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Tuesday, October 21, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 50.0° F  Overcast
The Daily

MOVIES

Happy-Go-Lucky: Smiling at trouble

While recently suffering through the cheerful escapades of Pauline "Poppy" Cross (Sally Hawkins), the heroine of the new Mike Leigh film Happy-Go-Lucky, I couldn't help wondering, could this perpetually giggling, insanely positive girlish girl of a woman really have sprung from the same fevered mind that unleashed Johnny - the scabrous, antagonistic, misanthropic antihero of Naked - on the world? It seems unlikely, and yet there it is: Leigh's name above the title. >More
 Rachel Getting Married: A wedding story

You might assume, from the title, that Rachel Getting Married is about Rachel, the bride-to-be. And it is, eventually. But like all movie weddings, Rachel's doesn't go by without a hitch. On the contrary, there are shouting matches, an exchange of blows, even a car crash. And Rachel has trouble holding center stage as the stage crumbles around her. >More
 Changeling: Little boy lost

Oscar season is now under way with Changeling, a prestige film that goes fishing for awards with a vintage rod-and-reel. Clint Eastwood, having finally gotten World War II out of his system, directed this 1920s period piece about a Los Angeles single mom (Angelina Jolie) who gets put through the ringer for insisting that the boy returned to her by the LAPD is not her son, who mysteriously disappeared five months before. >More
 What Just Happened: Inside Hollywood

Robert De Niro plays a Hollywood producer who's desperately trying to hold it together in What Just Happened, which is also trying to hold it together, teetering and tottering between straight-ahead realism and once-over-lightly satire. >More
 Zack and Miri Make a Porno: Romantic smut

Ever since he pawned his comic-book collection to finance Clerks, Kevin Smith has been cultivating his fan base like an organic farmer spreading manure. He knows what they expect out of him -- potty-mouth sexual humor with a slight skateboard-punk edge. And in his own limited way, he knows how to deliver. >More
 Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story: The man who brought you Willie Horton

Perfect timing. I'd just gotten done watching Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story, and in the mail was a piece of campaign literature from the Republican Party of Wisconsin that features a picture of Barack Obama next to the words "I don't regret setting bombs." The quote is from William Ayers, former member of Weather Underground and reputed "Friend of Obama." >More
 Pride and Glory: Police story

Pride and Glory has a bad case of those NYPD blues. You know the symptoms: corrupt cops, loyalty versus honor, revoked pensions. Last time, it was Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Wahlberg doing a Cain and Abel routine in We Own the Night (unless you want to count Al Pacino and Robert De Niro in Righteous Evil). This time, it's Ed Norton and Colin Ferrell playing Bad Cop, Good Cop. >More
 Oliver Stone's W. embraces Bush

Asked what he thought his place in history would be, George W. Bush famously replied, "In history? In history, we'll all be dead." That's awfully close to Henry Ford's famous line, "History is bunk," albeit with an added whiff of mortality. Dead or alive, Bush has now been subjected to what we'll just have to call a first draft of history, Oliver Stone's absorbing but not quite mesmerizing W. >More
 Trumbo: Un-American history

Are you now or have you ever been interested in the Hollywood blacklist? If so, you might want to check out Trumbo, Peter Askin's documentary portrait of one of its most prominent victims. When he was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1950, Dalton Trumbo was Hollywood's highest-paid screenwriter, author of such movies as Kitty Foyle and A Guy Named Joe. >More
 Halloween on screen: Rich Peterson introduces the Madison Horror Film Festival

Rich Peterson has a vision for Halloween in Madison that extends well beyond the costumed parade of inebriation that reigns on State Street. Turning rather to the holiday's supernatural heart and gleeful embrace of the macabre, he has organized the inaugural Madison Horror Film Festival, which will serve up scares on and off the screen all day Saturday at the Orpheum Theatre. >More
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