Three Sweet Picks to Get You Through the Week.

By Leo Charney
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Jan. 30, 2008

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4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

On Demand: IFC in Theaters
What: Award-winning Romanian abortion drama.
Why: This deceptively straightforward story--which won the Palme d'Or at last year's Cannes Film Festival--asks deep moral and ethical questions in an unsparing, almost-real-time account of a college student trying to get an abortion in mid-1980s Bucharest and the roommate who helps her out. It's a moral parable, a historical allegory, and the cutting edge of the Romanian new wave, which is reinventing how we think of both political cinema and realist film style. The film opens in Philly next week.

Rocket Science

DVD
What: Comedy about high school debaters.
Why: "I upped your game, little man!" That's a typical retort from hyper- competitive high schooler Ginny Ryerson, a debate queen with the steely drive and sexuality more often associated with cheerleaders. Played by Independent Spirit Award-nominated Anna Kendrick, she's the best thing in this Rushmore-esque saga of a stuttering 15-year-old boy struggling to become a debate champion. Ginny is Election's Tracy Flick as a Machiavellian brunette, deploying high school boys like chessmen--even as Kendrick lets us peek at her well-hidden vulnerability.

Hillary's Inner Tracy Flick

Online: slatev.com
What: Hillary Clinton finds her soulmate.
Why: Speaking of Tracy Flick ... Slate's brilliantly edited clip reimagines her--the tightly wound candidate of classic high school comedy Election--as a vision of Hillarity, stewing with resentment against opponents who try to "take away what other people have worked very, very hard for their entire lives!" Tracy's tirades play perfectly against images of Clinton and Obama (and the infamous Obama Girl), as the clip goes beyond satire to hint at the candidates' real emotions, making both of them seem appealingly human behind their practiced facades.

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