Films screening this fortnight are listed below with certificate, star rating, credits, brief review and venue details. Film index compiled by Miles Fielder.

The Adventures Of Elmo In Grouchland (U) *** (Gary IIalvorson, US, 2000) Mandy Patinkin, Vanessa l.. Williams, Kevin Clash. 72 mins. The pre-school, educational appeal of Sesame Street's cute furry red stalwart doesn‘t really transfer to cinema as well as his spiritual cousins, The Muppets. Elmo loses his security blanket down ()scar the Grouch‘s trashcan. Once inside, he is transported to the hellish Grouchland, where he must retrieve it from the hands of Grouchland's most abhorrent resident lluxley (Patinkin). Despite sturdy support from all the Street regulars: Big Bird, ()scar, Cookie Monster. Bert and Ernie, this is strictly for the littlest family members. See review. General release.

After Stonewall (15) (John Seaglioui, US, 1999) 88 mins. Thirty years ago the patrons of the lesbian and Stonewall Bar spontaneously united against police harassment, a moment many regard as the beginning of gay civil rights. The documentary, Before Stonewall, looked at life before that event; this film looks at gay life to date. Part of The Lesbian And Gay Film Festival On Tour. Glasgow: GI’I'. Alfred The Great (U) *** (Clive Donrtcr, UK, 1962) Michael York, David llemmings, Ian McKellen. 122 mins. llandsomely mounted historical epic set in Britain's 9th century when Alfred took control of the land from his weak elder brother. Expect grand and stirring battle scenes. Edinburgh: Lumiere.

All About My Mother (15) ***** (Pedro Alrnodovar, Spain, 1999) Cecilia Roth, Penelope Cruz, Antonia San Juan. 101 mins. Almodovar's new film is without a doubt his best to date. When Madrid hospital worker Manuela's son is killed in a car accident the grief-stricken woman sets out to fulfil her son‘s last wish to know his father, and goes to Barcelona to find the transvestite she ran away from eighteen years earlier. Renowned for his portrayal of strong women, Almodovar pays tribute here to their capacity to act, to mother and to create strong bonds of solidarity in the face of extremities. Glasgow: Grosvcnor. Stirling: Carlton.

American Beauty (18) *tkirir (Sam Mendes, US, 1999) Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening. Thora Birch. 121 mins. Suburban husband and father Lester Burnharn (Spacey. giving a career best performance) hates his life, but a close encotrnter with his daughter's gorgeous school friend is the catalyst for big time self improvement: Lester quits his job, 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. Glasgow: ()deon, Showcase, UCI. Edinburgh: UGC. Galashiels: Pavilion. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith. Paisley: Showcase.

American Psycho (18) **** (Mary llarron, US, 2000) Christian Bale, Chloe Sevigny, Willem Dafoe. 101 mins. llarron does away with the outward excesses murder, torture, misogyny of Bret liaston lillis' 1991 novel about the previous money- obsessed decade and serves up the essence of the novel in a more palatable form. That doesn't mean her film is soft; it certainly isn't. But where Ellis pushed his readers away, the director draws the audience in by encouraging us to collude with her satiric standpoint. General release.

An American In Paris (U) **** (Vincente Minnelli, US, 1951) Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, ()scar Levant, Nina Loch. 113 mins. Splendid —— if sometimes garish romantic musical, with Kelly on top form as a would-be artist kicking up a storm in la belle cite. Glasgow: GI’I‘.

Angela's Ashes ( 15) tidir (Alan Parker, UK, 1999) Robert Carlyle, limin Watson, Joe Breen. 148 mins. l’rank McCourt's Pulitzer

Prize-winning childhood memoir of Limerick in the 30s 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. Edinburgh: Cameo, Filmhouse. Kilmarnock: ()deon.

Any Given Sunday (15) its: (Oliver Stone, US, 2000) Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz, Dennis Quaid. 150 mins. Oliver Stone casts a wandering eye over the big bad world of American Football. Pacino grunts and yells as Tony D'Amato, twenty year veteran coach for the Miami Sharks, who is at odds with the club‘s new owner, feisty upstart Christina Pagniacci (Diaz). The po-faced power struggles become wearing and while Stone‘s epileptic editing style captures the power and athleticism of the game, it falls short of the grace and skill. By the final whistle, Any (five/r Sunday is frustratingly unrealised. ()ban: llighland Theatre. Rothesay: Winter Garden.

Apocalypse Now (18) knit (Francis Coppola, US. 1980) Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper. 153 mins. Vietnam as The Ultimate Trip. We follow US Army assassin Sheen down river and deeper into the Heart ()fl)urkness ruled over by Brando‘s mad Colonel Kurtz. Alternater pretentious and visually overpowering (the Valkyries helicopter attack, for example), its grandiloquent folly somehow pierces right to the bone of the conflict. Edinburgh: Cameo.

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (12) **** (Jay Roach, US, 1999) Mike Myers, Heather Graham, Elizabeth Hurley. 90 mins. The Spy Who Shagged Me doesn‘t really make any advances in what is surely, by now, a new film franchise Austin Powers 3: Live And Let Shag, Austin Powers 4: The Man With The Golden Mojo, perhaps'.’ rather, it consolidates its three types ofjokery - (10s kitsch, film references and sexual innuendo. St Andrews: New Picture House.

The Beach (15) tint (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 llodge’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. Stirling: MacRobert.

