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Friday, November 21, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 22.0° F  A Few Clouds
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Clockwatchers
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Even the phrase "9 to 5" sounds like a prison sentence, but for the limited-term employees known as temps, it's more like a nonpaid nonvacation from hell. Clockwatchers, which Memorial High and UW grad Jill Sprecher directed (and co-wrote with her sister Karen), descends into the corporate underworld of wall-to-wall carpeting, acoustic ceilings, fluorescent lighting, glass-partition cubicles and Muzak; and the look it gives us of life in the slow lane is both hilarious and horrific. Toni Collette, Parker Posey, Lisa Kudrow and Alanna Ubach play four young women whose lives intersect somewhere between the copy room and the filing room, and at least one of them learns that, if you watch the clock long enough, they'll have to take you out on a stretcher. Movies almost never show us people actually working. Here's one--a beautifully observant one--that shows us people doing little else, even if it's mostly stapling and collating.

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