Down a mine or on a tropical island: which of this issue’s

locations did Gerard Depardieu

prefer? The List makes its own choice, and reviews the new

films opening

I Four Weddings And A Funeral ( 15) Not since A Fish Cal/ml Want/u has there been a British comedy that has so tickled the fancies of audiences in the States. Now. the wedding party is set to move to home shores. the market for which the film was always intended.

At 32. Charles (Hugh Grant) has filled his life with girlfriends btit has avoided taking that all- important trip up the aisle. Typically English in the distance he imposes on his feelings. he is. however. bowled over when he meets beautiful Carrie (Andie MacDowell). ()ver several months. they and other friends meet again. always abiding by the rigid social conventions of weddings and funerals. and slowly Charles comes to realise that bachelordom is not. perhaps. all he believed it to be.

Much of the film's success comes down to its safe sense of old- fashioned romance (spiced tip. certainly. and given a touch of emotional depth by Blue/(udder and Mr Bean writer Richard Curtis) and its Home County settings. but it is very funny and charmingly played. Director Mike Newell taps into an essential Britishness that is much less insipid than his previous hit. [L‘Iit‘ltttritt't/ April. and in doing so finds a mood that will please filingoers across the generations. See feature.

I Genninal (15) Based on Zola's classic novel. (Jerminul recounts the growing politicisation and struggle against poverty of a village of miners in 19th century France. When management greed forces them to strike. the workers hold out for as long as possible. but soon

in Scotland.

take out their frustrations on fellow miners at neighbouring pits. Although some of the social themes may be idealised. the film does make clear that the roots

of trade unionism did not lie in a straight workers vs owners battle: there are

several conflicting opinions forwarded by these intelligent but hard- pressed men and women. The film‘s political scope stretches right up to the present day. while its period detail is impressively authentic. A true European epic. See preview.

l What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? ( 12) ()dd title. odd movie. Gilbert (Johnny Depp) is the eldest son in a model dysfunctional household that could be

I the perfect nuclear family.

After the bomb. Brother Arnie is going on eighteen. with the mental age of a toddler: little sister Ellen is at that annoying pre-pubescent stage: other sister Amy does her best to help around the home. and Mom has turned into a bloated colossus ever since Dad hanged himself in the basement.

Depp. for once. plays the sole figure of normality in an off-kilter world. whose every act is done to help others. Only when holiday camper Juliette Lewis strays into his dead-end town does he begin to realise that there is a life outside the city limits. Lasse (My Life zls A Dog) Hallstrom‘s one- of-a—kind slant on American small-town eccentricity is simply brilliant. The acting is spot-on from the top down. the myriad of themes intelligently handled and the teen love affair given a subtle and sensitive treatment. See preview.


E ‘W-wu‘.’ ‘5

: Sonatine: ‘challenging, flirtatious, highly individual’

More innovative than Tarantino, more i confronting his mortality head-on in a

i controlled than Woo, Takeshi Kitano’s i ferocious final reel.

i ice-sharp fourth feature rewrites the The film’s stylistic confidence,

Ebook on policier revisionism. Playing shifting the ground from section to

l the deadpan ‘Beat’ Takeshi persona to 9 section, is just one indicator of

T the full - in Japan the former Takeshi’s growing mastery. This

i comedian is ubiquitous as a TV pundit, challenging, flirtatious, higth

i newspaper columnist, novelist and I individual movie about a man

i movie actor - Sonatine starts out like i choosing the moment and manner of

your average deconstructionist yakuza 3 his own death masks deep seriousness

j thriller, obliquely unfolding a story in in frivolity and approaches the staple

I which the star’s veteran hitman highlights of the shoot-’em-up routine

Murakawa is dispatched by his boss to “at a visionary formal tangent. To say it

E the sunny southern island of Okinawa. :stands somewhere between 605 Ostensibly, his mission is to sort out lGodard and 903 Clint doesn’t quite do

a simmering gang war, but as be it justice. And if anyone can come up

: gradually realises the lie of the land, with a higher compliment, I’d like to

t it becomes apparent he’s been set up 'hear it. (Trevor Johnston)

