With Oscar talk flooding the media, it's easy to forget that some of this year's best movies flew by too fast.


A Illusion review by Joan Ellis.

With Oscar talk flooding the media, it's easy to forget that some of this year's best movies flew by too fast. If you missed them, try to catch them on video. As for the others, may they be quickly forgotten.

MI FAMILIA. This is a classic story of a Mexican who heads for Los Angeles without connections or resources, fueled only by the unwavering tenacity needed to survive. It is the story of people who cannot be understood by the people they leave behind and cannot themselves understand their new lives. They live in heartwrenching bewilderment as the beauty of custom and spirit that infuses their earlier years is snuffed out by the modern megacity. (Jimmy Smits.)

BEFORE SUNRISE. Filmed with deftness and delicacy, this movie catches the essence of young love. Jessie and Celine meet on a train and spend one night together falling in love on the streets of Vienna. We listen in on the wonderful process of discovery, and we believe them. (Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy.)

PRIEST. Antonia Bird's vibrant movie spins on a core of the humanity of two unquestionably spiritual men: Father Matthew, who loves a woman, and Father Greg, who loves a man. Jimmy McGovern's biting script frames the moral issues with an extraordinary mix of humor and fury. The movie is an attack on the hypocrisy that infects mankind. Outstanding writer, director, and cast force the self-righteous of this world to confront their pieties. (Linus Roache, Tom Wilkinson.)

DON JUAN DEMARCO. This wonderful movie sprinkles fairy dust on the audience and casts a lovely spell. Johnny Depp, Faye Dunaway, and Marlon Brando have a very good time with a lighthearted fable, and so do we. The two old pros make pure magic of their scenes, which are both playful and electric. Depp is a fine spinner of the tall tale, and he sees to it that Don Juan's delusion becomes romance for all of us.

ONCE WERE WARRIORS. A searing film of brutality, beauty, and grace. The story of a community of New Zealands' Maori people who leave their heritage for poverty and alcohol. Rena Owen brings fierce intelligence and pride to the role of battered wife. It will leave an imprint on your soul.

NINE MONTHS. The year's longest and silliest pregnancy.

BATMAN FOREVER. An explosion of noise and image unrelated to anything. Interminably dull.

JEFFERSON IN PARIS. Merchant Ivory falls under its own carriage wheels. They have made America's philosopher/writer/innovator/thinker/architect into a very dull man.

WATERWORLD. Scotch swilling villains on Jet Skis. Handsome man/woman/child unit. Spiffy fireballs. And it's still deadly dull.

THE SCARLET LETTER. Demi Moore is quite good at orgasm, birth, and general suffering, but she is the wrong partner for Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Film Critic : JOAN ELLIS
Word Count : 495
Studio : NA
Rating : NA
Running Time: NA

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