- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 22, 2005

In the National Gallery of Art’s Toulouse-Lautrec and Montmartre, the artist and his contemporaries celebrate the racy entertainment center of Paris’ Montmartre at the turn of the 20th century. Lautrec, along with contemporaries like Vincent van Gogh, Edgar Degas, Maxime Dethomas and Theophile Alexandre Steinlen, glorifies the high-stepping cancan dancers, prostitutes, pimps and circus entertainers in the exhibit’s 240 works. At the National Gallery, Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue NW. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, through June 12. Free. 202/842-6176.

— Joanna Shaw-Eagle

British director Danny Boyle has a proven track record with the ominous, established with “Trainspotting” and “28 Days Later.” In Millions, he adds a flair for the disarming and inspirational. A fable about faith and charity, “Millions” is cleverly disguised as a caper comedy, pegged to a fanciful deadline that would replace the pound sterling with the euro. Two boys move into a new suburban community outside Manchester with their widowed dad and come into accidental possession of a fortune in soon-to-be-obsolete currency. The younger brother, Damian, sublimely embodied by Alex Etel, is exceptionally devout and conducts heartfelt conversations with his favorite saints, whose advice does little to prevent the windfall from having treacherous consequences. Mr. Boyle demonstrates loads of cinematic skill, all of it amusingly humbled by the boyish sincerity of young Alex.

— Gary Arnold

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