Films screening this fortnight are listed below with certificate, star rating. credits, brief review and venue details. Film index compiled by Miles Fielder.
Agnes Browne (15) ** (Anjelica Huston, US, 2000) Anjelica Huston, Marion O’Dwyer, Ray Winstone. 91 mins. Anjelica Huston packs her sophomore directorial effort with more cliches and stereotypes than you can shake a shamrock at. As Agnes Browne, a big-hearted, salt-of-the-earth matriarch struggling to raise her children alone in Dublin, circa 1967, she gets to play dowdy, glamorous, sensitive and vulgar. But this deterrninedly feelgood ﬁlm is too obvious in its intentions to be emotionally affecting. See review. Glasgow: Showcase. Edinburgh: UCI. Paisley: Showcase. American Beauty (18) bur“: (Sam Mendes, US, 1999) Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, 'I‘hora Birch. 121 mins. Suburban husband and father Lester Burnham (Spacey, giving a career best performance) hates his life, but a close encounter with his daughter's gorgeous school friend is the catalyst for big time self improvement: Lester quits hisjob, digs out his old rock albums and scores marijuana from the kid next door. And these teenage kicks return to Lester what‘s been missing from his life for years: pleasure and happiness. Caustic, touching and hilarious in all the right places - a modern classic. General release. Angela's Ashes (15) *fki (Alan Parker, UK, 1999) Robert Carlyle, Emily Watson, Joe Breen. 148 mins. Frank McCourt's Pulitzer Prize-winning childhood memoir of Limerick in the 305 is a publishing phenomenon, loved across the world by those with no connection to the book's three deﬁning elements - Ireland, Catholicism and poverty. Parker can’t establish the same level of engagement as McCourt does, but he can train his lens on the faces of his remarkable cast to show a texture of emotions. Sentiment here is a natural ingredient, not a saccharine additive. General release. Anna And The King (12) ** (Andy Tennant, US, 1999) Jodie Foster, Chow Yun Fat, Bai Ling. 151 mins. Another remake of The King And [’5 improbable romance between a Western governess and an Eastern king. This time round Yul Brynner is replaced with lush period detail and historical sweep of the kind seen before in The Last Emperor. Foster gives a gratingly worthy performance, while Fat proves he’s better with the Hong Kong bullet ballets that made him famous. Falkirk: FI‘H Cinema. Annie (U) *** (John Huston, US, 1981) Albert Finney, Aileen Quinn, Carol Burnett, Tim Curry. 128 mins. Feelgood musical schmaltz courtesy of the orphaned red-head who sings her way into the heart of hard- nosed businessman Daddy Warbucks (Finney). Carol Burnett was born to play evil orphanage boss Miss Hannigan and Tim Curry exudesjust the right amount of slime as her money-grabbing brother. Stirling: MacRobert. Antz (PG) **** (Eric Darnell, Tim Johnson, 1998) The voices of Woody Allen, Sharon Stone, Gene Hackman. 83 mins. When worker ant Z-4I9S (Allen) meets Princess Bala (Stone), he falls completely in love; but, while trying to prove himself as a soldier, he uncovers a dastardly plan to flood the colony. Antz is brightly coloured and full of gags, so adults will chuckle while kids are pulled in by the slick computer animation. Stirling: Carlton. Artemesia (18) tit (Agnes Merlet, France, 1997) Valentina Cervi, Michel Serrault, Miki Manojlovic. 118 mins. Agnes Mcrlet's study of the ﬁrst woman painter in the history of art (who was persecuted in 17th century Italy for practising it) is a visually lavish period drama. Well-crafted, solidly-acted cinema. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. The Bachelor (12) ** (Gary Sinyor, US, 1999) Chris O’Donnell, Renee Zellweger, Mariah Carey. 102 mins. Remake of the 1925 Buster Keaton classic, Seven Chances in which O‘Donnell's serial monogamist has
26 THE UST 2—16 Mar 2000
24 hours to change his wicked boy ways in order to inherit a cool, cool $100 million. chlweger is the former Boy Wonder's ideal woman (he just don‘t know it yet), while everyone else, from lawyers to ex- girlfriends, blocks him from his ﬁnancial goal. General release.
