She’s The line: ‘a gentle, witty, perceptive illm’

because that would mean cheating on


Edward Burns’s pleasing comedy shares a same sense oi humour with his earlier iilm Tire Brothers Mchtulien, though here it iollows the iraternal tensions oi Mickey and Francis Fitzpatrick in matters oi love, sex and marriage.

Mickey (Burns) is a lowly llew York cabbie, disillusioned with love since his ex-glrliriend iieather (Cameron lilaz) cheated on him in a rather blase iashion two years previously. Unknown to Mickey, his opposite and egotistical Wall Street whln-kid brother Francis (Mike McClone) is having an aiiair with lleather.

Francis won’t make love to his wiie, college sweetheart llenee (.lenniier Aniston irom television’s Friends),

his mistress. Ignorant oi her husband’s adultery, Renee becomes increasingly frustrated at what Francis claims is

lust a ‘down cycle’. Meanwhile, Mickey’s love Iiie takes a sudden upturn when he meets beautiiul graduate iiope (Maxine Balms) in his cab - and marries her after lust one day.

it’s a gentle, witty, perceptive iilm with neat dialogue, iresh characters and nicely judged acting. This kind oi quality ‘soap’ seems to be coming into vogue in low-budget us cinema. A restiul alternative to the blood-and- guts staple, it’s the sort oi ilick lial iiartley has been doing tor some time (with the same producer, in tact), though not quite as oiibeat. John Mahoney is a good anchor as the brothers’ old man - a working-class lrish-American who takes them out iishing on his boat and dispenses them bad advice - and Tom Petty supplies a likeable iirst-time score. (Clo MacDonald)

* She’s The line (15) (Edward Burns, us,

1996) Edward Burns, Mike McEIone, Jennifer Aniston. 97 mins. From Fri 14

Feb. Limited general release.



France, l780. While the peasantry of his province die from swamp-bom disease, Ponceiudon de Malavoy (Charles Berling), a young engineer of noble descent, travels to the court of Louis XVI at Versailles to petition the king for the funding necessary to realise his scheme for the drainage and canals that could save the infested land. As official channels prove indifferent. Ponceiudon sees that his only path to the king's ear lies through the salons and social circles of the court. a backbiting lair of fashion and cruelty, where ‘wit opens every door' - and failure of wit leads to ridicule. loss and exile.

From newcomer Rémi Waterhouse‘s script. director Patrice Leconte (Monsieur Hire, The Hairdresser 's Husband) has fashioned a film of masks. where the courtiers hide behind words which. although immaculately

fashioned. say very little. At Versailles, language is employed as an idle, savage toy and true meaning conveyed through a system of hidden looks and gestures. This dying decadence is contrasted with a world outside the palace where people may be humble. illiterate, inanicuiate or even mute, but are eloquent in their use of life. Ponceludon‘s travel through the court is a doubly treacherous one: not only must he not fail in his verbal duelling, but also resist the seduction of the palace and retain a firm grip on who he


With a uniformly excellent cast, including Jean Rochefort as Marquis de Beilegrade and Fanny Ardant as the lethal Madame de Blayac. Ridicule is a surprisingly contemporary evocation of the pre-Revolution period. a costume drama with depth beneath the costumes. (Damien Love)

Ridicule ( I 8) (Patrice Leconte. France. I 996) Charles Berling. Jean Rochefort. Fanny Ardant. 102 mins. From Fri 7.

Glasgow: OFT Edinburgh: Film/rouse.

llldlcule: ’depth beneath the costumes’

Mad love: a nunnery beckons tor kale Winslet in llamlet



For his latest directorial project, Kenneth Branagh has put together iour hours oi Shakespeare. it may seem ridiculously long, but there’s method in his madness. Four hours, including an intermission, hardly seem accessible to modern cinema audiences, but Branagh institles the extensive duration oi his iilm as necessary to illustrate human nature in all its epic proportions.

The play is Harriet, the story oi a paranoid prince seeking revenge on his murderous uncle. Set in a sumptuous 19th century royal court, this version oi Shakespeare’s thriller reveals the deceptively opulent iacade oi ilctlon’s best known dysiunctlonal iamiiy. The director plays llamlet, capturing the magnetic presence oi the unstable Dane, while Julie Christie plays an alooi Gertrude

and ltate Winslet a mesmerising Ophelia.

Filmed in widescreen ionnat, the setting is deliciously pleasurable to the eye, vividly detailed, stylised and rich. A host oi iantastic cameo appearances - irom .iudi liench to Billy Crystal - oiier the periect hooks on which to recapture wandering attention. These provide excellent comic reiiei, although it has to be said that lien ilodd in the part oi Yorick - a hilarious blt oi casting - does distract irom a moving and pivotal moment in the play.

Strong performances, visual delights, clever cameos and hearty portions oi sex, violence, horror and intrigue all combine to make this ilamlet worthy oi its extreme duration. Too see or not to see, that will be the question. (Beth Williams)

Hamlet (ll) (Kenneth Branaglr, (tit, 19%) Kenneth Bianegh, Julie Christie, Kate Winslet. Mmins. From Fri 14 Feb. Edinburgh: Dominion.

[iilm SOUNDTRACKS \_ _;.


Shine: soundtrack oi the month

Over the last ten years. Frenchman Eric Serra has emerged as one of the most distinctive film composers. collaborating frequently with Luc Besson. Eric Serra: The Soundtracks (Virgin) works as a short retrospective of his career. drawing attention to a diversity that swings between Euro cool (ambient synth) and Euro pap (naff funk and light jazz). The later Leon and Colt/chew tracks are the best. and it's good to hear the song ‘lt‘s Only Mystery' from SuIm-riv again.

Simon Fisher Turner's score for Loaded (Oceandeep Soundtracks) slips into a more abstract ambient groove. achieving a sense of alienation and weirdness that the film itself aimed for. but missed. It stands tail on its own two feet and. in fact, is probably better if disassociated from Anna Campion‘s feeble debut.

Daylight (Universal Records) features typically formulaic snatches by Randy Edeiman to accompany the typically formulaic Stallone action thriller. A decent opening theme leads into by-numbers atmospherics for romance. danger and triumph. The light at the end of the album‘s tunnel is ‘Don‘t Go Out With Your Friends Tonight'. a bit ofcatchy punk-pop by a band called Ho-Hum a name which ironically is better suited to the other fifteen tracks.

it shouldn‘t come as any surprise that the film of the month supplies as also with soundtrack of the month. Shine (Philips) features a superb score by David Hirshfelder on which piano is played by the film's real-life subject. David Helfgott. There are excerpts from the standout ‘Rach 3'. touches of Beethoven and Chopin. and a rendition of ‘The Flight Of The Bumble Bee' that will leave you in wonder that human fingers can move with such speed and delicacy. (Alan Morrison)

24 The List 7-20 Feb 1997