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Marjorie Baumgarten

Contributing Writer, Film

TWITTER: @moviemarge

Marjorie Baumgarten is a film critic and contributing writer at The Austin Chronicle, where she has worked in many capacities since the paper's founding in 1981. She served as the Chronicle's Film Reviews editor for 25 years.

106 articles in 1996   •   page 1 of 3


Travolta plays an unkempt, beer-swilling, Beatles-quoting angel who – yes – also dances.

Film Review, Dec. 27, 1996

Fargo, You Betcha

Society of Texas Film Critics Announce Awards

Screens Feature, Dec. 27, 1996


An earnest visionary devoted to improving dire conditions back home must play games of wit with the court of Versailles in order to win backing for his drainage project.

Film Review, Dec. 25, 1996


What is it about our mad artists that makes us love them so? Shine now adds the story of Australian pianist David Helfgott to our...

Film Review, Dec. 25, 1996

The Crucible

Here's a conundrum: how to film a drama about mass hysteria without the end product becoming shrill and hysterical? It's a problem that's not fully...

Film Review, Dec. 20, 1996

Jerry Maguire

Jerry Maguire opens with the kind of event that a more traditional movie would generally save for its concluding moments. This disruption should be our...

Film Review, Dec. 13, 1996

Mother Night

Bing Crosby croons “White Christmas” while the camera scans the image of the blue-and-white Israeli flag: That's the viewer's initiation into the world of Mother...

Film Review, Dec. 6, 1996


Before the rigors of “rehab” acquired an American cachet and a therapeutic gold standard associated with privilege and the name Betty Ford, the revolutionary Chinese...

Film Review, Dec. 6, 1996

Ring in the HollyDaze

Holiday Movie Previews

Screens Feature, Nov. 29, 1996

Hustler White

It starts off with the image of a body floating face-down in a Jacuzzi while a voiceover begins the explanation of how the story's hero...

Film Review, Nov. 15, 1996


One of the thrill master's most psychologically dense and twisted films in which obsession, commitment, and dual identities merge to create a voluptuous tale of thwarted love.

Film Review, Nov. 14, 1996

Space Jam

Dexterously mixing live action and animation, Space Jam tosses NBA champ Michael Jordan onto the 2-D court with the entire Looney Tunes gang and the opposing Monstar team of cartoon characters from another planet.

Film Review, Nov. 14, 1996

Set it Off

This action-heist drama about four young African-American women from L.A.'s housing projects is as much a story about friendship as a story about crime.

Film Review, Nov. 8, 1996

High School High

In this new comedy from the producing team of David Zucker, Robert LoCash, and Gil Netter, who are best known for their Naked Gun sequels,...

Film Review, Nov. 8, 1996


Caught is a touching little movie whose gifts are best revealed by the experience of watching it than hearing about it. Directed by the legendary...

Film Review, Nov. 8, 1996

Invasion of the Lit Flix

Literary Classics Rush the Screen

Screens Feature, Nov. 8, 1996

Carmen Miranda: Bananas Is My Business

We all know the screen image of Carmen Miranda: the fiery Brazilian bombshell in the fruit- and banana-bedecked hat, the samba songstress and mistress of...

Film Review, Nov. 1, 1996

The Leopard Son

The Leopard Son initially gives the appearance of being some half-breed offspring of The Lion King. Rather than a Disney cartoon, the film is a...

Film Review, Nov. 1, 1996

Looking for Richard

Al Pacino is looking to better understand William Shakespeare's Richard III. And he's looking everywhere. Throughout the course of Looking for Richard (which was shot...

Film Review, Nov. 1, 1996

William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet

This Shakespeare rendition is not so much a reconceptualization as a recontextualization of the 400-year-old play. This Romeo + Juliet is a rich visual feast, besotted with the fervor of its acrobatic camerawork and kinetic staging and its mind-bending aggregation of unrelated but resonant fragments of 20th century iconography. It is a Shakespearean work thoroughly conceived for the screen. DiCaprio and Danes again prove that they are two of the best actors of their generation. And William Shakespeare has once more demonstrated that he is a storyteller for all time.

