FILM LISTINGS continued
The Luzhin Defence (12) it (Marleen Gorris, UK, 2000) John Turturro, Emily Watson, Geraldine James. 110 mins. In this Nabokov adaptation Gorris tells the story of genius chess player but socially inept Luzhin (Turturro) who is at italy’s Lake Como for the World Chess Championship, and falls for the languorous Natalia (Watson) who’s looking to escape a few of the advance moves of her societally skilled mother (James). For all its admiration for the moves only a genius could predict, Gorris tells a story that requires minimal second guessing; something Turturro's likeabie performance can’t do much to alleviate. See review. Glasgow: GET, Odeon At The Quay. Edinburgh: Filmhouse, UGC Cinemas.
M:l-2 (15) iii (John Woo, US, 2000) Tom Cruise, Thandie Newton, Dougray Scott. 124 mins. Evil ex-super spy Sean Ambrose (Scott) has stolen a lethal chemical weapon, and he wants big bucks not to unleash it. Ethan Hunt (Cruise) is charged with retrieving it and enlists beautiful cat thief — and Ambrose 's ex-lover — Nyah Hall (Newton). M:12 works best and is most faithful to the spirit of the original Mission: Impossible while the operation remains covert, but Woo blows it with a clumsy all- out action ﬁnale. General release.
The Magic Sword (U) *tt (Frederik Du Chau, US, 1998) With the voices of Gary Oldman, Jessalyn Gilsig, Cary Elwes. 88 mins. All is happy under King Arthur's rule until evil Lord Ruber tries to steal Excalibur. When the wondrous weapon becomes lost in the Forbidden Forest, plucky young Kayiey reckons she's brave enough to save the day. This animated feature sticks to the Disney formula - action, bawled-out ballads, kooky sidekicks — but the animation itself lacks Walt's grace. Ayr: Odeon. Kilmarnock: Odeon.
The Matrix (15) thinks: (The Wachowski Brothers, US/Australia, 1999) Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishbum, Carrie- Anne Moss. 136 mins. Absolutely gob- smacking science ﬁction thriller boasting cutting edge special effects, rocking action sequences, a smart story and an immensely entertaining cartoon sensibility (the ﬁlm was storyboarded by comic artist Geoff Darrow). In the future day-to-day life is merely a scam, a matrix camouflaging reality: a post- apocalyptic nightmare world in which humankind are a power source for domineering super-computers. Only Reeves‘ cyber hero, Neo, and a gang of hacker pirates stand between the evil technology and their race ‘5 extinction. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Midnight Cowboy (18) *ttit (John Schlesinger, US, 1969) Jon Voight, Dustin Hoffman, Brenda Vaccaro, Sylvia Miles. 113 mins. Voight is the dim-wilted Texan getting by in the Big Apple by acting as a gigolo for the rich ladies of New York, while Hoffman is the tubercular conman he befriends and helps through the cold winter in this seminal buddy movie, which helped both protagonists to major stardom in the early 19705, set Schlesinger off on an intermittently successful career, and further shifted the censorship parameters of
mainstream American ﬁlm. Bathgate: The Bathgate Regal.
The Miracle Maker (U) it (Stanislav Sokolov, Derek Hayes, UK, 2000) Ralph Fiennes, Julie Christie, Richard E Grant. 91 mins. Miracles may never cease, undoubtedly the reasoning behind previous attempts to render the Easter Story palatable. The latest gimmick is to add puppets, which, although oddly dated, impresses on its own low tech level. Despite deftly tugging at the heartstrings, the puppetry can’t disguise the fact that this is a Sunday school reading in a millennial medium. Glasgow: Grosvenor.
Miss Julie (15) *‘kti (Mike Figgis, UK, 2000) Saffron Burrows, Peter Mullan, Maria Doyle Kennedy. 100 mins. Figgis‘ adaptation of Strindberg's play is almost a period Dogme ﬁlm. The hand-held cameras loop freely around the central characters, lending the ﬁlm a live feel, as if recording a theatre performance. Miss Julie and her footman, Jean, skirmish throughout, alternately flirting and hating, both desperate to cross the boundaries of class imposed upon them, both hoping to use the other as a means of escape. A gripping, claustrophobic tale shot at a breakneck pace, in a unique style with career-best performances from the small cast. Glasgow: GF'T. Edinburgh: Fiimhouse.
