“Words and Pictures”: Love comes to the teachers’ lounge

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“Words and Pictures” opens Friday at Point and Star Cinemas. PG-13, 1:51, three stars out of four.

The danger of trying to make a smart movie is that when you do something truly dumb, it really sticks out like a sore thumb. Fred Schepisi’s comedy-drama “Words and Pictures” has a couple of truly dumb moments, the worst being when the screenplay has Clive Owen say the name of the movie. That’s corny enough, but he says it with a shameless “See what I did there?” grin. Oh, Clive. Continue reading

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“Camille Claudel 1915”: They tell you how to behave, behave as their guest

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“Camille Claudel 1915” has its only Madison screening at 7 p.m. Friday at the UW-Cinematheque, 4070 Vilas Hall, 821 University Ave. Not rated, 1:37, three stars out of four.

At some point during the making of “Camille Claudel 1915,” writer-director Bruno Dumont surely must have considered featuring Juliette Binoche’s face in extreme close-up for the film’s entire running time. It’s a marvelously expressive, endlessly watchable face, and in the film’s many close-ups Binoche takes us from burning rage to crushing sadness to irrational joy. “Camille Claudel 1915” seems to be that rare film where there seems to be less happening on screen the more people we see.

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