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Nominated for an Oscar, Lucy Walker's Waste Land looks at a Brazilian artist who recruited garbage pickers from the giant Jardim Gramacho landfill in Rio de Janeiro to help create his epic trash collages. The movie made its local debut last year at the Chicago International Film Festival and returns this week for a Music Box run that's the subject of our Critic's Choice.
More new movies reviewed this week: Cedar Rapids, a comedy with Ed Helms and John C. Reilly as wacky insurance agents; The Eagle, a period drama about a Roman soldier and his antagonistic British slave; The Exploding Girl, an indie drama starring Zoe Kazan; Gnomeo & Juliet, a feature-length animation about terra-cotta garden gnomes pursuing a forbidden love; Inspector Bellamy, the last feature by the late, great Claude Chabrol; Loveless, an indie comedy about an aspiring filmmaker who cuts a deal with the devil in order to finance his next project; The Roommate, a thriller about a college freshman sharing her dorm room with a lunatic; and The Woodmans, a documentary about the brilliant but suicidal photographer Francesa Woodman.
Best repertory this week: Michael Curtiz's Casablanca (1942) screens Sunday afternoon at Music Box as part of a Valentine's Day program, with a sweethearts sing-along proceeding the show; the Harold Lloyd classic Girl Shy (1924), Saturday night and Sunday afternoon at Doc Films; Robert Rossen's The Hustler (1961), with Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason, tonight at Block Museum; the "complete" version of Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1927), Monday at Loyola University with an introduction by film professor Ted Hardin; Ernst Lubitsch's Ninotchka (1939), starring Greta Garbo, Wednesday afternoon and evening at Northbrook Public Library; Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious (1946), with Cary Grant, Saturday and Sunday morning at Music Box; George Stevens's A Place in the Sun (1951), with Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift, Tuesday night at Doc; Clint Eastwood's directing debut, Play Misty for Me (1971), tonight and Tuesday at Gene Siskel Film Center; and, last but not least, Douglas Sirk's layered melodrama Written on the Wind (1957), which kicks off the spring schedule of the newly minted Northwest Chicago Film Society, Wednesday night at the Portage.