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Monday, December 22, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 36.0° F  Light Drizzle Fog/Mist
The Daily


The Kid With a Bike is a sad story about foster care

I'm really moved by the work of first-time film actor Thomas Doret in The Kid With a Bike. He plays Cyril, a Belgian boy of about 11. Cyril lives with a lot of hurt, but he doesn't dare let on. Instead, he gets angry. He broods. He flinches violently when anyone gives him a comforting touch. >More
 A workplace romance unfolds in Delicacy

Watching the French romance Delicacy, I thought of the Seinfeld episode in which Jerry can't follow a movie plot. Who's that guy? What just happened? There's a randomness to Delicacy that reminds me of irksome American indie comedies like Gigantic and The Good Heart, which ask us to laugh when characters drolly act in ways that don't resemble actual human behavior. That makes me antsy, and I was ready to give up on Delicacy. But I was smiling by the time it was over. >More
 Retirees make a home at The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

In a fluid opening montage, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel introduces seven aging Brits who, for one reason or another, have decided to move to Jaipur, India, and take up residence in what is being advertised as a newly restored retirement home. The first of the film's many predictable surprises is that the hotel is a fixer-upper, a dilapidated shell of its former glory and hardly anything that qualifies to be called the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. >More
 With The Dictator, Sacha Baron Cohen goes beyond pranks

With The Dictator, Sacha Baron Cohen finds himself addressing a situation no entertainer wants to confront: What do you do when the shtick that was your bread-and-butter just can't work anymore? >More
 Bernie charts a bizarre May-December romance

If I hadn't already read Skip Hollandsworth's 1997 Texas Monthly article recounting the tragicomic tale of assistant funeral director Bernie Tiede, I'd swear this film adaptation was based on one of Joe R. Lansdale's East Texas gothics. As ever, truth proves itself stranger than fiction in this film by Richard Linklater, who co-scripted with Hollandsworth. >More
 The Burton/Depp collaboration flatlines in Dark Shadows

Dark Shadows marks the eighth collaboration between director Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, and you could say the partnership has been fruitful. They've made some wonderfully original films like Edward Scissorhands and Ed Wood, and they have made rolling-around-in-it-like-Scrooge-McDuck money. But the creative marriage has grown less and less creative. >More
 In Darkness tells a devastating Holocaust story

Based on actual events, the claustrophobic epic In Darkness is as emotional as they come: a Holocaust story shot through with darkness both literal and figurative. Set mainly beneath the streets of Lvov, Poland, In Darkness uses the dank, horrific sewers to great and terrible effect. >More
 The Avengers save the world in style

It's probably impossible for people who grew up loving the superhero comic books to separate that love from The Avengers, the film writer/director Joss Whedon has created. That's a vibe Whedon embraces unapologetically. >More
 Whit Stillman disappoints with Damsels in Distress

How big a Whit Stillman fan was I in the 1990s? I followed the short-lived ABC sitcom It's Like, You Know... only because its lead was Chris Eigeman, who was so indelible in the three films Stillman wrote, directed and produced that decade, Metropolitan (1990), Barcelona (1994) and The Last Days of Disco (1998). >More
 Wisconsin filmmaker makes gun-free gangster movie Secret Life, Secret Death

While the budget for even the most humble Hollywood movie runs into millions, an area artist has just completed her first feature film for $4,500. That includes post-production. The actual shooting cost was $1,700. The Madison premiere of the 84-minute film is at the Barrymore Theatre on May 2. >More
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