jewel, but films like this offer easy access to great stories. Stirling: MacRobert.

The Thomas Crown Affair (15) (John McTiernan, US, 1999) Pierce Brosnan, Rene Russo, Denis Leary. 110 mins. Brosnan takes two steps left of his 007 persona to play millionaire playboy Thomas Crown, who turns to art theft to amuse himself. When he lifts a £100 million Monet from a New York museum, he attracts the attention of Russo's insurance investigator. During the ensuing cat and mouse game of wits, emotions get the better of the worthy foes and romance soon threatens both their livelihoods. The film's two heist scenes are expertly executed by McTieman, while no less riveting is the interplay between the leads. Only the trite final scene blemishes what is otherwise a fine piece of commercial art. Falkirk: FI'H Cinema. Irvine: Magnum Theatre.

The Tichborne Claimant (PG) (David Yates, UK, 1998) Robert Pugh, John Kani, Sir John Gielgud. 98 mins. The most confident British film debut in years brings the most sensational court case of the Victorian Age brought to the screen. 1866. When the long lost heir to the English Tichbome fortune is sighted in Australia, the family’s African servant, Bogle is packed off down under to retrieve him. Years later, a neglected and dejected Bogle returns with a man claiming to be the heir. Clinging to their family jewels, the Tichbomes refute the claim and a court case of scandalous proportions ensues. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. Toy Story (PG) (John Lasseter, US, 1995) With the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles. 81 mins. It isn’tjust the state- of-the-art images that distinguish Disney’s first computer-generated animation feature, it‘s got a cracking adventure story too. A tale of friendship and self-belief combined with an exciting rescue and against-the-clock tension, Toy Story is sprinkled with comic asides. Don’t be fooled into thinking these toys are just for the kids. Ayr: Odeon.

The Trench (15) (William Boyd, UK, 1999) Paul Nicholls, Daniel Craig, Danny Dyer. 98 mins. Naivete might be the word. But it cannot capture the innocent ignorance that engulfed the British teenagers who flocked to enlist in World War One. Boyd traces the demolition of this innocence amongst a group of front-line volunteers preparing for the infamous Battle of the Somme. As the bloody outcome is well established, plot is secondary, and the narrative focuses on character development. The stylisation seems at odds with the bulk of the film. Nevertheless, worthy stuff. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith.

The Truman Show (PG) (Peter Weir, US, 1998) Jim Carrey, Laura Linney, Ed Harris. 103 mins. Truman Burbank leads a life of sublime banality in the picture perfect island community of Seahaven, but is the unwitting star of the world’s longest-running documentary soap opera. The Truman Show (the movie) is flawlessly put together, with script and direction perfectly judged. Carrey, still a schmuck, but less ingratiating than usual, surprisingly gives the movie its heart. Edinburgh: Cameo.

Melve Angry Men (PG) (Sydney Lumet, US, 1957) Henry Fonda, Lee J Cobb, Ed Begley, Jack Klugman. 95 mins. One man stands out against his fellow jurors' somewhat prejudiced view of the murder case they are trying. The battle is consistently tense and sweaty as Fonda struggles to convince the other eleven that the accused is innocent until proven guilty. Bathgate: Regal.

TwentyFourSeven (15) (Shane Meadows, UK, 1997) Bob Hoskins, Bruce Jones, Frank Harper. 97 mins. A down and out (Hoskins) sets up a boxing club to give the locals a sense of purpose, but tragedy is always lurking. Shot in dazzling black and white, this is almost certainly the most notable portrayal of Nottingham since Albert Finney refused to be ground down in Saturday Night, Sunday Morning. Hoskins is marvellous in this harsh and beautiful film. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

Umberto D (PG) (Vittoria De Sica, Italy, 1952) Carlo Battista, Maria Pia Casilio, Lena Gennari. 89 mins. An elderly civil servant can hardly afford to pay his rent, but refuses to part with his pet dog. Writer and director team Cesare Zavattini and De Sica

from Bicycle Thieves here produce another moving film from an everyday human drama, the plight of the old in a society that fails to adequately care for them. Edinburgh: Italian Cultural Institute.