The Beach (15) *** (Danny Boyle, UK/US, 2000) Leonardo DiCaprio, Guillaume Canet, Virginie Ledoyen. 119 mins. Like Alex Garland's source novel, The Beach has a sort of breathless, late- adolescent ‘What I did on my holidays' quality; book and ﬁlm share the ability to capture the exhilaration and chaos of travel. Screenwriter John Hodge 's adaptation replaces creeping paranoia and discontent with straight-ahead sexual jealousy as a catalyst for disaster. Although the ﬁlm looks handsome and holds the attention, it ﬁnally seems a little hollow and unconvinced of its own purpose. General release.
Being John Malkovich (15) *tttt (Spike Jonze, US, 1999) John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, John Malkovich. 112 mins. Genius music video director Jonze ‘s bizarre feature tells the story of a unemployed puppet master and his pet shop owner wife who ﬁnd a portal that leads right into the head of Ilollywood star John Malkovich. There’s money to be made from those wanting to spend a few minutes wandering around inside. Preview screening. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Bicentennial Man (PG) ** (Chris Columbus, US, 1999) Robin Williams, Sam Neill, Oliver Platt. 130 mins. It's the ﬁrst decade of the 21$t century, and the wealthy Martin family has taken delivery of their new robot-servant Andrew (Williams). After the death of his master (Sam Neill), Andrew embarks on a Iife-changingjourney. Based on an Isaac Asimov story written at the time of the American bicentennial, this is billed as a science-ﬁction comedy, although laughs prove to be highly infrequent. Glasgow: UCI. East Kilbride: UCI. Kilmarnock: Odeon. Wishaw: Arrow Multiplex.
The Bone Collector (15) a“: (Phillip Noyce, US, 1999) Denzel Washington, Angelina Jolie. 118 mins. An identikit serial killer movie (see Copycat and Seven) in which Washington's paraplegic forensics expert is conﬁned to his bed, leaving rookie cop Angelina Jolie to be his legs, eyes and ears, trailing cryptic clues left by the killer. Sadly, despite Noyce’s efﬁcient direction and a bunch of ﬁne performances, Jeremy lacone's script insults the audience 's intelligence. Dumb, derivative and disappointing. Glasgow: UCI. Edinburgh: UCI, Virgin Megaplex. Largs: Barrﬁelds Cinema. Paisley: Showcase.
Boogie Nights (18) £111 (Paul Thomas Anderson, US, 1997) Mark Wahlberg, Burt Reynolds, Julianne Moore. 152 mins. Doing for porn ﬁlmmaking what Goodfellas did for gangsters, Boogie Nights charts the rise, fall and redemption of a ﬁctional porn superstar (Wahlberg) against the enormous changes
wrought in the industry between the 703 and 805. Large-scale social commentary and small-scale human dramas account for the ﬁlm‘s epic feel, while the kitsch fashions and funky disco soundtrack create a ﬁlm that is as ambitious as it is entertaining. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Buena Vista Social Club (U) **~k* (Wim Wenders, Cuba, 1999) Ry Cooder, Ibrahim Ferrer, Ruben Gonzalez. 104 mins. Cuba looks a little like the land that time forgot. A theme Wendcrs brings out both in the over-exposed images of Havana and also in the musical brilliance of these octogenarian and nonagenarian musicians who have for so long been neglected. And it's ironically thanks to an American, Wenders' regular musical collaborator Ry Cooder, that their careers have been resurrected. Edinburgh: Cameo. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith.
Bulworth (18) *** (Warren Beatty, US, 1998) Warren Beatty, Ilalle Berry, Oliver Platt. 108 mins. In the ﬁnal stages of a political campaign, disillusioned Democratic senator J. Billington Bulworth ﬁnds himself unable to mouth the bland platitudes needed to get himself re-elected. So he buys $10 million worth of life insurance, hires an assassin to bump him off, and speaks his own mind for the ﬁrst time in years. Frustrating political satire which fails to go the distance. Edinburgh: Lumiere.
