Sliding Doors, on general release

Who was writer/director Peter Howitt before Sliding Doors? An actor doing Pinter and being known to millions as the smooth git from Carla Lane's Bread, since you ask. These days, he's behind the lens, but he's managed to seduce serious talent to appear in front of it. His debut feature boasts John Hannah, who by reading the Auden poem in Four Weddings and A Funeral turned himself into the boy most likely to. That led to becoming TV's McCallum, which is to ITV what Silent Witness is to BBC, ie deadly serious. (Ever since Patricia Cornwell made a killing out of novels about Dr Kay Scarpetta, forensic pathology is TV's favourite fictional formula.) Smarter still is the casting of Gwyneth Paltrow. Before anyone gets hot and bothered about Paltrow playing British, remember her in Emma and, more to the point, no-one over here bats an eyelid at Minnie Driver et al merrily playing Americans.