser Phil (Alan Rickman) blows off the hoopla until several out-of-towners bend the rules and he's forced to team up with his rivals -- ex-wife-turned-lesbian Shelley (Natasha Richardson) and her new partner Sandra (Rachel Griffiths) -- to ensure there's no foul play.

Duly Noted
AIMEE & JAGUAR (NR) Based on the true story of an anti-Semitic mother and wife of a Nazi soldier who falls deliriously in love with a Jew in 1943 Berlin as Allied bombs shower the city, this German film reads like the plotline of a Fassbinder film. Though this unconventional love story gets a fairly conventional treatment by first time director Max Farberbock, the film sustains interest courtesy of the marvelous performances by Maria Schrader and Juliane Kohler as the love-struck lesbians. Feb. 23-March 1 at 12, 4:15 and 8:30 p.m., GSU's cinéfest. -- FF

APPLAUSE A melodrama about a washed-up burlesque queen who sacrifices herself for her daughter, shown as part of the "Silent Heaven IV: Silence of the Nights" film festival's Early Sound Night sponsored by the Silent Film Society of Atlanta and Emory University's Film Studies' Program. Kameradschaft screening follows. March 4 at 7:30 p.m., 112 White Hall, Emory.

BEING THERE The film adaptation of a comic novel by Jerzy Kosinski will be screened in conjunction with the exhibit "Book Unbound" at the Dalton Gallery. March 8 at 7 p.m., 101 Dana Fine Arts Building, Agnes Scott College, 141 College Ave.

A BERLIN ROMANCE In this delicately wrought, beautifully photographed East German film, a boy from West Berlin (Ulrich Thein) and a girl from the East (Annekatrin Burger) enact the immortal drama of young romance. In addition to the usual obstructions of family, finances and divergent career paths, Uschi and Hans must also contend with the messy socio-economics of the Cold War. By resisting political didacticism, Gerhard Klein's film is not only a genuinely touching love story but also a rare and convincing dramatization of everyday life in pre-Wall Berlin. March 7 at 7 p.m., as part of Germany's Other Cinema film festival at the Goethe Institut Atlanta. -- Bret Wood

THE BROKEN HEARTS CLUB As West Hollywood photographer Dennis (Timothy Olyphant) prepares to celebrate his 28th birthday, he weighs the redeeming (they make single gay life bearable) and exasperating(they drive him crazy) attributes of his friends. March 2-8, GSU's cinéfest.


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Recent Comments

  • Re: Fresh air

    • Local band Manchester Orchestra, who provided the soundtrack, probably would have appreciated a shout-out.

    • on June 29, 2016
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