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GUARANTEED FRESH as of Thursday October 20, 2016 at 1:33 pm Times and listings are for Friday 10/21 through Thursday 10/27

Before Night Falls

Painter-turned-filmmaker Julian Schnabel tackles his second artistic biopic (after the luminous Basquiat) with this portait of homosexual Cuban novelist Reinaldo Arenas. The film has some fine acting (star Javier Bardem is nominated for an Oscar) and a wonderful sense of time and place, but the script just can't seem to figure out what is so interesting about its subject. We are left with the idea that Arenas was very gay and that revolutionary Cuba was very bad for artists--neither of which seem to rate as startling revelations. The film looks great, and is inventively shot, but remains too artistically observational, never successfully plunging into its subject's head. 133 minutes

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