A good year for women on film, as exemplified in new releases The Eyes of My Mother, Miss Sloane, and more
Matthew Lickona 5 p.m., Dec. 9
The initial situation is distressingly static and stagy. A team of IRA terrorists in Northern Ireland have abducted an occupational English soldier (Forest Whitaker, with uncertain accent), one of whose captors (Stephen Rea), while awaiting a prisoner-swap deadline, gets to know the man intimately, even lending a helping hand when the handcuffed-behind-the-back captive needs to have a pee. (New watermark in the annals of the Brotherhood of Man.) After a slow forty minutes or so (and a retelling of the frog-and-scorpion fable first heard on screen in Welles's Mr. Arkadin), this situation thankfully comes to an end in a hail of slow-motion bullets, but not before a certain hopelessness has settled upon us. Thereafter the sympathetic terrorist looks up the Loved One pictured in the captive's wallet -- a Tottenham hairdresser with some unsavory associates -- and things get a bit more interesting, whether or not as "surprising" as the filmmakers had hoped. With Miranda Richardson, Jaye Davidson, and Jim Broadbent; directed by Neil Jordan. 1992.