That dreaded juxtaposition of words: ‘romantic comedy' and ‘Hollywood movie‘. But surely. one would hope. if Stolen Hearts is co- written by its star Denis Leary. it might have some of the bite of his stand-up stage act. Don‘t bet on it. because again we're landed with a movie that the distributors are refusing to show to the press before sticking it in the cinemas and hoping that audiences will pay tip without prior warning. Leary and current hot property Sandra Bullock are a blue-collar couple whose relationship is on shaky ground. He‘s a petty thief whose latest job is to steal a painting and deliver it to a buyer

Stolen Hearts: Bullock and Leary get romantic

on a posh New lingland island. While Bullock and Leary take advantage of the unfamiliar upmarket surroundings, the FBI and a bunch of bumbling criminals are on their trail.

A synopsis like this hints at an unhappy mixture ofslapstick and sticky romance. set against tish-out-of—water shenanigans of American 'class‘ clashes (Bullock's dreams of a better life momentarily satisfied in the island's caviar culture). Whatever. we can‘t offer any guidance this time round. (AM) filo/ell Nearly (15) (Bill Bennett. US. 1995) Sandra Bullock. Denis Leary, Yup/tel KUllU. 96 mins. Front Fri 5. General release.


As the annual French Film Festival has shown. the strong cinematic ties between Scotland and France are as vital today as ever. Edinburgh's Cameo Cinema celebrates this for a week in April with a specially programmed repertory

Various new Scottish shorts have been programmed with features since mid-March. but the Scottish-French event gets properly underway with an all-nighter on Fri 12 which collects together Trainspottitig, Shallow

(rl'tll't‘ and a l.uc Bessori double. Leon and Nikita.

Elsewhere. the old guard (Sean Connery in Marnie and Dr No; Truffaut‘s Jules [it Jim and Carrie's l.e.r [infants Du l’aratlis) share screen time with new faces (Morag McKinnon's 3; Matthieu Kassovitz‘s Ix! Htllllt’). Childhood favourites return in the shape of (it'cl‘etirv'iv‘ Girl. and there‘s also a chance to mourn the loss of the greatest of contemporary European directors. Krzysztof Kieslowski. with a screening of the Three Colours li‘llogy. T/ie Air/(l Alliance Season, Cameo, Edinburgh. Fri lZ—T/iurs [8 Apr. See listings.


Set in late-60s Glasgow. a half-brick‘s throw from the Gorbals. the brothers Mackinnon have produced a marvelously detailed study about the growing pains of a young boy brought tip on the fringes of the gangland violence which was rife in the city at the time. However. this is emphatically not another Glasgow Hard Man movie. coming closer to Terence Davies‘s Distant Voice. Still Lives in its warm and accurate portrayal of a working- elass family‘s life.

Small Fares is seen mainly though the eyes of thirteen-year-old Les Maclean. who is torn between pursuing his natural talent for drawing and the terrifying fascination of the razor gang violence which threatens to erupt whenever young people gather on street corners or iii dancehalls. Brought tip without a father. Les must choose between two role models of masculinity embodied in his brothers: Alan is a painting-obsessed romantic bound for art school. while the older Bobby is a disturbed young man who is already a fully fledged member of the local gang. the Glen.

()ne of the many strengths of Small Fares the title is a reference to the sharp-suited Mod style of the time is lain Robertson's portrayal of Les. He has perfectly captured that adolescent time when a young man makes forays

Small Faces: ‘brilliant piece of tilmmaklng'

into the scary adult world btit can still retreat into the comfort of daft. boyish antics. The harder boys of the (lien and rival gang the 'l‘ongs (ya bass!) have long ago had to abandon innocence and hide their sensitivity under a veneer of machisomo. ‘C‘otild you be mental." asks local hard man Malky Johnson (Kevin McKidd) when Les tries to join the Tongs.

