Herman's sensitively adapted version of Jim Cartwright's play proves
an engaging ensemble piece, most notably with Brenda Blethyn's turn
as a ghastly mother, and Michael Caine as pitiful showbiz agent Ray
Say. Yet it's the songs, and Jane Horrocks's rendering of them,
which carry the bittersweet drama to even greater heights.
Irreverent comedy, Tom Stoppard
and Marc Norman's screenplay is brought to life by a fine cast, led
by Joseph Fiennes and Gwyneth Paltrow. In-jokes, crude humour and a
delicious romance-against-the-odds abound, so do yourself a favour
and go and see it.
Opposite of Sex
Christina Ricci is all grown up
as a bitch-from-hell in this sharp tale. Stealing her gay
half-brother's half-gay lover, she sets off on a cross country trip
peppered with sex, death and theft, leaving no life unflustered
after coming into contact. Also stars an unrecognizable Lisa Kudrow
who gets many of the best lines.
Okay, so it's not perfect, is
not being widely released and may well have disappeared from your
cinema screens by the time you read this. But there is something to
be said for this amiably ridiculous farce from Seinfeld
creator Larry David, a tale of two cousins who begin a feud after
one lends the other the coins for a slot machine jackpot. The
pleasure is in the escalating, desperate efforts each takes to get
A remake is always a tricky
proposition, while remaking a classic might be deemed the kamikaze
school of film-making. Yet in following the original so closely,
with only a few subtle changes, Gus Van Sant has maintained the
shock value of Hitchcock's classic. He delivers a film that is not
bad, and should encourage those who enjoy it to seek out the
peerless 1960 version.
February's recommended releases, step