VATEL
2000, Park Circus/Miramax, 102 min, France, UK, Belgium, Dir: Roland Joffe

Set in 17th century France, VATEL is a truly amazing visual achievement. When an impoverished nobleman (Julian Glover) needs to impress the king, he turns to his chateau’s steward, François Vatel (Gérard Depardieu). During a three-day visit from Louis XIV (Julian Sands), Vatel puts food, drink and entertainment before the court, in the process attracting the affection of the king’s mistress (Uma Thurman). Tom Stoppard’s adaptation of this tale of royal intrigue is richly nuanced, and VATEL’s Oscar-nominated art and set decoration and music by Ennio Morricone offer a feast for the senses. With Tim Roth.


PULP FICTION
1994, Park Circus/Miramax, 153 min, USA, Dir: Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino’s dazzling, nitro-fueled homage to 1930s crime fiction, Elvis Presley flicks, Los Angeles diners, Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Pierre Melville and much more was easily the most audacious and exciting American film of the 1990s. The movie’s brilliant, against-type casting includes John Travolta (in a career-reviving performance), Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, Harvey Keitel, Eric Stolz, Maria de Medeiros, Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer, Christopher Walken and Ving Rhames. Nominated for seven Oscars and winner for Best Screenplay. Winner of LAFCA Awards for Best Picture, Actor (Travolta) and Screenplay (Tarantino and Roger Avary).


WHERE THE HEART IS (1990)
1990, Buena Vista Pictures, 107 min, USA, Dir: John Boorman

Father doesn’t always know best in this underrated satire from writer-director John Boorman. Dabney Coleman stars as a wealthy developer whose attempt to raze a local residence is met with ridicule; when his children (Uma Thurman, Suzy Amis and David Hewlett) join in, he decides it’s time for them to leave the nest - and is surprised by how well they adapt. Beautiful design and cinematography (by Peter Suschitzky) add plenty of visual appeal to this charming comedy.


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