FILM / critic's choice

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The Independent Culture
Amateur An ex-nun and virgin nymphomaniac becomes involved with an amnesiac who used to abuse his former mistress, a porn star, who in turn sets a brace of corporate assassins on her lover's tail. Writer-director Hal Hartley is an acquired taste, but thefilm has warmth, humour and humanity.

Lumiere WC2, Renoir WC1, Independents Eat Drink Man Woman A retired master-chef, driven by widowhood deep into his shell, has become unable to express love for his three grown-up daughters. Instead he cooks them preposterously lavish banquets at which the women, equally withdrawn in their own worlds, pick disco nsolately. This is a film of food and sex, the basic human drives. The film poses the question "Is that all there is?" and answers "Probably, yes".

Curzon West End W1, Renoir WC1, Locals Vanya on 42nd Street This adaptation of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya is by David Mamet, but is far more the product of the triumvirate of Louis Malle and actors Andre Gregory and Wallace Shawn. Shawn is a splendidly sad and touching Vanya, while Julianne Moore as Yelena shows herself to be an actress of magnificent judgement. Unmissable.

Curzon Phoenix W1, Locals

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