Being John Malkovich (15) ***** (Spike Jonze, US, 2000) John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener, John Malkovich. 112 mins. Frustrated puppeteer Craig Schwartz (Cusack) takes a job as a filing clerk and discovers a portal into the actor John Malkovieh's brain. What could have developed into a one-gag film, becomes a gender-bending extravaganza with a crazy network of love triangles, which climaxes with a lesbian relationship between two people of the opposite sex. A bewildering number of possibilities are added to the central premise and important questions about personal identity and self- fulfilment are raised. Edinburgh: Cameo. Boiler Room (18) tart (Ben Younger, US, 2000) Giovanni Ribisi, Nia Long, Ben Affleck. 119 mins. The twentysomething financial brokers of the 90s in this promising but uneven first feature worship 80s icon Gordon (iekko, materialist anti-hero of Wall Street. Into this shady world steps Ribisi, a sensitive college drop-out w ho closes down the illegal casino he ran frorn his own apartment and opts for something more honest. ()r so he thinks. Younger's keen ear for hardboiled dialogue, reinforced by the kinetic camerawork. immerse us in this corrupt, adrenalised world. Glasgow: ()deon At The Quay, Showcase. Edinburgh: UCI, UGC. Greenock: Waterfront. Paisley: Showcase.

Boys Don't Cry (18) ***** (Kimberly Peirce, US, 2000) Hilary Swank, Chloe Sevigny, Peter Sarsgaard. 114 mins.

Writer/director Kimberly Peirce‘s first feature is based upon the life of Brandon Teena, the transgendered Nebraska girl who lived her life as a male, and whose love affair with a smalltown girl named Lana Tisdel met a bloody end in 1993. Swank is simply astonishing. The credibility of the film rests entirely upon her performance, but it's a burden she shoulders with consummate skill and grace. A humbling example of brave, beautiful, brutal filmmaking. Glasgow: Grosvcnor. Edinburgh: Cameo. Bringing Out The Dead (18) *** (Martin Scorsese, US, 1999) Nicolas Cage, Patricia Arquette, John Goodman. 130 mins. When darkness falls on New York, paramedic Frank Pierce (Cage) descends into a bleak world where, night after night, he tries hopelessly to help the homeless, the hookers, the mentally ill. Bringing Out The Dead grafts a desperate edge onto traditional gallows humour, but while showing bursts of brilliance, suffers from too many lulls and, surprisingly given that it’s screenplay is by Paul Schrader, doesn’t quite pull off its redemption plot. Edinburgh: Cameo. British Animation Awards 2000 (18) (Various, UK, 1999) approx 80mins. Touring programme of the best of British animation including shadow puppetry, a tale of lycanthropy, a guide to escaping office work, an alternative Father Christmas story and much more. Glasgow: Gl’l‘. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

Cabaret (18) ***** (Bob Fosse, US, 1972) Liza Minelli, Joel Grey, Michael York. 124 mins. ln divinely decadent early 1930s Berlin, singer Sally Bowles wows them at the notorious Kit Kat Klub, encounters the beginnings of Nazism and shares her pretty English boyfriend with a gay baron. Stylish and invigorating Broadway musical turned Oscar-winning cinematic landmark. Edinburgh: I’ilmhouse. Caesar And Cleopatra (U) *ihHr (Gabriel Pascal, US, 1945) Claude Rains, Vivien Leigh. 129 mins. Rains is the ageing Roman conqueror and Leigh is the beautiful Queen of the Nile in this epic that benefits not merely from the traditional lavish sets

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and costumes, but also from its source material: the George Bernard Shaw play. Edinburgh: Lumiere.

Carrie (18) **** (Brian DePalma, US, 1976) Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, John Travolta. 98 mins. DePalma’s adaptation of Stephen King is still the high school angst movie to end ‘em all. Distressingly awkward teen Spacek's adolescent experience is so humiliating that she develops telekinetic powers, and the school bullies are to get their comeuppance when their prom night pranks fly right back in their faces. There’s enough disgust in here to more than endorse the accusations of misogyny frequently aimed at DePalma, but as a film-maker he does have an undeniable flair for the big moment like the elaborately staged final massacre. Edinburgh: Cameo.

The Cider House Rules (12) *‘k‘k (Lasse Hallstrom, US, 2000) Tobey Maguire, Michael Caine, Charlize Theron. 126 mins. Maguirc takes the lead as llomer Wells, an orphan who grows up to continue the worthy work of his mentor and surrogate father, Dr Larch (Caine). On route to manhrxrd, llomer undertakes a small-scale odyssey around 19405 New England, during which time he works on an apple farm and has an affair with farm owner Candy Kendall ('Iheron). Somewhere between Irving‘s screenplay and Hallstrom’s direction there‘s an overabundance of sentimentality which undermines Irving’s brand of tragi-comedy. Edinburgh: Dominion.

Circus (18) it (Rob Walker, UK, 2000) John Hannah, Famke Janssen, Eddie Izzard. 96 mins. The tidal wave of low budget British crime thrillers continues unabated, and this week’s rollercoastcr ride with guns and stuff is Circus. Set in sunny Brighton, John Ilannah stars as Leo, a two bit conman masterrninding the ultimate scam. Spinning around this main thread is a dizzying array of chancers and losers, played by what could be the strangest cast ever assembled on celluloid, and a plot that twists and turns in a Tarantino-esque manner. General release.

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