Arts and Entertainment

Tom Hooper's quasi-operatic mega-musical is loaded with major historical events, weighty themes, tragic deaths and symbolic rebirths, so it's no wonder that the film version of Les Mis gets so exhausting, especially in the static, unspectacular second half.

The great crime series comeback

Decades after Lieutenant Columbo made a career out of reading between the lines, two new crime series – The Mentalist and Lie To Me – turn experts in the dark art of deception into crime-busting heroes. Sarah Hughes investigates the plots...

Julia Roberts - Has cinema's queen lost her crown?

For a decade, Julia Roberts was Hollywood's best-paid heroine. As her latest film premieres, Geoffrey Macnab wonders if she's still worth it

Deborah Orr: No excuses – only better schooling

Another of Labour’s supposed successes has been stripped of its baubles, with yesterday’s damning investigation into the state of Britain’s primary schools, describing them as being in “severely utilitarian and philistine times”. I suppose one should be glad that the charade has finally been completely exposed. But I just feel so angry that what has been clear to me for years – through a simple “investigation” that involved nothing more or less than watching my own children, and many of their friends, flounder in a system that taught them only that learning was unutterably tedious – has remained unacknowledged by the Government for so long.

Frost/Nixon, Ron Howard, 122 mins, 12A<br>Valkyrie, Bryan Singer, 123 mins, 12A<br>Rachel Getting Married, Jonathan Demme, 113 mins, 15

Frank Langella's Nixon is a perfect ogre as he tries to avoid being skewered on TV by David Frost

Rachel Getting Married (15)

I've been to a fair few weddings, and wedding movies, in my time, but I've never seen a movie that has felt so like a wedding as Jonathan Demme's Rachel Getting Married.

After the silence: Maverick film-maker Jonathan Demme finally returns to the Hollywood fold

Jonathan Demme has done his best to avoid Tinseltown since 'The Silence of the Lambs'. So why has a wedding flick lured this renegade film-maker back to the fold?

Rachel Getting Married - Lights, camera, music...

From TV On The Radio to Robyn Hitchcock, Rachel Getting Married has a soundtrack to savour, says Elisa Bray

Coming Soon: Oscar&rsquo;s big hitters prepare for battle

For you and me, February’s Academy Awards might just be an opportunity to ogle some over-priced frocks, but Hollywood is utterly obsessed with them, judging by the shameless way it’s cramming all of its most Oscar-worthy releases into the next few weeks.

Defiance, Edward Zwick, 137 mins, 15<br>Bride Wars, Gary Winick, 90 mins, 12A

Daniel Craig plays a Jewish fighter taking on the Nazis in a nearly classic war film

Anne Hathaway: Fame, scandal and the road to the Oscars

Just months after her private life was touched by scandal, Anne Hathaway finds herself nominated for a Golden Globe &ndash; and a serious contender for this year's Oscars. James Mottram talks to the actress about the ups and downs of fame

Fashion: Sell high, buy low?

Political upheavals and economic woes may come and go, but our fascination with the vagaries of female footwear reigns eternal. Last month, an announcement by shoe designer extraordinaire Christian Louboutin, in which he unveiled his dastardly plan to unleash a pair of eight-inch stilettos on the world, led the fashion press to declare that heels, and women's irrational love of them, are set to reach new heights this season.

Debra Winger: The return of a class act

More than a decade ago, Oscar-nominated actress Debra Winger quit Hollywood. Now she's back. She tellsGaynor Flynn what she was up to...

Anne Hathaway - the princess gets smart

Life's been tricky for Anne Hathaway recently, but, she tells Gill Pringle, for her new film she's put on a brave face

Specs appeal: All the stars are wearing Wayfarers this summer

One sunny day at Disneyland, LA, earlier this year, Kate Moss who, like Delia Smith can sell 50,000 of anything just by smiling in its direction, tried to avoid paparazzi while wearing a pair of distinctly geeky-looking white-framed Ray-Ban Wayfarers. That's all it took.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Minoan Crete and Santorini
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The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea