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Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014

Home Movies/Out on Digital: Jan. 29

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Enough Said

As Eva, Julia Louis-Dreyfus displays her comedic talent, but James Gandolfini is the surprise as Albert, an amiable bear of a man with a sense of humor and a vulnerable heart. The charming if rambling, chatty story captures the uncertain first steps of middle-age romance. Naturally, there is a problem to overcome: Will Eva’s perceptions be poisoned by the realization that the schlub of an ex-husband complained of by her new friend (Catherine Keener) is Albert?

How to Make Money Selling Drugs

The tone is a sardonic rebuke to the piety of the War on Drugs as writer-director Matthew Cooke interviews former dealers and drug agents in a close-up study of one of America’s most profitable industries. As a cash crop, marijuana rivals cotton in dollar value, and the import figures for cocaine would upset the trade balance if reported. The dealers speaking to Cooke often started selling as boys with few realistic prospects for gainful employment.

The Contradictions of Fair Hope

After the Civil War, freed slaves formed mutual aid organizations to care for the sick and bury the dead. One of the last such societies, Alabama’s Fair Hope Benevolent Society, is the subject of a documentary narrated by Whoopi Goldberg. Fair Hope continued despite declining membership and a problem: its annual “celebration” mutated into a festival with prostitution and crack on tap. The society recently reorganized as a 501(c)(3); its legacy is the example of a community pooling its resources together.