THE WEEK IN REVIEW

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overview

THE FILM

TRAINSPOTTING

From the writer-producer-director team that brought you Shallow Grave comes the most-hyped film in ages, an adaptation of Irvine Welsh's explosive novel of the highs and lows of heroin addiction.

Sheila Johnston found it "constantly inventive, performed with gusto", but "for all its brilliance, the film finally feels sour and hollow". "It recalls A Clockwork Orange. Kubrick's film made one think. Boyle's film makes one puke," fumed the Standard. "The film offers audiences no refuge," warned the Times. "A film of rare visceral power," admired the FT. "Sensational," cheered Time Out.

Cert 18, 90 mins. "At a cinema near you." Alternatively, read the book or see the play at the Whitehall Theatre from 13 March (0171-369 1735)

The fainthearted should stick to the (excellent) Sense and Sensibility.

Tom Conti dons a curly wig and stars opposite Sharon Gless in an autobiographical Neil Simon comedy about a Jewish writer who falls in love with a gentile woman.

Robert Hanks was unconvinced. "Amiable but creaky... Sharon Gless surely deserves better." "I wish I found Conti appealing; or convincing. Gless is very appealing indeed," remarked the FT. "Amusing, sophisticated entertainment... flawed by a peculiarly American form of sentimentality," said the Times. "Certainly defrosted the audience's chuckle-muscles," approved the Guardian.

At the Gielgud Theatre, London WC1 (0171-494 5065)

About as authentically Jewish as a visit to Lourdes.

An exhibition of the work of the only artist ever elevated to the peerage. Vast canvases of biblical or classical mythology, portraits of women and small-scale landscapes.

Andrew Graham-Dixon was unequivocal. "Leighton painted many types of dreadful picture... the rehabilitation of certain types of Victorian painting can only be taken so far." "Empty pomp... there are no surprises," sniffed the Standard. "Thoroughly disheartening spectacle," groaned the Sunday Times. "A veritable one-man Antiques Roadshow," sighed the Guardian.

At the Royal Academy, London W1 (0171-494 5676) until 21 April, with linked exhibitions at Leighton House and the V&A.

Leighton was just eight years older than Cezanne. Guess which show you should see.

Stravinsky's neo-classical opera based on Hogarth's etchings stars Bryn Terfel, Alwyn Mellor and Paul Nilon, is conducted by Mark Wigglesworth and is directed by Matthew Warchus.

Stephen Walsh saluted "a beautiful and intelligent production, and one of the best sung I can remember". "A truthful and generally commendable piece of work on the part of all concerned," said the FT. "The brilliant WNO chorus... a fine show," pronounced the Telegraph. "Full of surprises," cheered the Times. "Less ambitious than Warchus should be able to afford," worried the Guardian.

Further performances tonight and 7 March at Cardiff New Theatre (01222 878889) and then on tour, including Covent Garden on 21 March.

Possibly Terfel's final performances in Wales. He has threatened to abandon WNO should Cardiff not build the new opera house. Don't miss.

THE PLAY

CHAPTER TWO

THE EXHIBITION

FREDERIC LEIGHTON

THE OPERA

THE RAKE'S PROGRESS

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