critic's choice FILM

An Awfully Big Adventure

After the wry smirks of Four Weddings and a Funeral, Mike Newell's film shows the world a less beguiling face. Set in Liverpool, immediately post- war, it stars Georgina Cates as a young actress hired as an assistant on a repertory Peter Pan directed by a grotesque Hugh Grant. Alan Rickman, playing a star actor called in at short notice, conveys an instinctive disdain, but also a weary sincerity.

Empire WC2, Locals

Before Sunrise

A risky but, on the whole, successful departure for Richard Linklater after two films (Slacker, Dazed and Confused) with big, baggy casts. Here, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy meet on a train from Budapest, disembark in Vienna and spend 14 hours getting to know each other (but not in the Biblical sense).

Odeon Mezzanine WC2, Plaza W1, Locals


Kevin Smith's snappy black-and-white feature about two bored shop assistants has a loose, languid feel, except for when the camera tries (misguidedly) to jazz things up. It is fuelled by the rhythms of its dialogue, and is comparable with the first features of Spike Lee and Jim Jarmusch. Metro W1, Renoir WC1, Locals