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
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthdaybooks
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 2 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 3 Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
- 4 John Travolta addresses former pilot's gay romance allegations publicly for the first time
- 5 Kanye West stops concert after two fans don't stand up - doesn't realise one is in wheelchair and the other disabled
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly