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The Lion King

The movie is never less interesting than when it's trying to be the original Lion King, and never more compelling than when it's carving 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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Hughes brothers carry on a tradition at Cannes

CANNES, France -- Bouncing along the Croisette, the seafront boulevard in Cannes, Allen and Albert Hughes are in a good mood. The twins are on their way to a panel discussion featuring the top independent American filmmakers at the film festival. Their first feature, "Menace II Society," plays here in a few days and will open all over America on May 28. Major studios are bidding for their next project. They have just turned 21.

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The vying game

Hollywood has been waiting a long time to give Clint Eastwood an Oscar, and my hunch is, the wait is over. Eastwood's "Unforgiven," an elegiac Western about a retired gunfighter who pulls himself together for one final campaign, will win the best picture award when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gathers on the night of Monday, March 29.

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Who'll Be Up for Oscars?

The ballots have all been returned and counted, and at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow this year's Academy Awards nominations will be announced at a press conference to be telecast, so they say, around the world. It will no doubt be an Oscar year like all years, filled with surprises and injustices, nominations deserved and undeserved.

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A 'Silence' sweep?

Conventional wisdom has it that the Motion Picture Academy likes to honor Feel Good films with its Oscars. Gritty and violent movies may be nominated for the best picture award, but the winner will be a movie that embraces traditional values and leaves us with a warm glow. That theory has certainly held true over the past 10 years, during which the only really Feel Bad movie that won as best picture was "Platoon." I do not count such Feel Good About Feeling Bad movies as "Terms of Endearment."

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Bruce Davison takes risk of AIDS role

CANNES, France -- This is the second chapter of a story that began last January. Here at Cannes, a movie named "Longtime Companion" is gaining good reviews from the European critics, and it's one of the hottest tickets at this year's film festival. It opened May 11 in New York to SRO business, set some box-office records, and will be rolling out nationally on Friday.

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