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HAIL MARY -- This is actually two films. First there's a short by Anne-Marie Mi'eville called ``The Book of Mary,'' about a lively young girl whose parents are breaking up. Then comes the full-length ``Virgin Mary,'' by Jean-Luc Godard, about a woman who finds herself pregnant although she has not had sexual relations. The parallel between her and Jesus' mother is clear, but that can be said for little else in the film, which seems to function more as a murky feminist fable than as a meditat ion on religious themes. Godard moves from the oblique to the obscure, vainly hoping that his passion for film will somehow dispel the clouds from his quasi-philosophical notions. (Not rated)

MARIE -- Drama based on the real-life experience of a young woman who helped blow the whistle on corruption involving the Tennessee parole board. Sissy Spacek is solid as the heroine, showing her as vulnerable but never weak or wishy-washy; and the screenplay does a good job of balancing the domestic and professional sides of her life, both of which are uncommonly challenging. Directed by Roger Donaldson, who once again shows a probing interest in emotional turbulence, although he lets the s tory peter out in a too-long courtroom episode that seems trivial next to the big issues at the heart of the movie. (Rated PG-13)

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WHEN FATHER WAS AWAY ON BUSINESS -- A little boy narrates this earthy comedy-drama about life in Yugoslavia during the early 1950s, when even an ordinary middle-class family could be affected by the friction between Tito's government and the Soviet Union at the height of its Stalinist paranoia. Yugoslav filmmaker Emir Kusturica directed in an amiable but generally conventional style. (Rated R) RATINGS: Films with ratings other than G may contain varying degrees of vulgar language, nudity, sex, and violence.

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