New Films

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The Independent Culture

Director: Nanni Moretti

Starring: Nanni Moretti, Silvia Nono

More meta-documentary shenanigans from Nanni Moretti, a sort of Roman Woody Allen complete with the same nerdy patter, the same self-reflexive neuroses. His skittish, mercurial Aprile freewheels through a three-year period in Italian politics. Meantime, running as a kind of sunny counterpoint, goes the director's will-he-won't-he intention to make a musical about a Trotskyite pastry chef. Impossible to pigeon-hole, Aprile dances to its own realist/absurdist rhythms; before bowing out with a finale that's both ridiculous and charming. West End: Metro, Renoir


Director: Mark Pellington

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Tim Robbins

Trouble's a-brewing behind the manicured suburban lawns of Mark Pellington's intriguingly staged paranoia thriller, which sees Jeff Bridges' college prof becoming suspicious about the antics of his outwardly respectable neighbour (Tim Robbins). Meanwhile, Pellington goes big on skewed camera angles, yet rings too few changes in his film's familiar territory. With Joan Cusack and Hope Davies. West End: ABC Shaftesbury Avenue, Clapham Picture House, Notting Hill Coronet, Odeon Swiss Cottage, Plaza, UCI Whiteleys, Virgin Fulham Road, Virgin Trocadero, Warner Village West End. And local cinemas


Director: John Fortenberry

Starring: Will Ferrell, Chris Kattan

Fortenberry's indulgent showcase for Saturday Night Live favourites Ferrell and Kattan is so bovine that it moos. Here come our imbecilic heroes: squabbling with daddy (Dan Hedaya) and cruising the mall-spaces of Nineties LA, while one ham-fisted comedy sequence follows another. Think Dumb and Dumber without the wit. One whole night. It only feels that long. West End: Plaza, Virgin Trocadero. And local cinemas


Director: Gaspar Noe

Starring: Philippe Nahon, Blandine Lenoir

Welcome to "shit-hole" France. Your guide: a sociopathic butcher (Nahon) who is pushed over the edge when he figures out that someone has abused his daughter. The style: crash-zooms and in-yer-face close-ups. Less straight cinema than a kind of whiplashing fairground ride, Seul Contre Tous is an attention-grabbing debut for the talented Noe. But its harsh expose of modern France is compromised by its creator's relentlessly gimmicky style. West End: Curzon Soho, Ritzy Cinema


Director: Liam McGrath

Starring: Francis Barrett

This coarse-grained, warm-hearted film charts the rise of 10-year-old light-welterweight Francis Barrett, an Irish traveller with dreams of Olympic glory. Bobbing around the caravan sites of County Galway, Liam McGrath's documentary gently spotlights anti-traveller prejudice while paying lip-service to the views of local eccentrics. Southpaw is a shade soft in its centre, but it's impeccably well-intentioned. West End: Metro


Director: Kirk Jones

Starring: Ian Bannen, David Kelly

Good news first: Ned, a salt-of-the-earth resident of Tully in rural Ireland, has just won the lottery. Bad news: Ned is dead. Cue a rattle-bag of comedic misadventure as two skallywags scheme to get their paws on the loot. The film has a zesty undertow of black comedy, but is too air-brushed for its own good. West End: ABC Tottenham Court Road, Barbican Screen, Clapham Picture House, Odeon Camden Town, Odeon Kensington, Odeon Marble Arch, Odeon Swiss Cottage, Odeon West End, Ritzy Cinema, Screen on Baker Street, Screen on the Green, UCI Whiteleys,Virgin Chelsea. Repertory: Watermans Arts Centre. And local cinemas