(12A) 96min .0.

It was a time before mobile phones, satellite TV and Prozac. It is 1972, and the children of the many migrant workers who were invited to England in the late 503 to buoy up decrepit health and engineering services are, in the words of the great Noddy Holder, beginning ‘to feel the noise’.

Twelve-year-old Meena (Chandeep Uppal) lives in a Midlands mining village with her struggling lndian parents when the blonde, mysterious Anita (Anna Brewster) enters her life with her deeply dysfunctional family. Meena becomes besotted with this Aryan vision, but it is a friendship that is to test her family along with her sense of cultural heritage.

The many people who bought Meera Syal’s wonderful debut novel and turned it into a bestseller will need little introduction to this balmy set of village eccentrics and closet racists. Syal herself has done a great job of adapting her novel for the screen, managing to preserve the

loyalty that permeates the book. More problematic, however, is Metin novel adaptation. Hiiseyin in the director’s chair. His previous work (a television adaptation of Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones and the truly appalling


Watching elfin beauty Audrey Tautou emerge from a field of Technicolor flowers during the opening sequence of He Loves me. he Loves me Not. you'd be forgiven for thinking yOu're watching Amelie 2. And the first half of young French film school grad Laetitia Colombani's writing-directing debut plays as a saccharine romance in which Tautou's Bordeux art college student Angelique falls for an Older man, cardiologist Lo'i'c (Samuel Le Bihan;. But as it becomes clear LOlC isn't the lover he seems. Colombani's film takes a dark turn. quite at odds with sweet. sweet Amelie. Colombani cites among her influences the films of Hitchcock and Polanski. That her film school the3is examined madness in cinema Ought to point yOu in the direction He Loves me. he Loves me Not's initially sweet romance takes. And that Colombani has cited the structure of M Knight Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense as a particular influence is about all else that can be said of her film without completely ruining the revelations it contains. Although Colombani says she cast Tautou prior to her huge success as Amelie. it works to the film's advantage because most UK audiences will only have seen her in one film to date. Casting coup aside, He Loves me, he Loves me Net is semewhat by the book and any plot revelations not revealled in this reVIew won't come as much of a surprise to the discerning filmgoer. (Miles Fielder) I Selected release from Fri 22 Nov.

Tautou at odds with sweet Amelie

mockney gangster film It was an tone of long summers and displaced Accident) hardly marks him out as a

viable director for such a major UK

True to his form, Hiiseyin handles much of this tender coming-of-age drama with all the subtlety of a Leatherhead cricket-ground grass-

Nice script from Meera Syal

roller. He shoves and punts the story so much it is finally reliant wholly on the many superb performances (Kathy Burke and Lynn Redgrave in particular are great) and a sensitive soundtrack by Nitin Sawhney. It’s a cowin’ shame, mate. (Paul Dale)

I Selected release from Fri 22 Nov

Almost as bad as another Police Academy sequel


Remember the Kids in the Hall. the late. unlamented Canadian group responsible for the dismal 1996 film Bra/n Candy? Well. put yOur hands together for their spiritual successors.

American troupe Broken Li‘xard write. direct and star in this patchy comedy which follows five childish but good- liearted Vermont state troopers (Erik Stolhanske. Jay Chandrasekhar. Kevin Heffernan. Steve Lemme and Paul Soter) as they indulge in horseplay at the expense of a variety of bemused motorists and each other. all under the fatherly eye of their chief (Brian Cox. looking rather sorry for himself).

Some of this is quite funny in an indulgent fashion. although ultimately little different from any number of recent campus comedies. However. when the plot kicks in (revolvrng around a shipment of pot. a dead body in a camper van and competition between the highway patrolmen and the local police to solve the case). the successful gags become fewer and further apart. without the compensation of an involving storyline or even lots of men wearing dresses. Better than another Police Academy sequel. but not by much. (Simon Wardell)

I General release from Fri 15 Nov.




(PG tbc) 100min (preview - unable to

review at time of going to press)

In what is essentially a Culture clash comedy from popular mainland- China director Feng Xiaogang. out of work cameraman Yo Yo (Go You) is hired to make a documentary about legendary filmmaker Don Tyler (Donald Sutherland) who is filming a remake of Bernado Bertolucci's film The Last Emperor. But as Tyler prepares to shoot a lavish scene in the Forbidden City. he suffers a creative block and soon after is fired from the film by Hollywood studio boss Tony (Paul Mazursky). Thereafter. Tyler suffers a breakdown and just before falling into a coma asks Yo Yo to carry out his final wish: to mount an extravagant 'comedy funeral'.

Cultural satire

As Yo Yo and his friend. the dubious impresario Louis (Ying Da). sell advertising space to pay for the costly aftair and finally end up with an altar covered in corporate logos and the deceased wearing designer label clothing it becomes clear Feng Xiaogang and his writers Li Shaoming and Shi Kang are out to satirise a Chinese culture buckling under the onslaught of Western consumerism. (Miles Fielder)

I Selected release from Fri l5 Nev.

' Rd NW. 9001‘ THE LIST 25