The Battle for Haditha. In November 2005, U. S. Marines killed twenty-four Iraqis, including children, because of a bomb attack on their convoy. Enraged by this and previous bombings, they went berserk. This incident, reenacted here in the main by former Marines, once again confirms wartime madness. (Reviewed 6/11/08)
Roman de Gare. Claude Lelouch, veteran French director, assembles a series of flavorsome scenes about a hit novelist, a hooker-hairdresser, and a strange leading man, traipsing through city and countryside. The sum is a bit odd, to put it gently, but the enjoyment, scene by scene, is warm. (5/28/08)
Savage Grace. Based on fact. An American couple, exceedingly rich, start out pleasantly in 1946 with an infant son and become so addicted to spending on pleasure that wildnesses develop in all three. Julianne Moore as the wife-mother is particularly striking in this well-directed, very frank, peculiarly gripping film. (6/11/08)
Up the Yangtze. A documentary by a young Chinese-Canadian about life along the great river which he explores after hearing about it from infancy. The contrasts between life among those dispossessed by the building of a great dam and the luxury on a cruise ship are familiar but fascinating. (5/28/08)
Stanley Kaufmann is The New Republic’s film critic.
By Stanley Kauffmann