Crimes of the father: Stephen Dorff in Blood And Wine
Blood And Wine (15) 100 mins *ir **
Bob Rafelson’s best film since The Postman Always Rings Twice is that rare animal, a twisty thriller populated by characters you believe in and emotions that cause real hurt.
Jack Nicholson is a Miami wine merchant whose business, backed by family money from long-suffering wife Judy Davis, is about to go belly up. Desperate measures are needed, and he turns to Michael Caine's ailing English safecracker to help him steal a diamond necklace from one of his wealthy clients. Accomplishing the dirty deed is anxious enough, but fencing the item is where it turns tricky, events conspiring to involve Nicholson's slacker stepson Stephen Dorff and Cuban exile housemaid Jennifer Lopez, the lover the boy unwittingly shares with his father.
The regrets and frustrations of middle
age may not be the hippest thematic terrain around, but it's certainly an area Rafelson and Nicholson are well equipped to explore. The built-in anxieties of romancing a younger woman, the pain of a marriage dying a lingering death and the exasperation of watching a son turn out badly — all these weigh on Nicholson's capacious performance and make the film as compelling as it is.
Old hands will spot the plot developments coming, but it's the characters that count here. That, plus terrific work from embittered Davis and bronchial Caine, showing he’s still got some acting left in him as the doggedly unprepossessing Victor. Delivered with feeling and some genuinely edgy rushes of anger and passion, it’s one for the grown-ups out there. (Trevor Johnston)
I Glasgow: ABC Film Centre, Showcase, UCI Clydebank, Edinburgh: UC/ from Fri 7 Mar. Edinburgh: Cameo from Fri 74 Mar. See preview.
The Evening Star (15) 129 mins *ir
Set fifteen years after Debra Winger's tear-jerking demise at the close of the 1983 hit Terms Of Endearment, this sequel reaches for another bumper bOx of Kleenex. Since her daughter's death, eccentric Houston widow Aurora Greenway (Shirley MacLaine) has invested her emotions in the lives of her grandchildren. As overbearing and interfering as ever, Aurora competes for the children’s affections with her daughter's best friend, rich-bitch socialite Patsy (Miranda Richardson), with whom she also views for the attention of laid-back therapist Jerry (Bill Paxton).
While Hollywood has struck box office and Academy Award gold with films based on novels by Larry McMurtry, the same alchemy hasn't worked with the sequels. Texasvi/le failed to repeat the success of The Last Picture Show, and The Evening Star misses the mark set by Terms Of Endearment by an even bigger margin. Most of the blame lies with debutant director Robert Harling, who seeks to reprise the mix of comedy and pathos found in his screenplay for Steel Magnolias, but coats the narrative with enough sugary sentiment to send a diabetic into a coma.
Losing its twinkle: Shirley MacLaine in The Evening Star
Terms Of Endearment was slickly manipulative, but at least it pushed all the right buttons. Episodic and unfocused, The Evening Star sorely misses Winger’s combative presence and, alth0ugh Jack Nicholson briefly reappears as womanising ex-astronaut Garrett Breedlove, both he and his character seem subdued, shadows of their former selves. As for MacLaine, her Aurora was a splendid comic creation first time around, but she adds little to the role that we haven’t seen before. (Jason Best)
I General release from Fri 14 Mar.
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Jerry Maguire (15) II: Mars Attacks! (12) Ransom (15) The Crucible (12) Michael (PC) =I= Blood and Wine (15) :11: Portrait of a Lady (12) at Bound (18) Fierce Creatures (Po) Shine (12) 1t: Evita (PG) it The Frighteners (15) (III) Showing exclusively at The Quay
NEW RELEASES MARCH
14th The English Patient (15) The Evening Star (15) let Star Wars - Special Edition (U) Space Jam (U) Secrets and Lies (15) 28th Dante’s Peak (rec) Romeo and juliet (12) Larger than Life (PG)
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7—20 Mar 1997TIIELI31'25