Film Openings

Week of March 17, 2004

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Dawn of the Dead (R) Zack Snyder. Zillions of zombies walk the earth, as a small cadre of survivors -- including Sarah Polley as a nurse and Ving Rhames as a cop -- try to elude them. Opens Friday, March 19, at multiple locations. NR

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (R) Michel Gondry. Opens Friday, March 19, at the Hi-Pointe. Reviewed this issue.

Monsieur Ibrahim (R) François Dupeyron. Is Monsieur Ibrahim, a French film about the friendship between a Jewish boy and a Muslim man in 1960s Paris, worthy of its star? The lately absent Omar Sharif is back and playing a wizened father figure to the abandoned Moses (Pierre Boulanger), in a mostly enjoyable film that nevertheless doesn't manage to carry off its breezy attempt to be profound. Lighthearted and light-handed (except for the biblical symbolism of the character names), the film dances into a world where every loss of innocence is backed by groovy music and where glamorous, motherly prostitutes are a boy's best friends. Abandoned by his real mother long ago, now left adrift by his father's spiraling depression, Moses seeks not merely food but also guidance from the proprietor at the corner grocery store (Sharif), a dark and lonely man brimming with Koran-inspired wisdom. By the end, Monsieur Ibrahim's determination to be lighthearted in the face of tragedy is a little wearying, and Dupeyron is too taken with his soundtrack for his film's good. Opens Friday, March 19, at Plaza Frontenac. (Melissa Levine)

Secret Things (Choses secrètes) (unrated) Jean-Claude Brisseau. In a word: délicieux! Welcome a moral tale that's wall-to-wall "immorality" (of the nicest kind) en route to a tasty climax, with several of same along the way. Behold sultry Nathalie (Coralie Revel) and her sensuous apprentice Sandrine (Sabrina Seyvecou), two young women climbing the corporate ladder via their "guts and asses." Empowerment begins with explicitly shared "benefits" (some incidents blush-inducing, one in a Metro tunnel truly amusing), leads into conquering a high-ranking executive (Roger Mirmont, superb) and peaks in a heady confrontation with the company's demented, ultra-pervy heir (Fabrice Deville). Brisseau's script may have been conceived in a locker room, but the brazen performances and clever twists make the film engaging and fun -- plus it's like getting absurd male fantasies and sly female strategies in one hot dose. Sure to bring stiffies to boys and girls alike, this project is also artful and intelligent -- even without learning from the silly orgy mistake of Eyes Wide Shut. Go ahead -- give yourself over to absolute pleasure. Opens Friday, March 19, at the Tivoli. (Gregory Weinkauf)

Taking Lives (R) D.J. Caruso. Opens Friday, March 19, at multiple locations. Reviewed this issue.

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