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Thursday, September 18, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 50.0° F  Fog/Mist
The Daily

MOVIES

Into the vortex with Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer

Roman Polanski appears to be back in the saddle with his new political mystery thriller, which includes elements of what we like best in his work yet doesn't surpass the excitement of his greatest achievements. >More
 Frederick Wiseman's La Danse observes a French dance company

We have a new Frederick Wiseman film in La Danse, which documents the work of the Ballet de l'Opera de Paris, the dance company whose history goes back to the 17th century. >More
 She's Out of My League finds romance for a dude in ugly clothes

She's Out of My League is a middling raunchy comedy, but it has a few things to recommend it. One is that it is fairly artful with its raunch, which is to say that even the smuttiest parts, including a prolonged sequence about premature ejaculation, are generally in the service of character and story. >More
 Oscars 2010 live blog with Isthmus film critic Kenneth Burns

When you settle in to watch the Academy Awards Sunday night, don't forget your laptop. Kenneth will be blogging along, live, and you're encouraged to log in and share your thoughts and questions here. >More
 Isthmus on the isthmus: Oscar picks from industry insiders (video)

Ben Reiser, a filmmaker in his own right, surveys a panel of movie experts from Sundance Cinemas and Four Star Video Heaven on their Oscar picks. >More
 Warlords duke it out in John Woo's spectacular Red Cliff

It's easy to tell which side is virtuous and which side is debased in Red Cliff, John Woo's spectacular war film set in third-century China. The virtuous leaders love music and tea, and they commune with nature. The debased ones desecrate their dead. >More
 The Damned United: Grudge match

Newt Gingrich, you'll recall, shut down the federal government because Bill Clinton made him use the back door of the plane. Depending on whom you ask, the stakes aren't quite so high in the marvelous British sports film The Damned United, but like the Gingrich story, this movie likewise warns us that grudges can lead to disaster. >More
 The White Ribbon: The village people

I was excited when I sat down to watch The White Ribbon, Michael Haneke's Oscar-nominated film about mysterious events in a German town just before World War I. But 144 minutes later, I had to ask: That's all? >More
 Big River: Spray our lives away

Big River, a short playing Tuesday at the Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival, presents itself as a companion to King Corn. >More
 Tolstoy stops at The Last Station

When I saw the trailer for the Leo Tolstoy picture The Last Station, I felt a pang of sadness for Christopher Plummer, still trying to get out from under The Sound of Music after all these years. The new film stars, we're told in great big letters, Academy Award winner Helen Mirren, Academy Award nominee Paul Giamatti and... Christopher Plummer. >More
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