“2| MELODRAMA " SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT
Something To Talk About is a curiously appropriate title tor a Julia Roberts movie, tor while the actress’s career has been nothing to shout about oi late, her private lite has been the source ot much gossip. But it this simply plotted, beautituliy cast little drama was intended as a comeback movie, then it works very well on those tenrrs.
Roberts plays Grace, contented wile, mother and scion to a wealthy horse- breeding iamily, who questions the basis oi her marriage and, in turn, her whole lite when she realises that husband Eddie (Dennis liuaid) has been playing the stud. She kicks him out, much to the delight oi sister Emma Rae (Kyra Sedgwick) and the annoyance oi her doting yet chauvlnlstlc iather (Robert Duvall). Dad's attitude only gets worse when his own wile (Gena Rowlands) iinds the courage to coniront his bullying ways and lnildelity. Simple
Something To Talk About: ‘superlor melodrama’
seven deadly sins — and every death is a graphic interpretation of one ofthese. ' The first murder victim. for example, is an obese man found strapped to a chair: he was forced to feed himselfuntil his intestine burst. Every death involves extreme and bizarre torture ofthe victim. And each corpse forms part of an allegorical tableux. the victims i becoming known only as Greed. Envy and so on.
What does it all mean? Pitt and Freeman are driven to the pages of Chaucer and Milton to find out. What it means for us. the late 20th century ' cinema audience. is harder to work out. For me, it doesn’t mean anything socio- ‘ political. It is an intense stylistic exercise in horror. and a very good one. (Hannah Fries)
Seven ( [8) (David Fine/ten US. 1995)
Take two cops and a gentle wife surviving. sort of. in an apocalyptic cityscape. Add one Christian mass murderer. and it’s a recipe for psychic disturbance as rarely experienced in your local multiplex. From its opening title sequence . Seven is an extremely dark film which winds through the most twisted recesses imaginable to an even darker end. if it wasn't for Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman. who appear as oases of normality and friendliness. audiences would walk out and disembowel the cinema staff.
The story of an evasive killer and the guys - one hardbitten. one naive — who track him down is standard enough. But Seven is so stylised that plot seems a
ingredients, but in the hands oi director lasse Ilallstrorn, they make tor a superior melodrama.
Thanks to the depth oi quality in all key departments, Something To Talk About manages to avoid the pitialls oi its lugubrlous title and the genre cliches that typically hamstring such stories. It can also boast a tow nice lines by Callie llhouri - her iirst screenplay since Thelma & louise. Iluvall and Rowlands, needless to say, are assured and contident as the loving parents who come to see a reflection oi their own long term problems in those experienced by
' Grace and Eddie, while Sedgwick
seems to have the most tun as the one who dishes out barbs and pearls in equal degrees. But It is lluaid and ot course Roberts who dominate, with the resonance between this iilm and her own marital problems ensuring that Something To Talk About otters something to think about too. (Anwar Brett)
Something To Talk About (15) (Lasse ilallstrom, US, 1995) Julia Roberts, Dennis auaid, Robert Duvall. 106 mins. From Fri 5. General release.
mere vehicle for mood. For starters. Brad Pitt. Morgan F reeman. Gwyneth i ‘ Hi; this villain is an artist. He kills to Pulirnlt‘. 127 mins. From Fri 5. General 3 5mm ‘an intense stylistic exercise "5 illustrate a now-extinct theme — the release. 5 mm” ' 9 knows what mess that would have CHILDREN 8 DRAMA made oi the woodwork. As they THE INDIAN ill THE gradually get to know each other, 0|an CUPBOARD and little Bear learn the importance ot
Who Is this seemingly agoraphobic llative American? ilow did he get in there in the ilrst place? And when will he be coming out? Such trite questions might distract some audience members dragged along to this amiable children’s iantasy, but it’s really best suited to the kind oi pre- teen audience whose demands extend no turther than a iilm being in colour, in iocus and over quite quickly. This llollywood version oi lynne Reid Ranks’ popular story can at least take advantage ot some excellent special etiects which help make the transtonnatlon oi a little boy’s plastic Indian tigure Into ilesh and bone - via a magic cupboard - seem surprisineg believable.
Little Bear (liteioot) is startled to ilnd himselt waking up in the cluttered bedroom oi a dormant ‘giant', in reality nine-year-old Omri (ilal Scardino), who had been given both the Indian and the cupboard as birthday presents. Thank God he didn’t get an Action Man and Sindy, tor who
The Indian In The Cupboard: 'excellent special ettects'
tolerance and understanding - lessons that cynical audience members would be wise to come equipped with - but ilnd problems arise not only in keeping the tiny Indian a secret lrom the outside world, but in separating him trom a similarly reanlmated cowboy tlgure.
The Indian In The Cupboard is one oi those children’s tales that deals in broad strokes and seeks to educate as well as entertain, which can itselt have its charms. It certainly scores more points tor entertainment value than the hideously calculating marketing vehicles which pass themselves 0" as children’s iilms thesedays, butwhatlthastosayhas already been said many times betore - and oiten better. That said, it’s spirited enough and otters a visually original approach to the subject. (Anwar Brett)
The Indian In The cupboard (PS) (Frank 02, US, 1995) llal Scardino, litetoot, David Keith, Steve Coogan. 95 mins. From Fri 2. General release.
CLASSIC RE- ISSUES
My Darling Clementine
Director John Ford actually met the real Wyatt Earp. but it's not just authenticity that makes My Darling Clementine a classic western: a shoot-out is a shoot-out. so Ford builds towards it with a finer orchestrated set of incidents. The acting is also superb. from Henry Fonda's lawman — another of his inimitable personifications of American good — to Victor Mature's tormented yet heroic rendition of Doc Holliday.
Jean Cocteau was as much a poet with a camera as he was with a pen. His version of the much-loved fairytale La Belle et La Béte is perhaps one of the greatest examples of cinematic magic ever experienced. The design is unsurpassed (those living statues perfectly capture the tone of a world on the borderline between reality and fantasy) and Jean Marais's performance as the Beast is also remarkable for his ability to combine nobility. tragedy and sexual power.
For those who have grown up watching Apocalypse Now on a TV screen. its re-release in a 70mm print is sure to be astonishing. It’s notjust the visuals that have incredible impact; Walter Murch‘s sound design adds a whole new level of meaning to the movie when let loose on a decent cinema sound system. Coppola's modern masterpiece has its flaws. but it’s still a powerful descent into man’s heart of darkness. (Alan Morrison)
My Darling Clementine (PG) Tue 2-Fri 5 Jan, Glasgow Film Theatre; Sat 20—Tue 23 Jan, Edinburgh F ilmhouse. La Belle et La Béte (PG) Fri lS—Thurs 28 Dec. Edinburgh Filmhouse: Fri 29 Dec-Thurs II Jan. Glasgow Film Theatre. Apocalypse Now ( I 8) F n' 22—Thurs 28 Dec, Edinburgh F ilmhouse: Fri lZ—Thurs [8 Jan. Glasgow Film Theatre.
The List I5 Dec I995-ll Jan I996 37