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The sty's the limit: hogging the limelight in Babe: Pig In The City

Babe: Pig In The City (PG) 99 mins

After the unexpected but entirely deserved - success of Babe three years ago, audiences may have had a hard time looking at a bacon sandwich With a clear conscience The frlrn, after all, painted a muching picture of a porker determined to better himself something he did by becoming a prize- Winning sheep-pig « and this seguel picks up where that film left off

Just as precocious as before, young Babe accidentally rinures Farmer Hoggett (James Cromwelh and puts the farm in Jeopardy as poor old Mrs Hoggett cannot cope with the increased workload In desperation Mrs H (Magda Szr banskri and Babe set off to make a fee-paying appearance at a State Fair But fate is not smiling upon the farmer's wife and her innocent pig, as their adventures a: the big t :ty begin

A darker film than the original, this sequel is directed and written by George 'I'Vlad Max' Miller, rather than coming from a Dick King-Smith book. This gives it a different tone, but the imaginative design is as good as ever, and new favourite characters are created in the form of a trio of wrsecrackrng chimps and a noble looking orang-utan

Perhaps it is churlish to suggest that this film is not so good because rt is different from the first, but the loss of innocence screen is matched by the loss of novelty value to the gimmick of these talkative animals Far better t'tan dark rumours about its gualrty suggested, Babe Pig In The City is er‘.t-:?rtarning, but that bacon sandwich rs not such a no-no as rt once auras rAnv-xar Brett‘-

Gener’ar’ relcnise rrc‘ri; Fr. .'

Family reunion: Kathy Burke, Meryl Streep and Michael Gambon

Dancing At Lughnasa (PG) 95 mins

The screen version of Brian Frrel's successful and much loved play rs strong in its sense of a torrtrrtunity and a time 7 rural Done-gal in 1.936 - but doesn't guite 'feveloti any character outSIde of the five sisters at the centre of the story it's «l strong‘ensemble piece that doesn't iet any performance tip the acting s-Ldit‘S, nor does director Pat O'Connor underline any of its themes ‘.‘/lift the heavy— handed red ink of a school exam text. The lvlundy sisters struggle to make ends meet and, nos; that school numbers are falling, even the teaching income of eldest sister Kate ilvleryl Streep; may soon be lost Their brother, Jack tl\./1I(,'hael Garnbonl, a priest newly returned from Africa, is the family's pride but the Catholic church's shame,

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Cranitchi, whose .'.’i7",if‘.(} at simple— rhinded Rose 'Sr:.::h:e The-ritttsoni not tr: be trusted

the err-czar: .wil Lughnasa apprc‘iaches, pa'r‘rllels netvrc-er‘r this ':.<ilfl()fl( drawn the land, the rlegitimate child, sa; nines To the gods and to respec tability Streep throws in a facial i‘.‘/lf(f‘. too many, but Kathy Burke is splendid as lvlaggre, bringing the film the warmth of a rich and peaty fire rAlan fvloriisoni

Glasgow Film Theatre and Edinburgh Film/rouse from Fri J Dec See preview page 36

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Fire (15) 104 mins Lust is a consuming fire, literally and metaphorically, in Deepa lvlehta's absorbing and compassionate study of unfulfilled women. Set in contemporary New Delhi, but filmed in English, the film has beautiful young Sita (Nandita Das), movrng into the life and household of the attractive and older Radha (Shabana Azmi) Radha is married to good-natured Ashok tKulbushan Kharbanda), and Sita is the arranged bride of Ashok's arrogant younger brother Jatrn (Jaaved Jaaferr).

The two women care for Ashok's invalid, bell-ringing grandmother, Beigr iKushal Rekhr), and work in Ashok's take- away food shot), along wrth his onanrstically depraved servant Mundu (Ranjit Chowdhry) Beside them, latin uses his kung fu vrdeo business to sell sex tapes under Ashok's nose

For very different reasons, both women are excluded by their self-obsessed husbands Ashok became celibate because of Radha's infertily, while Jatrn refuses to give up his girlfriend This pushes Srta into seducing Radha, but their affair becomes known to Beigi twho was left mute by a stroke) and, more dangerOusly, to Mundu

Fire rs beautifully acted, intelligently written and impressively ObJQCIIVO in the way it reflects a patriarchal culture in terms of its own deities, where the mythical and spiritually pure Srta rs ultimately exiled despite Sun/ning her trial by fire dohn MacKenzie) a Glasgow Film Theatre from Fri 4 Thu IO Dec

Burning passions: Nandita Das in Fire

Sixth Happiness (no cert) 99 mins —' ~ ~ Delivered w:th a wonderfully comic tone, Sixth Happiness is based on the life of its screenwriter and star, Firdaus Kanga, and is inspired by his personal experience of !r\.ing wrth a disability,

Immediately after the birth of their son in Bombay 1961, Sam tKhodus Wadta) and Sera 'Souad Faress‘ are informed that he has brittle bone disease and Will never grow. Sera rece'ves the lli“\'.’\ ‘.’.lifl wry optrmzsm, while Sam rs deterrnrned to seek a cure. Named Brit the conc‘litrori of his bones) by his older sister Dolly (Nina Wadia), tl‘e boy's thr‘tthott-d rs made up of futile trips from one guack to another, and Brit reaches adolescence '.'.'llfl the sexual curiosity of the average boy, but Without the actornpt‘rnvinrt _{‘if‘:‘,8l(lli{‘

The sinking characteristic ot this film is the refreshing tone of delivery, conveying the pain of Brits story ‘.‘.';tf‘i()ut wallowmg in sentimentality Thrrty-seveii-year-old Kanga’s sparrted performt‘inre as Brit, front at: eight- to eighteen-year-old, is both accomplished and admirable, while the supporting cast display the eccentricnies of a close-knit lndian centrriunitv ‘.'.':th an if(‘i.'l|( yet realistlc tone A teuching tale With a refreshing sense of humour, Sixth Happiness is a ft(}art-\,‘,/armin,r3 (r-mrng-of-age story with a difference 'Beth Williams-

a Glasgow Tlrr: Theatre Sat

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The Parent Trap 'Ur lZS rnrns’

A family orientated remake from the team that brought us Father (7f The bride and recent segue! may

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aud'e-rzqes should appreciate the stzirr; trt-si:?1rt«\.i'>t:s twentiire that while parents might ethoy the re-lightinc: of feeling between old flames Dennis Quaid' and Natasha Rn: hardan

The original was made l.". l9b‘i, with Hayley Mills in the dual role of :dentrcal twins completely unaware at each other's existence This updated \eision has Lindsay Lohae as the girls azho only (amp New! havntrt :net the other parent,

discoter the truth at summer

Twice as nice: Lindsay Lohan as twins in The Parent Trap

Atiierican Hallie and Englzs'h Annie agree to svrap rdentrtres Hallie ‘.'.'lf| be an English rose for dress des‘igner mum Elizabeth (Richardsoni :n London, while Annie ‘.'/lff be an all-American girl for California wine-gro‘.‘.'er Nick rQuaidt

lt makes for a sweet natured, well meaning story that trades on elements of farce and the odd bit of slapstick The Parent Trap, for all its contemporary detail, is a rather old-fashioned film » a curiously moral pantomime that should entertain well enough ‘.‘.'llfl()tll ‘.’.'|lllllll(] your heart, or telling you anything yeti don‘t know already (Anwar Brett‘ 3 General release from Fri .7 5 Dec See preview