Arts and Entertainment Part of history: Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker star in Lee Daniels's 'The Butler'

The film-makers take a tableau approach to storytelling, whisking us from one melodramatic set-piece to the next

Hopkins and Foster set for `Lambs' sequel

Sir Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster are set to repeat their Oscar-winning roles in a sequel to The Silence of the Lambs - when such a thing is finally written.

Not like it was in Mrs Danvers' day

They cook, they clean, they wait at table. And their reward is often abuse. Vicky Ward on housekeepers

Theatre offered `total escape'

PETER VICTOR

Their lives were the stuff of great drama - so why did the screen versions make these women seem pathetic? By Teresa Grimes

Dora Carrington, above (photograph: Hulton Deutsch/ Partridge) was compelling and charming. Emma Thompson, far left, plays her as downbeat, even dour

cinema: Anthony Hopkins

Poor Anthony Hopkins. He hung around in the US for years and was barely noticed (see Audrey Rose), then he was an Oscar winner only three years ago, yet the studios still aren't sure what to do with him. His name came first and his face loomed large in the original ads for Legends of the Fall, but the publicity revamp, less high-brow, less literary, moves him behind Brad Pitt's shoulder: the hot, sexy American star triumphs over the classically trained, critically respected Welsh-born actor. Which only goes to prove, once again, that while Hollywood genuflects to talent, it's a slave to the box-office...

Give me a home where buffalo roam

Legends of the Fall has Brad Pitt, wild bears, a noble savage and a family feud. It's paradise, American style, says Sheila Johnston

TAKING THE ROUGHAGE

`The Commitments' was the feelgood film par excellence; `The Road to We llville' is a barrelful of belly laughs and bottom jokes. Has Alan Parker gone soft? No such luck: AMANDA MITCHISON meets a grim old bruiser with a head as ha rd as a bad baron' s heart. Portrait by GAUTIER DEBLONDE

FILM / A short take on acting: In which Simon Garfield meets Sir Anthony Hokpins at a drop-in centre for actors with too little to do, and is advised, briefly, that the secret of acting lies in the maxim that less is more. More or less

I've never felt part of this profession, ever. Always an outcast. I've loathed some people in it.' Up on the podium, a barrel of grey flannel, Sir Anthony Hopkins is clearly the ideal man to open the new Actors Centre in Covent Garden. Last Saturday, just back from LA, Hopkins drew the doll's-house curtain and the plaque reflected a cheering room: pounds 700,000, this place cost - a new drop-in for 2,000 of Equity's finest, a place to masterclass, to brush up on a little spear-carrying, to rest in peace. The classes are called things like 'I was brilliant in the bedroom]' and 'Poetry? Yes, please]' and 'Learn the basic skills of playwriting in two days'. There's even a bar (another O J, Sir Anthony?) and a gym, where 'out of work no longer means out of shape'.

Independent Story of the Year 2: Wanted: the best children's writers - Jenny Gilbert talks to actor David Schneider and his young friend Skye about the books they enjoy

The Hunt is on for the best new short stories of 1994, stories that no six- to nine-year-old will want to put down. The reward? A pounds 2,000 prize and publication in the Independent for the winning entry. Two joint runners-up will receive pounds 500 each and the top 10 entries to the competition will be printed in a specially produced anthology by Scholastic Children's Books, making these the top awards in this country for unpublished work for children. The invitation is open to professional writers, but we want especially to encourage new talent.

A good cry in the dark: Most of today's big films are blub-busters. Blake Morrison asks what keeps the audiences weeping

A WEEKDAY afternoon in central London, and hundreds of people have gathered in a dark place to cry. For over an hour, the blonde woman on my right has been pressing her cheek gently with a tissue, dabbing and dabbing as if at a wound.

THEATRE / The remains of the day: Jeffrey Wainwright on the Wrestling School's production of Howard Barker's Hated Nightfall in Manchester

In Howard Barker's imagining, history does not have to repeat itself to be farcical. In this new play, the last days of the Romanovs in 1917 comprise a bitter comedy, but even more farcical is the idea of History as Progress, marching in to the Future.

Hollywood misses the 'sweaty pork butcher' in C S Lewis

ANDREW Walker, director of the C S Lewis Foundation, is dubious about the urbane Sir Anthony Hopkins's role in Shadowlands. 'He is much too good-looking, too young, and far too mild-mannered. The film-makers spotted a winning story rather than wanting to say anything about Lewis himself.'

REVIEW / For crying out loud: Sheila Johnston on Richard Attenborough's version of William Nicholson's play about romance late in the life of C S Lewis . . .

The world-famous author is embarrassed. An Oxford professor of English literature, he has developed a lucrative sideline in fantasy stories for children, without really knowing any, or feeling comfortable around people under four foot tall. Now he looks at the shy, upturned face awaiting his autograph. And he inscribes the proffered volume with the legend, 'the magic never ends'. It seems a funny, rather naff cliche, more the sort of thing you would expect to see on a Star Wars poster than the distilled wisdom of a high-faluting Oxford intellectual. The child's mother inspects the flyleaf sceptically. And she mutters, 'If it does, sue him.'

FILM / The weepie to end all weepies: Richard Attenborough has been reducing his audience, and himself, to tears for years. So when the lights came up on a preview of the director's new film, Shadowlands, it should have been no surprise that there wasn't a dry eye in the cinema. Except that this cinema was full of his fiercest critics: British film critics. Kevin Jackson reports

Here is the remarkable but true story of Shadowlands. A British gentleman, well advanced in years and very much a member of the establishment - indeed, a wealthy and world-famous figure, thanks to the success of his popular fictions - quite suddenly and unexpectedly finds himself the object of ardent declarations of affection. That gentleman's name is Lord Attenborough, and the amorous outbursts have come from the very people who have spent the last 20- odd years rubbishing his Oscar-winning output as so much mawkish tosh: the critics.

FILM / Up where she belongs: A decade ago Debra Winger had the film world at her feet. A year ago her career seemed to be on its last legs. Now she is back, with an Oscar nomination. David Thomson is a fan

TOWARDS the end of Shadowlands, there is a love scene in a Hereford meadow. It's raining, and the light is bullet-grey. The man and woman know she's dying, but they kiss, and Debra Winger's hand slips magically up inside Anthony Hopkins's jacket. What a Winger touch - you are sure she did it on impulse, and likely tickled Sir Anthony to make him real and embarrassed.
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