SUMPTUOUS swashbucklers are fast becoming French cinema's stock- in-trade. Le Bossu doesn't break much new ground, but is acted and shot with such magnificent braggadocio that its lack of originality is never a problem. Fabrice Luchini makes a supremely oleaginous villain. Vincent Perez leaps hither and thither like a latter-day Douglas Fairbanks while Daniel Auteuil's character (left) seems like a cross between Cyrano and D'Artagnan. He tends the abandoned young baby who soon blossoms into the beautiful Aurore (Marie Gillain). Who cares about the cliches when the storytelling is so vivid?
On general release
In contrast to the period extravagance of Le Bossu, Manchester's Cornerhouse is also showing Gilles Mimouni's contemporary story, L'Appartement, which like La Haine (also featuring this film's excellent star, Vincent Cassel), proves that the French can represent the reality of the present as well as the magic of the past.
Cornerhouse, Manchester (0161-200 1500) 1.45pm, 6pm