April 25, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT


Certain small-minded politicos may stick their noses up at the French, but we here at EW sure do like their movies. And there are a bunch of ’em. Director Patrice Leconte brings together a retired schoolteacher and an aged criminal to consider what might have been in Man on the Train….Amelie star Audrey Tautou pretties up the cast of L’Auberge Espagnole, in which a discontented Parisian studies abroad in Barcelona….Remembrance of Things to Come, about the work of French photographer Denise Bellon, focuses on such themes as surrealism, WWII, and cats, while Colette, made by Bellon’s daughter — noted documentarian Yannick Bellon — features conversations between famed director Jean Cocteau and the legendary novelist in her Palais Royal apartment…. A spiffed-up print and new subtitles infuse fresh life into the Jean-Luc Godard classic A Woman Is a Woman…. Cannes starlets be damned — the French Riviera itself is the star of the dreamy Du Cote de la Cote….

Elsewhere on the Continent: In a small provincial village in Sicily, a husband tries to have his misunderstood wife put away in Respiro…. Over in the U.K., a Scottish lad resorts to petty schemes to raise money for himself and his ex-con mother in Ken Loach’s Sweet Sixteen…. Romola Garai (this fall’s Havana Nights: Dirty Dancing 2) finds love after her family moves into a rundown English citadel in I Capture the Castle, based on the beloved Dodie Smith novel….

Halfway across the pond, the future of the family fishery may be washed away when The Sea‘s Icelandic patriarch realizes his kids aren’t interested in inheriting the business….

And in the rest of the world, Tycoon, billed as ”Russia’s answer to The Godfather,” follows the real-life story of four university friends who engage in a shady but profitable trade…. Family ties turn bloody when a Brazilian widow enlists her three daughters to avenge her husband’s and sons’ deaths in The Three Marias…. A Time for Drunken Horses director Bahman Ghobadi looks at the plight of the Kurds as a musician sets out to find his missing ex-wife in Marooned in Iraq…. A young doctor is forced to choose between fulfilling his father’s wishes and following his heart in Bollywood’s Armaan…. Royal Winnipeg Ballet dancers and a Gustav Mahler score bring artistic life to the undead in Dracula: Pages From a Virgin’s Diary…. Manhattanites find a new meaning for ”hook up” when a lovelorn chump creates an erotic website On_Line…. Dan Hedaya plays a has-been producer with a penchant for prostitutes in the Hollywood satire New Suit…. It’s A Family Affair when a newly single New Yorker (writer-director Helen Lesnick), in a quest to find ”Ms. Rightowitz,” allows herself to be set up by her overbearing mother….

Finally, in a galaxy far, far away, who will save Ash and Pikachu when their mission to a lovely but mysterious water city is threatened by a flood? Pokemon Heroes, of course!

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