New movie releases this week include Katherine Heigl’s return to the big screen, plus The Promise, Truman, and more
Matthew Lickona 6 p.m., April 21
François Truffaut's entry in the parade of sorrowful and pitiful movies about France under the Occupation is really more of a companion piece to his Day for Night, except that whereas the latter proposed a toast to movie people, this one is addressed to theater people, and only incidentally to French people, Jewish people, Resistance people, anti-Nazi people, anti-anti-Semitic people. And whereas Day for Night tended to be a teensy-weensy bit giddy, this one is rather more sober, and no small thanks for that to the steady-handed and sedate photography of Nestor Almendros. Plenty of opportunities present themselves for Truffaut to solicit applause for his intrepid characters, or to solicit milder responses on the order of mere choking up. And it is something of a blessing that Truffaut, perhaps too choked up himself, or perhaps presuming that everybody else chokes up as easily as he, doesn't put the squeeze on, doesn't take unfair advantage of your predisposition to be choked. He remains tactful, gentle, reserved. With Catherine Deneuve, Gerard Depardieu, Heinz Bennent. 1980.