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Critics' Picks

Noteworthy films, with mini-reviews by Times critics.

July 01, 1990|Michael Wilmington

Barfly (KTLA Monday at 8 p.m., also WGN Friday at 5 p.m.): This dark, wry, toughly tender (and often funny) 1987 movie, written by poet/novelist Charles Bukowski and directed by Barbet Schroeder, pulls us into a dry-tongued, bleary-eyed world of all-day tavern habitues, eccentrics and derelicts. At its center is Bukowski's longtime fictional alter ego, Henry Chinaski, played by Mickey Rourke with lots of sodden sparkle and the canter of a guy clowning along a cliff edge. At the intense, passionate, beating heart of the film is Faye Dunaway's wounded but still sexy Wanda.

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