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The Zookeeper's Wife

Has many lovely and moving moments but fails to capture the many layers of this unique story, relying instead on plainly-stated metaphors.

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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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Jim's favorite movies of 2009: The movie

Once again, my favorite movies of the year engage in overlapping cinematic conversation with one another, blurring stylistic, thematic, national, linguistic, philosophical, theological and proprietary boundaries. No one is playing the blame game here. Happy new year!

(list and links after the jump...)

"A Serious Man" (Joel & Ethan Coen, USA)

"The Hurt Locker" (Kathryn Bigelow, USA)

"Liverpool" (Lisandro Alonso, Argentina)

"35 Shots of Rum" (Claire Denis, France)

"Goodbye Solo" (Ramin Bahrani, USA)

"The Headless Woman" (Lucrecia Martel, Argentina)

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"Inglorious Basterds" (Quentin Tarantino, USA)

"The Limits of Control" (Jim Jarmusch, USA)

"Police, Adjective" (Corneliu Porumboiu, Romania)

"The Informant!" (Steven Soderbergh, USA)

"Fantastic Mr. Fox" (Wes Anderson, USA)

"Sita Sings the Blues" (Nina Paley, USA)

"The White Ribbon" (Michael Haneke, Austria)

"Summer Hours" (Olivier Assayas, France)

Other favorites regrettably left on the cutting-room floor: "The Brothers Bloom," "In the Loop," "Of Time and the City," "Still Walking," "Observe and Report," "Gomorrah," "Watchmen," "Anvil! The Story of Anvil"...

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