Choice: The critics

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Sister My Sister A chilly mood piece about two incestuous maids (Joely Richardson and the superb Jodhi May) in 1930s France who decide to do away with their wealthy employer, Julie Walters (right). Director Nancy Meckler frames the scenes as though arranging bodies on the slab, but there are glowing embers within these actresses which light the way through murky territory.

The Santa Clause I loathed Home Improvement too but when you see that dull sitcom's Tim Allen on the big screen, you know that's where he belongs. The plot is a spaghetti junction of twisted logic in which Allen dons a Santa Claus suit and finds himself sprouting silver whiskers and a beer belly. Against the odds, this looks like the comedy of the season.

Living in Oblivion An affectionate but scathing insight into the chaos that is independent film-making. Director Steve Buscemi seems forever on the verge of epilepsy, but the excellent James Le Gros is memorable as a preening primadonna.