Kept on the shelf for most of the year by perhaps understandably cautious distributors. this portrait of I975 Belfast and The Troubles‘ darkest hours emerges to show exactly what‘s at stake as the so- called peace process staggers onwards.
Adapted from a novel by Protestant writer Daniel Mornin. it's the ﬁrst feature ﬁlm to date to examine the psyche of the Loyalist paramilitaries. as represented by committed man-of-honour Michael Gambon. single-minded military campaigner James Frain. and psychotic bigot lan Hart — the latter seizing a window opportunity to indulge his darker impulses. On the receiving end of the tension between the two communities along the Peace Line is single Catholic father John Lynch. who gets separated from his kids on the wrong side of the tracks during a disturbance. and teenager Ruaidhri Conroy. drawn into the
i Nothing Personal: 'courageous but flawed'
The ﬁlm seeks to ask whether any moral scruples can survive in such an environment — laudable aims certainly — but an over-taxed narrative that crams everything into a somewhat contrived 24- hour timespan and a rather unconvincing IRA bomb in the opening reel which allows Loyalist violence against Catholics to hog the spotlight (unintentionally?) during the rest of the action mean the ﬁlm is fatally compromised in its execution.
John Lynch looks sad- eyed and gets beaten up as usual. lan Hart seems to think he's De Niro's Johnny Boy from Mean Streets with a very wobbly Irish accent. and only James Frain's tussle between duty and friendship really measures up to what the ﬁlm‘s trying to do. Overall. a courageous but flawed undertaking. (Trevor Johnston)
Nothing Personal ( l5)
( 'l'haddens () 'Snllii'an.
U K/lreland. I995) Ian Hart, James Frain. John Lynch. 85 mins. From Fri [8. Edinburgh:
GERMAN FILM FESTIVAL
Germany’s ﬁlm output is rather neglected on the British circuit, which makes events like the annual German Film Festival - running concurrently at the Glasgow Film Theatre and Edinburgh Filmhouse - all the more important. Programmed in conjunction with the Goethe-Institut in Glasgow. this year's crop of seven features includes
One More Kiss And lie’s Dead
The Brothers Skladanowsky. the latest from Wim Wenders. which combines reality and ﬁction in an investigation of the inventor of the Bioscop. Also on show are Doris Dorrie‘s Nobody Loves Me. the hugely successful comedy 'lirlk Of The 'lbwn
and a portrait of neglected i
director Reinhold Schiinzel. One More Kiss And He is Dead.
The Seeond German Film Festival runs at the OFT from Thurs 24 to Wed 30 0e! and at the Filmhouse from Fri 25 ()(‘i to Fri I Not: See listings and index.
SPORTS COMEDY TIN CLIP
Roy ‘Tin Cup’ McAvoy (Kevin Costner) was a college golfer of exceptional promise who blew his chance of making it to the big time: where other. more cautious players would lay up, Roy would always go for the impossible shot. Now in his late 30s, his character hasn't changed and he’sjust lost the dilapidated driving range he owns on a sucker bet.
Then two things happen to change his life. First. beautiful psychologist Molly Griswold (Rene Russo) turns up for lessons and Roy promptly falls in love. Second. he is obliged to accept the humiliating job of caddying for his old college rival. David Simms (Don Johnson). a slick and soulless percentage player currently wallowing in fame and fortune on the PGA tour. Worse is to follow -— Molly is Simms’s girlfriend. There‘s only one thing for (Roy to do: enter the US Open and win Molly’s undying admiration.
With '17:: Cup. Ron Shelton —- former a minor league baseball player turned screenwriter and director — has come up with the funniest sports ﬁlm since his own debut. [Jull Durham. It’s also a welcome return to form for the star of that ﬁlm. Kevin Costner. Purged of the constipated dignity that makes him so stiff in the straight-arrow roles he so often plays. he turns in an immensely appealing performance. Russo also demonstrates her under-exploited talent for comedy.
