Arts: The Week in Review

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THE FILM

WITHOUT LIMITS

OVERVIEW

Billy Crudup stars in Robert Towne's biopic of the long-distance runner Steve Prefontaine, who died in a car crash aged 24. It focuses on the athlete's relationship with his coach Bill Bowerman (Donald Sutherland).

CRITICAL VIEW

"Without Limits is a cultured and thoughtful piece of work, yet its stop- start rhythm never truly quickens the senses," revealed Anthony Quinn, adding, "It's a little dull." "The understated cinematography and sterling work from Crudup and Sutherland lend a patina of class, yet it's a po- faced film," grumbled Time Out. "Despite the excellent photography, the film is never as compelling as it should have been," muttered the Daily Mail, while The Guardian deemed it "run-of-the-mill TV movie stuff". "Poised, stirring stuff," chirped the Daily Telegraph. "A slushy piece of showboating for the Good Old US of A," said The Times.

OUR VIEW

A surprisingly humourless picture from Towne that runs at a steady pace without ever managing to quicken the pulse.

ON VIEW

Without Limits is out on general release, certificate 12. 118 minutes

THE PLAY

THE REAL THING

OVERVIEW

Tom Stoppard's 1982 play blurs the boundaries between reality and fiction as Stephen Dillane's middle-aged playwright imagines that his wife Annie (Jennifer Ehle) has been unfaithful during a foreign trip.

CRITICAL VIEW

"It is the achievement of this even-handed production and Dillane's subtly sympathetic performance to make you see Henry's romantically absolutionist philosophy of love," stated Paul Taylor. "I can only say that The Real Thing comes over like, well, the real thing, capturing both the exhilaration and the agony of romantic love," exclaimed the Daily Telegraph. "The Real Thing ignores the lure of romantic cliches and stages a compelling journey in which Henry comes to accept a new version of erotic love," explained the Evening Standard. "Dillane and Ehle do the business for Stoppard," revealed the Daily Mail.

OUR VIEW

Stoppard's perfectly-pitched play is backed by tremendous performances. The Real Thing is the genuine article.

ON VIEW

The Real Thing is at the Donmar Warehouse until 7 August. For bookings and enquiries call 0171-369 1732

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