(15) 110 mins 00..


Loach conquers Hollywood

When Ken Loach finally took off to Hollywood, the faithless imagined he had gone in pursuit of the glamorous. But no, back he trudged, still wearing his socialist boots . . . with a film about janitors.

Bread And Roses bravely dramatises the daily struggle of Los Angeles’ immigrant Hispanic population; the invisible (often illegal) aliens who clean office blocks for just $4.25 an hour. Maya (Pilar Padilla) is a gorgeous, gutsy young Mexican, who escapes kidnapping by smugglers to toil alongside her sister Rosa (Elpidia Carrillo). In a downtown LA office block, she meets passionate white activist Sam (Adrien Brody),'who is running the Janitors For Justice campaign. The risks of joining are high: success may bring union rights, family healthcare benefits and increased wages; failure will

bring destitution.

Loach has forsaken neither of his trademark concerns; the drama within the mundane, the indomitable spirit of the oppressed. This is essentially a film about victory, the tone is surprisingly upbeat. In My Name Is Joe, Loach’s characters were caught in a web of misery, with no choice, no control. In Bread And Roses, he presents a solution, in communal

representation, in old school Unionism.

Loach’s actors are real janitors and the Janitors For Justice a campaign that continues today in LA. This is inspiring social commentary. It is also deeply emotive with sexual tension - between Sam and Maya and lingering friction between the sisters - and as the pace sharpens, it is impossible to resist the feverish action. (Heather Walmsley)

I GFT, Glasgow; Fi/mhouse, Edinburgh from Fri 27 Apr. See preview, page 28


This similarly nursery rhyme-inspired sequel to the serial killer thriller Kiss The Girls sees Morgan Freeman return as Detective/psychologist Alex Cross. an intelligent. dedicated cop the kind of role he’s been saddled with ever since Seven.

While grieving the loss of his police partner. Cross becomes involved in a kidnapping case. The stakes are high aren't they always? as the victim is Senator Hank Rose‘s (Michael Moriarty) daughter, Megan (Mika Boorem). Tension among the law enforcers is likewise high - the Secret Service failed to protect the girl from the kidnapper. who turns out to be one of her teachers. Mr Soneji (the extraordinarily deep-voiced rent-a- villain Michael Wincott). Cross is joined by disgraced FBI agent Jezzie Flannigan (Monica Potter), but catching the kidnapper proves to be more difficult than expected.

Lee Tamahori. who hasn't bettered his striking directing debut. Once Were

30 THE LIST 26 Apr—1O May 2001

Diverting cat and mouse chase thriller

Warriors. since leaving New Zealand for Hollywood. is at the helm of a solid if run-of-the-mill action thriller (for proof see Tamahori's disappointing Mu/ho/land Falls). As is required by this type of cat-and-mouse chase thriller (here based on James Patterson ll's novel). there are plenty of plot twists and turns. though much of the police work here is cliched in the extreme. 1997's Kiss The Girls turned out to be a sleeper hit; it's questionable whether Along Came A Spider will live up to its predecessor‘s reputation. but Tamahori keeps the action slick, taut and diverting. (Miles Fielder)

I General release from Fri 4 May

DRAMA LA CAPTIVE (15) 112 mins 00..

Chantai Akerman's stud“, of emotional prolection loosely adapted from Proust brings to mind last year's L'Ennui. Here. Simon (Stanislas Merharl is also obsessed by a plain-ish woman who's happier keeping her thoughts to herself. and her actions slightly out of her lover's reach. But where the central character in L'Ennui goes out of his way to comprehend the inner motivations of his partner. Simon seems to want a formal. masochistic distance. This wealthy Parisian initially follows Ariane (Sylwe Testudl around as if a stranger in voyeuristic pursuit. only


fer us to realise later on that it's

probablx been a ruse: is it not his car 8hr, \‘n'rds USiy‘g It A.” 1\'I'.t(\f(\fl][_IE‘I\7V\‘ the earth»

v. :K'x'xuii‘t ("tit \ ti r! t't t\\

of desire was absolutely .‘eiitiai, in 1.3 Capt/w Simon is more drawn to a kind of 'so'iinophilia': he's ritt‘st aroused wheH Amine is in a state of drowsziiess. Often adopting foriiialist dexu‘es whether in fiction Wolf et .ltmr or docuinentar‘. Sod". here ,‘\i\t‘."lltil"t; approach keeps us guessing as wonder how much (it the .iichness; is the product of Sr'iion's obscure wax of being. or simply the director's deliberate play with form. «Tony McKibbinl I Film/rouse. Edinburgh lr'orii Fri -1 itlgii,

Akerman’s obscure object of desire

From the moment the titles come up in Perry Henzell's 1972 Jamaican gangster classic you know you're in for a treat. A rickety old bus wrnds through country lanes and over bridges too narrow bound for Babylon. or is that Kingston? Jimmy Cliff is telling us that ‘You Can Get It If You Really Want' and you know you are being set up for a fall it's rites of passage time. via a trip to Hell. Reggae star Cliff is the country boy who comes to the big city with a voice of honey and one song the truly awesome ‘The Harder They Come'. Exploited by Mr Big from the only record company in town. Cliff turns to crime. and like those Soggy Bottom Boys he becomes a maverick minstrel headed for a bad end.

It's a film bursting with righteous anger that doesn't flinch in its depiction of Jamaica's good, bad. ugly or just plain poor. It still manages to shock and excite despite the passage of time. The final word in good music. great clothes and the ganja trade. Spark it up my friend. (Paul Dale)

I Jimmy Cliff appears at screening of The Harder They Come at The Bel/iiorit. Aberdeen, Fri 27 Apr; Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Sat 28 Apr; and GFT. Glasgow. Sun

29 Apr.


EXIT wounos ; (18) 101 mins 00

‘What am l.‘ asks Steven Seagal's harassed. loose-cannon cop. ‘a shit magnet?‘ On the strength of this putrid action movie. one would have to say. ‘Yes.’ Okay. so there are exploding helicopters. multiple car wrecks. noisy shoot-outs, vicious fights and even the odd self-mocking joke. Even so. this alleged 'comeback' movie (for someone who was only ever the third-

Seagal’s comeback movie, allegedly

grade action hero) is standard issue thick-ear stuff.

Demoted and dumped into Detriot's toughest neighbourhood. the po-faced Seagal attends anger management courses. beats the shit out of bad guys. and cleans up some nasty police corruption with the help of hip-hop club owner and hi-tech wizard DMX. Romeo Must Die director Andrzej Bartkowiak's frantic direction and choppy editing cannot disguise the sluggishness of the ageing.

overweight and out-of-condition Seagal's movements. Maybe he should stick to the Buddhism. and of c0urse we look forward with baited-breath to the

forthcoming Seagal reggae album. Should be a hoot. (Nigel Floyd)

I General release.