Monday 24 August 1998
Director: Phillipe de Broca
Starring: Daniel Auteuil, Fabrice Luchini, Vincent Perez, Marie Gillain
Sumptuous swashbucklers are fast becoming French cinema's stock-in-trade. This effort doesn't break much new ground, but is acted and shot with such magnificent braggadocio that its lack of originality is never a problem.
Fabrice Luchini makes a supremely oleaginous villain. Vincent Perez leaps hither and thither like a latter-day Douglas Fairbanks, while Daniel Auteil's character seems like a cross between Cyrano and D'Artagnan.
He tends the abandoned young baby who soon blossoms into the beautiful Aurore (Marie Gillain). Who cares about the cliches when the storytelling is so vivid?
Curzon Mayfair, Richmond Filmhouse
GADJO DILO (15)
Director: Tony Gatlif
Starring: Romain Duris, Rona Hartner, Izidor Serban
Stephane (Romain Duris), a young Parisian, tramps down a long, icy road, somewhere in rural Romania, on a quest for Nora Luca, the gypsy singer whose music he discovered through his father. After a drunken night with Izidor, an old man he meets crying and cursing in the snow, Stephane learns gradually about the habits, superstitions and, above all, the music of his gypsy hosts. There is a warmth and humour to the storytelling, and an integrity that pushes this film way beyond being mere sentimental travelogue.
THE LIFE OF STUFF (U)
Director: Simon Donald
Starring: Ewen Bremner, Ciaran Hinds, Jason Flemyng, Gina McKee
A profoundly depressing Glasgow gangland drama. The performances and direction are pitched at such an overwrought level from the very first scene that the film does not have anywhere to go.
The claustrophobic settings (almost the entire story takes place in a deserted warehouse) do not help at all. Nor does the melodramatic sub-John Barry music. Ewen Bremner and Gina McKee do their best as two hostages trapped in the basement, but the shock tactics (including various explosions, tortures, ferocious bloodlettings etc) do little but leave the viewer numb.
Director: Philip Saville
Starring: Christian Bale, Ewen McGregor
In this suburban morality tale, Chris (Christian Bale) is festering somewhere in the commuter belt, playing happy families, when his old friend Tony (Lee Ross) thinks that he ought to be out having fun.
Most of the film is set in the 1970s, but the period is not reconstructed with any great verve. There is plenty that is likeable - the late-1960s Paris interlude, in which Chris acts up as a Left Bank boulevardier, is very endearing. But back on home soil, the storytelling is less assured, and on the whole, Saville displays a dispiriting lack of ambition.
Metro, Odeon Kensington, Virgin Fulham Road, Virgin Haymarket
THE X-FILES (15)
Director: Rob Bowman
Starring: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson
See The Independent Recommends, right.
ABC Baker Street, ABC Shaftesbury Avenue, Clapham Picture House, Elephant & Castle Coronet, Hammersmith Virgin, Odeon Camden Town, Odeon Haymarket, Odeon Kensington, Odeon Marble Arch, Odeon Swiss Cottage, Odeon West End, Ritzy Cinema, Virgin Chelsea, Virgin Fulham Road, Virgin Trocadero
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 2 Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
- 3 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Isis publicly behead man in Syrian town square for 'insulting Allah' as he screams for help
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
The Jump 2015 line-up: Joey Essex, Mike Tindall, Jodie Kidd and co take to the slopes
Game of Thrones: Grey Worm actor Jacob Anderson is all for more male nudity – as long as he can keep his clothes on
Roald Dahl letter warning student to 'eschew beastly adjectives' goes viral 35 years later
Our fascination with the Arctic from Greek myths to Sky Atlantic's new drama Fortitude
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures