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29

THURSDAY

Like her best-known film, Set Me Free, Canadian director Léa Pool’s The Blue Butterfly is based on a youngster’s true story. But though her previous movie had the intensity of teenage autobiography, the new one feels more generic. That’s not because of the story, which is pretty distinctive: Ten-year-old Pete, who has a brain tumor that’s expected to prove fatal, convinces a crusty entomologist to take him (and his mom) into the rain forest in search of the rare Blue Morpho. Shot mostly in Costa Rica, the movie treats the forest and its inhabitants—monkeys, birds, reptiles, and beaucoup insects—as more enchanted than ominous, although it does include the requisite adventure-flick climax. The cast (including William Hurt as the ’fly expert) does its best with scripter Pete McCormack’s banal dialogue, but the results can only be recommended to nature buffs and kids Pete’s age or younger. Screening daily (see Showtimes for a weekly schedule) at the Avalon Theater, 5612 Connecticut Ave. NW. $6.75–$9.50. (202) 966-6000. (Mark Jenkins)