Look, Maman, No Hands!

The Crimson Rivers, plus "crazy/beautiful"

Still, you couldn't put a sermon in better hands than those of John Stockwell, who has come up through HBO docudramas, which places him a cut above most other moviemakers of the week. "Crazy/beautiful" has a leisurely local specificity, and Stockwell has a tender way with his actors. The movie's most genuine chemistry is not between Dunst and Hernandez, who are never more than cute together, but between Dunst, a young actress of no small range and courage, and Davison, who does that indefinable, Peter Riegert-like thing of acting from the inside. In the final showdown between Nicole and her father—a quiet, halting exchange stripped of the therapeutic blarney that typically bogs down movies of this kind—we see two people who have spent years not exactly at war, but cruising past each other in wounded silence, turn a corner in their hearts and minds and be straight with each other for once. I was Jell-O.

The Crimson Rivers was directed by Mathieu Kassovitz; written by Jean-Christophe Grangé and Kassovitz, based on the novel by Grangé; produced by Alain Goldman; and stars Jean Reno and Vincent Cassel. Now playing at Edwards South Coast Village, Santa Ana; "crazy/beautiful" was directed by John Stockwell; written by Phil Hay and Matt Manfred; produced by Mary Jane Ufland, Harry J. Ufland and Rachel Pfeffer; and stars Jay Hernandez and Kirsten Dunst. Now playing countywide.

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