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Here and There

Is the grass greener in New York City ... or Belgrade?

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It's a gentle cultural switcheroo in writer-director Darko Lungulov's low-key dramedy. A broke, jaded middle-aged New Yorker named Robert (David Thornton) makes a deal with Branko (Branislav Trifunovic), a young Serbian immigrant. Robert will go to Belgrade, marry Branko's girlfriend and bring her back to New York City, for a cash payout. But things don't go quite as planned for either man. Robert moves in with Branko's mother (Mirjana Karanovic), and finds the still-bruised Serbian capital to be somewhat energizing. Meanwhile, Branko discovers that helpful New Yorkers are anything but. Lungulov's film strikes common themes -- disgruntled and lonely people are everywhere, but still they strive to make connections; a change of scenery is illuminating; and the vagaries of defining a "good life." It's meditatively paced, a little wistful and bittersweet, with just a touch of deadpan quirky. It's a fine alternative for a quieter, more adult night out, rather than the usual fare of clattering, in-your-face summer films. In English, and Serbian, with subtitles. Starts Fri., June 11. Oaks

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