Pick of the week

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The Independent Culture
Leaving Las Vegas

Mike Figgis is passionate and insane. No surprise then that his masterpiece should be brimming with passion and insanity. (And Scotch.) Nicolas Cage is the down-at-heel alcoholic who resolves to drink himself to death but finds temporary solace in the arms of hooker Elisabeth Shue. The pre-credit sequence alone would make Godard go "wow!"

On release

Performance

James Fox is the cocky hood hiding out with fey rock star Mick Jagger and swapping identities - Freaky Friday on hallucinogenics, basically. One director (Nicolas Roeg) later made some of the Seventies' most visionary films; the other (Donald Cammell) has only made two other movies since. And James Fox went right off his trolley. Says it all.

Mon/Tues, Manchester Cornerhouse (0161-228 2463)

Spanking the Monkey

Some people think David O Russell's perfectly judged black comedy was the best American film of last year. Don't laugh: it was. Jeremy Davies is splendidly brittle as the student stuck at home for the holidays with his mum (Alberta Watson), a woman who wants a bit more from her little boy than just a goodnight kiss.

Tomorrow 11.15pm, Cambridge Arts Cinema (01223 504444)

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