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.

Nicholas Nickleby

Directed by Douglas McGrath

Sex Drive (15)

This teen sex comedy begins so badly it nearly challenges Bride Wars for the Worst of the Week, but it becomes a mildly amusing, even sweet, study of friendship turning to love as experienced by Ian (Josh Zuckerman) and Felicia (Amanda Crew) on a trip to Knoxville.

Bride Wars (PG)

A chick flick of such unutterable vileness that by the end you may feel suicidal, or perhaps just homicidal.

Pires can see light at end of tunnel after injury nightmare

Robert Pires hopes to make his competitive debut for Villarreal by the end of February - some nine months after signing for the club from Arsenal.

Asylum-seeker feted by the Blairs still faces deportation from Britain

Farhat Khan will get the red carpet treatment today from Tony and Cherie Blair in recognition of her tireless community work - just 48 hours before she makes a last plea against deportation.

Germany 4 Costa Rica 2: Germany paper over the cracks with demolition of Costa Rica

"A time to make friends" is the slogan of this World Cup and on the evidence of last night's opening game, Germany's team have taken it to heart.

Anne Hathaway: The reluctant princess

As the star of The Princess Diaries, she's adored by teenage girls and their mothers, but, as Tim Cooper discovers, there's more to Anne Hathaway than meets the eye

This woman's work is never done

Given the choice of a husband who Hoovered or a husband who cooked, I know which I'd prefer

The Saturday Profile: William Shakespeare, Poet and Playwright - A genius, but so ordinary

HIS 435TH year has been a good one. He is big in Hollywood - a new movie hyped for the Oscars - and in his own country he has just been voted "Person of the Millennium". His head is daily swiped through cash registers (look at the hologram on your Switch card); his works are raided by sub-editors in search of snappy headlines ("To Pep or not to Pep?"). And he's scribbling away with his quill in the top right-hand corner of the screen on which I'm writing, where he serves as my "Windows 97 Office Assistant". If his executors had sought to patent his image, like the trustees of the Diana Memorial Fund, his descendants would be able to buy out Bill Gates a thousand times over.

Ranch hands get raunchy with each other in Proulx's new tale

IT IS the tale of two tough Wyoming ranch boys who fall in love and learn to call each other "little darlin'". And it is only 56 pages long. The new book, by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie Proulx, is called Brokeback Mountain and has several passages of explicit homosexual sex, described in the blunt language of the ranchhand.

Site Unseen: Knight fever, knight fever: A weekly look at London's hidden gems

From time to time most architects let their hair down. Fed up with the clients' demands or the tedium of building something for the hundredth time, they suddenly let themselves go.

UK wins tourists' praise for quality

'LONDON is not just expensive, it's very expensive. The hotels are expensive, the food is expensive and the shopping is expensive. The quality is good, but it's expensive,' said Sigfried Waibl, 65, ramming home his point after a week's holiday in Britain from Munich.

Happy Anniversary: Another defeat for England

SOME of the dates you might otherwise have overlooked in the coming week, historically a period of mixed fortunes for composers, but generally good for women and tennis players.

Travel: Shakespeare and the Lost Tourist: Frank Barrett and family, inspired by Richmal Crompton, go in search of the other William

SHAKESPEARE may be firmly enshrined in the National Curriculum, but in the Barrett household we have Richmal Crompton's William Brown to thank for the Bard's rise to prominence. The BBC Radio 4 readings of the William stories by Martin Jarvis are seldom far from our car's cassette player.
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Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
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Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
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The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
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Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

Time to stop running

At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence