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Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her

Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her, of all the movies on this page, is the strongest showcase for actresses. Writer-director Rodrigo Garcia tells five loosely connected stories. Glenn Close is cast as a doctor whose character flaws are detailed by a tarot-card reader (a very fine Calista Flockhart) with a dying lover (Valeria Golino). Amy Brenneman plays a doctor who cares for her blind sister (a dazzling Cameron Diaz), a free spirit with a thriving sex life. Kathy Baker, a children’s-book author, becomes erotically fixated on the dwarf (Danny Woodburn) next door. And Holly Hunter excels as an unmarried, pregnant bank manager, unexpectedly devastated by the prospect of having an abortion. So what happens to a delicate gem like this? MGM, which had Things scheduled to open this summer, sold the film instead to cable’s Showtime — short for straight to video. And you thought film could be an art as well as an industry. Ha!

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