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CRITIC'S PICK

'Amreeka'

September 10, 2009|Kenneth Turan

There are a lot of reasons to see this excellent film, the emotional story, warm, funny and to the point, of a divorced Palestinian woman and her son who emigrate to the U.S. just after the invasion of Iraq. But one of the least obvious is also one of the best, and that is its connection to the work of one of writer-director Cherien Dabis' favorite filmmakers, Mike Leigh. "He has such a sense of naturalism, you could get lost in his films, they are so real," Dabis says. "His combination of humor and drama reflects reality, it's something I really gravitate to." If her first feature is any indication, it's something she has achieved.

-- Kenneth Turan

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