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Mr. Turner

Filmmaker Mike Leigh's biography of the landscape painter J.M.W. Turner is what critics call "austere"—which means it's slow and grim and deliberately hard to love—yet…

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Annie

The new version of "Annie" is fashionably artificial and not very well directed, but its unabashed good cheer is very welcome.

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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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TIFF 08: The waiting-for-it-to-start post

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Oh, I have plenty to write about. Some of it even about TIFF, which officially kicks off Thursday. But I have to get up early to get to the first press screenings Wednesday morning. They start, auspiciously, with the new Guy Ritchie film, "RocknRolla," at 9 am. (That's 6 am real time.) So, that means I can sleep in at least until 9:30 or 10. On the other hand, it would be nice to cover some films that probably won't get wider distribution. Ritchie sure fits that bill.

Meanwhile, Bloor Street looks like Gitmo (new construction!) and all Torontonians want to talk about is the governor of Alaska -- either with great concern or great disdain. (The Canadians have been openly laughing at us, nervously, for eight years.)

The movies will surely offer a welcome respite from the horror-comedy of the world at large right now...

Nighty-night. Be seeing you.

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