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As a fetish object, it’s impressive. But as a fully satisfying feature-length drama, it’s a bust.

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"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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This week: Four 4-star reviews!

May Contain Spoilers

borgay.jpg

Sexy time for celebrate nice reviews! Borat like to disco dance with men from village. Also Greenwich Village. And City of Brotherly Love.

This doesn't happen very often. On RogerEbert.com today we have four 4-star reviews in a row.

Roger Ebert reviews the latest installment in Michael Apted's lifelong documentary series, "49 Up."

I have reviews of:

"Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan," a documentary about a foreign journalist... NOT! (You will only understand this joke if you see movie film.)

"Old Joy," a meditative journey into the backwoods of an old friendship.

"51 Birch Street," a son's quietly astonishing look at his parents' "ordinary" marriage.

That ought to keep you busy this weekend.

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