“Who is Dayani Cristal?”: Don’t judge a man until you walk 1,000 miles in his shoes

dayani cristal

“Who is Dayani Cristal?” has its Wisconsin premiere on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Union South Marquee Theatre, 1308 W. Dayton St. Not rated, 1:25, three stars out of four. FREE!

Talk about illegal immigration, and you’re debating an issue. Talk about an immigrant — a person — and the discussion changes.

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Instant Gratification: “Kings of Pastry” and four other good movies to watch on Netflix Instant


Pick of the week: “Kings of Pastry” — Let’s start with dessert. This entertaining and mouth-watering documentary looks at the world-class confectioners who gather in France for a world pastry championship. In addition to marveling at their creation, less dessert than works of art, we learn about the chefs and their almost obsessive pursuit of perfection.

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Blu-ray review: “Riot in Cell Block 11: The Criterion Collection”


There’s no question that “Riot in Cell Block 11” looks like it was made in 1954. There’s something a little bit square about it, from the get-them-in-their-seats provocativeness of the title to the faux newsreel that opens the film, laying out its prison reform themes so baldly that nobody can miss them.


But dig down into “Cell Block 11,” and you find a potboiler drama that was both far ahead of its time and, in some ways, far ahead of ours.

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The five movies you need to see in Madison this week: April 25, 2014


Mood Indigo” (9:15 p.m. Friday, Union South Marquee, fREE) — I’ve stuck with Michel Gondry even in times when I probably shouldn’t have (“Be Kind Rewind”), because the French music video director turned filmmaker brings such sheer playfulness to his films, even if (maybe especially if) the subjects underneath are pretty serious. So I’m excited to hear that his new film, “Mood Indigo,” is something of a return to form for him, starring Audrey Tautou and Romain Duris as a love-dappled French couple whose life turns darker when it’s discovered she has a disease. But it’s Gondry, so the disease is caused by a flower growing in her chest. “Mood Indigo” is getting its Wisconsin premiere as part of the WUD Film Mini Indie Film Festival, which seems like a big get.

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“The Invisible Woman”: An affair that scared the Dickens out of her


The Invisible Woman” opens Friday at Sundance Cinemas. I’ll be hosting a post-show chat after the 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, April 29 show at the theater. R, 1:51, three stars out of four.

Charles Dickens was a man of the people. In addition to writing stories that changed literature, he was an enthusiastic playwright and orator, championing the plight of the downtrodden in England. In one scene in “The Invisible Woman,” we see Dickens (Ralph Fiennes, who also directs) springing to action after a horrific train accident, quickly taking charge to tend to the wounded.

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