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2008 Stories by Ella Taylor

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  • Refusenik: A Heroic Portrait

    published May 6, 2008

    The brave Soviet Jews in Laura Bialis's absorbing portrait of the refusenik movement of the 1960s and '70s had to contend not only with... More >>

  • Tim Robbins Goes Funny in Noise

    published May 6, 2008

    Tim Robbins should get out and stretch those funny bones more often, if it results in a performance as luggishly nutty as he gives in this... More >>

  • Fugitive Pieces Films the Unfilmable

    published April 29, 2008

    Canadian poet Anne Michaels's beautiful 1996 novel—about a Jewish writer immobilized by the memory of his Polish family's murder at the... More >>

  • Claude Lelouch's Roman de Gare

    published April 22, 2008

    Claude Lelouch's A Man and a Woman may be one of the silliest love songs in the canon of French fluff, but 42 years on, it gets a... More >>

  • The Life Before Her Eyes: Melodrama Attacks

    published April 15, 2008

    Riddled with high concept, this florid adaptation of Laura Kasischke's 2002 novel is a horror picture of sorts that plays off a Columbine-style... More >>

  • 88 Minutes Counts Down to Self-Parody

    published April 15, 2008

    Jon Avnet's cheesy new thriller, 88 Minutes, is 105 minutes long, and going in, I feared that 100 of them would be eaten up by Al Pacino... More >>

  • Married Life: Far From Far From Heaven

    published March 4, 2008

    Do we need another look back at the rotten heart of the '50s nuclear family? Ira Sachs thinks we do, and as one who can't get enough of sweaty... More >>

  • Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

    published March 4, 2008

    For an obscure tale of a virginal London governess who discovers her true calling running interference for a giddy night-club singer, British... More >>

  • Vivere

    published February 26, 2008

    'Tis the eve of Christmas, festival of light, but three more or less German women—two young half-Italian sisters (Esther Zimmering and... More >>

  • Robert Downey Jr. and Charlie Bartlett

    published February 19, 2008

    Like most wannabe heroes of the eager-to-please teen comedy, poor little rich boy Charlie Bartlett (Anton Yelchin) is too charming by half and... More >>

  • Stefan Ruzowitzky's The Counterfeiters

    published February 19, 2008

    Near the beginning of The Counterfeiters, a fact-based Holocaust drama by Austrian filmmaker Stefan Ruzowitzky, we meet Jewish money... More >>

  • Ezra

    published February 5, 2008

    The blood-diamond industry and its victims get a properly Afro-centric makeover in this fevered drama about a traumatized former child soldier... More >>

  • The Spiderwick Chronicles

    published February 5, 2008

    Freud lives and prospers in The Spiderwick Chronicles, an exceptionally Oedipal fantasy adventure stuffed with defaulting dads ripe for... More >>

  • More Adventures in Gangsterland

    published January 29, 2008

    No celebrity hairdresser should ever be allowed near Colin Farrell's eyebrows with a tweezer. Black, fluffy, and gloriously unilateral, they still... More >>

  • Caramel

    published January 22, 2008

    The multiply blessed young Lebanese writer-director Nadine Labaki looks sublimely like Anna Magnani crossed with Penelope Cruz. She also has the... More >>

  • The Air I Breathe

    published January 15, 2008

    Ah, January, hallowed dustbin for projects half-baked, too-cooked, or both, as in the case of this overstuffed noir actioner from Korean-American... More >>

  • Orthodox Stance

    published January 15, 2008

    Dmitriy Salita is an up-and-coming boxer, a Chabadnik who won't fight on Shabbat, and a sweet and decent young man from Brooklyn via Odessa. This... More >>

  • Beaufort

    published January 8, 2008

    What a pity that the people behind two radically different but equally peace-loving specimens of Israel's increasingly lively national... More >>

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