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Originally published Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 3:01 PM

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Movie review

Cinema's love affair with the Big Apple continues in 'New York, I Love You'

A review of 'New York, I Love You' by Seattle Times movie critic Moira Macdonald, who says it's an uneven but worthy collection of short films set all over the city, directed by a roster of 11 international directors.

Seattle Times movie critic

Movie review 3 stars

'New York, I Love You,' with various actors, directed by Jiang Wen, Mira Nair, Shunji Iwai, Yvan Attal, Brett Ratner, Allen Hughes, Shekhar Khapur, Natalie Portman, Fatih Akin, Joshua Marston and Randy Balsmeyer. 103 minutes. Rated R for language and sexual content. Several theaters; see Page 17.

In a quiet and once-elegant hotel, a rueful visitor (Julie Christie) ponders the heady stew that is New York City. "One of the things I love best about New York," she says, "is that everybody came from somewhere else."

That nicely sums up the impetus behind "New York, I Love You," an intertwining collection of short films set all over the Big Apple and directed by a roster of 11 international directors. It's the second in an ongoing series of compilation films set in beloved world cities, beginning in 2007 with "Paris, Je T'Aime" and continuing with Rio and Shanghai next year.

As with any such project, some of the films are better than others, but most of the entries in "New York, I Love You" are very good indeed. The Christie segment, directed by Shekhar Kapur, is a haunting tale of a woman looking back, captured in a beautifully dusty white light in which Christie's matchless blue eyes glow. (It was written by the late Anthony Minghella, to whom the entire project is dedicated.)

Brett Ratner directs a charming tale of a teenager (Anton Yelchin) whose life is changed by an unexpected prom date (Olivia Thirlby) and a night in Central Park. Cloris Leachman and Eli Wallach create a pleasantly bickering couple celebrating their anniversary in Brighton Beach, in a warmly affectionate segment directed by Joshua Marston ("Maria Full of Grace").

All of the stories blend into each other smoothly in these tales, filled with taxicabs, cellphones, cigarettes, fast talkers and wet streets that sparkle at night like jewels. "New York, I Love You" is a worthy and enjoyable contribution to the ongoing love affair between New York and the movies.

Moira Macdonald:

206-464-2725 or mmacdonald@seattletimes.com

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