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American Sniper

American Sniper proves the dictum “never count an auteur out” by proving itself as Eastwood’s strongest directorial effort since 2009's underrated Invictus pretty much right…

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The Interview

Opportunities at rich satire flatten out into Hangover dude-dope-doodoo jokes, where the premise is that there’s nothing funnier than watching over-privileged grown men act out…

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

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When a man plays a woman

From Melissa White, Salem, Oregon:

Another movie is being released with a man in drag portraying...me. I'm a large black woman and am distressed that the image of a black woman can only be tolerated by the moviegoing public if it is portrayed without cultural pride, femininity, and sexuality (excluding cartoonishly ample bosoms). This trend of the Madea character, Big Mama and now in Norbit is disturbing to me. My "brothers" Tyler Perry, Martin Lawrence and Eddie Murphy are making a lot of money off making a joke of the strength of the African-American Woman. I've come to terms with the fact that I will never be cast as the ingénue but, is there a place for me or anyone like me in cinema or have the roles for a big black female with heart and compassion gone with the wind?

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