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From Friday's Globe and Mail

THE GALAS

CLOSING THE RING

Richard Attenborough (U.K./Canada)

**

After the death of her father, a young woman (Neve Campbell) resents the failure of her mother (Shirley MacLaine) to grieve. Meanwhile, in Northern Ireland, a young man finds a piece of a broken American fighter plane. What could it all mean? Many flashbacks and revelations later, Richard Attenborough's cross-continental story evolves into a memory flick in the style of The Notebook. The senior cast members, MacLaine and Plummer, are lively but the flashback sequences generally feel anemic and the ending just silly. Liam Lacey

6:30 p.m., Roy Thomson Hall

Caramel

Nadine Labaki (France/Lebanon)

***

A culturally timely Lebanese version of Steel Magnolias, this debut feature from actress/writer/director Nadine Labaki is a feisty declaration of Arab women's independence. Already a hit in France, the feminist-lite comedy follows women of different ages and religious backgrounds who gather in the golden glow of a Beirut beauty salon. (The title refers to the favoured hair-remover which both tastes good and depilates.) Each woman has her burden to bear. L.L.

9:30 p.m., Roy Thomson Hall

CANADIAN HIGHLIGHT

The Stone Angel

Kari Skogland (Canada)

**½

The indomitable Hagar Shipley, heroine of Margaret Laurence's canonical Canadian novel, can survive most things, including this somewhat sexed-up but otherwise straightforward adaptation to the big screen. The script sticks to the novel's double timeline, the first centring on the feisty 90-year-old Hagar (Ellen Burstyn), and the second following her memories of her strong-willed youth. The time period is shifted forward to the present, and the unexpectedly beautiful and red-haired Hagar (Christine Horne) is given a more lively erotic life, at least until her ego starts taking its toll on the men in her world. L.L.

4:45 p.m., Isabel Bader

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