submit a pair of sturdy performances? Does it matter not that. confined within a few interiors over a four hour period. the drama is highly theatrical'.’ Is it a matter for concern that this film deviates from both John Wainwright‘s original source novel about the interrogation by two policemen of a man suspected of the rape and murder of three girls and the first, French film adaptation (iurde .2 Via"? What we have here is a watchable if melodramatic murder mystery, which undermines itself by ironing out some of the original's ambiguous elements. Court adjourned. Selected release. Vertical Limit (12) tint (Martin Campbell. US. 2000) Chris O'Donnell, Robin Tunney. Bill Paxton. 124 mins. It's vapid. vertiginous thrills all the way up this join-the-dots mountain-climbing movie. Still haunted by the death of his father in a climbing accident, O'Donnell is forced back into erampons when his sister (Tunney) gets buried by an avalanche during an assent of K2. Accompanying ()‘Donnell on his foolhardy rescue mission are wild-haired mountain man Scott Glenn and a few disposable extras. The clock is ticking because they must reach the stranded climbers before hypothermia sets in. Preposterous tosh of the highest order. this nevertheless has its breathless, seat—grabbing moments. (ieneral release.

The Way Of The Gun (18) *ttt (Christopher McQuarrie. US, 2000) Ryan Philippe. Benicio del Toro, James Caan. 11‘) mins. Parker (Philippe) and Longbaugh (del Toro) are a couple of drifters who kidnap a heavily pregnant woman, Robin (Juliette Lewis), who is acting as a surrogate mother for the millionaire tycoon. who promptly dispatches veteran ‘adjudicator' Sarno (('aan). to retrieve Robin from her captors. As the kidnappers head down into Mexico, the stage is set for a fatal showdown. allowing McQuarrie (writer of The Usual

.S'uspects) to reveal the ambiguity of his

characters' motivations and the deceptiveness of their personal agendas. Peckinpah appears to be a key influence. Cameo, Iidinburgh.

What Lies Beneath (15) *ttt (Robert Zemeckis. US, 2000) Michelle Pfeiffcr, llarrison I-‘ord, Miranda Otto. James Remar. 12‘) mins. A suspense thriller that plays teasineg between genres. though soon everything becomes clear: the film is haunted by the ghost of Alfred Ilitchcock. I’feiffer's ('laire Spencer lives with her genetics professor husband Norman (l‘ord) in an idyllic lakeside house in Vermont. But all is not well in their ideal home; where she's troubled by things that go bump in the night. Zemeckis turns the screw of suspense with an expert hand. building tension with a canny mix of Alan Silv‘cslri's eerie score and even tnore ominous silences. while Pfeiffer involves us in every stage of Claire‘s mental unravelling. Showcase. Paisley.

What Women Want (12) an: (Nancy Meyers. US. 2001) Mel Gibson, Helen Hunt. 127 mins. (iibson's divorced. playboy advertising executive is a testosterone~ fuelled chauv inist whose brand of tits ‘n‘ ass ad campaigns have long exceeded their sell- by date. Ilis company. however. wants to reach female consumers and has given the top job to a woman (llunt). But. following an accident. the exec wakes up to discover he's able to hear women's unspoken thoughts. a gift which scores him brownie points all round. (iibson twinkles roguishly in the lead role and handles the film's scenes of screwball farce well. But he's let down by a lack of chemistry with his co-star. (ieneral release.

When Brendan Met Trudy (NC) (Kieron J. \Valsh. L'K. 2000) 05 mins. Part of the Irish Film Festival. see preview. The Lumiere. Iidinburgh.

The Will (aI-Azima) (PU) (Kamal Selim. Egypt. 1930) 95 mins. Part of Cinemamed. see preview. Filmhouse. lidinburgh.

The Wind Will Carry Us (L') “an: (Abbas Kiarostami. Iran. 2000) 118 mins. You may feel the great Iranian director‘s film is much ado about nothing. That this tale of strangers staying for a couple of weeks in a remote. high-perched village barely warrants its two-hour running time. But once caught by its rhythm. its allusive and clltsi\c possibilities and its ability to leave the audience thinking and feeling for

themselves. you'll realise this is a ‘nothing’ about much do. Kiarostami brilliantly offers the sparest of narratives to offer maximum interpretative freedom. Adam Smith Theatre. Kirkcaldy.

