Ballast

I Served the King of England. Imaginatively lighted and choreographed rather than directed, this Czech film, by Jiri Menzel, tells the story of a young waiter moving through swank hotels before, through, and after World War Two. Funny, bitter, lyrical. (9/10/08)

Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Woody Allen puts two American girls in Barcelona, along with a sexy Spanish painter and his stormy wife. The story is both lumpy and contrived, but the acting, Allen’s dialogue, and his direction are entertaining. (8/29/08)

Man on Wire. A unique, unforgettable documentary featuring Philippe Petit who walked a tightrope between the World Trade Center towers in 1974. This is not about a circus performer but about a sort of metaphysical aspirant. (8/27/08)

--SK

By Stanley Kauffmann