Film: New Films

PLUNKETT AND MACLEANE (15)

Director: Jake Scott

Starring: Robert Carlyle, Jonny Lee Miller

Plunkett and Macleane (Carlyle and Lee Miller) are rakish Dick Turpins. They cut a dash through 18th-century society. They rob the rich and keep the loot. Plunkett packs a pistol and scowls a lot. Macleane romances a shapely debutante (Liv Tyler). Their adventures come choreographed to a thrumming techno beat. And yet beneath all the powder, the frills, the ruffles and the wigs, Plunkett and Macleane proves a pretty plain-looking customer, shuffling along on a puny prop of a plotline that gets gradually more bent out of shape the longer it progresses. As a substitute, director Jake (son of Ridley) offers noise, colour and virtuouso pop-promo visuals, while leaning heavily on the winning chemistry between his two stars (re- united from Trainspotting). Ultimately it's Carlyle and Lee Miller that keep it palatable; this stylised bit of knockabout theatre, this posturing costume fancy, this Adam Ant video for the next millennium.

HHH

THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER (12)

Director: Charles Laughton

Starring: Robert Mitchum

Conceived by its creator as "a nightmarish sort of Mother Goose tale", Charles Laughton's 1955 drama (his only stab at directing) proved altogether too rich and strange a brew for the neat, Formica tastes of McCarthy-era USA. Now an acknowledged classic, The Night of the Hunter hinges on the legendary bit of screen villainy from Robert Mitchum as the tale's murderous preacher; LOVE and HATE tattooed across his knuckles and chasing two imperilled orphans (Billy Chapin, Jane Bruce) into the arms of Lilian Gish's saintly fairy-godmother. What might have been a run-of-the-mill thriller is conjured into the realms of fantasy by Laughton's skewed child's-eye vision, his Old Testament bombast and a ripe storybook style best evidenced in the kids' otherworldly trip downriver. This is a haunting, wholly unique thing; a mescal lullaby sung over an empty crib.

HHHHH

TEA WITH MUSSOLINI (PG)

Director: Franco Zeffirelli

Starring: Maggie Smith

Zeffirelli's clearly been at the Chianti again. His Tea With Mussolini is a typically squiffy and loquacious affair, ambling around the houses during its tale of three dotty Brits (Smith, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright) adrift in Mussolini-era Tuscany. One senses that someplace deep down in his consciousness, Zef has some points to make about fascism, and about the contrast between British fortitude and Yankee grit (represented by Cher's vital American vamp). But just as he seems to be nearing some thematic breakthrough, Tea With Mussolini turns all syrupy again. The scenery slips into a golden haze. The dialogue turns slurred and drippily incontinent. The acting goes off into a series of mannered tics: the starts, twitches and adjustments of a body already half-asleep.

HH

BLAST FROM THE PAST (12)

Director: Hugh Wilson

Starring: Brendan Fraser, Alicia Silverstone, Sissy Spacek, Christopher Walken

Less a blast than a faint pop, Hugh Wilson's workmanlike Cold War satire has Brendan Fraser's last American man (called Adam, natch) emerging from the nuclear bunker his parents (Christopher Walken, Sissy Spacek) holed up in during the Cuban missile crisis. Trouble, of course, is that the Bomb didn't get dropped, and California is still there (albeit in radically- altered form). So off goes bewildered Adam through this brave new world, soon finding a sassy Eve in Alicia Silverstone's knowing Valley Girl, as a decent set-up nosedives into brash predictability.

HH

BEYOND SILENCE (12)

Director: Caroline Link

Starring: Sylvie Testud, Howie Seago

Caroline Link's fine domestic drama (Oscar-nominated in 1997) revolves around the dynamics of the uncommon German household headed by able-bodied Lara (played by Tatjana Trieb as a child, Sylvie Testud as an adult), who acts as a representative for her deaf mum and dad (Emmanuelle Laborit, Howie Seago). Unshowy acting and a a keen eye for the telling detail help keep the sentiment at bay.

HHH

Arts and Entertainment
The crowd enjoy Latitude Festival 2014

music
Arts and Entertainment
'I do think a woman's place is eventually in the home, but I see no harm in her having some fun before she gets there.'

Is this the end of the Dowager Countess?tv
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Martin of Coldplay performs live for fans at Enmore Theatre on June 19, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

music
Arts and Entertainment
Keith from The Office ten years on

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams prepares to enter the House of Black and White as Arya Stark in Game of Thrones season five

tv
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift won Best International Solo Female (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Shining star: Maika Monroe, with Jake Weary, in ‘It Follows’
film review
Arts and Entertainment

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith arrives at the Brit Awards (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Boleyn's beheading in BBC Two's Wolf Hall

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Follow every rainbow: Julie Andrews in 'The Sound of Music'
film Elizabeth Von Trapp reveals why the musical is so timeless
Arts and Entertainment
Bytes, camera, action: Leehom Wang in ‘Blackhat’
film
Arts and Entertainment
The Libertines will headline this year's festival
music
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Dean Anderson in the original TV series, which ran for seven seasons from 1985-1992
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Muscling in: Noah Stewart and Julia Bullock in 'The Indian Queen'

opera
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'

TVViewers predict what will happen to Miller and Hardy
Arts and Entertainment
Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright in season two of the series

Watch the new House of Cards series three trailer

TV
Arts and Entertainment
An extract from the sequel to Fight Club

books
Arts and Entertainment
David Tennant, Eve Myles and Olivia Colman in Broadchurch series two

TV Review
Arts and Entertainment
Old dogs are still learning in 'New Tricks'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
'Tonight we honour Hollywood’s best and whitest – sorry, brightest' - and other Neil Patrick Harris Oscars jokes

Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards

Arts and Entertainment
Patricia Arquette making her acceptance speech for winning Best Actress Award

Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears

Arts and Entertainment

Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants

Arts and Entertainment
Lloyd-Hughes takes the leading role as Ralph Whelan in Channel 4's epic new 10-part drama, Indian Summers

TV Review

The intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Segal and Cameron Diaz star in Sex Tape

Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
    Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

    Poldark star Heida Reed

    'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn