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.
Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
Life and Style
food + drink
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
film
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas