Harvey Keitel is a harsh but humane policeman (again) in Spike Lee's film of Richard Price's 600-page novel about teenage crack dealers. Produced by Martin Scorsese.
Adam Mars-Jones was troubled by flashy flourishes but praised "a downbeat [but] powerful piece of work". "A fine film but not the breakthrough Lee intended," opined the Guardian. "Adventurously crafted ... impassioned," applauded the FT. "Mournful and meditative," praised Time Out. "Having begun his movie with hob-nailed boots, Lee stomps for two more hours," complained the Times.
On release, 128 mins, Cert 18.
Together with Seven, downbeat is obviously the latest trend.
THE OPERA LA BOHEME OVERVIEW Raymond Gubbay produces Puccini's intimate masterpiece on a grand scale in the round at the Albert Hall Opera for "the people" using amplified sound and charging similar prices to ENO. CRITICAL VIEW Edward Seckerson was angered by the over-hyped affair. "I felt remote. Heaven knows how they felt in the upper balcony ... two dozen violins sounded like a synthesiser sample." "In so many ways unsatisfactory ... a jumbled mess ... a stilted affair," agreed the FT. "Fails to establish any warm or differentiated theatrical ambience," murmured the Daily Telegraph, one of the sponsors. ON VIEW Final performances today at 2.30 & 7.30 at the Albert Hall (0171-589 8212). OUR VIEW For the real thing at similar prices, head for Opera North or ENO - or curl up with the peerless, heart-breaking Beecham CD set. THE PLAY VALLEY SONG OVERVIEW Athol Fugard stars with Esmeralda Bihl in his own production of his latest play, a quiet, lyrical piece about change and hope across the generations set in post-apartheid South Africa. CRITICAL VIEW Paul Taylor was touched by the production and "the spare, deceptively simple poetry of the writing". "An apparently simple but remarkably resonant work that seems to glow with tenderness and grace," swooned the Telegraph. "This solipsistic parable shows scant insight and does not add up to a play," declared the Financial Times. ON VIEW At the Royal Court, London SW1 (0171-730 1745) until 9 March. OUR VIEW Autobiographical, touching and filled with hope. THE EXHIBITION CEZANNE OVERVIEW 150 works - still lifes, portraits and views of Mont Sainte Victoire - making up the first retrospective since 1936 of one of the most influential figures in modern art. CRITICAL VIEW Iain Gale judged it "a triumph, a success as much for the gallery as its director, Nicholas Serota." "A triumph," echoed the Evening Standard. "I doubt if 1996 will produce a grander exhibition... overwhelming," announced the Times. "Each new picture represents a fresh avenue of visual exploration," enthused the Telegraph. "Magnificent," eulogised the Guardian. ON VIEW The Tate Gallery to 28 April. 50,000 tickets have already been sold with 5,000 more selling per day. Advance booking (0171-420 0000) is essential. OUR VIEW The big surprise is that the portraits - particularly Bather with Arms Outstretched - are the true masterpieces. Go.Reuse content