New Films

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
BEDROOMS & HALLWAYS (15)

Director: Rose Troche

Starring: Kevin McKidd, Jennifer Ehle

Bedrooms & Hallways, the latest offering from the This Life school of British film-making, sees Kevin McKidd's giddy Londoner being put through all manner of romantic hoops in the run-up to his 30th birthday. Kev's orientation arrow spins from gay to straight, his mates offer endless advice, and Simon Callow pops up as a New Agey men's group leader. Rose Troche's smooth direction and McKidd's winsome acting compensate for an often smug and lightweight script.

West End: ABC Shaftesbury Avenue, Clapham Picture House, Odeon Kensington, Odeon Mezzanine, UCI Whiteleys, Virgin Fulham Road, Virgin Haymarket. Repertory: The Pullman Everyman

A CIVIL ACTION (15)

Director: Steven Zaillian

Starring: John Travolta, Robert Duvall

John Travolta's ambulance-chasing lawyer takes a shot at redemption in this complex and frequently absorbing courtroom saga that nonetheless raises inevitable comparisons with Sidney Lumet's The Verdict. Culled from a true story, A Civil Action spins a David-and-Goliath-style drama, in which blue-collar locals go head to head with the big corporations who poisoned their water. Zaillian negotiates the legal intricacies with ingenuity.

West End: Clapham Picture House, Empire Leicester Square, UCI Whiteleys, Virgin Chelsea, Virgin Trocadero. And local cinemas

THE FACULTY (15)

Director: Robert Rodriguez

Starring: Elijah Wood, Shawn Hatosy

See The Independent Recommends, right.

West End: Odeon Camden Town, Odeon Kensington, Odeon Marble Arch, Odeon Swiss Cottage, UCI Whiteleys, Virgin Chelsea, Virgin Trocadero, Warner Village West End. And local cinemas

HIGH ART (18)

Director: Lisa Cholodenko

Starring: Ally Sheedy, Radha Mitchell

See The Independent Recommends, right.

West End: Curzon Soho, Ritzy Cinema, Screen on the Green

N (15)

Director: Robert Lepage

Starring: Anne-Marie Cadieux, Alexis Martin

Lepage's third feature obliquely spotlights Quebec's push for independence in 1970 with an absurdist parallel narrative that crosscuts between the trials of a troubled actress and her activist boy- friend. But its fascinating elements fail to gel; its scenes unravel; its reach exceeds its grasp. West End: ABC Swiss Centre, Barbican Screen

ORGAZMO (18)

Director: Trey Parker

Starring: Trey Parker

Orgazmo looks like the love-child of Boogie Nights and Flesh Gordon: a gambolling send-up of the porn industry. Parker stars as a Mormon-turned-skin-flick-superstar; Robin Lynne plays the fiancee who stumbles upon his guilty secret.

West End: Plaza

THE RED VIOLIN (15)

Director: Francois Girard

Starring: Samuel L Jackson, Greta Scacchi

Girard's daisy chain of historical vignettes follows the course of a cursed violin down through the centuries. Unfortunately, a thrift-shop budget leaves many of the period backdrops looking like cast-offs from a BBC schools programme. More crucially, Girard's bitty narrative leaves his film labouring in third gear throughout.

West End: Barbican Screen, Odeon Haymarket, Odeon Kensington, Odeon Swiss Cottage. Local: Hampstead ABC

SLAM (15)

Director: Marc Levin

Starring: Saul Williams, Sonja Sohn

Even if slam-poetry's clanking rhymes make you want to "slam" the perpetrator's head in a car door, Marc Levin's drama still carries an emotional force. Saul Williams plays an Afro-American Everyman, busted on a drugs charge before finding freedom of expression through his rap stylings. Levin's story is preachy and simplistic; earthy and earnest. Much like slam-poetry itself.

West End: Metro, Ritzy Cinema. Local: Holloway Odeon, New Stratford Picture House

Comments