A quarter century on, Yentl remains a milestone in Barbra Streisand’s career. Anyone unable to stump up £2,000 for a concert ticket should revisit this labour of love. Yentl is classic Streisand – besides marking her directorial debut, she produced, starred in and co-wrote the film (with Jack Rosenthal). Adapted from Isaac Bashevis Singer’s short story and subsequent Broadway play, the plot concerns an Eastern European girl in 1904 who flouts tradition by discussing Jewish law and disguises herself as a man in order to study the Talmud, but falls in love with her study partner (Mandy Patinkin on great form).
The twist is that Streisand’s Yentl is a musical, with the lady herself belting out a dozen memorable numbers ‘Papa, Can You Hear Me?’. Streisand inspires considerable devotion from her fans, and it’s love-it-or-loathe-it stuff (Singer was horrified by the film; harsher critics dubbed it the vanity project of a megalomaniac). Here’s a rare big-screen opportunity to make your own mind up.