Julian Schnabel's biopic The Diving Bell And The Butterfly (Miramax) didn't win any Oscars, but given the film's small budget and small scale, and the fact that it's an American-made, French-language adaptation of an autobiography written via blinking code by a completely paralyzed man, the nominations alone (for best cinematography, editing, directing, and adapted screenplay) are a triumph. It's a claustrophobic, swimmy film, shot largely from the POV of the unmoving author, but it's often heartbreakingly beautiful, as befits a film about simultaneously overcoming physical barriers and learning to philosophically cope with them…

The $180 million production budget for The Golden Compass (New Line) all but guaranteed that even a killer box-office take would be disappointing. Instead, the film was a non-starter, perhaps because of the increasing plethora of similar epic-scale, CGI-heavy kiddie fantasies hitting theaters. It remains to be seen whether DVD can up the relatively paltry ("only" $70 million) domestic take to the point where the other two books in Philip Pullman's fantasy trilogy can make it to film, justifying all The Golden Compass' rushed setup and its cheesy, abrupt "to be continued" ending…

Adding little but another 107 minutes of froth to the glut of wedding-inspired romantic comedies, 27 Dresses (Fox) confirms Katherine Heigl as a confident, charming lead actress after Knocked Up, but it could use a fraction of that film's wit. Gifted comic character actors Melora Hardin and Judy Greer have fun in supporting roles, but they're trapped in a movie that's as drearily predictable as an outbreak of the Electric Slide…

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The recent spate of dancesploitation movies about conflicted young hoofers stepping up to the street, getting served, and stomping the yard tends to bleed together into one big montage-crazy, music-filled blur. The inspirational dance movie/grammarian's nightmare How She Move (Paramount) initially sets itself apart from the pack with a commitment to gritty realism and sociological specificity, but before long, the film's good intentions get lost in a sea of clichés and highly charged dance-offs…

The main problem with the documentary Lagerfeld Confidential (Revolver) is that the title promises more than the movie can deliver. Chanel artistic director Karl Lagerfeld is well-known in the fashion world for his stark-white ponytail, oversized dark glasses, and imperious manner. A man like that makes a point of being inaccessible via ordinary conversation, and director Rodolphe Marconi doesn't make much headway.