The Wings Of The Dove (15) *att (lain Softley. UK, 1997) Ilelena Bonham Carter. Linus Roache, Alison lilliott. 108 mins. An intelligent, emotionally devastating adaptation of Ilenry James' novel that confidently side-steps the pitfalls of stuffy costume drama. Prevented from marrying her humble lover, Kate (Bonham Carter) plots to pair him off with a rich. sickly American. Everything about this film emphasises quality. including the costumes. photography. use of Venice as a setting and above all the peerless performances. I’l‘ll Cinema. Falkirk.

Woman On Top (15) ** (I-‘ina Torres. US. 2000) Penelope Cruz, Murilo Benicio, Ilarold Perrineau Jr. 9] mins. Isabella (Cruz) and husband Toninho (Benicio) own a small restaurant on a Brazilian beach. All is well. except that Isabella suffers from motion sickness so badly that she must always be in the driving seat even in bed. Which drives Toninho into the arms of another woman. Discovering them together. Isabella ups and flies to San Francisco to join her sassy bisexual friend Monica (Perrineau. Jr) and find fame as a TV cook. For all its chillies. Il'omun On Top is conspicuously lacking in spice. Cooked up especially for a woman’s palette. it is definitely not the way to a man‘s heart, and more likely the way to send him to sleep. General release.

Wonder Boys (15) that (Curtis llanson. US, 2000) Michael Douglas. Tobey Maguire. Robert Downey Jr. 1 l I mins. (irady Tripp (Douglas), one time celebrated novelist. now cynical creative writing professor is having a rough weekend. Ilis third wife has just left him. his mistress, who also happens to be the College Chancellor‘s wife. is pregnant. manic depressive pupil James Leer (Maguire) has latched onto him and Tripp's perverse agent. Terry (.‘rabtree (Downey Jr), is Coming with the sole aim of proofing Tripp‘s (unfinished) new novel. Douglas is a revelation in this sophisticated comedy examining the chaos that ensues when intellectually stifled lives begin to move on again. Yet again Ilanson (IA (.‘(ni/idelirial) proves himself to be a dynamic filmmaker with powerful feeling for pace. style. rhythm and form. Selected release.

X-Men (12) **** (Bryan Singer, US. 2000) Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen. Hugh Jackman. 10-1 mins. This adaptation of the popular Marvel (‘omic sees super-powered mutants outlawed in America of the near future. Magneto (McKellen). the master of magnetism and IIolocaUst survivor. will not stop at mass murder to protect his own kind; Professor Xavier (Stewart). a telepath. seeks peaceful co-existence with humankind. To further their ends the two old foes employ rival teams of mutants in a deadly game of chess. It's a difficult balance. satisfying the fans without alienating those unfamiliar with the comic book. X-Men pulls it off with speedy pacing. imaginatively staged action set pieces and a smart script full of witty dialogue and a message about race prejudice that‘s not overplay'ed. Cameo. lidinburgh. The Yards ( l5) *ttt (James (iray. US. 2000) Mark Wahlberg. Joaquin Phoenix. James ('aan. 116 mins. Leo (Wahlberg) is jUst out of prison and welcomed back into the fold in his old neighbourhood in Queens. New York. Longtime friend Willie (Phoenix) gets uncle I-‘rank (Caan). who wields influence in the New York City subway yards. to get Leo a job. but business ain't what it used to be. Business is pay-offs. sabotage and murder. and when Leo don't play ball this time round he incurs the wrath of his powerful and corrupt family. A top class thriller that's less about chases and shoot-outs. instead drawing its thrills and suspense from the shifting family allegiances. Adam Smith Theatre. Kirkcaldy. The Young Lions (PU) tank (lidward Dmytryk. L’S. I958) Marlon Brando. Montgomery Clift. Dean Martin. 167 mins. A thoughtful war picture following the fates of two American soldiers (Martin and (lift) and a German officer (Brando). powered by excellent performances. [Edinburgh Iiilm Guild at the Filmhouse.

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- Geoff Andrew. TIME OUT “beguiling, charming, elegiac...homage to Vertigo”

- Philip French. THE OBSERVER

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1-15 Feb 2001 THE LIST 39