Till death do us part: Robin Williams and Annabella Sciorra in What Dreams May Come

All that heaven allows

A veteran of films by Spike Lee and Abel Ferrara, ANNABELLA SCIORRA gives the performance of her life in What Dreams May Come.

Words: Anwar Brett

From her debut in True Love. through her breakthrough hit The Hand Thu! Rocks The Cradle. to Spike Lee's Jungle Fever. Annabella Sciorra's career has consistently taken her through a rollercoaster of high emotion. Her current film. the tear-soaked melodrama W/ml Dreams May Come. is no exception.

She plays .-\nnie Nielsen. a woman devoted to her loving husband Chris (Robin Williams). all the closer to him since their teenage children were killed. But she is pushed beyond endurance when (‘hris is taken from her too. first contemplating and finally succumbing suicide. Watching her despair but powerless to reassure her. Chris's disembodied spirit wants to ensure she is okay before he can move into the afterlife.

In a film with so many vivid images —- Heaven. for instance. is customised to the needs and desires of the individual. so for (‘hris it is a giant oil painting in which he can move freely it is these simple human emotions that will touch audiences the deepest. They are built upon powerful performances coming from a suitably subdued Williams and Sciorra who has to act one scene. with Williams standing inches from her face. as if he is not there at all.

‘Sometimes it was really difficult.‘ she agrees.

34 THE “ST H DH 1998 -/ Jan 1999

'Robin is an emotional guy, and he’s very tender, very sweet and thoughtful and deep. To me he's like the picture of humanity.’ Annabella Sciorra

‘because in order to get our faces that close to each other when he‘s not supposed to be there. he would have to lean on my legs. But once you got into it and got the idea of it. the scene became a little bit easier. And the truth of the matter is that in the story she does sense that he’s there. so it‘s not like you‘re completely blanking him out.‘

The bond that is supposed to make audiences believe that these two are soulmates. people who simply cannot contemplate a life apart. is effectively conveyed. Williams. of course. exudes warmth. humour and tenderness qualities that his co-star acknowledges he possesses in spades.

‘Robin is an emotional guy.’ she adds. ‘and he‘s very tender. very sweet and thoughtful and deep. To me he‘s like the picture of humanity. Some people have said he was a strange choice for this role. but after seeing him in the film I don‘t think they would think that. In Dead Pm'ls .S'nu'erv there are some beautiful. beautiful moments. just of Robin listening to Robert Sean Leonard's character talking. To work with him is quite brilliant he's amazing.‘

An actress more interested with doing good work than

simply building a lucrative career for herself. Annabella Sciorra has scored a major success with her performance here. And in a mixed year for movies. she and Williams star

in one of the few to show a

daring imagination. to provoke discussion after the houselights have come up and to entertain audiences all at the same time.

‘lt‘s funny.‘ she smiles. ‘but the idea of the afterlife didn‘t concern me too much while I was making this film. For me this was much more an

opportunity to do a very romantic. dramatic movie. It’s just larger than life stuff. the kind of thing you always imagined you’d be doing when you wanted to become an actor.‘ For Annabella Sciorra. it is nothing less than a dream come true.

General release from Sat 26 Dec. See review.

Ro u g h cuts Projecting into the New Year

VIRGIN CINEMAS WILL open three new Scottish cinemas in 1999, bringing a total of 42 new screens to Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee. The Tayside multiplex at Camperdown Park will be the first to open (in September) and will be followed by Edinburgh‘s Fountain Park Megaplex in October and a four-floor complex in Glasgow's Renfrew Street in December. All sites will feature wall-to-wall screens and Virgin's upper-class Premier Screen service, which includes reclining armchair seats and waitress service from an exclusive licensed bar. The 3,083-seater Edinburgh venue also houses Scotland’s first lwerks 30 screen.

DIRECI'OR MORAG FULLERTON heads the Scottish leg of the Sony Filmmakers' Workshop, with an event to be held at Glasgow Film Theatre on Saturday 30 January. The series of workshops, which embrace the concept of DIY film culture and camcorder technology, have so far featured music video directors Pedro Romhanyi and Jonathan Glazer. To apply for a place, participants should describe in no more than 30 words their appreciation of a favourite film or video. Places (£40 waged/£20 unwaged) are limited to twelve, and information is available from 0171 801 3006.

KEN INGLES, DIRECTOR of Glasgow Film Theatre, is about to shift his career eastwards and take over as Director of Filmhouse in Edinburgh. Jim Hamilton, Filmhouse's current Director, has been appointed Head of the National Film Theatre in London. Ingles joined GFT in April 1985 and since then has overseen the Rose Street building's £2 million Development Project, including the addition of a second screen in 1992. i ’l’m very much looking forward to having a third screen to , programme,’ he says of the I Filmhouse challenge. ‘lt’s an absolute fact of life in this sector that, when you get a second screen, you immediately want a third. Otherwise you can’t fit all the movies in.’

Ken Ingles: from GFT to Filmhouse