starring Brooke Adams, Lynne Adams, Eva Amurri, Gary Sinise
screenplay by Lynne Adams
directed by Tony Shalhoub
starring Paul Bettany, Tom Hardy, Willem Dafoe, Gina McKee
screenplay by Mark Mills, based on the novel by Barry Unsworth
directed by Paul McGuigan
by Walter Chaw The problem with Tony Shalhoub's directorial debut Made-Up is a certain forced artificiality in presentation and execution that, though in keeping with the mock-documentary-within-a-mock-documentary format, makes the consideration of it emotionally and aesthetically removed. It's a slippery criticism to level at a picture that seems to be about emotional and aesthetic remove, of course, but there comes a point when the form imitates the message to an obfuscating degree--in other words, when it's no longer about the distance, but is the distance. So for all the empty extra-textual readings the film culls for its subtext (Brooke Adams, an actress out of the scene for a decade or so, plays an actress out of the scene for at least a decade; sisters play sisters; the daughter is played by the daughter of Susan Sarandon; and so on), Made-Up is salvaged by a sense of decency, and one meta-read that carries some weight as Shalhoub, an Arab-American of Lebanese descent, directs a film about the ills of stereotyping based on appearance.