Miss Firecracker (PG) (Thomas Schlamme, US, 1989) Holly Hunter, Mary Steenburgen, Tim Robbins, Scott Glenn, Alire Woodard. 103 mins. The Miss Firecracker Beauty Pageant is the event 01 the year in Yazoo City, Mississippi. Carnelle (Hunter) has a big itch to win this year's contest but other lolks don't share her optimism. Awkward, untidy, with a mess oi dyed red hair, a dead end job in the cattish factory and a reputation as the town’s


easy lay, her chances aren’t good. But she gets to work on it just the same, grabbing an entry lorm, practising her ‘talent routine’ and generally getting very excited.

New iriend Popeye (Woodard) makes her a costume, carnival-hand lover Mac Sam (Glenn) provides emotional support and perfect Southern Belle cousin Elain (sic) (Steenburgen) promises her the red dress in which she won the contest back in 1972. Then

when her other cousin, the eccentric Deimount (Robins), arrives back in town, the reunited iamily tangle and lret about whether to sell their ramshackle old house. Meanwhile the big day gets nearer and nearer. . .

A screen version oi the Beth Henley play which was a big personal hit tor Hunter on the alt-Broadway stage back in 1984, this is yet another syrupy exercise in blue collar Americana, heavy on drawllng accents, Hicksville eccentricity and homespun positive thinking. The bland theme music belongs in a pension plan advert, the stage play origins are always obvious and overall there’s iar too much oi the idea that being poor, provincial and. not very bright are humorous qualities in themselves.

However, Hunter's ragged hyperactivity is a winning centre oi attention, particularly in her big contest party piece which sees her lap dancing, juggling a rille and saluting all at the same time. The shabby locations in the real Yazoo City also make an attractive change irom the glossy suburbia oi the likes oi Steel Magnolias, while there are a lairshare oi amusing moments too in amongst the sentimental gush. Hardly a big bang maybe, but Hunter at least is pure warmth and light. (Tom Tunney)

From Fri 27. Glasgow: Cannon The Forge, Odeon. Edinburgh: Odeon.

Steenburgen. Tim Robbins. 103 mins. See review. Glasgow: (‘annon The Forge. ()deon. Edinburgh: ()deon.

I Music Box ( l5) (Costa-Gavras. US. 1990) Jessica Lange. Armin Mueller Stahl. Frederic Forrest. 126 mins. Langc plays a successful (‘hicago lawyer whose Hungarian immigrant father (Armin Mueller Stahl) is suspected of collaborating with the Hungarian fascists in wartime atrocities against Budapest Jews. Believing unswervingly in her dad‘s innocence she takes on the task of defending him herself. yet asthe courtroom testimonies pile up heinous accusations. the jury's growing doubts are matched only by her own fears. Stimulating and finally moving combination of Hollywood family drama and the director‘s customary politicised grit. Glasgow: ()deon.

I Nine-And-A-Hall Weeks ( 18) (Adrian Lyne. US. 1985) Mickey Rourkc.1\’im Basinger. 113 mins. Divorcee Basinger becomes a slave to love and lust when she succumbs to the stubbly charms of commodities broker Rourke. Empty-headed and disturbing designer bonking. Strathclyde: ()deon Ayr.

I Notorious (PG) (Alfred Hitchcock. US. 1946) (‘ary Grant. Ingrid Bergman. (‘laudc Rains. 101 mins. World WarTwo. (‘ynical intelligence agent Grant enlists playgirl Bergman to help him uncover a Nazi atomic plot in Rio de Janeiro. She marries suave plotter Rains and then finds her life in alarming danger. Taut.classic thriller. with a fine Ben llecht script that effectively blends romance and suspense. Bergman and Grant create movie magic in each other‘s presence. partieulary during what was advertised as ‘the longest kiss in history". Edinburgh: Filmhousc.

I Nuns on the Hun ( 12) (Jonathon Lynn. US. 1989) Eric Idle. Robbie Coltrane. Janet Suzman. 95 mins. There‘s a little more to this slapstick comedy than the title suggests. Idle and ('oltrane. both in top



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