Though the writers' strike shortened The Office: Season Four (Universal) to 14 episodes, five of them were hourlong specials, and with the exception of one or two mediocre half-hours, the show found a comfortable groove between the cringe-inducing and the wacky. The Jim and Pam romance deftly skirted any Moonlighting self-sabotage, and the strongest episodes are among the best in the show's history, including a hilarious weekend at Schrute Farms and a dinner party with Michael and Jan that's as close as network television will ever come to staging Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?…

Pierce Brosnan's transformation from suave straight-to-video Bond to sly, self-effacing leading man has been a wonder to behold, and his performance as a duplicitous bachelor in Ira Sachs' period melodrama Married Life (Sony) elevates an otherwise by-the-numbers tale of marital discord and betrayal in post-World War II America. If everyone could smoke a cigarette that expressively, then the tobacco industry would be due for a revival…

Watching Then She Found Me (ThinkFilm), Helen Hunt's dreary adaptation of Elinor Lipman's novel, is like drinking weak tea on a rainy fall afternoon. Bette Midler enlivens the proceedings as a local celebrity who gave up co-writer/director/star Hunt as an infant, then crashes back into her life decades later, and Colin Firth has some nice moments as a sweet-natured divorcée, but the film is otherwise a sour little nothing…

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The Promotion (Weinstein) was kicked around by critics and ignored by audiences during its theatrical run, but it deserves much better. The directorial debut of The Weather Man/The Pursuit Of Happyness screenwriter Steve Conrad is a sweet, funny little sleeper about the competition between two Chicagoland grocery-store employees, distinguished by John C. Reilly's poignant, utterly winning performance as an ex-addict who tangles with underachieving Seann William Scott over a management position at a new outlet…

A less-than-rosy picture of what it's like to be gay and 60 in Paris, Jacques Nolot's Before I Forget (Strand) stars Nolot as a retired, HIV-infected lothario who spends his days commiserating with old friends about the price of prostitutes and how the world they knew is collapsing, and his nights worrying about his legacy. Nearly everyone in the film is bitter and loveless, governed by desires and self-absorption. But its honesty is bracing.

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