New Films: The Myth of Fingerprints (15) Directed by Bart Freundlich

There are too many characters and not enough time in The Myth of Fingerprints (which isn't to say that I wished it were longer; legend has it that you'll find a pot of gold at the feet of a film critic who complains about movies being too short these days).

It takes place over Thanksgiving, which is American cinema's equivalent of hell. The grizzled father (Roy Scheider) and the jaunty mother (Blythe Danner) anticipate the coming congregation of their offspring. Naturally, there is scalding rage and guilt to go with the turkey and stuffing, but the film doesn't probe deep enough - it's all surface. It's some consolation that it has a perfect cast, including Noah Wyle from ER, and Julianne Moore, who continues to confirm that she is the greatest American actress alive today. As the brittle, repressed daughter, her personality has teeth; you enter at your own risk.

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