Review: Videos

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Indy Lifestyle Online
The People vs Larry Flynt (18). Vigorously airbrushed, Milos Forman's impassioned biopic of the Hustler publisher is styled primarily as a celebration of the First Amendment. The screenplay, by Ed Wood scribes Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, provides sharp, memorable characterisations, and the actors respond accordingly. Woody Harrelson plays Flynt as a lovable goof ball (pissing off Gloria Steinem in the process); a wonderfully composed Courtney Love is sweet, sad, and funny as his wife Althea, a stripper turned heroin addict; the promising Edward Norton, as Flynt's fresh-faced lawyer, attacks his righteous courtroom diatribes with relish; and the terminally underused Crispin Glover shines in a delightfully bewildering minor role. Resorting too often to feelgood, all-American flag-waving, it entertains far more than it enlightens.

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (PG). Drenched in garish, hyperreal colours, Jacques Demy's 1964 musical hasn't aged particularly well - which may be part of the appeal for its fans. Left pregnant when her mechanic boyfriend departs for military service in Algeria, Catherine Deneuve's young shop-girl reluctantly marries a diamond merchant. All the dialogue - mainly crushingly banal - is set to music (a sappy score by Michel Legrand). A bittersweet tale that's mostly sugary, it's best seen as a pop-art curio, or, if you prefer, as a triumph of deranged interior decoration.