Missing Presumed Murdered (15) (UK, 1999) 150 mins approx. The Women’s Support Project and the GET raise the issue of child sexual abuse with a screening of the documentary, Missing Presumed Murdered, following which there will be a panel discussion attended by Sandra Brown, author of Where There is Evil. Glasgow: GFT.
My Dog Skip (U) *** (Jay Russell, US, 2000) Kevin Bacon, Diane Lane, Frankie Muniz. 95 mins. My Dog Skip is an unashamedly sentimental coming-of-age story about a nine-year-old boy ‘s relationship with his pet Jack Russell terrier, set during World War Two in the small Mississippi town of Yazoo. The ﬁlm casts a nostalgic glow over the past, but it doesn't shy away from giving us glimpses of harsher realities, including nods to the era's racism and the traumas of war. But the prevailing mood is appropriately one of gentle sweetness. General release.
My Life So Far (12) it (Hugh Hudson, UK, 2000) Robert Norman, Rosemary Harris, Malcolm McDowell, Colin Firth. 98 mins. Everything in Hugh Hudson's ﬁlm is about to change. Fraser Pettigrew (Norman) is about to go from childhood innocence to sexualised adolescence. The Scottish estate of the elderly matriarch Gamma (Harris) is about to be passed onto a new generation, either her go-ahead capitalist son (McDowell) or her dithering romantic nephew Edward (Firth). Genteel afﬂuence is about to give way to wartime hardship. Loosely based on the memoirs of Sir Denis Forrnan, My Life So Far would love to be a play by Chekhov. instead it's a mushy piece of nostalgic whimsy. Rothesay: Winter Garden.
Nora (18) iii (Pat Murphy, UK, 2000) Susan Lynch, Ewan McGregor. 106 mins. A period drama recounting the early struggles of modernist and post-modernist literary
Iluw many women have will slept with?
28 THE UST 7-21 Sep 2000
Edward Norton's co-stars, Ben Stiller and Jena Elfman, rekindle their childhood
friendship under the Brooklyn Bridge in the fine New York romantic comedy,
genius, James Joyce, Nora is more interesting as a study of Nora Barnacle, a free-spirited and highly courageous young woman. Murphy’s ﬁlm, adapted from Brenda Maddox's acclaimed book about their lifelong love affair, follows the early years of their tempestuous relationship, made so by Joyce's unrelentingjcalousy and Nora 's submissive dotage. Excellent performances from the leads make this worth watching. Edinburgh: Lumiere. East Kilbride: Arts Centre.
Not One Less (PG) *titt (Zhang Yimou, China, 2000) Wei Minzhi. 100 mins. A teacher of a small school in an isolated, impoverished village is forced to leave the education of his 28 pupils in the hands of 13-year-old substitute Wei Minzhi for a month. But with poverty forcing over one million students to leave school to look for work every year in China, Wei is set the task of retrieving a desperate student from the big city. Essentially, this is a personal interest perspective on a dramatic social problem. The cast comprises non- professionais, and the calibre of the heart- rending performance by Minzhi makes the ﬁlm all the more impressive. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith. Stirling: MacRobert.
Nurse Betty (18) **** (Neil LaBute, US, 2000) Renee Zeliweger, Morgan Freeman, Greg Kinnear. 110 mins. When smalltown Kansas waitress Betty (Zeliweger) witnesses the murder of her white trash car salesman, she suffers a reality shift that leaves her believing the cheesy melodramatic world of her favourite daytime soap, A Reason To Live, to be real. Much of the ﬁlm's humour is derived from the disparity between melodrama and real life; the occasions when they intersect are simultaneously hilarious, painful and poignant. Not as misanthropic as LaBute's ﬁrst two ﬁlms, Nurse Berry is nevertheless far more vital than other Hollywood comedies. Glasgow: GFi'. Edinburgh: Cameo.