Film Review, Oct. 31, 1996

City on Fire

Not since Michael Moore was caught playing fast and loose with the timeline of Roger & Me has critical attention been so sharply attentive, as...

Film Review, Oct. 25, 1996

Trees Lounge

Buscemi wrote, directed, and stars in this penetrating movie about a hopeless alcoholic who nevertheless hopes for something more out of life. The attentions of a lusty 17-year-old (Sevigny) is the last thing this guy needs.

Film Review, Oct. 25, 1996

Small Faces

Far too frequently, the space between adolescence and manhood is occupied by gang membership. Whether it's the Sharks and the Jets, the Mods and the...

Film Review, Oct. 25, 1996

Secrets & Lies

The international reputation of British director Mike Leigh has grown phenomenally in recent years with the popularity of 1988's High Hopes and 1990's Life Is...

Film Review, Oct. 18, 1996

Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story

This biopic provides an introduction to the work of Dorothy Day, activist for the disenfranchised and founder of the newspaper called The Catholic Worker.

Film Review, Oct. 18, 1996

Get on the Bus

Spike Lee's one-year anniversary commemoration of the Million Man March is a smart, funny, passionate, and open-ended tribute to the spirit of the unprecedented gathering...

Film Review, Oct. 18, 1996

Paradise Lost: The Child Murders of Robin Hood Hills

On May 5, 1993, the horribly mutilated and abused dead bodies of three eight-year-old boys -- Steven Branch, Christopher Byers, and Michael Moore -- were...

Film Review, Oct. 18, 1996

AHFF Wrap-Up

Every Picture Tells a Story

Screens Feature, Oct. 18, 1996

The Long Kiss Goodnight

Davis plays a suburban mom, amnesiac, and trained-to-kill bottle blonde.

Film Review, Oct. 11, 1996


Essentially a one-joke movie, Curdled began life as a 30-minute student film by Reb Braddock and John Maass, and though I haven't seen the original...

Film Review, Oct. 11, 1996


One cooks, the other doesn't. 301 and 302 are the numbers of neighboring apartments in this South Korean mystery/comedy. The woman in 301 (Bang) is...

Film Review, Oct. 11, 1996

Grace of My Heart

Edna Buxton (Douglas) is an heiress from Philadelphia who, at the beginning of Grace of My Heart, wins a singing contest that launches her transformative...

Film Review, Oct. 4, 1996


The impressive co-directing debut of the Wachowski Brothers has visual style to burn – not to mention a hot story about two women who fall in love and plot to pilfer a couple million from mobsters.

Film Review, Oct. 3, 1996


There is no better way to while away a Sunday afternoon than with this sprawling saga about the growth of Texas and the families that...

Film Review, Oct. 3, 1996

Extreme Measures

The prognosis on this medical thriller is not good. Hugh Grant plays a bright young doctor destined for the highest echelons of New York medical...

Film Review, Sep. 27, 1996

Ed's Next Move

John Walsh makes an auspicious feature filmmaking debut as the writer and director of the whimsical yet sharply focused romantic comedy Ed's Next Move. Though...

Film Review, Sep. 27, 1996

Two Days in the Valley

A fine ensemble cast compensates for the narrative paucity of 2 Days in the Valley -- the current winner of the “hit man crime/comedy of...

Film Review, Sep. 27, 1996


Although James Mangold's Heavy was made in 1994, well before Bernardo Bertolucci's recent Stealing Beauty, it's remarkable how both directors have used ingenue Liv Tyler...

Film Review, Sep. 27, 1996

Synthetic Pleasures

Artificial intelligence. Virtual reality. Smart drinks. Molecular nanotechnology. Cybersex. Welcome to Synthetic Pleasures, the movie that wants to be our tour guide to the future....

Film Review, Sep. 27, 1996

Manny & Lo

Families, as we all know, are not always planned. Sometimes they're forged from the darnedest circumstances, neither random or plotted, and definitely not genetic. For...

Film Review, Sep. 20, 1996

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