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New on DVD

The Letter; The Beaver; Uncle Boonmee Who Can

The Letter(Warner, $20)This 1929 drama represents a “crucial piece of film history,” said The New York Times. A 1940 remake with Bette Davis has overshadowed it, but the original was one of the first talkies to win critics’ interest, mainly because of Jeanne Eagels, its “brilliant, eccentric” star.

The Beaver(Summit, $27) Say what you will about this uneven, Jodie Foster–directed film, said the Chicago Tribune. The story of a suicidal businessman who speaks through a puppet in order to check his rage, it “can’t be dismissed”: If nothing else, it “reasserts the feverish, defiant talent of actor Mel Gibson.”

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives(Strand, $28)This Cannes award-winner is a “boldly original” meditation on the afterlife, said the San Francisco Chronicle. While on his deathbed, a Thai farmer is visited by family members both living and dead, producing images that will “linger for a lifetime.”

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