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Thursday, May 22, 2008

JESUS OF MONTREAL (1989)

Canadian writer/director Denys Arcand has made an entire career letting his navel-gazing eccentrics carp & critique politics, sex, societal mores . . . and more. But the gags and wit rarely rise above bubble-captioned infants, with dramatic set ups that are transparent contrivances for pontificating wry and sentimental. That said, JESUS may well be his most successful riff on his usual obsessions. (A stuffy Passion Play gets too much of an updating from ‘avant’ types and a leading man who over-identifies with his role.) But the bar’s been moved awfully low for Arcand to get all the attention he receives. He’s the Charlie Rose of the art house film circuit.

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