0 Brother, Where Art Thou? (12) **** (Joel Cocn, US, 2000) George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson. 107 mins. Preston Sturges’ Sullivan 's Travels and Homer’s The Odyssey are the starting points for this 30s-set screwball comedy. Smooth- taiking Everett Ulysees McGill (Clooney), simpleton Delmar (Nelson) and maiadjusted Pete (Turturro) are members of a chain gang on the run looking for buried loot. Their journey up and down the state of Mississippi brings them into contact with assorted eccentrics based on Homer‘s mythological ﬁgures. A lighter work for the Coens, more Raising Arizona than Fargo, but it's still a rare treat. A truly captivating confederacy of dunces. See preview and review. Glasgow: GET. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
101 Dalmatians (U) *i* (Stephen Herek, US, 1996) Glenn Close, Joely Richardson, Jeff Daniels. 103 mins. Disney turns one of its favourite animated ﬁlms into a live action pantomime with spodges of Home Alone buffoonery, making sure there are plenty of dogs to make the kids go ‘aaahhh'. The story remains pretty much untouched - vile villainess Cruclla De Vii (Close) kidnaps enough spotty pups to make a stunning coat, but the animal world gets the better of her - and so does the old-fashioned morality, which stresses the sanctity of marriage and that a woman's place is by her man's side. Glasgow: GET.
Onegin (12) **** (Martha Fiennes, UK,
Keeping The Faith
1999) Ralph Fiennes, Liv Tyler. 106 mins. Alexander Pushkin's epic poem, Evgeny Onegin, is the source of Fiennes's impressive debut ﬁlm, which hurls its characters through an intensity of passion, betrayal and unbearable loss within the thoroughly elegant and codiﬁed context of the Russian aristocracy of the 1820s. Ralph Fiennes's Onegin is an initially arrogant, cynical man who learns his own heart when tragic circumstances force him to re- evaluate his feelings for a woman. Glasgow: Odeon.
The Patriot (15) *ii* (Roland Emmerich, US, 2000) Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Jason lsaacs. 160 mins. Swapping his saltire for the stars and stripes, Gibson's revolutionary fervour is back on the boil as he trounces King George’s Redcoats during the American War of independence. The Patriot is epic, action-packed stuff and there 's something for everyone: corn and cringeworthy American backslaps, adventure and battle scenes, issues of loyalty and honour, and a strong performance from Gibson forming the bedrock of it all. Glasgow: Showcase. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith. Paisley: Showcase.
The Perfect Storm (12) by (Wolfgang Petersen, US, 2000) George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. 129 mins. As the director of one of the best maritime movies of all-time, Das 8001, Petersen was an obvious choice to helm this adaptation of Sebastian Junger's riveting factual book about a ﬁshing boat caught up in the most ferocious North Atlantic storm ever recorded. However, in trying to be true to the actual events, Bill Wittliff's pedestrian script suffers from chronic structural ﬂaws. leading to a complete lack of suspense, tension and emotional undertow. if ever a ﬁlm deserved to sleep with the ﬁshes, then this is it. General release.
Plano XXI Film Screenings (Various, Portugal, 1993—2000) A series of documentary and short ﬁlm screenings at Gill, playing as part of the Piano XXI showcase of Portuguese art from the 905 on show at various venues around the city. Glasgow: GilmorehiilGiZ.
Pokemon (U) *‘A' (Michael Haigney/ Kunohiko Yuyama, Japan/US, 2000) 96 mins. Cloned Pokemon (pocket monster) Mewtwo embarks on world dominance and so hero kids, Ash, Brock and Misty, accompanied by their Pokemon, set out to make him see the error of his ways. Cue a great deal of gratuitous ﬁghting and an interlude in which it‘s explained that ﬁghting is bad (?!). The stupor induced by viewing the ﬁlm strand of the phenomenal Pokemon franchise (computer game, collecting cards, etc.) as an adult, convincingly conﬁrms that it's a kid thing, good or bad. Glasgow: UCl. Dunfermline: Odeon. East Kilbride: UCI. Stirling: Carlton.
Pola X (18) ** (Leos Carax, France, 2000) Guillaume Depardieu, Catherine Deneuve, Delphine Chuillot. 134 mins. Pierre (Dcpardieu) is a successful young writer, who enjoys a blissful existence with his adoring mother (Deneuve) and beautiful ﬁanccc (Chuillot). But his life is turned upside down by the appearance of isabelle (Katerina Golubeva), who claims to be his long-lost, illegitimate sister from Yugoslavia. Eight years after the patchy Les Ania/its Du I’on! Neuf, Carax returns with this bizarrely updated adaptation of lierman