The Butcher Boy (15) ***** (Neil Jordan, UK, 1997) Stephen Rea, Eamonn Owens, Aisling O'Sullivan. 108 mins. Jordan fuses an oblique, nightmarish view of life in a small rural Irish town during the early 605 with a brutally honest, painfully funny coming-of-age story. Everything is seen through the eyes of twelve-year-old I’rancie (Owens), who blots out the cruel reality of his home life with increasingly ferocious ﬂights of fancy. Extraordinary. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Casper (PG) *1” (Brad Silberling, US, 1995) Christina Ricci, Bill Pullman, Cathy Moriarty. 100 mins. Everyone's favourite friendly ghost has been living with his three bad-tempered uncles in an abandoned mansion. When it's bequeathed to a money- grabbing heiress who thinks it's ﬁlled with hidden treasure guarded by unquict spirits, Casper comes into contact with ghost psychologist Pullman's tomboy daughter (Ricci). A very messy amalgam of Gltosrbttsters effects, Addams Family gothic humour and the sort of overblown feelgood Spielbergiana that revels in funny gadgetry and family values. Greenock: Waterfront. Cento Giorni A Palermo (no cert) *** (Giuseppe Ferrara, Italy, 1984) 107 mins. General Dalla Chiesa is sent to Sicily as prefect of Palermo and charged with a mission to bring organised crime to justice. But the State fail to support him and, left to ﬁght the Maﬁa alone, he is assassinated with his wife in 1983. Edinburgh: Italian Cultural Institute.
Central Station (15) **** (Walter
Park life: Angelica Huston in Agnes Brown
Salles, Brazil, 1998) Vinicius dc Oliveira, Fernanda Montenegro. 110 mins. Sugar- coated nco-realism or a ﬁlm that stares poverty in the eye? Salles's international hit is the story ofa young Rio de Janeiro street urchin and a former schoolteacher who go on the run together in a ﬁlm explores that Latin American mainstay: the search for a missing loved one. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. Cinema Paradiso(1’(i) **** (Giuseppe 'I'ornatore, Italy/France. 1988) Phillipe Noiret, Jacques Pcrrin, Salvatore Cascio. 123 mins. Told largely in flashback, the winner of the 1990 Oscar for Best Foreign Film traces young Salvatore‘s infatuation with his village cinema, and his growing friendship with its projectionist (played to perfection by Noiret). Essentially, it's 'I‘ornatore‘s lament for the joyous movie- going experience of his youth and a recognition of the price we pay for our maturity. Edinburgh: Italian Cultural Institute.
The Clandestine Marriage (15) ** (Christopher Miles, UK, 2000) Paul Nicholls, Nigel Ilawthorne, Natasha Little. 91 mins. Its 1776 and two ‘Restoration families’ are troubled by the proposition of inter-marriage. The Oglebys are noble born but bankrupt, while the Sterlings are
‘nouveau riche', see? Oh what times! But do
we care? No, not after so many similar British period romps. Edinburgh: Lumiere. Complicity (18) *** (Gavin Millar, UK, 1999) Jonny Lee Miller, Keeley IIawes, Brian Cox. 100 mins. Journalist Cameron (Jonny Lee Miller) is, at ﬁrst glance, at regular young Edinburgh-based professional. The police, however, have
ﬁngered him as a serial killer, guilty of some
of the most gruesome murders Scotland has ever witnessed. 'Ihosc familiar with Iain Banks's novels will recognise the trademark darkness. Millar. who is directed The Crow Road, has turned the book into an ambitious movie, and an adult one. Edinburgh: Virgin Megaplex.
Cotton Mary (15) *** (Ismail Merchant, UK, 1999) Madhur Jaffrey, Greta Scacchi, James Wilby. 124 mins. Merchant's his third ﬁlm as a director is a drama set in the post- colonial India of the 1950s about an Anglo- Indian nurse caught uneasily between two cultures. The eponymous Cotton Mary (Jaffrey) increases her standing with the expatriate British when she provides a wet- nurse for Lin Macintosh (Seacchi), who ﬁnds herself unable to breast feed her prematurely born baby. Jaffrey‘s performance is excellent, but the script's clumsiness and Merchant's hesitant direction, prevent the ﬁlm from wringing the pathos the subject deserves. Glasgow: GI’I‘. The Crying Game ( 15) ***** (Neil Jordan, UK, 1992) Stephen Rea, Forest Whitaker, Jaye Davidson. 112 mins. A disillusioned IRA terrorist strikes up a friendship with the black British soldier he has kidnapped. and subsequently ﬁnds himself in London and in lo\ e with the