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Thursday, January 29, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 27.0° F  Overcast
The Daily


Mistakes were made

Given the general state of things these days, we should feel grateful for a woman-centered Hollywood movie that stars an abundant number of award-winning actresses, was co-scripted by a Pulitzer Prize-winning author (Michael Cunningham of The Hours), features an outstanding number of women among its technical crew and is helmed by the highly accomplished cinematographer-turned-director Lajos Koltai. In fact, Evening has so much going for it that it's painful to report that all this window-dressing is to no avail. >More
 U.S. health-care system is diseased

With Sicko, his latest documentary, professional gadfly Michael Moore examines the shortcomings of the American health-care system, and he's crafted his most accessible and least divisive movie to date. The film contends that the American system of managed health care is conceptually misguided, dictated by the for-profit motives of the insurance industry. >More
 The searchers

And now here's A Mighty Heart , Michael Winterbottom's blow-by-blow account of the effort to rescue Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was kidnapped and beheaded by Muslim extremists, the video of his execution circulating all over the world via the Internet. >More
 Oh, God

After Evan Almighty , we may have to add an 11th commandment: Thou shalt laugh. That's perhaps the only way this Sunday school lesson disguised as a comedy will get the job done. >More
 Rooftop Cinema takes a detour indoors at MMoCA

Last Friday marked my only chance to attend a screening at Rooftop Cinema this summer. The avant-garde and experimental film series held in the rooftop gardens at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art runs four weeks over the course of June, providing one of the few opportunities in town to catch a movie under the stars. Or clouds, perhaps. >More
 Surf's up

I'm proud to say that I was one of the few movie critics who responded favorably to Fantastic Four, 2005's long-awaited big-screen debut of the superhero gang that put Marvel Comics on the map back in the early '60s. It wasn't a masterpiece or anything, but after enduring what seemed like several hours of birth labor in Batman Begins, I was primed for a comic-book movie that didn't take itself so seriously. >More
 Iranian women get their way in Offside

Why are women treated differently from men? It's a question that Panahi has asked, over and over again, in such films as The White Balloon and The Circle, but never with the light comedic touch he brings to Offside. Think Yentl, only funnier and with less singing. >More
 Wis-Kino gets 'complicated' for its spring Kabaret

By all accounts, the Sunday, May 13 screening of short films created for the spring Kabaret at Wis-Kino was an entertaining one, all nine completed entries convincingly incorporating the required theme of "complicated." >More
 Soul music

If you love musicals but hated Chicago and Dreamgirls, you may want to try writer-director John Carney's Once, which has found a whole new way of putting a song in our hearts. Well, not a whole new way, but this lovely little Irish film, which follows a pair of struggling musicians around while they fall in and out of harmony, is much more than a low-rent Rent. >More
 On with the show

Broadway, that fabulous invalid, now on life support, manages to haul its sorry ass out of its hospital bed and give its regards to...itself in Dori Berinstein's ShowBusiness: The Road to Broadway. And if you're still aglow from last Sunday night's Tony Awards broadcast, you'll be glad to know that Berinstein, a Broadway producer herself, really knows how to put on a show. >More
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