Dry Cleaning

Anne Fontaine's new film, Dry Cleaning stimulates ongoing thinking and plants a solid emotional whammy that cannot be ignored. The premise is reasonably easy to describe. A late thirties-ish, attractive young couple are living a dull, provincial life in a dull, provincial town. They've been married for fifteen years,  ...

East Palace, West Palace

.East Palace, West Palace is a remarkable film. In 1997 the Chinese government put its director, Yuan Zhang, under house arrest and confiscated his passport. His friends smuggled the movie out of the country so that it could be shown at the 1997 Cannes film festival. We are at  ...

Driven

Driven is not so much a film as a two-hour video game, minus audience participation. Spectacular car crashes and special effects surround two-dimensional characters and a story so cliched and false that one never gets involved beyond waiting to see which car is going to hit the wall  ...

Drop Dead Gorgeous

Drop Dead Gorgeous continues the trend of dark satire on the screen, which would include such films as Happiness and the French Sitcom. More specifically we are in a subgenre which we could call high school flick cum satire, Rushmore and Election both being well-received recent entries in  ...

East-West

Director Regis Wargnier's only work that drew much attention prior to East-West was Indochine, an overrated 1992 historical soaper that might better have been called Days of Our Colonial Lives. (That Indochine won an Academy award for best foreign film is only understandable in terms of its competition that  ...

Election

Most movies engage their audiences by making them "care" about character(s). This one does not. There is no one to like. As a matter of fact, the movie treats everyone in it with an equal amount of contempt. That leaves only the movie itself to like, which, in this  ...

Elia Kazan: A Director’s Journey

To the extent that Elia Kazan is known at all to today's movie-going audience, it is most likely as the fragile-looking old man who caused all the fuss at the 1999 Oscar ceremony. Controversy erupted over the Academy's decision to bestow an honorary award on Kazan, whom many had  ...

The Emperor’s New Groove

The Disney shop often delivers cookie-cutter animated features, repeated variations on tried-and-true formulas. On occasion, (Fantasia 2000), they bore the kids, even as they slight the intelligence of the audience of all ages. But from time to time the studio transcends its movie-by-committee weaknesses and comes up with solid  ...

End of Days

How big is Arnold Schwarzenegger? Forget the international body-building titles, the above-even-the-director credit lines, the preview ads that read only: "Schwarzenegger – December 1999". In End of Days, Arnold faces his biggest foe ever – Satan himself. But even with a large dose of his trademark grimacing, grappling and  ...

The End of the Affair

Christmas is the time of year for high-profile movies about glossy, doomed relationships, and this year's entry is Neil Jordan's The End of the Affair. But Jordan, being the iconoclast that he is, provides a little more bite than things like Out of Africa or The English Patient. The  ...