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Anwar Brett recommends the best film still on UK release
November 1998

The Truman Show
Social parable, cautionary tale and satire, Peter Weir’s outstanding film never lets the message obscure the entertainment. Jim Carrey delivers a career-best performance as Truman Burbank, unwitting star of a never-ending tele-vision show. He is blissfully unaware that he lives his life under a spotlight, and that all his friends and family are merely actors. 

Mulan Mulan
Peerless animation, a rousing story and a feisty heroine all mark a welcome return to form for Disney, who have looked a little beleaguered lately. Based on an ancient Chinese folk tale, it is the story of a young girl who goes off to fight in the Emperor’s army so that her father – who bears the wounds of past battles – will not have to.

The Exorcist
25 years on and Friedkin’s ground-breaking horror film still wields a rare power. In spite of expectation making the first half-hour drag a little, when the shocks come they are worth the wait – embodied in the terrifying conviction of Linda Blair’s performance as the young teen possessed by demons.

A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries
Quite different from the repressed characters who usually populate Merchant Ivory films, Kris Kristofferson is the liberal father bringing up his daughter and adopted son through the ’60s and ’70s. The kids adore him, while mum Barbara Hershey is devoted to him as well, which might make it seem like the drama is minimal – but the pleasure is in the detail and texture of the performances

Still Crazy
Enjoyable and confident film-making from director Brian Gibson, who gives full rein to a wonderful group of actors, and a sparkling script from Dick Clement and Ian Le Frenais. Bill Nighy, Stephen Rea, Jimmy Nail and Timothy Spall comprise ’70s rock band Strange Fruit, reunited 20 years on for a revival that seems doomed from the start. Poignant, hilarious, and the songs aren’t bad either.

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