Cinema: Charlie Bubbles

Charlie Bubbles After his bravura performance in Joe Egg (TIME, Feb. 9), there can be no doubt that Albert Finney can act. After Charlie Bubbles, there will be none that he can direct. The question is whether he should, if this sort of movie is what he feels is worth doing.

In his directorial debut, Finney, who also plays the title role, has taken on a stupefyingly familiar theme: the writer who has sold out to Mammon. Wretched in his wealth, Charlie stumbles through life drunk, debauched and dull, until he...