I As An Eilean (PG) As the first ever feature film to be shot in the Gaelic language. As An Eilean (From The Island) is a notable achievement for the Scottish film industry. it is also a remarkable film in its own right. Combining the themes of two novels by Hebridean writer lain Crichton Smith. it creates a richly textured. poetic essay on questions of language and communication. McAllister another fine performance by Ken Hutchison -— is a widowed headmaster who is building a photographic documentation of life in a small village in the Westem Isles. While trying to come to terms with his growing desires for the local nurse. he becomes fascinated with the anival of a silent stranger. whose presence

within the community. Callum, a bright schoolboy about to leave for the mainland and university. is also drawn towards this enigmatic figure.

Director Mike Alexander, whose previous work includes BBC Scotland drama Dreaming and several documentaries. creates a gentle tension between opposing senses of arrival and departure. of silence and the need for language as the means cultural identity. Beautifully photographed and finely acted. As An Eilean is proof that the money currently being pumped into Gaelic broadcasting should also look towards the cinema screens in order to establish a fuller artistic heritage for the 908. (AM)

I ICC. Ado About letting (PG) Kenneth (Henry V) Branagh turns to Shakespeare on a

second occasion, this time bringing his ear for the Bard‘s dialogue to the neglected comedies. Verbal arrows of wit fly across the screen as the nasty Don John (a scowling Keanu Reeves) tries to scupper the wedding plans of young lovers Claudio and Hero. A vibrant film that overflows with life and energy. Much Ado About Nothing is hugely enjoyable from beginning to end. with lusty performances from British thesps and Hollywood stars alike. See feature.

I The Snapper (15) More uplifting slices of family life in Barrytown from the pen of Roddy Doyle. Producer Lynda Myles and actor Colm Meaney remain from The

C (mrmitments, but director Stephen Frears has taken a

. , , , sensible low-key route stirs up suspicron and fear :

that avoids comparisons with the earlier smash hit. The story centres on the announcement of young Sharon Curley’s pregnancy and her refusal to name the dad in question. a decision that sets this small community rocking. Warm and hilarious fare that well deserves its cinema release after its TV premiere earlier this year. I This Boy’s life (15) Scots-bom director Michael Caton-Jones delivers the goods with Robert De Niro. Ellen Barkin and a tremendous performance from newcomer Leonardo DiCaprio in an adaptation of Tobias Wolff’s autobiographical novel. which is fast becoming a modern classic. Teenager Toby struggles with the restrictions of small-town life and the excesses of his violent stepfather in this coming-of-age tale set in 505 America. See feature.

Iii THE llilE OF FIRE The magisterial Clint Eastwood

- his Oscars for the classy Unforgiven still untamished - weighs in with the best mainstream llollywood movie for years. A masterly piece of filmmaking by the dmlgre Carmen director of

- Shattered, Wolfgang Petersen, this .' succeeds as both a straight-down-the- ' line thriller and an intelligent

exploration of the perfectly cast actor’s increasingly complex screen


A long-serving Secret Service operative in the twilight of his career, Clint is haunted by his memory of the Kennedy assassination back in 1963, on which fateful day he was one of those assigned with ensuring the president’s safety. So when a former government assassin threatens the life of the current president, Clint is determined to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

John Malkovlch, sometimes a fussy and mannered actor, here uses his distinctive voice to maximum advantage, giving a performance of such controlled and terrifying power that it singes the hairs on the back of your neck. The tight-lipped, introspective Clint, meanwhile,

provides the perfect foil for Malkovich’s sociopathic ramblings. Only the cursory romance between Clint and fellow agent Rene Russo - cruelly under-used after her gutsy, ass-kicking performance in lethal Weapon 3 - fails to convince. Director Petersen stages the action scenes and lavish set-pieces with consummate skill, without ever losing sight of the film’s crucial emotional core. (Nigel Floyd)

in The line Of Fire (15) (Wolfgang Petersen, US, 1993) Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich, iiene liusso. 128 mins. From Fri 27. General release.


Sharon Stone reunites with Basic Instinct scribe Joe Eszterhas for this laughable load of old poo that dares to pass itself off as ‘a psychosexual mystery’ - presumably, because there’s a good deal of truly snooaeworthy ‘psychosexual’ voyeurism and it's a total mystery how big Joe got paid sgullllons of dollars for a plot that wouldn’t have made it past the script supervisor on Scooby iioo

This time, ever-Inmate Shana plays book editor Carly Morris, who moves to a New York apartment building (a tall, slim, modern design known as a ‘sliver’) only later to discover that it’s been the site of a hushed-up spate of unexplained deaths. Among her new neighbours are Willi. Baldwin’s rich, young Iayabout, for whom she sheds her nether garments, and Tom Bereager as a bestselling crime writer, for whom she most definitely does not. light one of them be the unidentified assailant whose nefarious activities lmvebeencapturedontapebytheln- house surveillance system? We can only wait and wonder and yawn.

Tire video material is perhaps the most intriguing angle Sliver has to otterbutratingsditticultieslnthells have sanitised the images captured by

secret carneres throughout the block and drooled over by an (initially) unknown techno-perv. Self-censorship too has pretty much done for the much touted sex scenes - see if you can put your finger on what exactly Shaz is up to in a pathetically unexpllcit bath-tub scene - all of which leaves us with, well, not a lot really. Sumptuously burnished cinematography by Vilmos lsimnond and top notch production values cosset a supremely empty core. (Trevor Johnston)

Silver (18) (Philip iioyce, Its, 19%) Sharon Stone, Willi. Baldwin, Tom Serenger. ill) mins. General release.

| ‘the best mainstream ' Hollywood movie I for years’

‘top notch production values cosset a supremely empty core’

66 The List 27 August—9 September l993