RECOMMENDED

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. Odeons Camden (0181 315 4229) 1.00, Ken (0181 315 4214) 3.35 6.30 9.25, Marble Arch (0181 315 4216) 12.10 3.05 5.55 8.40, Swiss Cott (0181 315 4220) 3.35 8.25; Plaza (0990 888990) 12.20 3.05 5.50 8.35; Ritzy (0171 737 2121) 3.00 6.00 8.50; Screens Baker St (0171 935 2772) 3.10 5.50 8.30, Green (0171 226 3520) 3.05 5.50 8.30; Virgins Chelsea (0171 352 5096) 12.30 3.30 6.20 9.15, Haymarket (0181 970 6016) 12.45 3.20 6.00 8.45; Warner (0171 437 4343) 12 50 3.40 6.20 9.00; Whiteleys (0990 888990) 12.00 2.45 5.45 8.45. (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 Tott Ct Rd (0181 970 6032) 1.40 4.20 6.45 9.20; 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. Barbican (0171 638 8891) 6.00 8.40; 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) 1.30 5.10 8.35; Odeons Camden (0181 315 4229) 1.30 5.00 8.15, Ken (0181 315 4214) 2.20 5.40 9.00, Marble Arch (0181 315 4216) 1.55 5.20 8.45, Swiss Cott (0181 315 4220) 1.00 4.30 8.00; Virgins Chelsea (0171 352 5096) 12.15 3.00 6.00 9.00, Troc (0870 907 0716) 1.00 4.30 8.00; Whiteleys (0990 888990) 1.50 5.10 8.30. (P)

MOTHER AND SON (U). See review, page 7. Renoir (0171 837 8402) 1.45 3.30.

TWENTYFOURSEVEN (15). See review, page 7. Barbican (0171 382 7000) 6.50 8.40; Odeons Camden (0181 315 4229) 12.00 2.15 4.30 7.00, Ken (0181 315 4214) 2.25 4.50 7.15 9.40, Swiss Cott (0181 315 4220) 1.50 4.15 6.30 8.55; Ritzy (0171 733 2229) 2.20 4.35 6.50 9.00; Screen Baker St (0171 935 2772) 2.50 4.50 6.55 9.00; Virgins Fulham (0870 907 0711) 1.00 3.50 6.30 9.00, Haymarket (0870 907 0712) 1.00 3.00 5.10 7.10 9.20; Warner (0990 888990) 11.10 1.30 4.10 6.50 9.30. (P) Matthew Sweet

THE FIVE BEST EXHIBITIONS

ALEX KATZ. Not a pop artist, but he does love fashion, Miami and Manhattan style. A classic American artist: nice to look at, not much to ponder. Saatchi Gallery, NW8 (0171 624 8299), to 12 Apr. 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 on 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 WEEK. Daily 10-8.

BONNARD. Consistently delightful account of the painter's repertoire, all domestic life experienced through a golden haze. Tate Gallery, SW1 (0171 420 0055), to 17 May. Daily 10-6. Tim Hilton

THE FIVE BEST plays

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.

NOT ABOUT NIGHTINGALES. Trevor Nunn directs this revelatory early Tennessee Williams play about prison life in the Thirties, with striking Richard Hoover designs and harrowing ensemble performances. Cottesloe, SE1 (0171 928 2252), in rep to 30 Apr. Tues-Thurs 7.30 M: Wed 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.

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.

CAUSE CELEBRE. Terence Rattigan's last play - about sex, murder and hypocrisy in Thirties Britain - is powerfully revived by Neil Bartlett. Lyric Theatre, W6 (0181 741 0824), LAST WEEK. Mon-Sat 7.30. M: Sat 2.30. Robert Butler

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