Small l-‘aees is about a specific time and place. btit works as a more universal rites—of—passage story. It's a brilliant piece of lilmiiiaking which deserves not to be overshadovv ed by that other Scottish movie evcryone's talking about this year. limits-piittitte. (Eddie (iibb)

Small l’at'es ((iillitcv‘ illat‘kitniiin. UK, /‘)‘)5) Iain Iv’o/n'r/smt. .losi'p/t tile/"atlrlen. ./..S'. l)it//_\'. /()i\’ int/iv. I‘m/n

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Broken Arrow: 'spectacular set-pieces and techno thrills’ :

From their opening punches traded in a boxing ring to their against-the- clock chase across the Utah desert in search of stolen nuclear warheads, military pilots Vic Deakins (John Travolta) and Riley llale (Christian Slater) are continually sparring with each other. Milled at being passed over for promotion - or something like that - Deakins ejects his partner from the cockpit while on a routine assignment with two live missiles, makes all with the cargo, then holds a city to ransom as he ups the price for his treachery. Only Hale is in a position to save the world, but he’s never before proved a match for his opponent.

Like Hard Target, the Hang Kong director’s other American etlort, Broken Arrow is a great Hollywood

action movie and an okay John Woo

movie. Graham Yost’s screenplay isn’t up to the fast-forward lrenetics of his masterwork, Speeo‘, it often falls over itself in an attempt to create tresh problems for Slater to solve, but still otters up plenty of spectacular set- pieces and techno thrills. Slater probably doesn’t cut it as an action lead, but Travolta is clearly having the time of his lite - unruttled cool even when the nastiest of screen villains. With its worthy talk about the renegade threat at nuclear weapons, Broken Arrow might sound like it’s about big things, but it’s really only above average, on-the-surtace entertainment. (Alan Morrison)

Broken Arrow (15) (John Woo, US, 1995) John Travolta, Christian Slater, Samantha Mathis. 86 mins. From Fri 12. General release.


Nelly And Mr Arnaud: ‘deceptlvely slight'

()rin the greatest and wisest artists can make it all seem so simple. Veteran iiiench writer- director (‘laiide Satitet isn't your man for whirling camera bravura. flashy fast-cutting or the raised eyebrow and pop culture iconography of the post-riioderri screenplay. Instead. as in the marvellous (In ('oenr lz'n llii't'r. we follow three disparate characters into awkward emotional territory and get so close to them and their predicament you almost expect to meet them afterwards in a cafe and talk things through again.

Nelly is limmariuelle Heart. even more persuasive than she was in the earlier film: 25. stuck ill a stagiiating marriage. several dead-end jobs and mounting debt. she's at sortiething of a loose end in her life. Monsieur .-\rnatid is Michel Serraiilt. here the sotil of discretion and insight as the retired judge and businessman whose work on his memoirs requires the word-processing skills that Nelly. an old llame's daughter. is only too happy to provide after he generously stitiares her ailing batik balance.

.-\s the two start work together. unspoken tensions and affections begin to assert themselves. yet when Nelly 's growing self- confidence leads her into an affair with womanising publisher Vincent la relatively subdued lean- Hugues Anglade). the scene is set for at least one heart to be broken.

Satitct's camera watches and waits and records unfolding events with the assurance that this deceptively slight tale vv ill pay cumulative dividends. becoming a satisfying. surprisingly touching essay oti the vagaries of passion and its fleeting moments of genuine coiiimtinicatiori. Serratilt is simply extraordinary. tTrevor Johnston) .Vt'lli‘d/til .lIr.-\r/iantl 1/5) ((ltllltll' Sautel. l-‘rani't'. I‘NSI lint/nanttelle lit‘art. Mir/tel Xt’l'l'tlllll. ./('(lll- Hueuey dire/title. lUD Inins. Sit/Hitler, I’m/n I’m /2.‘ (iltlst’mt Ill/Ill Illt’tlll‘t’.

22 The List 5-18 Apr 1996 t.