Nothing Succeeds Like Excess

For those wishing to let off a little emotional steam, hyperbole’s the word for some of the winter movie releases. That Queen of Feelings, Barbra Streisand, directs and stars in The Prince of Tides as a psychiatrist who practices some remarkably elastic therapeutic techniques on Nick Nolte in order to uncover a past packed with every variety of domestic abuse. If you prefer your melodramas hooked to politics, there’s Oliver Stone’s JFK, starring Kevin Costner; or to the underworld, try Lili Zanuck’s Rush (based on Kim Wozencraft’s novel), with Jason Patric and Jennifer Jason Leigh as stoned underworld narcs; or to the surreal, there’s David Cronenberg’s free adaptation of William S. Burroughs’s Naked Lunch, with Peter Weller and Judy Davis. Steven Soderbergh follows his surprise hit sex, lies, and videotape with a paranoid-thriller reading of Kafka. Shot on location in Prague in black and white, the film stars Jeremy Irons in the title role, with Sir Alec Guinness as his boss and Theresa Russell, no less, as a radical who tries to draw Kafka into subversion. Spanish excessmeister Pedro Almodovar’s new film, High Heels, stars Victoria Abril and Marissa Paredes as a reconciling mother and daughter who become embroiled in a hunt for the killer of the man they both love.

From France comes Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro’s completely demented first feature, Delicatessen, a visually spectacular, Terry Gilliamstyle macabre comedy about a bunch of weirdo slum-dwellers obsessed with meat and garbage.