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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 spins from gay to straight, his mates offer endless advice, and Simon Callow pops up as a New Agey man.

Limited release

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.

Countrywide

THE FACULTY (15)

Director: Robert Rodriguez

Starring: Elijah Wood, Shawn Hatosy

See The Independent Recommends, right.

Countrywide

HIGH ART (18)

Director: Lisa Cholodenko

Starring: Ally Sheedy, Radha Mitchell

See The Independent Recommends, right.

Limited release

THE RED VIOLIN (15)

Director: Francois Girard

Starring: Samuel L Jackson, Greta Scacchi, Jason Flemyng, Colm Feore, Sylvia Chang

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 broken-up and bitty narrative leaves his film labouring in third gear throughout. Limited release

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