FILM new releases

featuring hits made famous by Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley and Eddie Cochran

I Mon12to Sat17 Oct I


a classic farce starring Britt Ekland, Su Pollard and Jeffrey Holland

Tickets from £8.00 I

[ Mon 19 to Sat 24 Oct I Tickets from £8.50 I

t 4, I | Kat and the Kings |

a vibrant and original musical

‘Five guys and a girl who really know how to party' TIME our

Mon 26 to Sat 31 Oct I Tlckets from £8.00


Max Boyce

- for one night only


Sun 1 Nov at 7.30pm I Tickets from £8.50

1 f O |

| THE cnucIBLE

by Arthur Miller directed by Kenny Ireland

‘Possibly the best American play of this century’ FINANCIAL TIMES

L Tues 3 to Sat 7 Nov I

Tickets from £8.50 7

° BOX OFFICE 0131 529 6000 0

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30 THE U31 8—22 Oct 1998

Courtroom melodrama: Fedja Van Huet (left) in Character

Character (15) 124 mins *‘k ir

No one can quite figure why this bleak Dutch melodrama won this year’s Oscar for Best Foreign Film (losers included the Russian movie The Thief), apart from the fact that another Dutch film, Antonia’s Line, won a couple of years back. It’s all the more unlikely since Mike Van Diem’s debut has none of the heart-warming qualities that distinguish previous Oscar winners like Ko/ya.

In fact, it’s an unashamedly downbeat, joyless chronicle of misery on a Dickensian scale, set in 19305 Rotterdam. Robert Downey Jr lookalike Fedja Van Huet plays the central character, Katadreuffe, the illegitimate son of a bailiff who, in the opening sequence, is seen launching himself in a rage at his uncaring father. During

interrogation by a local magistate, it emerges that Katadreuffe is being held responsible for the bailiff's murder, and his story unspools in flashback.

Unsurprisingly, Katadreuffe's tale is one of debts, revenge, an equally uncaring mother, and a burning desire to accomplish things in the grey-and- black-hued world he inhabits. Van Diem orchestrates events with a tightrope-treading parade of highly wrought melodrama, rarely putting a foot wrong as he follows Katadreuffe from his mother's one-room tenement home, through failed ventures, communist streetfighting, and final success as a lawyer.

No masterpiece, then, but an intriguing example of a kind of mood and drama that few filmmakers would dare to tackle. (Andrew Pulver)

. Glasgow Film Theatre from Fri 9 Oct. Edinburgh Fi/mhouse from Fri 76 Oct.


Hit or myth: Drew Barrymore and Anjelica Huston in Ever After

Ever After (PG) 119 mins *‘kir

Why film a story synonymous with Walt Disney animation? Because Ever After purports to be the definitive version of Cindere//a, allegedly a true story. In fact, the inventive epilogue, which explains the mistaking of history for myth, is one of the film’s most satisfying moments.

This set-up provides the filmmakers with the opportunity to invest the tale with some PC values and wear its issues on its sleeve. Here the heroine renamed Danielle shows ’girl power' independence and intellect; she treats servants as equals, speaks out against slavery and rescues herself from the clutches of villains. Patriarchy, the class struggle, child abuse and single parenthood are addressed in no uncertain terms, certainly not those of 16th century French rural folk and courtesans. But the grafting of PC

values’onto fairytale myth is a clumsy distraction from the action.

There's pleasant enough diversion in the lively romantic comedy, while the look and feel of Danielle's world is both gritty and fabulous, thanks to sumptuous production design and widescreen cinematography. A fine cast, notably the magnificent Angelica Huston (compared to whom Cruella DeVille seems angelic), support the romantic leads.

Drew Barrymore manages to be both sweet and gutsy (3 la The Wedding Singer), but the surprise lies in Dougray Scott’s engaging turn as Prince Charming (here called Henry), who is at once a swashbucking hero, a bumbling fool, an arrogant noble and a charming lover. if the secret of on- screen romance lies in its casting chemistry, Ever After has it. (Miles Fielder)

3 General release from Fri 9 Oct. See feature.