By Owen Gleiberman
Updated May 09, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT

Anthology films usually work better in theory than execution, but this feature parade of shorts is a blithe, worldly, and enchanting exception. Paris, Je T’aime is an 18-canto love poem not just to Paris but to the romantic dislocations of urban life. The highlights include Joel and Ethan Coen’s antic subway tale, with Steve Buscemi trapped in a metro station; Walter Salles and Daniela Thomas’ definitive tweak of the class contradictions of nannies and their employers; and, best of all, Alexander Payne’s sublime snapshot of a hilariously stunted middle-American tourist (Margo Martindale) who, on the loneliest of vacations, witnesses the birth of her soul.

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