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Monday, November 24, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 39.0° F  Overcast
The Daily


Please Give puts normal life onscreen

Writer and director Nicole Holofcener's Please Give is a fine, quiet, compassionate movie in the Rohmer mode. It concerns two New York families drawn together for a reason that's perfectly straightforward, but also fundamentally horrifying. >More
 Vincere: The woman left behind

As Ida Dalser, the wife Mussolini spurned, Giovanna Mezzogiorno is remarkable in Marco Bellocchio's Vincere, which tells a sad story of an extraordinary injustice. She is adoring and devoted, then despairing, then calmly furious. >More
 Arts Beat: Film series gives viewers a look at the Madison Masonic Center auditorium

This weekend you can watch John Wayne on the big screen, "taming a woman the way you tame the land," according to the original poster for North to Alaska. The real attraction, though, is where the 1960 film will be shown: one of the city's most unusual venues, the auditorium of the Madison Masonic Center. >More
 Agent seeks his man in OSS 117: Lost in Rio

The French spy spoof OSS 117: Lost in Rio made me laugh, but it has problems, including the one Mel Brooks struggled with in his Hitchcock sendup High Anxiety: How do you make fun of films that don't take themselves all that seriously in the first place? >More
 Michael Caine doesn't rescue outlandish Harry Brown

Michael Caine gets his Charles Bronson on in Harry Brown, a British vigilante drama. Exploitative and crass, the film paints an ugly portrait of youth gone wild and the ineffectuality of the police to curb the menace. >More
 Get Him to the Greek tries to humanize a shallow idiot

I get why the concept of a spinoff movie like Get Him to the Greek seems like a no-brainer -- in theory. If you look at television, there's a history of taking supporting characters from successful comedies and launching them into equally successful starring vehicles. >More
 Ajami portrays the agony of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Ajami, Israel's entry for the 2009 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, lost out to Argentina's The Secret in Their Eyes. But that doesn't mean you should skip over this electrifying and decidedly downbeat slice of life and death in Ajami -- the Jaffa, Israel, neighborhood of the title. >More
 Rooftop Cinema returns for a fifth summer of avant-garde films atop MMoCA

For Hollwood, summer is the time to start showing fluff. But for the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, it's the time to start showing challenging avant-garde films that few people have ever heard of. The fifth annual Rooftop Cinema series begins on Friday, June 4, on the museum's rooftop sculpture garden. >More
 Sex and the City 2 is out of touch with the times

In an early scene of Sex and the City 2, a singing and dancing Liza Minnelli makes a cameo appearance. I'm sorry to report that her performance seems a lot like HBO's beloved franchise these days: tired and a little out of tune. >More
 Casino Jack and the United States of Money takes on notorious lobbyist

Two hours with Casino Jack and the United States of Money, a takedown of überlobbyist Jack Abramoff, won't reassure anyone of the nobleness of spirit of Washington, D.C.'s major players. Documentarian Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) is a showman and a bit of a sensationalist, a 21st-century muckraker laying waste to society's rotten apples, who all too commonly also happen to be the ruling class. >More
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