Ralph Fiennes

DVD: The Reader (15)

With Billy Elliot director, Daldry, at the helm, playwright David Hare penning the screenplay and Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes in the leading roles, The Reader should surely be a classic.

The Duchess (12A)

There are few surprises in The Duchess, other than the director: Saul Dibb, who made punchy street drama Bullet Boy before going upmarket with the BBC's The Line of Beauty. In The Duchess, the sobriety of Dibb's approach makes for an intelligent addition to the historical canon: though perhaps here I, to use an appropriately 18th-century expression, damn with faint praise.

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