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On Demand movie highlights

THE HELP ½

(Showtime on Comcast) Cognitive dissonance. It’s possible both to like this movie — to let it crack you up and make you cry — and to wonder why we need a broad dramatic comedy about black maids in 1962 Jackson, Miss., and the white housewives they work for. The movie is too pious for farce and too eager to please to comment persuasively on the racial horrors of the Deep South at the time. (PG-13; runs through Nov. 13)

SARABAND ½

(Starz on Comcast) Ingmar Bergman revisits the couple from 1973’s “Scenes From a Marriage” and finds them to be older and not much wiser. Made for Swedish TV, it’s modest in production quality but searing in its survey of the emotional damage we pass down the generations. Starring Liv Ullmann, Erland Josephson, and Julia Dufvenius. In Swedish, with subtitles. (R; runs through Dec. 31)

MIDNIGHT IN PARIS

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(Encore on Comcast) Woody Allen’s 41st feature film is a sweet-natured trifle, as flavorful and as thin as a crepe. Owen Wilson plays an American in Paris who’s magically transported back to the movable feast of Stein, Picasso, and Hemingway. Fun, but it wallows in the nostalgia it pretends to puncture. With Rachel McAdams, cruelly misused. (PG-13; runs through Jan 31)

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