BASED on the award-winning novel by Mordecai Richler, Richard J Lewis’s humorous character study charts the romantic entanglements of politically incorrect TV producer Barney Panofsky (Paul Giamatti) through three tempestuous marriages to a free spirit (Rachelle Lefevre), a chatterbox Jewish princess (Minnie Driver) and a radio journalist (Rosamund Pike). He is also accused of murder and a mosaic of flashbacks exposes the sad truth. Giamatti’s compelling lead performance attracts no sympathy – Barney is the architect of his own doom and deserves everything that he gets. Pike is luminous and Driver injects comic relief, proving that behind every grating man there is a grating woman.



PINKIE (Sam Riley) is determined to clamber up the ranks of organised crime in Brighton, aided by Spicer (Phil Davis) and his small team, and hopefully challenge the authority of rival gang leader, Colleoni (Andy Serkis). The planned murder of Fred Hale (Sean Harris) goes awry and innocent cafe waitress Rose (Andrea Riseborough) witnesses the chase, potentially putting Pinkie and the boys in the frame for the slaying. So the thug sets out to seduce shrinking violet Rose to win her silence. Cafe owner Ida (Helen Mirren) and her good friend Phil (John Hurt) follow the trail of evidence and eventually realise that Rose is staring into the jaws of death.



STAR athlete Lisa (Reese Witherspoon) is dropped from the USA Softball National Team and seeks sanctuary in the bed of major league baseball pitcher Matty (Owen Wilson). During a brief pause in the relationship, Lisa goes on a first date with businessman George (Paul Rudd), just as he learns that he is being prosecuted for wire fraud. Torn between the two men, Lisa follows her heart in James L Brooks’s overlong romantic comedy. Characters talk a lot but say very little, conversing in greetings-card platitudes and psychiatrist-couch epithets. Rudd warmly embraces the stereotype of the nice guy loser but screen chemistry with Witherspoon is merely lukewarm.



WHEN King George V (Michael Gambon) dies in 1936, eldest son Edward (Guy Pearce) ascends to the throne, but his reign is shrouded in scandal as he continues to romance American divorcee, Wallis Simpson (Eve Best). Love triumphs over duty and Edward abdicates, forcing youngest son Albert (Colin Firth) into the spotlight. However, the newly crowned King George VI suffers from a crippling stammer, which renders him unable to deliver public addresses. With war imminent and the country looking to its King for leadership, Queen Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) approaches unconventional Australian-born speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) on the recommendation of a friend, and persuades him to help her husband overcome his fears.


LET ME IN (15)

MATT Reeves directs this remake of the acclaimed Swedish horror Let The Right One In. Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is a lonely, shy 12-year-old who makes friends with the mysterious Abby (Chloe Moretz) when she moves in next door. Only problem is that she’s a vampire. Showing at Clwyd Theatr Cymru in Mold from February 4-7.



GERARD Depardieu plays Germain, a large illiterate middle-aged man who forms an unlikely friendship with Marguerite (Gisele Casadesus), a tiny old lady who loves books and reads to him. When her eyesight starts to fail, Germain determines to learn to read himself so he can read to her in return. Showing at Clwyd Theatr Cymru in Mold from February 8-9.