Moving without being sentitttental. with a morality that‘s far from simple-minded. (ilas‘gow: (il'l‘. lidinburgh: Cameo

Some Prefer Cake (18) (Heidi Arnesen. US. I997) 90 mins. Two friends oite a wannabe stand-up wlto enjoys a string of otte night staitds. the otlter a chocoholic w ho wattts to be a restaurant critic go through six tttoittlts of life and rontance. Part of the Lesbian and (iay I5ilni I-‘estival lidtnburgh: liilmhouse.

The Spiral Staircase (I’( if (Robert Siodmak. US. 1945) Dorothy Mc(iuire. (ieorge Brent. lithel Barrymore. 83 mins. Sonteone has beeit murdering tlte tow n‘s disabled yottttg women attd mute Helen (McGuire) is likely to become tlte latest victim. 'I‘his rttttrder mystery element is less important than the sustained gotltic atmosphere and tlte visual means by w lticlt tlte twists of the killer's mind are represented on screen. 'lhere ltave been countless films siitce abottt serial killers operating within a pattern. bttt few so effectively scratclt sttrface respectability to uncover the shadows and secrets beneatlt. (ilasgow: (il’l'.

Star Kid (I’(i) (Manny Coto. US. 1997) Joseplt Mazzello. Richard (iilliland. Corinne Boltrer. I00 mitts. Slty. bullied Spencer (Jurassic l’urk's Mauello) discovers an alien Cybersuit a voice arid personality of its own. Climbing inside. he gets back at his school ncmisis. bttt finds himself tip against a deadlier foe when he faces intergalactic tough nuts. the Broodwarriors. Clearly aimed at pre-adolescent boys wlto want to fill ottt their underdog fantasies. Slur Kid is a better than average kids movie. (ilasgow: (irosv'enor. Wishaw: Arrow.

The Swimmer ( l5) (l-‘rank I’crry. US. I908) Burt Lancaster. Janice Rtile. Kim Ilttttter. 94 mins. Sydney Pollack also had a hand in the direction of this odd allegorical tale. bttt the concept belongs to l‘rank I’erry attd his wife Eleanor. who adapted John Chcev er's short story. Lancaster is determined to swim eigltt miles through public aitd private swimming pools. encountering various receptions on the way. A rare American art movie that attacks middle-class life. Iidinburglt; l’ilmhouse.

Titanic ( l 2) (James Cameron. US. l‘)‘)7l Leonardo DiCaprio. Kate Winslet. Billy Vane. I94 mitts. Cameron tackles the story of the doomed ocean liner through a touching love story that isn‘t overwhelmed by the awesome special effects. Rich girl Rose (Winslet) is unhappin engaged to arrogant Cal (Zane) bttt falls for third-class passenger Jack (DiCaprio): love blossoms as the ship hits art iceberg in the North Atlantic. lit all its on-screen glory. 'Iilmiir' does indeed look like the tttost expensive film ever ntade. conve)’ing botlt the scale of the disaster and the feeling of claustrophobia as the water rises. (ilasgow: Show case. Iidinbttrgh; ()deon. Ay r: ()deon. Irvine; \VMR. Paisley: Sltowcasc.

Trees Lounge (ISi (Steve Buscemi. t'S. I990) Steve Bttscenti. Cltloe Sevigny'. Anthony Lal’aglia. 95 mitts. l’rolitic US indie actor Buscenti comes tip trumps iii frottt of and behind the cantcra iii this carefully detailed. character-driven movie that's more Cassavettes than 'I‘arantino. It's to Buscemi's credit as actor. writer and director that lie encourages such sy tttpatlty for ltis bart‘ly loser. w hose self-pity ittg journey through (low) lite is funny and unsentimental. 'Ilte greatest. most phenomenal. small. unassuming tilm you‘re likely to see all year. Iidinburgh: Cameo. Twelve Angry Men (I’Ci) (Sydney l.umet. US. 1957) Henry l-‘onda. Lee J. Cobb. lid Begley. 95 tttins. One man stands out against his fellow jtn‘ot's‘ somewhat prejudiced view of the nturder case they are trying. The battle is consistently tense and sweaty as l-‘onda struggles to convince the other eleven that the accused is innocent until proven guilty. lidinburgh: Canteo. TwentyFourSeven (l5) (Shatte Meadow s. UK. I997) Bob Hoskins. Bruce Jones. Frank Harper. 97 tttins. A down attd ottt (Hoskilts) sets tip a boxing club to give the locals a sense of purpose. bttt tragedy is always lurking. Shot in dazzling black attd white. this is almost certainly the tttost notable portrayal of Nottingham since Albert l5inney refused to be ground dow it in Salim/(iv Night. Sunday Morning. Hoskins is

marvellous Ill this harsh and beattttlul film (ilasgow: (il’l‘.

