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In Stephen Frears’s mood-mingling, oddly effective Philomena, British comedian Steve Coogan is Martin Sixsmith, a former BBC foreign correspondent and a recently sacked press aide in Tony Blair’s government. Depressed, at loose ends, with no friendly offers of real assistance, he speaks unconvincingly of writing a book of Russian history and begins jogging because his doctor says it can alleviate the blues. (Writing Russian history certainly won’t.)

The Color of the Chameleon

The Eastern European sense of humor—dry, mordant, bleak, and absurdist—is not for all tastes, but it’s an undeniable change of pace, and The Color of the Chameleon, from Bulgaria, is comparable to just about nothing you’ve seen on a movie screen in recent memory.

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