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The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music -

The Golden Com­pass

( PG): Ra­tio­nal science and the op­pres­sive rul­ing Mag­is­terium are in con­flict in this vis­ually in­ven­tive fan­tasy epic, based on Philip Pull­man ’ s

first novel in the His Dark Ma­te­ri­als tril­ogy. As the el­e­gant vil­lain­ess, Ni­cole Kid­man has rarely looked more beau­ti­ful. The ac­tion ends abruptly, just as it gets in­ter­est­ing. — David Stratton Em­po­rium

( G): Dustin Hoff­man is the 243- year- old owner of an elab­o­rate Man­hat­tan toy shop where the toys come to life. An en­joy­able con­fec­tion, if not en­tirely orig­i­nal. — D . S.

Hunt­ing and Gath­er­ing ( Ensem­ble, c’ est tout)

( M): Au­drey Tautou is a cleaner who be­friends a shy, stam­mer­ing neigh­bour. Four lonely lives are trans­formed by love and un­ex­pected friend­ship in this lovely story, han­dled with rare in­sight. — E. W. En­chanted

( G): Charm­ing ro­man­tic fan­tasy from Dis­ney, mix­ing an­i­ma­tion with live ac­tion. A fairy­tale princess leaves her car­toon world to emerge in con­tem­po­rary Man­hat­tan, where she meets a ri­val to her Prince Charm­ing. Susan Saran­don is the wicked step­mother. — Evan Wil­liams 2 Days in Paris

( MA15+): Julie Delpy di­rects and stars in this com­edy with at­ti­tude, about a he­do­nis­tic French girl who brings her up­tight Jewish boyfriend home to meet the fam­ily. Amus­ing for its in­sights into French and Amer­i­can char­ac­ters. — D . S. I Served the King of Eng­land

Men­zel’ s ( M): Czech di­rec­tor Jiri ironic, melan­choly com­edy fol­lows the for­tunes and mis­for­tunes of an am­bi­tious young man ( Ivan Barnev) dur­ing the Nazi and com­mu­nist pe­ri­ods. — D . S.

No Coun­try for Old Men ( MA15+): Stun­ningly pho­tographed in Texas, this tale of an ev­ery­man ( Josh Brolin) who un­wisely steals $ 2 mil­lion of drug money, and the hit man who pur­sues him ( Javier Bar­dem), is much more than a finely tuned ex­er­cise in sus­pense. My pick as film of the year for 2007. — D . S. Atone­ment

( MA15+): Ian McEwan ’ s girl’ s

novel about a young re­morse has been made into a film of sur­pass­ing beauty and power by di­rec­tor Joe Wright, with flaw­less per­for­mances

Pride & Prej­u­dice ), from Keira Knight­ley ( Ro­mola Garai and James McAvoy. The film of 2007 for me. — E. W I ’ m Not There

( M): Todd Haynes ’ s

au­da­cious por­trait of Bob Dylan uses six ac­tors, in­clud­ing the re­mark­able Cate Blanchett, to por­tray the mu­si­cian at dif­fer­ent stages of his ca­reer. — D . S. P. S. I Love You

( PG): A griev­ing widow ( Hi­lary Swank) finds hap­pi­ness in life through let­ters from her dead hus­band ( Ger­ard But­ler). A cap­ti­vat­ing ro­man­tic fa­ble with se­duc­tive Ir­ish scenery. — E. W.

Mr Mago­rium ’ s Won­der

Fan­tasy:

The Golden Com­pass

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