Tin Cup: ‘tlre funniest sports film i since Bull Durham‘
'l'in Cup is what Americans term a movie with ‘rooting interest‘ - where you get behind the hero — but it is one with a good deal more warmth. good humour. psychological insight and spontaneity than you would expect. Whereas most sports ﬁlms trudge an entirely predictable course. 'I'in Cup goes off in more surprising directions than a Sunday golfer's worst tee shots. (Jason Best) 'Iin Cap ( I5) (Ron She/ton. US. I996) Kevin Costner. Rene Russo. C'heeeh Marin. I35 nrins. From Fri 25. General release.
j FANTASY ADVENTURE
I This entertaining dungeons and ' dragons affair has iust enough humour ! and action to overcome its slightly
! gawky storyline.
; Dennis Duaid has the awkward task
I of having to act with a mythical creature and wring some good out of
1 David Thewlis. Far more successful
1 with the former, Duaid plays Bowen, a i knight modelled on the Camelot
3 school who tries to teach the king’s
son, Einon, the old code of honour,
, chivalry and valour.
' All Einon wants is tyranny. fie
j succeeds his father following a death = in a village massacre, only to be mortally wounded. His mother (Julie Christie) takes him to the sacred and revered beast Draco, who saves the boy but is unable to purify his soul. The adult Einon (Thewlis) rules as a despot and Bowen, convinced Draco is to blame, roams the countryside
: Dragonheart: ‘slightly gawky storyline’ slaying all the dragons. He gets saddled on the way with a McGonagalesque monk (Pete Postlethwaite), and has a lasting run- in with feisty young Kara (Dina Meyer) and, of course, Draco (voiced by Sean Connery).
The only nagging thing about Dragonheart is Duaid trying to convince himself that he believes Connery is the bad guy and Thewlis is the knight in shining armour. Actually he is in shining armour, but he’s just not nice. Otherwise, it’s great fun and Donnery’s Draco is marvellous.
In Disney’s animated features, the characters have frequently been drawn to caricature the actors who voice them, and here we see the logical (computerised) next step. But I
don’t care what people say about special effects. like the kids in the audience, I’m sure it’s a real dragon. (Gio MacDonald)
Dragonheart (P6) (nob Cohen, 08, 1996) Dennis auaid, Sean cannery, David Thewlis. 103 mins. From Fri 18. General release.
THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS
The Wind in The Willows: ‘cbarming touches’
If you stopped anybody in the street and asked them to name the characters in Kenneth Grahame's children‘s classic The Wind In The Willows. there would be no hesitation in reeling off Toad. Mole. Rat and Badger. Terry Jones has taken more than a few liberties in his ﬁlm version. souping up the plot and making the Weasels into property developing types who are prepared to go to any lengths to clinch a lucrative deal — never mind the damage to the idyllic environment. Jones has assembled a cast with Pythonesque leanings. augmented by Steve Coogan as the self- effacing Mole. Nicol Williamson as the stern Badger. Antony Sher as the Chief Weasel and an impressive list of cameos. The hurnanised creatures - the odd tail. set of whiskers, pointy ears and a greenish tinge for Toad don't get in the way of the acting - are good fun. with Coogan‘s Mole being especially endearing. There are some charming touches. Mole’s little house. wrecked by the enemy. is the sort of place quite seriously minded grown-ups would love to be able to play in. with its wolf-whistling kettle and conversational wall clock. Rat’s cricketing whites and obsession with picnic hampers and Toad's toff‘s curls and rolling girth set the traditional tone. while the contrast is provided by a scary weasel rap song. the nightmarish dog food factory with its sinister giant mincing machine and the inevitable explosion ﬁnale. N0! exactly an everyday story of riverbank folk. but kids today. eh? (Sue Greenway) The lVind In The Willows (U) ( Terry Jones, UK , I 996) Terry Jones. E rie Idle, Steve Coogan. 88 mins. Front Fri l I. General release.
24 The List l8-3l Oct I996