La Vie Revee Des Anges (The Dream Life Of Angels) (15) (Erick Zonca, France, 1998) Elodie Bouchez, Natacha Regnier. 113 mins. Zonca’s first feature follows Bouchez’s young backpacker who arrives in Lille without a job. Managing to wrangle a menial job, she strikes up a friendship with fellow worker Regnier, who offers her a place to stay in the flat she’s looking after. Top heavy with precedents, but there ’5 always room for films in acute sympathy with their leading characters. Edinburgh: Cameo.

Waking Ned (PG) (Kirk Jones, UK, 1998) Ian Bannen, David Kelly, Fionnula Flanagan. 91 mins. Actually, Ned’s dead. A shame that, because the old fella just won £7 million playing The Lottery - the discovery of which killed him. However, wily seventysomething pals Jackie and Michael spy a golden opportunity to claim the cash. Charming and eccentric with a defiant spirit. Edinburgh: ABC.

Warren Miller's Fifty (PG) (Warren Miller, US, 1998) 90 mins. From Alaska to Switzerland, Chile to Norway, Miller’s camera crew film the most breathtaking snowridering action. Includes skiing’s biggest wipeouts. Glasgow: GFI‘. Stirling: MacRobert.

The White Balloon (U) (Jafar Panahi, Iran, 1995) Aida Mohammadkhani, Mohsen Kafili, Fereshteh Sadr Orfani. 84 mins. A young girl goes to the market to buy a goldfish, but loses her money on the way. The material may be the most mundane of concerns, but this film, which unfolds in real time, is as nerve-wracking as any Hitchcock thriller. With its truth to detail, stylistic simplicity and wonderful depiction of innocence and purity, it reawakens faith in the medium of cinema. Glasgow: GFI‘. Wings Of Desire (15) (Wim Wenders, W, 1987) Bruno Ganz, Otto Sander, Solveig Dommartin, Peter Falk. 127 mins. Restless angel Ganz on duty over Berlin takes a tip from American movie star and former angel Falk on the possibilities of crossing over, and follows his mentor ’s path to consummate his relationship with beautiful circus acrobat Dommartin. Gorgeous black- and-white photography and a sensitive feel for the people and places of Berlin grace this thematically rich and uncharacteristically optimistic slice of Wenders enchantment. Highly recommended. Edinburgh: Cameo. The Winslow Boy (U) (David Mamet, US, 1999) Nigel Hawthorne, Rebecca Pidgeon, Jeremy Northam. 110 mins. It has surprised many that David Mamet should adapt Terence Rattigan’s very British period drama, based on an event which caught the public’s imagination in 1912. The boy in question is expelled from naval academy for allegedly stealing a postal order, much to the consternation of his upper middle class family. The cast are roundly superb, evincing as much control as their director. Although the proceedings seem a little cold, that’s Mamet’s way. What astonishes is the sheer style and skill on display. Glasgow: Odeon, Showcase Cinema. Edinburgh: Dominion.

The Witches (PG) (Nicholas Roeg, US, 1990) Anjelica Huston, Mai Zetterling, Rowan Atkinson. 92 mins. Nine year-old Luke is warned by his Norwegian granny about the ever-present threat posed by witches, which isn’t much help because within the next half hour he stumbles on their annual convention in a small Eng'lish hotel and gets himself changed into a mouse. A pleasing adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s story has director Roeg (in unusually straightforward manner) creating a superior kids movie that has you rooting for the mice all the way. Stirling: MacRobert.

Yellow Submarine (U) (George Dunning, UK, 1967) The voices and music of the Beatles. 90 mins. The Fab Four save Pepperland from the Blue Meanies. A real period piece these days, this exercise in garish psychedelic animation still remains a colourful (and safely non-addictive) trip for the kiddies, while everyone can sing along with the tunes. Glasgow: Grosvenor.

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