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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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My 10 best list: the movie (WGA strike/Antonioni edition)

Ten movies, two or three shots apiece (more or less), 76 seconds, no dialog, no annotations. (The critical comments will come later.) This is my hommage to the ending of the late Michelangelo Antonioni's "The Eclipse" and to the writers who are currently on strike. (Full disclosure: I'm a WGA/west member and I strongly support the writers.) The effort was to look at my favorite movies of the year (inspired, to begin with, by the opening of "No Country for Old Men") solely through establishing shots, architecture, landscapes, inanimate objects... and a few glimpses of extras and motionless actors who don't speak.

How many of them can you name (in one shot? two?). Titles, writers and directors are cited at the end. (For some reason, this iKlipz/Flash version hangs for a few seconds just before the final titles -- but they do appear...)

10. "Helvetica" 9. "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" 8. "The Orphanage" 7. "Superbad" 6. "Breach" 5. "Persepolis" 4. "12:08 East of Bucharest: 3. "Zodiac" 2. "I'm Not There" 1. "No Country for Old Men"

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