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Fugitive Pieces

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A touching, solemn movie that earns its every genuinely weepy moment, Fugitive Pieces is adapted from the Anne Michaels novel of the same name: the story of Jakob, rescued as a child from the Nazis in wartime Poland by Athos, a Greek archaeologist. Jakob grows up in Toronto, becomes a writer and teacher, but can't let go of thoughts of his family, especially his sister, who he left behind. His inability to exorcise his past wreaks havoc on his marriage to Alex, who embarrasses him with her "shameless vitality." Told in repeated flashbacks to hypnotic effect, director Jeremy Podeswa (The Five Senses, lots of work for HBO) teases spontaneous performances from his sterling cast, especially Stephen Dillane as the adult Jakob and Rosamund Pike as Alex. Though the ending differs from the novel, suggesting a more hopeful future for Jakob, Podeswa makes it work. Probably the best Canadian-made character drama since Away From Her. (CK)

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