Ryan Gilbey on film
Friday 17 May 1996
There have already been seven or eight pictures that make you want to take whoever you're with and shake them by the shoulders, grinning like a big lug as the credits roll. We couldn't have got off to a better start - the unexpectedly moral Seven; Lars Von Trier's hilarious and haunting four-hour soap-from-hell, The Kingdom; Mike Figgis arriving back with Leaving Las Vegas, the film that he was put on this earth to make. And all those in January. You had to rush home and put on something by Alan Parker, just to remind you of the bad things in life.
Then there was Safe, Todd Haynes's devastating environmental horror, which remains the year's most astonishing work. What else? Smoke, Dead Man Walking and, in the next fortnight, Secrets & Lies and Fargo, the best work yet from Mike Leigh and the Coen Brothers respectively. Surely it can't get any better than this?
There's always a down side of course. The popcorn still tastes disgusting.
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