Heart (18) 82 mins 1r it t i

A good script IS the baSis of a good film and that’s the case With Jimmy

McGovern's smartly scripted gothic melodrama. When Single mother Saskia Reeves loses her adored son in a car accident she agrees to donate his heart to Christopher Eccleston, whose Jealousy of adulterous Wife Kate Hardie has given him a nasty condition around the ticker area. But when Reeves discovers the loveless nature of the donee's marriage, she begins to think Eccleston unworthy of her son’s organ. Sharply acted, SurpriSing and funny in all the right places. (High Fliers) (MF)

Notting Hill

(15) 119 mins * ~k

Do not be misled, this is not the follow up to Four Weddings And A Funeral. Whereas Hugh Grant was almost endearing then, he IS now irritating beyond belief, and Julia Roberts manages to look like a fish out of water in nearly every scene. Albeit, a fish With a very wide smile. It's predictable, slow and hardly raises a titter; so it’s neither romantic nor comedic. Av0id it as a date Video, unless you want to put your intended into a deep coma. Released Simultaneously for retail and on DVD. (Universal) (SB)


(15) 94 mins * 1r

A mix of ex-Brookside stalwarts, iconic celebrity performers (Clarence ’E Street Band’ Clemons) and one good actor (Tom Bell) make up the cast for this dismal attempt to resurrect the spirit of The Commitments. Hugo Speer is paroled from Strangeways, hOping to fall back into the arms of Lisa Stansfield. Unfortunately, she has married his arresting officer; yet, maybe their mutual love for music Will bring them together? Too much effort is spent on flatly directed onstage gOings-on to give the ’story' a minute's thought. (Entertainment) (BD)

The lmposters (15) 97 mins a *

Following the sublime Big Night, writer/director/actor Stanley Tuco once more assembles a superb cast Oliver Platt, Lili Taylor, Campbell Scott, Steve Buscemi, Billy Connolly, Alfred


Molina and Isabella Rossellini among them for this homage to Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy and the collected Marx Siblings. Unfortunately, the slapstick comedy, revolvmg around two unemployed actors who aCCidentally stow away on an ocean liner, fails to stick; it's iust too self- conSCiouS. (Fox Pathe) (MF)

RETAIL The Third Man

(PG) 103 mins 1* * t t a The BFI voted The Third Man the finest

British film ever and who can argue? Virtuosny runs right through this; the Orson Welles Uber-cameo; the stirring Anton Karas zither theme; Carol Reed’s stark evocation of post-war Vienna, Star performances from Joseph Cotton, Alida Valli, Trevor Howard and a little black cat. Hoping to meet up With old buddy Harry Lime (Welles), pulp fiction writer Holly Martins (Cotton) is shocked to discover that he has been killed in a freak traffic acodent. As he delves into the case, nothing, naturally enough, is what it seems . . (Warner £12.99) (BD)

Kiss Or Kill

(18) 92 mins * 4r x «I

Love turns to mutual suspicion as lovers Nikki (Frances O’Connor) and Al (Matt Day) head across the Australian outback With the police on their tail and a pile of bodies growmg in their wake. Like a tWitchy psycho whispering to himself in the corner, Bill Bennett’s thrilling psychological study radiates its sense of mortal danger through unexpected Jump cuts. You'll guess and guess again, then wonder just how well you really know those you claim to trust. (Alliance Atlantis £14.99) (AM)

The Daytrippers

(15) 84 mins vk w * *

Eliza (Hope Dam) is happily married to Louis (Stanley Tucci). Or so she thinks. Having found a love letter to him she goes to her mother for adwce, before taking the Whole family With her for moral support When she confronts Louis in Manhattan. The humour is well Judged and the cast are excellent, as they drive each other ever so slowly insane, roaming around searching for nothing but the Whole truth. The film builds to a simple, but effective climax Where a few family truths are revealed. (Metrodome £10.99) (MR)

L KuhlellVampe -

Happiness (18) 134 mins i ‘k t t

Sofa away: Happiness

Todd Solondz touched more than a few raw nerves when Happiness came to the big screen this spring. And come it most certainly did. The film positively reeks with the stuff; from the earliest pre-pubescent meanderings to the full blown climax of a telephone pervert, you need to have a pretty strong stomach to swallow some of this.

