The Independent Recommends
STEVEN SPIELBERG'S Second World War drama Saving Private Ryan is not a masterpiece by any means, but it earns its place in our Recommends section by virtue of its devastating battle sequences, and a fine performance by Tom Hanks. He plays Captain John Miller, dispatched with his squad to rescue a Private Ryan, the youngest of four brothers, the rest of whom have all been killed in action. It isn't the explicit violence which is shocking, but rather the relentless motion of the camera. The ensemble playing is also excellent, despite a poor screenplay.
On general release
If you want to play compare and contrast, make sure you're in Oxford today for Full Metal Jacket (above) - Vietnam, this time. Like most of Kubrick's work, this is cold and methodical, but technically awe-inspiring. It's also the last glimpse we have had of Kubrick at work (heaven knows when Eyes Wide Shut will see the light of day).
Phoenix Picture House, Oxford (01865 554909) today, 6.15pm
Theatre Dominic Cavendish
SHARED EXPERIENCE'S revival of their acclaimed production of Anna Karenina opens tonight. If it's anything like as good as it was back in 1993, it should be a sight for sore eyes. Helen Edmundson's adaptation weaves together the two strands of Tolstoy's novel - the love-affairs between Anna and Count Vronsky, and between the idealist Levin and the beautiful Kitty. Teresa Banham and Richard Hope reprise their roles as Anna and Levin.
Lyric Hammersmith, London W6 (0181-741 8701) 7.30pm
Just opened in Chichester is the promising-looking Katherine Howard by William Nicholson (the man who penned the weepy CS Lewis bio-drama Shadowlands). It stars Richard Griffiths (left) as Henry VIII and Emilia Fox as wife No 5, hoping to buck the trend.
Festival Theatre, Chichester (01243 781312) 7.30pm
Classical Duncan Hadfield
INITIAL REVIEWS have ranged from the ecstatic to the lukewarm, but there still seems a great deal to recommend ENO's first new production of the season - Verdi's penultimate opera, Otello, with Susan Bullock (right). Directed by the iconoclastic David Freeman, and with sets designed by Tom Phillips, this Otello definitely has a contemporary feel. And whatever the merits of the production, David Rendall, in the title role, is in magnificent voice.
London Coliseum, London WC2 (0171-632 8300) 7.30pm
The Marais Ensemble provides an interesting selection of wind works tonight. Ligeti's Six Bagatelles and Ten Pieces for Wind Quintet are set alongside Mozart's Quintet for Piano and Winds and Poulenc's quirky Sextet for Piano and Winds.
Purcell Room, London SE1 (0171-960 4242) 7.30pm
Comedy James Rampton
AUDIENCES warm to the inventive incompetence of Lee Evans (below). They can identify with his scatter-brained portrayal of a person constantly at two with the world - the man who disastrously misuses a French hole- in-the-ground lavatory or who is baffled by hotels: "I opened the wardrobe and there was a pillow and a blanket. That was the worst night's sleep I've ever had."
Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1 (0171-494 5580) 8pm
As their very name suggests, Hitchcock's Half Hour like nothing better than a bit of ironic juxtaposition: the horror of Hitchcock rubbing up against the humour of Hancock's Half Hour. The duo of Neil Cole and Tom Hillenbrand do a neat line in absurd musical comedy. "Kula Shakin' Stevens" and "Neo-Hispanic Welsh psychedelia", anyone?
Kal's East Sheen Comedy Club, London SW14 (0181-871 3396) 9pm
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Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Benedict Cumberbatch says Hollywood is better for black British actors: 'I think as far as coloured actors go it gets really difficult in the UK'
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 3 UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
- 4 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 5 Warriors in ancient Iraq suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 3,000 years ago, say researchers
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'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
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George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
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Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd