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Nina Hoss’s wanly pretty countenance in Christian Petzold’s German movie Barbara usually ranges narrowly from strained to severe to stolid endurance, particularly in the picture’s first half. Hoss, playing the title character, is very persuasive in her portrait of suspicious wariness. Dr. Barbara Wolff has good reason for her demeanor.


It may be, as Benjamin Franklin once said, that in this world nothing is certain except death and taxes. But most of us spend a lot more time thinking about taxes. We have to deal with that subject once a year, whereas death is only going to come our way once, so why worry about it? Better to take the attitude of Groucho Marx: “I intend to live forever, or die trying.”

Identity Thief

Sitting down to watch a movie like Identity Thief is like driving to Toronto: There’s only one way to get where you’re going, it will take about 100 minutes, and there won’t be any surprises on the way.

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