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While The Other Bo­leyn Girl is hardly a doc­u­men­tary, its screen­writer Peter Morgan, Os­car-nom­i­nated for The Queen, is no­body’s fool. What ir­ri­tates is the soapy, soft-fo­cus telling of the tale and the film’s lack of any cin­e­matic am­bi­tion. Bas­ing his screen­play on the best­seller by Philippa Gre­gory, Justin Chad­wick’s film opens with Anne and Mary frol­ick­ing in the sun­light. Fast for­ward to the girls as women, and Mary (Scar­lett Jo­hans­son) has stolen a march on her older sis­ter Anne (Natalie Port­man) by mar­ry­ing first. Sum­moned be­fore her fa­ther, Anne is told the king, Henry VIII, is in need of a dis­trac­tion from his fail­ing mar­riage. He wouldn’t be averse, ei­ther, to a male heir. Be­fore Anne can take up her new role, cir­cum­stances bring her sis­ter to the king’s at­ten­tion. So be­gins a life­long ri­valry. Hus­bands, homes, ba­bies – all will take sec­ond place to the tri­an­gu­lar re­la­tion­ship be­tween the Bo­leyn girls and the king (Eric Bana), who mostly spends his time strid­ing down cor­ri­dors, scowl­ing. Jo­hans­son, as the meeker sis­ter, bal­ances Port­man’s fiery Anne nicely, and the two to­gether cre­ate just enough of a spark to make you be­lieve that they might just be sis­ters. Bana, though, prefers to ex­ist in his own act­ing uni­verse. All three seem too big a pres­ence for the film they’re in. Over­all, the story of Anne Bo­leyn, her sis­ter and the king is re­duced to tabloid sex scan­dal. All that’s miss­ing is the head­line: Royal Love Rat Beds Sis­ters.


Fatih Akin’s film con­cerns it­self with Ger­many’s Turk­ish pop­u­la­tion. The ten­sion be­tween old and new gen­er­a­tions is summed up in the re­la­tion­ship be­tween wi­d­ower Ali (Tun­cel Kur­tiz) and his son Ne­jat (Baki Davrak). Ali de­cides the best cure for his lone­li­ness is to hire a pros­ti­tute, Yeter (Nursel Kose), to live with him. Ne­jat, a pro­fes­sor, gets along well with Yeter and even­tu­ally sets out to find her daugh­ter Ayten (Nur­gul Ye­sil­cay). One story feeds into an­other, so that by the end the film is jug­gling six char­ac­ters across two coun­tries. By the close the viewer is left pleas­antly ex­hausted, as if we’ve trav­elled as many miles as the cast. Filmhouse, Ed­in­burgh


Andy Fick­man’s ver­sion of Three Men and a Baby is a pre­dictable slog with lit­tle in the way of laughs. A con­firmed singleton, played by Dwayne “The Rock” John­son, is brought up short by the ar­rival of a lit­tle girl who says she’s his daugh­ter. Forced to care for some­one other than him­self, the Amer­i­can foot­ball star sets about chang­ing his ways.


In 2005, a US pa­trol was blown up in Ha­ditha, Iraq, killing one marine. The US mil­i­tary said 15 Iraqis were also killed by the road­side bomb, and more in the shoot­ing that fol­lowed. The truth was dif­fer­ent. Nick Broom­field’s docu­d­rama approach builds char­ac­ters into events to make us feel a greater con­nec­tion to those in­volved and his style gives the film an ur­gency. The drama lacks qual­ity, though, with roughly sketched char­ac­ters who speak like par­tic­i­pants in a pub­lic in­for­ma­tion film. Filmhouse, Ed­in­burgh

GARAGE(18) ★★★

To watch this Ir­ish com­edy-drama is to in­vite into your life a gnaw­ing feel­ing of fore­bod­ing. Pat Shortt (Tom from Fa­ther Ted), is Josie, the petrol sta­tion em­ployee at Garage’s heart. There’s an edge to the com­edy which hints that this cor­ner of rural Ire­land will turn out to be a long way from Bal­lykissan­gel. A spir­ited, mov­ing per­for­mance. Glas­gow Film Theatre


Den­nis Quaid does his best to pass for Jack Bauer in this slick but emp­ty­headed thriller. William Hurt plays a US pres­i­dent who finds him­self the tar­get of an as­sas­si­na­tion bid in Europe. What fol­lows is a Rashomon-style re­work­ing of the cru­cial min­utes from the perspectives of a tourist (For­est Whi­taker), the pres­i­dent, and var­i­ous oth­ers. Though the ac­tion bar­rels along, the di­a­logue is mildly id­i­otic and the story it­self is eye-wa­ter­ingly con­trived.


It’s a long march to the grave when­ever Ge­orge Romero is around. This time, a band of pho­to­genic young­sters make a video diary of their flight from a vi­ral hor­ror sweep­ing Amer­ica. It’s busi­ness as usual, with Romero hav­ing to dream up ever more in­ven­tive ways to dis­patch the liv­ing dead.

Royal at­trac­tion: Natalie Port­man

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