3 for a hit himself. So far, so Jean-Pierre [Sonatina (18) (Takeshi Kitano, Japan,

Melville; but the film spins off into its :1993) ‘Beat’ Takeshi, Aya Kokumai,

' own orbit during a lengthy mid-section Tetsu Watanabe. 93 mins. From Fri 13:

l of Hawaiian-shined beachfront frolics, Glasgow Film Theatre.

as Murakawa relaxes a little before

_ THE PAPER ; The open-plan newsroom of a busy . daily newspaper is just ripe for the movies: witness Citizen Kane or All The President’s Men. It could be typecast as a dynamic hive of tension and deadlines, of sin and scandal. So it is, which is why people are seduced by the constant adrenalin buzz of journalism and also why the bum-out rate is so high. The Paper follows a day on a sleazy New York tabloid, appropriately called The Sun. Having been scooped on the front-page lead story the day before by all the rival papers, News Editor Harry Hacket (Michael Keaton) is desperate to scoop them back and, with a supposedly racist murder, he i has the ideal story. However, his very a pregnant wife (Marisa Tomei) won’t stay off the phone, while the man- eating managing editor (Glenn Close excellent) wants to run an easier, 1 incorrect and potentially better- ; selling version of the same story. Hacks will love The Paper, recognising their embittered editors, snooty columnists and dictatorial managing editors among the cast. Indeed, when dealing with the daily

/ T . " z: 3 .

round of abrasion, split-second

, decisions and panic, it takes off in a way which is easily accessible outside the incestuous world of journalism.

But the establishing scenes are weak

and the episodes of the journalists’ private lives sugary to the point of

tooth rot. Worse, the ending rings as

true as a Government statement on the economy. Like the best tabloids, The Paper is an instantly forgettable but, i nonetheless, entertaining diversion. (Thom Dibdin) i

The Paper (15) (Ron Howard, 08, 1994) l

Michael Keaton, Marisa Tomei, Glenn 3 Close, Randy Guaid, Hobert nuvall. 112 g

I mins. From Fri 6. General release. 1

sponsored by BACARDI BLACK

The Paper: ‘easily accessible’ 5

Daens: ‘decent middlebrow viewing'

Ever wanted to learn

about l‘)th century Belgium's painful struggle towards democracy? This true story of a notorious ‘red' priest provides your big chance. Set in the thriving provincial mill- town of Aalst. whose economic success has been won at the cost ol appalling conditions for the workers. the cause of labour here finds an unlikely champion in Father Adolf Daens (Jan Decleir). a rebellious prelate whose deep-rooted sense of injustice is aroused by the suffering around him.

Despite the opposition of the Conservative Catholic Party and their leader Charles Woeste (Gerard Desarlhe). who is concerned at the spread of 'socialist' thought among the working classes. Daens wins a place in Belgium‘s new elected assembly on a Progressive Christian ticket. It‘s not long. however. before the Establishment closes ranks to rid themselves of this ecclesiastical nuisance.

Stijn Coninx's film pretty quickly establishes which side we're on: the firm moral impritnatur rests with crusader Daens. while the moustache- twirling Woeste is none- too-subtly inscribed as hypocrisy incarnate. In the title role. Decleir's rugged authority carries the movie. Thanks to his efforts. the combination of stirring score. rippling indignation and idealistic speechifying aplenty ensures Due/ix its status as thoroughly decent middlebrow viewing. Short on outright inspiration. its honest intentions are unimpeachable. (Trevor Johnston)

Dawn (/5) (SIle ('mtl/it‘. lie/gull”, [993)](111 Dec/Cir. (it’l'urt/ [)(‘Mll'l/It'.

Alli/e (/0 Bucr‘k. I34 nrlus.

From Fri 6: Edinburgh Filth/rouse.

26 The List 6—19 May 199-1