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Boston’s What Doesn’t Kill You scores at Toronto
I’m back from the 33rd Toronto International Film Festival, where the unexpected hit among discerning critics was a Boston-made crime melodrama.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  September 17, 2008


Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women

A darker-than-usual take on the author
As always with Porter, you can expect intelligence in the writing and insights into the bio subject.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  September 09, 2008


Enlighten Up!

A human and profound yoga documentary
How to make a yoga documentary that will satisfy devotees but also entice those who balk at getting down with “downward dog”?
By: GERALD PEARY  |  September 09, 2008


I Served the King of England

Ambitious but old-fashioned and sluggish
I Served the King of England , though an arresting story, is the least successful of Czech filmmaker Jiří Menzel's film adaptations.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  September 03, 2008


The Grocer's Son

Nothing much happens here
Le fils de l’épicier is a dull title, but appropriate for Eric Guirado’s competently made, unexciting movie.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  September 03, 2008



An epistolary embarrassment
Peter Askin’s movie about the left-wing Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo is fine when it’s in standard-bio-documentary mode.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  August 13, 2008


Elegy of Life. Rostropovich. Visnevskaya

A great and lasting love story
Sokurov makes his position clear: these are true Russian patriots.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  August 13, 2008


As Tears Go By

Violence and moony romance
Deliriously good-looking Hong Kong actors posture as iconic Hollywood movie stars, with the most gorgeously lustrous lighting and imaginatively off-kilter editing on the planet.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  August 13, 2008


Man on Wire

Enthralling, exciting, and deeply beautiful
His little venture was not only death-defying but highly illegal.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  August 05, 2008


Avant que j'oublie|Before I Forget

Smart and unusual gay movie goes on too long
Director Jacques Nolot stars in this semi-autobiographical tale of Pierre, a one-time gigolo who, now past 60.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  August 05, 2008


Girls Rock!

An irresistable, haphazard jumble
The effort was valiant, but the documentary is often a jumble of haphazardly shot footage, with too many interview bites, and sketchy sequences.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  July 23, 2008


Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired

An engrossing documentary of the filmmaker's celebrity trial
A 1977 afternoon of drugs and intercourse with a 13-year-old led to Polanski's arrest in California, and to his celebrity trial, the subject of Marina Zenovich’s engrossing HBO tabloid documentary.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  July 16, 2008


Blood money

Adventures in the slave trade
Katrina Browne’s Traces of the Trade is a legendary local documentary, a film on which all hands in Boston indie production seem to have toiled at some point.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  June 24, 2008


Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts

A quietly hagiographic film biography
Glass comes off as a likable, unassuming presence and also a bit of an enigma.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  June 18, 2008


Bra Boys

Awkward and amateurish take on hooligan surf tribe
A cheaply produced Australian documentary of local interest, now exported to America.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  June 17, 2008


Up the Yangtze

The new Chinese Dream
Chang sets his camera on a luxury cruise liner sailing up and down the Yangtze.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  June 04, 2008


At Home in Utopia

A colorful, learned documentary
A vivid, breathing history lesson of a time when many American Jews defined themselves by their radical politics.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  June 04, 2008


The Fall

Kooky, clunky, and empty
Tarsem Singh's kooky epic is the first American film ever to star a Romanian child actress, Catinca Untaru.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  May 28, 2008


The Children of Huang Shi

A draggy, laborious effort
Based very loosely on true events, Roger Spottiswoode’s epic tells the story of a cocky and callow young British journalist.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  May 28, 2008



Arresting, but clichéd
Only at the end does this work significantly misstep, with a clichéd “heartwarming” family reunion surely orchestrated by the filmmaker.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  May 21, 2008



Bold and challenging tale of a 15-year-old hermaphrodite
Fifteen-year-old Alex has grown up as a girl, but she’s actually a hermaphrodite, with breasts and a penis, and with a budding but guilty erotic interest in both sexes.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  May 14, 2008

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