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the-fault-in-our-starsWith so many glued to England humiliating themselves in an international tournament again, the cinema remains empty of traditional big budget blockbuster fare. But it also remains empty of football should you be in need of refuge this week.

Already conquering the box office in the States, The Fault in Our Stars arrives as this week’s biggest release. Adapted from John Green’s novel, it tells the story of 16-year-old cancer patient Hazel who falls in love with ex-basketball player and amputee Augustus. With rising stars Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort in the lead roles and a surfeit of heartfelt moments it’s enough to banish the spectre of football.

Anything Liam Neeson does, Kevin Costner can do at least equally badly. 3 Days to Kill sees Costner chase down his youth in an undignified manner as a CIA agent forced to aid criminals when they inject him with an experimental drug that will kill him unless they provide the antidote. It’s directed by McG so it will have plenty of glossy explosions and all the depth of an empty paddling pool.

It’s been nearly a decade since we last saw Xavier. Chinese Puzzle rounds off Cédric Klapisch’s trilogy that began with his student days in The Spanish Apartment (2002) and moved onto his attempts to make it as a professional writer in Russian Dolls (2005). This time out he has two children who are being taken to New York by his ex-wife, the perfect opportunity for Klapisch to uproot the old gang that includes Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou to the Big Apple. Expect flashy split screens, plenty of drama and a good dose of fun.

Not content with his successful stage and screen acting career, or his vague relation to the throne (he’s the 8th cousin of Prince Charles), Ralph Fiennes has moved behind the camera in recent years. His second feature, The Invisible Woman, is out on DVD this week. With an Abi Morgan script and Fiennes in the lead role, he explores Charles Dickens’ thirteen-year love affair with Nelly Ternan, twenty-seven years his junior. If you’re a fan of elegant and deliberately paced period drama, it’s right up your street.

Next week, two of this year’s most terrifying films arrive; Walking on Sunshine and Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie. You’ll need the week to prepare.

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