Reviews in this weekly guide are written by Monitor critic
David Sterritt (the first set of '+' marks in each review) unless
otherwise noted. Ratings and comments by the Monitor staff panel
(the second set of '+' marks in each review) reflect the sometimes
diverse views of at least three other viewers. Information on
violence, drugs, sex/nudity, and profanity is compiled by the panel.
+++1/2 Very Good
++ 1/2 Average
THE BORROWERS (PG)
Director: Peter Hewitt. With John Goodman, Jim Broadbent. (83
+ A 10-year-old boy discovers a family of miniature people in
his house, and when crooked lawyer Ocious P. Potter wrongly
repossesses the place, the tiny "borrowers" fight to get it back.
While the special effects are admirable and children may be amused,
there's no enduring lesson or moral impact in the poorly developed
plot. By Mariah Gardner
Sex/Nudity, Profanity: None. Violence: A few instances, but
very mild. Drugs: One instance with a cigar.
+++1/2 Magical, wholesome, superb special effects.
DANGEROUS BEAUTY (R)
Director: Marshall Herskovitz. With Catherine McCormack,
Rufus Sewell, Jacqueline Bisset, Oliver Platt, Moira Kelly, Jeroen
Krabbe, Joanna Cassidy, Fred Ward. (114 min.)
+ The setting is Venice in the 16th century; the heroine is a
young woman who becomes a courtesan on the advice of her mother,
gets involved in high-level political intrigue, and lands in
perilous trouble when a would-be lover wields the power of the
Inquisition against her. The camera work is pretty, but the drama
is flat and lifeless, more concerned with titillating its audience
than illuminating its historical background.
MRS. DALLOWAY (PG-13)
Director: Marleen Gorris. With Vanessa Redgrave, Rupert
Graves, Michael Kitchen, Alan Cox, Natascha McElhone. (97 min.)
+++ A few years after World War I, a well-heeled London woman
prepares for a party she's giving, encounters a long-ago suitor
who's returned from India, and hears of a tragedy affecting a
shellshocked veteran whose image has been haunting her. Vanessa
Redgrave is almost too radiant as the title character of Virginia
Woolf's virtuosically written novel, intelligently adapted by
screenwriter Eileen Atkins.
Director: Volker Schlondorff. With Woody Harrelson, Elisabeth
Shue, Gina Gershon, Chloe Sevigny, Michael Rapaport, Tom Wright.
+++ Just out of jail on a trumped-up charge, a Florida
reporter gets involved in a phony kidnapping cooked up by a
millionaire's greedy wife. Harrelson hits just the right sardonic
note in this self-mocking crime drama, but look out for grisly
touches along the way.
THE WEDDING SINGER (PG-13)
Director: Frank Coraci. With Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore.
+++ Comedy about a wedding singer whose career flops after
he's abandoned at the altar; a waitress who's about to marry an
unfaithful man; and how they complicate their lives by falling in
love. The movie is surprisingly strong despite its potentially
flaky plot, combining '80s-style humor with a sincere romantic
story. An entertaining debut from filmmaker Coraci. By Mariah
++1/2 Nostalgic, hilarious, silly but sweet.
Sex/Nudity: No sex or nudity, but many jokes are mildly
sexual in nature. Profanity: 33 mild expletives. Violence: Two
scenes: one punch to the nose, one mini-brawl at a wedding. Drugs:
Seven scenes with alcohol, often with drunkenness used as humor; 3
scenes involving tobacco use.
Currently in Release
AYN RAND: A SENSE OF LIFE (Not rated)
Director: Michael Paxton. With Ayn Rand, Mike Wallace, Sharon
Gless, Leonard Peikoff. (141 min.)
+ Documentary about the Russian-born writer who emigrated to
the United States, wrote provocative novels like "The Fountainhead"
and "Atlas Shrugged," and developed her Objectivist philosophy
based on capitalism, atheism, and selfishness as the highest moral
good. The subject is fascinating, but the movie is less a
thoughtful exploration than an uncritical commercial for Rand's