Of course, when it gets to the nitty gritty of the secret life of a paedophiliac rapist, it's harder to find the laughs. But they are laughs which Solondz wants to have sounding hollow in the viewer's ear. Feel uncomfortable with your sympathies and be disturbed by them but, nevertheless, let your natural reactions take you along for the ride.

Set among an extended family of American suburbanites, some are successes, others are failures. All have something rather significant missing from their lives. Lara Flynn Boyle's author bemoans her lack of authenticity; Dylan Baker's psychiatrist is incapable of repressing the most heinous of sexual urges; Jane Adams's perfectly monikered Joy wants to do right by everyone, but can't help hurting or being hurt.

As each member's life appears to be on the brink of collapse, they find themselves unable to help each other, so obsessed are they with their own pursuit of happiness. Brutal and honest, Solondz's follow-up to the equally unsentimental Welcome To The Dollhouse is an admittedly bleak tale which will make you grimace and grin almost at the same moment.

(Brian Donaldson)

I: Available for rental on Universal from Mon 8 Nov.

(PG) 117 mins w it it

Bertolt Brecht and Slatan Dudow’s 1932 plea for a German socialist utopia (the title means To Whom The World Belongs) was, unsurpriSingly, banned by Hitler When he came to power the followmg year. Taking one family’s struggle against riSing unemployment and mounting bill reminders, they are forced to take refuge in a camp for the dispossessed. The actual movre itself is Just over an hour long, the remainder set aside With a tortuous scene-by-scene from Andrew Hoellering (son of producer Georg) which is for the 100% alienated only. (BFl £15.99) (BD)


(PG) 90 mins * 1f 1r

Bertoluccis pretty, portentous romance sees an exiled African woman (Thandie Newton) develop an unlikely liaison With an eccentric British composer

' (David Thewlis) In Rome. The fiddly

Visual style cluttered With Jump cuts and slo mo and ponderous lyricism make for a heavy, self-important film that, nonetheless, remains undercharacterised and suffers from histrionic performances on the part of both leads. Though packed with questing passions and howling, it


remains oddly hollow, With gloss Where feeling should be (Alliance Atlantis £14.99) (HM)


(18) 105 mins 4 ~‘

Christian Bale has a cosy Suburban life With Wife, child and mortgage, but he’s haunted by What might have been, shagWise. Cue the reappearance of his badass best friend of yore. StriVing for Withnai/ 8r / by way of Carnal Know/edge, director Philip Sayille has WOund up With Whatever Happened To The Like/y Lads? This only goes to prove that novels by Julian Barnes are way too boring to make it onto the screen. (Metrodome £10.99) (HM)

What Dreams May Come

(15) 113 mins z >2-

When caring Dr Robin Williams (again!) is killed in a car accident, he finds himself in a heaven created in the image of his beloved Wife's (Annabella Sciorra) paintings. Already depressed by the earlier deati. of their children, SCiorra commits SUiCide and goes on a fast track to Hell, whereupon Williams undertakes the Journey of Orpheus to save her. The extraordinary Visuals of Vincent Ward’s otherWise Sickenineg sentimental afterlife fantasy are lost on the smaller screen. (ViSion Video £12.99) (MF)

* * * * * Unm'ssab'e REVIEWERS THIS ISSUE:

* * t it Very ood I it it i won a shot Simone Baird, Brian Donaldson, Miles ! Running on empty: Adam Sandler is a wet blanket in The Waterboy (Buena Vista, 15, l * * Below average FIGlder, Hannah MCGI“. Alan Morrison, ' 90 mins, *t). Available on rental and DVD priced £15.99 from Mon 8 Nov __.”_ _. .-_ _ 193339539 flirts-‘9.-. Mark Robertson

112 THE “81’ 4—18 Nov 1999