The Independent Recommends: The Three Best Films

Happiness (18)

Set in New Jersey, Todd Solondz's second film is a comedy of loneliness and sexual deviancy that reaffirms this young writer-director's talent.

High Art (18)

A portrait of the artist as lesbian screw-up, Lisa Cholodenko's bitterly witty take on New York living (and dying) boasts one of the performances of the year from Ally Sheedy (left).

Shakespeare in Love (15)

This enjoyable, Oscar-laden historical romp suggests how romance fired Shakespeare with the inspiration for Romeo and Juliet. Joseph Fiennes, Gwyneth Paltrow (Best Actress) and Judi Dench (Best Supporting Actress) head an impressive cast.

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