THE WELL-DIGGER'S DAUGHTER
★★★★ OUT OF FOUR STARS
This French romance is classical moviemaking of a sort rarely seen now, a love story of surprising joy with flawed but humane characters. At the start of World War I, village beauty Patricia reaches the age where her gruff, warm papa hopes to marry her off. His good-hearted assistant courts her, but her heart belongs to a wellborn pilot. War comes and the standard crises arrive on cue, but the film embraces their corny predictability and sweeps us along happily. (Unrated. In subtitled French.)COLIN COVERT
SEARCHING FOR SUGARMAN
★★★ out of four stars
Sometimes lack of familiarity with the subject of a documentary can hamper your enjoyment. In "Searching for Sugar Man," it's helpful. The film's focus is Sixto Rodriguez, a 1970s Detroit balladeer who never found fame in his own country. Through a quirk of fate his two LPs became massive hits in apartheid South Africa, sparking government bans on his recordings and inspiring urban legends. Decoding the personality and fate of this vanished underground hero gives the film the shape of a detective mystery. It's an electrifying illustration of music's power to inspire and change lives. (Rating: PG-13.) C.C.