Ulysses' Gaze (I’fii ('Iheo Angeloupoulos. (ireece/lirancc. I‘)‘)5i Harvey Kettel. Maia Morgenstcrn. Iirland Josephson. lSt) nuns. Keith plays art American filmmaker who goes to (irecce itt searclt of an early piece of undeveloped film. llis iourncy echoes the Ilonteric odyssey of l'Iysses btit also moves tts deeper into the troubled lteart of the Balkans. Angeloupoulos is a genuine master. aitd this ambitious ftlttt shows remarkable formal accontpltshment attd emotional

pow er. 'lltc presence of Kcitel and a script substantially iit Iinghsh sltotild open him up to a wider audience. (ilasgow' (il’l‘.

U-Turn ( lts’) (Oliver Stone. l’S. l‘)‘)7i Sean Penn. Jennifer Lopel. Billy Bob 'l'hornton. IZS itttits. Stone avoids controversy aitd goes instead for a smaller. genre piece with skilful storytelling. strong performances and punchy ctnentatography. l’enn is an unlucky dude who gets embroiled in a seedy nturder plot between husband and wife w hen his car breaks dowtt iii the desert. A small. perfectly fornted gent. lidinburgh: l-‘ilmhotise. Stirling: MacRobert,

Wag The Dog t l5) (Barry I.ev inson. I'S. l‘)‘)7) Robert De Niro. l)ustin Hoffman. Anne Iicche. ()7 units. A spin doctor cooks tip a fictitious war to help a l'S l’resident through a trick)‘ aitd scandal-filled te- election campaign all done-and-dusted well before Clinton‘s Monica I.evv insky scandal surfaced Btit outside its frighteningly impeccable timing. this fviamet-scripted satire comes iit heavy handed form As one ‘prohlem' after another is encountered and solyed. the cool. Itottit‘ tone of the opening section is rapidly replaced by one of simple lty steria. Kirkcaldy: Adaitt Smith.

The Wedding Singer ( I It I I-‘rattk (‘oiacr l'S. I‘M?) Drew Barrymore. Adam Sandler. Christine 'Iaylor. ()7 mins. After his bride dumps him at the altar. Robbie (Sandleri puts on a happy face at his day iob singing at other people‘s weddings. When his waitress lrtend (Barry morei also suffers ttttptttal disappointment. an unespected romance blossoms Packed with a sublime ts‘l)s soundtrack. arid featuring some of the tttost amusing fashions since [June/e .Vie/ils. this is a genuine out-of-novvhere delight. (ieneral release.

When We Were Kings (1') (Leon (iasl. [1%. I996) Muhammad Ali. (ieorge Iioi‘ntan. Norman Mailer. S4 ttttits. Art Oscar winner iit the Best Documentary category. this splendid account of the historic ‘Rumble lit The Jungle' boxing match between Ali aitd I"orman gets beyond the punches thrown iii the ring to convey the sense of black pride being bortt. Ania/.meg dratttattc. lidmburgh: Cattteo.

Wild Man Blues ( 13) (Barbara Kopple. l'S. l‘)‘)7l Woody Allen. Soon-Yr Prev in Allen ll).< mills. Kopplc's back-stage documentary of Woody Allen‘s ia/z band's liuropean tour features some ltot l)t\ie. bttt the subiect's ulterior motive is clearly to repair something of his good nante with respect to the ttnsavoury publicity surrounding his break- up with Mia l-‘arrow. The most tttn. however. itt this reverential portrait is iit watching Allen's ever-evident grouchtncss and his flashing one-liners. lidinbttt‘gh. Cameo. I-‘ilmhouse.

Wilde ( l5) (Briait (iilbert. l'ls'. l‘)‘)7) Stephen l-'ry. Jude Law. Vanessa Redgrave. ll7 tttiits. 'l‘he casting of I-‘ry as Victorian wit. novelist attd playwright Oscar Wilde seems almost inevitable. and it pays off. with the actor getting beyond surface details to the intelligent. kind man beneath. (iilbert's film is gritty iit its portrayal of homosexual relationships than most British period dramas. bttt first and foremost II is a moving story of tragic. obsessive Iov e. (ilasgow: (il’l'. Stirling; MacRobert.

The Winner ( 15) (Ales (Tos. US. 19%) Vitteettt l)‘()nofrio. Billy Bob 'I‘hornton. Rebecca I)eMornay. ()(T mitts. Cos. director of Re/m Mun attd former presenter of BBCZ‘s il’lil‘HY/I'UHH'. disassociated himself frottt this movie after it was tinkered with itt the editing suite. The result does Itave something lacking. l)'()nofrio plays a ttaive man who becomes the target of every crook and temptress itt Vegas when he ltits a winning streak. (ilasgovv: (ii-'l'.

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