A bridge through time Joanne Woodward was nominated for an Academy Award for her work in ''Mr. and Mrs. Bridge,'' and the honor was well deserved. Ms. Woodward stars with her husband, Paul Newman, as a Kansas City couple who make it through the Depression era '30s into the '40s. Many of us like to think that life was simpler back then, and maybe it was. But that doesn't mean Mr. and Mrs. Bridge were spared the familiar agonies. The film, sensitive and moving, is showing at the Rotunda and Westview cinemas. Rating: PG. *** Artist Richard Cleaver constructs elaborate reliquaries which contain shreds of the standard definition of family and other precious beliefs. An exhibition of eight sculptures, many decorated with crosses, faux jewels and various symbols of reverence, is at Knight-Gomez Gallery, 836 Leadenhall St. The gold-spattered pieces form a haunting path of personal and cultural obsession; the exhibit feels almost as if it were an abbreviated Stations of the Cross. Also, a tantalizing series of mixed media collages by Nancy Scheinman. Through April 20. Gallery hours: Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 752-2080.
Women in sports
As the NCAA men's basketball tournament narrows to two teams (Final Four action begins at 5:30 p.m. today on CBS/Channel 11), it is worth noting that female athletes are getting some national attention, too. The NCAA Women's basketball tournament precedes the men's action with Final Four games beginning at 12:30 p.m. today (Channel 11), and the championship game is at 4 p.m. tomorrow. And the prestigious Dinah Shore Invitational golf tournament from Mission Hills in California also airs live on ABC (Channel 13) at 4:30 p.m. today and 4 p.m. tomorrow. The Ninth Street Theater of New York City is staging its American puppet epic, "Home Family God Country Flag," at the Theatre Project. This amazing production depicts in puppetry and narrative form three generations of immigrants who come to America seeking new opportunity. The charming memory work is a visual feast of shadow puppet techniques mixed with amusing and poignant live performance. A life-size ventriloquist's dummy becomes a loveable grandmother happily reliving her past. 8 p.m. 45 W. Preston St. Tickets: $16/$8. 752-8558.
Older woman, younger man
You wouldn't necessarily want the kids to see it, but ''White Palace'' is an entertaining re-telling of an old tale in which a young man falls in love with an older woman from a totally different background. It's occasionally steamy, and has been called "the first sex movie with a happy ending since "Bull Durham." The fact that the principals are played by Susan Sarandon and James Spader doesn't hurt a bit. Oscar-winner Kathy Bates ("Misery") and Eileen Brennan also star. Sex, nudity. Rating: R. **