The Independent Recommends
Paul Schrader's magnificently bleak study in fatherhood and fatalism stars Nick Nolte as a man struggling to escape the influence of his violent dad (James Coburn).
Life is Beautiful (La Vita e Bella) (PG)
Roberto Benigni directs and stars in this tragicomic fable about an Italian Jew who tries to shield his boy from the horrors of a Nazi concentration camp by pretending that the brutal regime is an elaborate game.
Shakespeare in Love (15)
This enjoyable romp suggests how romance fired Shakespeare with the creative inspiration for Romeo and Juliet. Joseph Fiennes and Gwyneth Paltrow (right) head a multi-star cast.
A Bug's Life (U)
Less sophisticated and more child-friendly than Antz, this animated feature spins another enjoyable yarn about an ant colony and its battle to survive. Kevin Spacey provides the voice of the chief grasshopper.
The Opposite of Sex (18)
Christina Ricci plays 16-year-old bitch-on-wheels Dedee, who causes all kinds of havoc when she moves in with her half-brother (Martin Donovan).
The Five Best Plays
Oklahoma! (Lyceum Theatre, London)
Widely regarded as the best ever, Trevor Nunn's glorious production of the Rogers and Hammerstein classic fully deserves its West End transfer. To 26 Jun
(Duchess Theatre, London)
Michael Frayn's profound and haunting meditation on science, morality and the mysteries of human motivation. To 7 Aug
(Royal Court at The Ambassador's)
So you thought that the comic fascination of a mass-production bakery in 1970s Hull was somewhat limited? Richard Bean's delightfully funny play proves you wrong. To 6 Mar
The Winter's Tale (RSC, Stratford)
An amazingly rich and complex performance from Antony Sher in Gregory Doran's Romanov-style production. In rep to 4 Mar
(West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds)
Ian McKellen (right) gives a low-key performance as a Prospero who presides over an island grimly reimagined as a correctional facility. To 27 Feb
The Five Best Shows
Monet in the 20th Century (Royal Academy)
He lived until 1926. The gardens and lily ponds at Giverny dissolve into elemental visions: fiery lights, haze, liquid reflections, voids and depths. The strange last works of Impressionism. To 18 Apr
Portraits by Ingres (National Gallery)
Some of the most intense portraiture ever. Women: exquisite melanges of flesh and fabric, dreams of sex and money. To 25 Apr
Andreas Gursky (Serpentine Gallery)
Photographs 1994-98: Huge, wide-vision, high-finish, micro-detailed, digitally manipulated images of our everyday world (right). To 7 Mar
Oppe Watercolour Collection
(Whitworth Gallery, Manchester)
Classic and still fresh 18th- and 19th-century British watercolours, including works by Alexander Cozens, John Sell Cotman, Constable, and Francis Towne. To 5 Apr
Disasters of War
(Wolverhampton Art Gallery)
"I saw this" - three ages of European war through the etchings of Jacques Callot, Goya and Otto Dix. Visions from the blackest of times. To 20 Mar
After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violencefilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 3 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 5 James Foley beheading: Fox news presenter Megyn Kelly annoyed by Ferguson update during broadcast about murdered journalist
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?
Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
Lucy, film review: Scarlett Johansson will blow your mind in Luc Besson's complex thriller
JK Rowling pens new Harry Potter story on Pottermore: Introducing 'Singing Sorceress' Celestina Warbuck
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians