In The City (En La Ciudad)

BBBB (out of 5) From Cesc Gay (Nico And Dani) comes this terrific ensemble drama about the lives of four couples in modern day Barcelona. One is a happily married, middle-class couple with a child and a beautiful home whose mother perfect calm is thrown for a loop when the wife reunites with a woman who…

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The Return (Vozvrashchenie) (2003)

ANDREY ZVYAGINTSEV Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  Russia, 2003.  Ren Film.   Screenplay by Vladimir Moiseenko, Aleksandr Novototskiy-Vlasov.  Cinematography by Mikhail Krichman.  Produced by Dmitriy Lesnevskiy.  Music by Andrey Dergachev.  Production Design by Zhanna Pakhomova.  Costume Design by Anna Bartuli.  Film Editing by Vladimir Mogilevskiy.  Golden Globe Awards 2003.  Toronto International Film Festival 2003. Adolescent brothers growing up in the starkness of a Russian coastal village are bowled over when…

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Zhou Yu’s Train (Zhou yu De Huo Che)

BB (out of 5) The phenomenally lovely Li Gong stars as Zhou Yu, a porcelain painter who falls in love with a poet and travels on a train three times a week to visit him in his loft. The poet seems fully enamored of her but isn’t very forthcoming about his feelings. Enter a more earnest…

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Girl With A Pearl Earring

BBBB.5 (out of 5) A young Dutch girl (Scarlett Johansson) from an impoverished family is sent to work as a maid in the house of painter Johannes Vermeer in 17th century Holland. She is immediately treated with ignorance from the lady of the house (Essie Davis) and cruelty from one of the painter’s children (Alakina…

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Dogville

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Lars Von Trier has made his most audacious film yet with this powerful drama, whose most extreme moments are so over the top as to actually make them humorous. It takes place in a tiny American mountain town in the thirties but uses a theatrical approach to its setting, with all…

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Good Bye, Dragon Inn (Bu San)

BBB (out of 5) Lesser effort by the great Tsai Ming-Liang, about the last night of a giant Taipei movie theatre that, in real life, was actually closed down soon after filming was completed. Despite a huge downpour outside, the theatre’s seats are barely inhabited, leaving a Japanese tourist who has entered the theatre in…

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Love, Sex And Eating The Bones

BBB.5 (out of 5) Photography doesn’t pay particularly well when you’re a burgeoning artist in Toronto, so Hill Harper has a job moonlighting as a security guard. He also has a completely enveloping obsession with porn, stacking his entire apartment with videos (how old is this movie?), particularly ones with his favourite, buxom star Lysette, whom…

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The Snow Walker

BBB (out of 5) A fighter pilot (Barry Pepper) works out of an air base in the Northwest Territories eight years after the end of World War II. While on a routine flight run, he stops and picks up an Inuit woman suffering from tuberculosis and agrees to fly her to Yellowknife where she will…

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Falling Angels

BBBB (out of 5) Three girls are raised by their vacant, alcoholic mother and tyrannical father in late sixties Canada. While the rest of the world enters a modern age of scientific discovery and youthful counterculture, these three young ladies have to fight to emotionally survive the tight stranglehold that they face in their domestic…

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Veronica Guerin

BBBB (out of 5) Cate Blanchett is mesmerizing in this tragic true story of a journalist whose work helped turn the tide of drug-related crime in Dublin in the mid-1990s. Veronica Guerin works for the Sunday Independent as a lightweight feature editor until she convinces her editor to let her pursue heavier subject matter, eventually coming…

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I’m Not Scared (Io Non Ho Paura)

BBB.5 (out of 5) A young boy growing up in a poor, desolate village in the sunburnt countryside of Italy stumbles upon treachery in his own family while playing at an abandoned house with his friends. In the yard of the property he discovers a covered hole wherein lies a little boy who hasn’t seen…

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Where Is Madame Catherine? (Les Mans Buides)

BB (out of 5) When an aged woman suddenly dies while having a few kicks with her good friend (Olivier Gourmet), he decides to bury her without telling anyone and keeping her tin box of money for himself. He then ties a handkerchief around his head every night and prances about her house to convince…

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