The Five Best Films

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1

Shakespeare in Love (5)

This enjoyable historical romp suggests how romance fired the young Will Shakespeare with the creative inspiration for Romeo and Juliet. Joseph Fiennes and Gwyneth Paltrow head an impressive multi-star cast.

2

Living Out Loud (5)

Holly Hunter plays a Manhattan woman who, abandoned by her husband, befriends the elevator operator (Danny DeVito) in her building. Writer Richard LaGravanese handles everything with affectionate restraint. See review, right.

3

A Bug's Life (U)

Less sophisticated and more child-friendly than Antz, this spins another enjoyable yarn about an ant colony and its battle to survive. Kevin Spacey is the voice of the chief grasshopper. See review, right.

4

The Opposite of Sex (8)

Christina Ricci plays 6-year-old Dedee, shooting from the lip and causing all kinds of havoc when she moves in with her mild-mannered half-brother (Martin Donovan). Director Don Roos's script bristles with smart put-downs and acidulous one-liners.

5

(Pi) (5)

David Aronofsky's black-and-white debut tells the story of a maths whizz who believes he has discerned a pattern in the stock market; a stylish indie film which mixes Wall Street, Jewish mysticism and nightmares.

THE FIVE BEST REVIVALS

Out of the Past (Riverside)

Jacques Tourneur's superlative noir features haunting black-and white photography and stars Robert Mitchum as a doomed private eye, bedevilled by Kirk Douglas's crime boss and Jane Greer's femme fatale. Thur 6.45pm

2

Lawrence of Arabia (Riverside)

The desert epic non-pareil. Peter O'Toole heads an all-star international cast in this monumental biopic of TE Lawrence, directed by David Lean, which won seven Academy Awards.. Sun 6pm

3

A Man and a Woman (ABC Swiss Centre)

It has dated since its 966 release, but Claude Lelouch's film remains one of the most gorgeously cinematic evocations of Gallic romance, all empty beaches, misty train stations and longing looks.

4

Don't Look Now (NFT)

Adapted from a Daphne du Maurier short story, Nicolas Roeg's tale of a couple (Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie) coping with bereavement amid a ghostly Venice still has the power to haunt and horrify. Tonight 8.45pm

5

LA Confidential (NFT)

The year is 953, the city is Los Angeles and the name of the game is police corruption. Curtis Hanson's rendering of the James Ellroy novel is a dark-toned masterpiece, and probably the most accomplished thriller of the 990s. Mon 2.30pm

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