Danny DeVito will attend the screening

Hollywood has traded off the battle of the sexes since the 30s, but few, if any, movies have quite smashed the traditional boundaries of the convention in such an audacious way as The War of the Roses. The verbal sparring of Tracy and Hepburn pales into polite insignificance next to the mesmerising anger and bitterness of Barbara and Oliver Rose.

Danny DeVito’s second directorial venture has an attorney (DeVito) telling the Roses’ story to a new client who is considering divorce. The Roses were the perfect couple: while Barbara (Kathleen Turner) cleaned and cooked and sewed and acquired the dream house, Oliver (Michael Douglas) steadily climbed the ladder of professional success. Now Barbara wants a divorce. He doesn’t, and their wonderful home, which each stubbornly refuses to relinquish, becomes the battleground where the ensuing war is waged.

Working from a noticeably watertight and well-written screenplay by Michael Neeson, DeVito delivers the blackest of black farces, charting the gradual disintegration of a relationship. Wildly funny and deeply disturbing, The War of the Roses never hesitates to go for the jugular and succeeds more often than not in its valiant attempts to draw blood.

Robyn Karney, Empire