Capsule reviews

At All Costs; Close-Up; Eeny Meeny; The Jazzman From the Gulag; Mask of Desire; Handsome Arno; Nowhere to Hide; Our Song; Return of the Idiot; Seduced and Abandoned; This Years Love; Trixie; Voyages; Wisconsin Death Trip

Trixie (U.S.A., 2000)

Alan Rudolph's new film centers on Trixie, a poorly educated security guard who dreams of being a cop and cracking a big case. Unfortunately, Rudolph's attempts at characterization extend only to Trixie's speech patterns -- nonstop malapropisms and redundancies ("I have an ace up my hole"; "Beating a dead horse to death"). Emily Watson as Trixie has a sweet Chicago accent and a sly look that implies some sort of gumption and smarts, even when the script keeps undermining her. Dermot Mulroney is also rather sweet as a clumsy lothario unaware of his failings, but this post-Fargo farrago is never more than a writer's conceit. (Joe Mader)

Monday, April 24, 7 p.m., AMC Kabuki; Wednesday, April 26, 4 p.m., AMC Kabuki

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Voyages (France, 1999)

It's an audacious gamble and even, some might say, obscene, to make a film that presumes to imagine the repercussions of the Holocaust on elderly survivors half a century later. But it pays off marvelously here, as longtime Kieslowski collaborator Emmanuel Finkiel links three stories set in Poland, Paris, and Tel Aviv into a reverie on the relentless power of memory in everyday life. Constructed around three remarkably strong women, Voyages has a unique tension: It is contemplative without being the least bit hesitant. The viewer is invited to interpret every glance and every pause, and is rewarded accordingly. (Michael Fox)

Sunday, April 23, 6:15 p.m., AMC Kabuki; Monday, April 24, 6:45 p.m., AMC Kabuki

Wisconsin Death Trip

(U.S.A./England, 1999)

If black-and-white maestro Chris Münch (the Lennon-Epstein featurette The Hours and Times) had made Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, it would look something like this. Michael Lesy's 1973 cult-fave book, which inspired this film, was a deadpan Gothic compilation of photos and news accounts of an 1890s plague of homicide, suicide, and insanity visited upon an upper Midwest hamlet. This gruesome material is re-enacted with loving, sordid excess to progressively diminishing returns, overshadowing a haunting portrait of desperate immigrants unable to adapt to the culture or the climate. By intercutting contemporary color footage of the "picturesque" locals, director James Marsh gives the whole venture an odor of condescension. (Michael Fox)

Sunday, April 23, 9:30 p.m., AMC Kabuki; Tuesday, April 25, 7:10 p.m., AMC Kabuki

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