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r rated, four moon iconMiramax (DVD), ASIN B00005K3OR
What imagination lurks in the rascally residents of the British countryside! For Hamlet, theater provides the perfect means to "catch the conscience of the king" (II. 603). For Paddy Breathnach, director of Blow Dry, the annual British Hair Dressing Championship can serve the same delicate purpose. The road to glory also requires the resolution of Love's Labors Lost -- and found. While snobs might insist this film presents a modern version of Much Ado About Nothing, its characters firmly believe they reside in the realm of Romeo and Juliet, right along with Antony and Cleopatra.

DVD: blow dryPower-brokering brings the ego low when death knocks at the door. This movie stars Natasha Richardson as a queen of scissors who discovers her bout with cancer will not surrender to science. Her estranged husband (Alan Rickman) proves her counterpart in rural shrewdness and downright genius. Their son (Josh Hartnett) epitomizes youthful angst born of the severance of familial stability, which lies 10 years in the past. The pal of both husband and wife (Rachel Griffiths) shrouds her own considerable talents in guilt and anxiety. In this movie, destiny depends totally on the emergence of good will no less than festering fantasy.

According to Breathnach, the British Hair Dressing Championship shakes out the true royals from the pretenders. London sends its own claimant to the dazzlingest dos and chicanery. Attempts at rigging the contest cloud the romantic dreams of an Urban Princess and her favorite Prince Charming. Before the sun sets on tragedy, will right win out over wrong? Will one family merge to clasp arms in joy -- just once -- before they bid adieu forever to their favorite member?

In order to learn the limits of truth or dare, see this tribute to inspiration as a phenomenon residing in everyone's back yard. Released in DVD by Miramax in 2001, this film intermingles the facts of life with last-minute discoveries. Adorned for her day at court, the surest heroine of the Shakespearian play within the play (Rosemary Harris) could hold her own as either an ancient seeress or an 18th century courtesan. Announcing all victories, the down-at-the-mouth Lord Mayor of Keighley (Warren Clarke) gradually blooms into an American Country Western mogul. A sense of triumph, literally at the tips of fingers cutting and weaving, may animate the Fates in a manner never seen before -- even in A Tale of Two Cities.

Blow Dry leads its audience, phase by phase, through the four rounds of a virtual Olympics for practitioners of both fine and practical arts. Take a seat, feel the thrills as favorites go toe-to-toe with the lords of the realm. What looms as more fantastic -- the ultimate dream or the capacity to let love trickle into the heart? This film demonstrates that now is the time to learn "to love that well which thou must leave ere long" (Sonnet LXXIII. 14). The plot even includes rising bodies and technicolor sheep. The process transforms a little burg into a watering hole where Sting, Prince, and Madonna might actually vogue together. Viewers will never see their barbers in the same way again after this visit to the Kingdom of Keighley!

Meg Curtis

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