New Films

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ACTRESSES (15, 88 mins)

Director: Ventura Pons

Starring: Rosa Maria Sarda, Nuria Espert

Cult Spanish director Pons rustles up a googly-eyed bit of cinematic navel-gazing in this ode to the acting lark. Actresses details the earnest research of an aspiring thespian - interviewing three old hands about their life and times.

Limited release

HAPPINESS (18, 134 mins)

Director: Todd Solondz

Starring: Dylan Baker, Philip Seymour Hoffman

See The Independent Recommends, right.

Limited release

AN IDEAL HUSBAND (PG, 100 mins)

Director: Oliver Parker

Starring: Cate Blanchett, Minnie Driver

Politico Sir Robert Chiltern (Jeremy Northam) is being held to ransom by Julianne Moore's blackmailer. Wife Cate Blanchett looks on while Rupert Everett and Minnie Driver provide the comic relief. A proficient but mechanical overhaul of Wilde.

Countrywide

PROMETHEUS (15, 130 mins)

Director: Tony Harrison

Starring: Michael Feast, Walter Sparrow, Fern Smith, Jonathan Waistnidge

Tony Harrison's dense film-poem kicks off with a visit from Hermes (Michael Feast) to a mining town in Yorkshire, before journeying through the smokestack landscapes of Eastern Europe. Harrison's verse stokes the narrative into life, but it's too long.

Limited release

RETURN TO PARADISE (15, 109 mins)

Director: Joseph Ruben

Starring: Vince Vaughn, Anne Heche, Joaquin Phoenix, David Conrad

Eden takes on a definite whiff of sulphur in the course of Ruben's fact- based saga, as two travellers (Vince Vaughn and David Conrad) return to the scene of their former crimes when a buddy (Joaquin Phoenix) is busted for drugs possession in Malaysia. A classic morality play, Return to Paradise suffers from a pedestrian second half.

Countrywide

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