New Films

CHANCE OR COINCIDENCE (HASARDS OU COINCIDENCES) (PG, 120 mins)

Director: Claude Lelouch

Starring: Alessandra Martines, Pierre Arditi

Lelouch's giddy globe-hopper skips around after Martines' bereaved ballerina; gallivant-ing from Venice to Canada to Alaska to Acapulco, leaving a trail of narrative loose-ends in its wake. Charm, plus a rare emotional honesty, finally sees it through.

West End: Curzon Soho Repertory: NFT

DOUG'S FIRST MOVIE (U, 87 mins)

Director: Maurice Joyce

Starring: Thomas McHugh, Fred Newman

"First" because Joyce's animated fancy is the inaugural feature based on the life of American TV favourite Doug, an amiable cartoon kiddy who discovers an equally amiable monster residing in his polluted local lake.

West End: UCI Whiteleys, Virgin Chelsea, Virgin Trocadero And local cinemas

GOODBYE LOVER (15, 101 mins)

Director: Roland Joffe

Starring: Patricia Arquette, Dermot Mulroney

"No one's ever been so good at being so bad", quips the strapline to Goodbye Lover in what is surely a veiled dig at Joffe, here chasing up his inept The Scarlet Letter with a startlingly awful spot of film-noir histrionics. Arquette is the peroxide tease who cheats on her husband (Mulroney) with duplicitous Don Johnson in a yarn that's plagued throughout by a kind of film-maker's epilepsy: all counter-bluffs, nutty camera moves and sudden plot twists.

West End: ABC Shaftesbury Avenue Local: Streatham ABC, Walthamstow ABC

THE MATCH (15, 96 mins)

Director: Mick Davis

Starring: Max Beesley, Richard E Grant

Once upon a time, in a quaint Scottish village, there lived a good pub (warm beer, cheerful locals) and a bad pub (chilled wine, Richard E Grant tending bar). Every year bad pub beats good pub at football, but this year good pub simply has to win. Cue salt-of-the-earth whimsy, knee-jerk nostalgia and hammy playing from the celebrity B-team (Neil Morrissey, Sam Fox). Entertainment-wise, it's a no-score draw.

West End: Odeon West End

PLACE VENDOME (15, 117 mins)

Director: Nicole Garcia

Starring: Catherine Deneuve, Emmanuelle Seigner

See The Independent Recommends, right.

West End: Chelsea Cinema, Curzon Mayfair, Renoir

PLAYING BY HEART (15, 121 mins)

Director:Willard Carroll

Starring: Sean Connery, Gena Rowlands

Carroll's airbrushed fresco on amour and glamour in 1990s LA is carried by a top-notch cast, stoked by lush sound and visuals and propelled by a script that seems to delight in its own ingenuities.

West End: Odeon West End

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