Doctor Foster

Doctor Foster

Back on safer intellectual ground, Yale graduate and acknowledged big brain Jodie Foster (right) hogs the spotlight this week with the first TV screening of her directorial debut, Little Man Tate (Sun 10pm C4), and a clashingly-timed hour-long interview with Melvyn Bragg on The South Bank Show (Sun 10.15pm ITV) sparking video programming nightmares everywhere. Foster, 32 and a 29-year Hollywood veteran, is one of the few really powerful female role models spawned by that most inequitable of cities: intelligent, articulate and high-earning, she comes equipped with a CV that is a dream of variety, from psycho-brat in The Little Girl who Lives Down the Lane to psycho-buster in The Silence of the L:ambs by way of controversy both in her career (remember the exploitation vs feminist tract debate that raged around The Accused?) and out of it. Her latest venture, Nell, the story of an eerie creature from the backwoods, opens today to a less than rapturous response. Still, the cool one's low-key stroppiness and her refusal to lie down and play victim for stalker John Hinckley deserve all the plaudits one could scrape off the bottom of the barrel. We like Jodie Foster.

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