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On Demand movie highlights

THE NOTORIOUS BETTIE PAGE ½

(HBO on Comcast) The life and times of the ’50s pinup queen is given a provocative but curiously muted treatment by the fine director Mary Harron (“I Shot Andy Warhol,” “American Psycho”). Gretchen Mol plays Bettie as a sort of proto-feminist Little Annie Fanny, working out other people’s kinks while remaining somehow cheerfully, uninterestingly pure. With Chris Bauer and Lili Taylor as photographers Irving and Paula Klaw. (R; runs through Feb. 25)

THE SESSIONS ½

(Comcast Movie Collections: Just In) It sounds like a bad joke: A man in an iron lung hires a sex surrogate to help him lose his virginity. But the achievement of this simple, intensely moving drama (based on a true story) is the clarity with which it portrays a good soul in an inert body. John Hawkes and Helen Hunt give rich, unshowy performances as the leads; William H. Macy plays the hero’s priest. (R; runs through June 26)

SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS

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(Comcast Movie Collections: Just In) This movie is many things, chief among them a long-overdue love letter to Christopher Walken and a crudely drawn ransom note from Sam Rockwell. Mostly it represents playwright-turned-filmmaker Martin McDonagh trying mightily to up his game. It’s absurdly entertaining even after it disappears up its own hindquarters in the last act, and it gives some of our weirder actors ample room to play. (R; runs through July 29)

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