FILM:The Santa Clause

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The Independent Culture
The Santa Clause Yes, I loathed Home Improvement too, but when you see that dull sitcom's star 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, as a divorced father, dons a Santa Claus suit (right) and finds himself sprouting silver whiskers and a beer belly. Against the odds, this looks like being the most winning comedy of the season.

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

La Haine Powerhouse thriller set amongst the labyrinths of a Parisian housing estate recovering from a riot. The writer and director Mathieu Kassovitz is unsparing in his indictment of a brutal police regime.