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For years, she was typecast as a frosty English rose. But then something remarkable happened – and Kristin Scott Thomas blossomed into one of the most interesting actresses of our age

Isle of Wight honours Oscar-winner Minghella

Anthony Minghella, who won an Oscar for directing the film The English Patient, is to be made an Honorary Freeman of the Isle of Wight at a ceremony next week.

Comment: VIDEOS

Poison (18). Perhaps more than any other film-maker working in America today, Todd Haynes upholds the thesis that movies are still a vibrant, challenging and potentially surprising medium. Haynes's first full-length feature, made in 1990, is a radical modern classic that demands, and improves with, repeated viewings. Teeming with ideas, it's a poetic yet insistently formalist montage, which intercuts, cross-references, and, ultimately, collapses three ostensibly incongruous narratives: "Hero", a deadpan mock-documentary about a seven-year-old suburban kid who shoots his father; "Home", a prison-set, Genet-inspired reverie of sexual obsession and bodily secretions; and "Horror", a medical-horror riff, in which a scientist distills the sex drive into liquid form, accidentally ingests the serum, and develops a contagious leprosy-like disease. In common with much of Haynes's other work (Safe, a astonishing disease-movie-with-a- difference, and Superstar, a short film about Karen Carpenter, starring Barbie dolls), Poison is a meditation on stigma and alienation. Shaped by the emergence of Aids (more specifically, by the attendant renewal of homophobia), the film pulls off a rare and remarkable balancing act: it's rigorous in its artistry, but also blatantly political and profoundly soulful.

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Isle of Wight honours Minghella

The Oscar-winning film director Anthony Minghella (left), is to become the first freeman of his native Isle of Wight. Local councillors plan to create the honour in return for his work on The English Patient, his latest film, which won nine Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director.

Radio waives

THEATRE:Cigarettes and Chocolate Man in the Moon, London

With Dominic Cavendish

`Language Roulette', Bush Theatre, London, W12 (0181-743 3388) from Wed to 26 Apr

Best of British

So it's three cheers for `The English Patient', nine times Oscar- winner for Britain. And another three cheers for those two other Great British successes: `Fargo' and `Kolja'. Come again?

New heroes for movie buffs

David Lister

Mr Wonderful

We have seen Brits win Oscars then disappear into obscurity. But Anthony Minghella is different and his story has only just begun. By David Robson and John Lyttle

No Oscars, but Demi hits sour note with raspberries

Demi Moore, who Twentieth Century Fox tried unsuccessfully to get the director Anthony Minghella to cast in The English Patient, found herself winning two awards in Oscars week - though not ones she will be putting on her mantelpiece.

The love bug - coming soon to a cinema near you

You can catch something nasty from 'The English Patient'. Liesl Schillinger reports The English Patient virus is spreading to the UK. Liesl Schillinger issues a health warning from New York

TO HAVE ... AND HAVE NOT

Films made outside Hollywood litter the nominations for the 1997 Oscars, to be awarded in Los Angeles tomorrow night. But will a historic bias towards local product hold sway? ill a historic bias towards local product hold sway? ? Four of the nominees for Best Picture Oscars are either foreign or 'independent' - which means far more economical, less beholden to big money, and closer to being the work of uncompromised individuals

Film: The Oscars: Our odds-on favourites

They're just a bunch of no names or three-names, yelled the New York Post, bewailing this year's Oscars' lack of star status: "Billy Bob Who? Armin Mueller Which? Kristin Scott Huh?" Here in Britain, where we recognise that three names help to confer genuine star status, we are looking forward to next Monday rather more.
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