Temptress Moon (15). Chen Kaige's first feature since his Palme d'Or-winning Farewell My Concubine is overlong and underdeveloped, but it's an undeniably ravishing film - you ignore most of its flaws and sink into the luxuriant, opiated haze. Much of the credit goes to director of photography Christopher Doyle, best known for his collaborations with Wong Kar-Wai. Set in Twenties Shanghai, Temptress Moon features Concubine stars Leslie Cheung and Gong Li as, respectively, a gigolo and an opium-addicted heiress caught up in an erotically charged, emotionally ambiguous relationship. It's a slightly kitschy melodrama in which mood invariably overrides plot; still, few films get away with absolute decadence this stylishly.

Hard Eight (18). For all the hype surrounding Paul Thomas Anderson's porn epic Boogie Nights, it's worth noting that his debut feature - though less flamboyant - is actually a tighter, more thoughtfully constructed film. Philip Baker Hall (best known for his indelible portrayal of Nixon in Altman's Secret Honor) plays a veteran gambler who becomes a mentor to a slow-witted bum (John C Reilly). The performances - also including Samuel L Jackson and Gwyneth Paltrow - are uniformly fine-tuned, none more so than Hall's; you can't help wondering why he's been such a well- kept secret all these years.

Love! Valour! Compassion! (15) Terence McNally's hit play was celebrated as an enlightened update of the pre- Stonewall ensemble piece The Boys in the Band. If Joe Mantello's movie is anything to go by, the self-loathing may have evaporated, but stereotypes are still in evidence. The Broadway cast reprise their roles, with the exception of lead actor Nathan Lane; he's replaced by the normally formidable Jason Alexander (George on Seinfeld), whose attempts at camp are sadly miscalculated.