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In Brief: "Rosetta" and "The Bone Collector"

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Emilie Dequenne, who plays the lead in the Belgian movie Rosetta, has a remarkable face for the camera: fine-cut yet feral. The character she plays lives in a trailer park with her alcoholic mother and wants only to get a job, however menial. In a way, the 17-year-old Rosetta is a model citizen, and yet her obsession with work -- which is really an obsession with normality -- has emptied her out. She's a furious cipher, and the closer the camera gets to her, the more unreachable she seems. The film, directed by the Dardenne brothers, Luc and Jean-Pierre, won last year's Palme D'Or at Cannes, and it extends the documentary-style techniques of their previous collaboration, La Promesse. It's not as good as that film, maybe because so much in-your-face unreachableness tends to wear one down, but it contains some startling passages. In The Bone Collector, Denzel Washington plays a retired NYPD criminologist, paralyzed in the line of duty except for the use of one finger, who teams up with a patrol cop, played by Angelina Jolie, to snare a serial killer. Jolie spends most of her time in a state of deep scowl, and Washington, bed-ridden, scanning his computers and barking orders, is mostly in deep yowl. They're a pair you can take a pass on.


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