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Young at Heart

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Steven Soderbergh’s high-def, down-market Bubble (also available on DVD) is worth seeing, even if you’re as ambivalent about it as I am. Its strength is in the way the drama creeps up on you. At first you look at the three blue-collar characters—the overweight, glowering Martha (Debbie Doebereiner), the diffident cutie Kyle (Dustin James Ashley), and the flirty little number Rose (Misty Dawn Wilkins)—and see glum, inexpressive people in stultifying jobs in a culture that sucks the oxygen out of their brains. Very gradually, it hits you that they’re all nuts. This could either be taken as a sympathetic look at the casualties of capitalism or the condescension of a Hollywood film director for the little people. I think it’s maybe both, but haven’t decided whether the proportions are 50-50 or 60-40 or 20-80.

Neil Young: Heart of Gold
Directed by Jonathan Demme. Paramount Classics. PG.

Firewall
Directed by Richard Loncraine. Warner Bros. PG-13.

Bubble
Directed by Steven Soderbergh. Magnolia Pictures. R.

E-mail: filmcritic@newyorkmag.com


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