THE FIVE BEST FILMS

GOOD WILL HUNTING. (15). Gus Van Sant takes a sly slacker script about a boy prodigy and gives it the full studio treatment. The result is a furiously watchable fusion of Gen-X wit and high-gloss sentimentality. Matt Damon makes a startling debut as the genius of the title; Robin Williams is his psychiatrist. Plaza (0990 888990) 12.20 3.05 5.50 8.35; Ritzy (0171 737 2121) 8.50; Screen/Baker St (0171 935 2772) 2.30 8.35; Virgins Chelsea (0171 352 5096) 12.30 3.30 6.20 9.20, Haymarket (0181 970 6016) 1.00 3.30 6.10 8.05; Warner (0171 437 4343) 12 50 3.40 6.20 9.00; Whiteleys (0990 888990) 1.10 6.30. (P)

THE ICE STORM (15). Joan Allen and Kevin Kline have never been better than in Ang Lee's dissection of Seventies mores. An icicle-sharp script by James Schamus makes for a smartly satirical period drama. ABC Swiss Centre (0870 9020403) 1.05 3.30 6.05 8.35; Odeons Mezz (0181 315 4215) 1.35 3.50 6.10 8.40. (P)

JACKIE BROWN (15). Less larky and vicious than his previous work, Tarantino's third film is a thriller that glows with sweet regard for its middle-aged heroine played by blaxploitation queen Pam Grier. Clap Pic Hse (0171 498 3323) 3.15 6.15 9.10; Coronet (0171 727 6705) 1.45 5.00 8.15; Empire (0990 888990) 1.00 4.30 8.00; Odeons Camden (0181 315 4229) 1.00 4.25 7.55, Ken (0181 315 4214) 1.55 5.25 8.55, Marble Arch (0181 315 4216) 1.35 5.05 8.35, Swiss Cott (0181 315 4220) 12.30 4.15 7.45; Ritzy (0171 733 2229) 2.15 5.25 8.30; Virgins Chelsea (0171 352 5096) 12.15 3.00 6.00 9.05, Troc (0870 907 0716) 1.00 4.30 8.00; Whiteleys (0990 888990) 2.10 5.30 8.30. (P)

MOTHER AND SON (U). Aleksandr Sokurov's essay in transcendental cinema may frustrate those looking for incident, but his rich, quiet, reflective film carries a tremendous emotional charge. A thing of rare beauty, like a little piece of life caught in amber. Renoir (0171 837 8402) 1.45 3.30 5.20 7.15 9.10.

TWENTYFOURSEVEN (15). Shane Meadows makes his feature debut with this gutsy, well-observed film about a gang of unemployed lads making the best of their disadvantages. A funny, honest and affecting movie from a director who's here to stay. Barbican (0171 382 7000) 6.15 8.40; Odeons Camden (0181 315 4229) 1.55 2.10 4.25 6.55 9.10, Ken (0181 315 4214) 1.55 5.25 8.55, Swiss Cott (0181 315 4220) 1.50 4.15 6.30 8.55; Ritzy (0171 733 2229) 4.35 6.50 9.00; Screen Baker St (0171 935 2772) 4.40 6.40; Warner (0990 888990) 11.10 1.50 7.20. (P)

Matthew Sweet & Nick Cave

THE FIVE BEST plays

ART. Jack Dee, Mick Ford and Roger Allam become the fifth cast in Yasmina Reza's award-winning play. Wyndhams, WC2 (0171 369 1736), to 19 Apr. Tues- Sun 8.00. M: Wed 3.00 & Sat 5.00.

CHICAGO. The best musical in London since the National's 'Guys and Dolls' topically presents US trials as a branch of showbiz. Adelphi, WC1 (0171 344 0055), to 18 Apr. Mon-Sat 8.00. M: Wed & Sat 2.30.

THE INVENTION OF LOVE. John Wood and Paul Rhys are movingly paired as the elder and younger AE Housman in Tom Stoppard's erudite study of love and the classics. Cottesloe, SE1 (0171 928 2252), to 25 April. Thurs & Sat 7.30. M: Sat 2.15.

A LETTER OF RESIGNATION. Edward Fox is Harold Macmillan in Hugh Whitmore's persuasively sympathetic account of the Macmillan marriage and the Profumo affair. Comedy, SW1 (0171 369 1731), to Sat. Mon-Sat 7.45. M: Wed 3.00 & Sat 4.00

WAITING FOR GODOT. Alan Dobie and Julian Glover make a superb vaudeville double act in Peter Hall's bitingly funny production of Beckett's pivotal 20th-century classic. Piccadilly, W1 (0171 369 1734), in rep to 25 Apr. Tues & Sat 7.45. M: Tues 2.30 Robert Butler

THE FIVE BEST EXHIBITIONS

ALEX KATZ. Not a pop artist, but he does love fashion, Miami and Manhattan style. A classic American artist. Also showing 'Eye Was a child', see Review, page 24. Saatchi Gallery, NW8 (0171 624 8299), LAST WEEK, Thurs- Sun 12-6.

ART TREASURES OF ENGLAND. Revelatory anthology of work from regional museums, though 20th-century works are thin. Royal Academy, W1 (0171 300 8000), to 13 Apr. Daily 10-6.

ANTHONY CARO. New, brilliant little book sculptures and more ponderous pieces inspired by old- master paintings, especially Van Gogh. National Gallery, WC2 (0171 747 2885), to 4 May. Mon, Tues, Thurs-Sat 1-6, Wed 10-8, Sun 12-6.

FRANCIS BACON. Not a large show, but still a heavy, ruminative retrospective. Pain and terror are somewhat muted, the smell of death is everywhere. Hayward Gallery, SE1 (0171 928 3144), LAST DAY.

BONNARD. Consistently delightful account of the painter's repertoire, all domestic life experienced through a golden haze. Notice the almost agonised self-portraits, and strange pictures of gardens and dogs. Tate Gallery, SW1 (0171 420 0055), to 17 May. Daily 10-6 Tim Hilton

Times are for today's films in London. Films marked (P) are also showing outside London

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