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Stress is the essence of Michael Douglas. Whether it’s Fatal Attraction or Wall Street or some other gem in his filmography, there comes a point in the drama where things get tough for Douglas’ character. That’s when something really predictable happens: Douglas shrivels up his lips in contempt and anger; there may be a little nostril flare going on as well. The MD game face gets plenty of play in Traffic, the acclaimed 2000 film directed by Steven Soderbergh. Douglas plays an Ohio judge who gets promoted to national drug czar—and the stress points come when Douglas: 1) realizes his daughter is a junky; 2) realizes his wife had known about the situation; and 3) has to track down his druggie daughter in some urban flophouse. Of course, that narrative would be enough to feed its own movie, but Soderbergh tells at least two others.
THE FILM SHOWS at 7 P.M. AT THE AFI SILVER THEATRE AND CULTURAL CENTER, 8633 COLESVILLE ROAD, SILVER SPRING. $6–$10. (301) 495-6720.