The Independent Recommends: Film

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The Independent Culture
SO MANY screenwriters and directors have imitated the early style of Barry Levinson that it's easy to forget how fresh his best film, Diner, felt when it was released in 1982. Steve Guttenberg, Daniel Stern, Mickey Rourke and Kevin Bacon (left) are the four friends goofing around in 1950s Baltimore. Only Bacon's career has really survived in the intervening years. But this is fine ensemble playing, and Levinson's witty script is a gift to the young, vibrant quartet. The film's nostalgia doesn't stick in the throat; it washes over you.

NFT, South Babk, London SE1 (0171-928 3232) 6.15pm

The Thief is then story of a six-year-old boy whose mother falls for a con man posing as a soldier in 1952 Russia. What makes the picture worth seeing is the acting. The young Misha Philipchuk is unusual among child actors - his performance grows and matures palpably as the picture progresses.

On selected release