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
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
Better Call Saul creator Peter Gould on the creative concerns of a prequel, season 2 and the mind-numbing realities of the small courts
Game of Thrones season 5: Emilia Clarke praises characters who 'accept their femininity'
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Glastonbury 2015 tickets: How to make sure you’re successful in Sunday's re-sale
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate