Tuesday 06 October 1998
Director: Vincent Gallo
Starring: Gallo, Christina Ricci, Ben Gazzara, Anjelica Huston, Mickey Rourke
Early on in Buffalo 66, the director, Vincent Gallo, draws your attention to a licence plate which includes the letters "OZU" - at which point I scribbled "he should be so lucky" in my notebook. Who could have guessed that the self-absorbed Gallo would turn out to know a thing or two about fixing a camera on a group of characters and simply watching? Yet promising though it is, Gallo's film about an ex-con (played by himself) who kidnaps a dancer (Christina Ricci) in order to convince his parents that he is married, doesn't measure up to Ozu - or Cassavetes, or any of the other dozen influences here. But it has enough inspired moments to convince you that Gallo is no bluffer.
West End: Clapham Picture House, Gate Notting Hill, Metro, Odeon Camden Town, Richmond Filmhouse, Ritzy Cinema, Screen on the Green, Virgin Haymarket
DIVORCING JACK (15)
Director: David Caffrey
Starring: David Thewlis, Rachel Griffiths, Robert Lindsay, Jason Isaacs
A moment of casual infidelity for a drunken Northern Irish journalist, Dan Starkey (David Thewlis), sets in motion an espionage plot that implicates politicians, the IRA and a gun-toting nun-o-gram. The balance between black comedy and tension is largely successful, but the convoluted plot squeezes the life from the film. West End: UCI Whiteleys, Virgin Chelsea, Virgin Haymarket, Warner Village West End
Director: Shekhar Kapur
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Christopher Eccleston, Geoffrey Rush, Joseph Fiennes, Kathy Burke
Shekhar Kapur's follow-up to his controversial 1994 thriller Bandit Queen is the story of a female figurehead struggling to gain purchase in a male world. Upon the death of Queen Mary I (Kathy Burke), her half-sister, Elizabeth (Cate Blanchett), is crowned queen, but finds her personal affairs held to ransom over the future of the country - while it is imperative that she marry, her plans to wed her sweetheart (Joseph Fiennes) carry no weight, and she comes under pressure to consent to a strategic marriage. Kapur largely neglects opportunities for fun in a story of independence triumphing over cruelty.
West End: ABC Baker Street, Barbican Screen, Clapham Picture House, Odeon Camden Town, Odeon Kensington, Odeon Marble Arch, Odeon Swiss Cottage, Odeon West End, Renoir, Screen on the Hill, UCI Whiteleys, Virgin Fulham Road
MERCURY RISING (15)
Director: Harold Becker
Starring: Bruce Willis, Alec Baldwin, Miko Hughes
In this diverting thriller, evocative of Gloria or Witness, a top-secret government security code is buried in a grid in a puzzle magazine to test its impenetrability. But when it is casually cracked by a nine-year-old autistic boy (Miko Hughes), the child's life is placed in extreme danger, and he comes under the protection of an FBI agent (Bruce Willis).
West End: Elephant & Castle Coronet, Plaza, UCI Whiteleys, Virgin Fulham Road, Virgin Trocadero, Warner Village West End
A MOMENT OF INNOCENCE (NUN VA GOLDOON) (NC) Director: Mohsen Makhmalbaf
Starring: Mirhadi Tayebi, Ali Bakhshi (subtitles)
A sly and occasionally haunting study of the relationship between life and art. Writer and director Mohsen Makhmalbaf follows a director's attempts to make a film based on a pivotal event in his early life. Weariness with yet another Iranian film about film-making (coming so soon after Close- Up) is largely tempered by the picture's wit and charm.
West End: ICA Cinema
SIXTH HAPPINESS (NC)
Director: Waris Hussein
Starring: Firdaus Kanga, Khodus Wadia
A functional adaptation of Firdaus Kanga's autobiographical novel about growing up in Bombay with brittle-bone disease. Showing at the NFT for one week only.
West End: NFT
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food