The Last Picture Show

The optimist's guide to the Millennium's final fall-movie crop

First-time filmmaker­Cabaret director Sam Mendes's American Beauty and MTV hotshot Spike Jonze's Svankmajer-esque Being John Malkovich could both stun the jaded, while Chris Smith's American Movie and Errol Morris's Mr. Death should surface as the year's most astonishing docs and probably thereby get shafted at the Oscars. Films by new-guard vets Kevin Smith (the truly cockamamie Dogma), Paul Thomas Anderson (Magnolia), Ang Lee (the rousing Ride With the Devil), James Mangold (Girl Interrupted), Steven Soderbergh (The Limey), and David O. Russell (Three Kings) insure there's something fresh and viewable for those of us running from, not waiting for, Robin Williams doing the Holocaust in Jakob the Liar.

Related Article: Film Previews

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