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For years, she was typecast as a frosty English rose. But then something remarkable happened – and Kristin Scott Thomas blossomed into one of the most interesting actresses of our age

Minghella, genius of the screen, dies at 54

Anthony Minghella, the film director whose work included The English Patient and Truly, Madly, Deeply, died yesterday, aged 54, after suffering a haemorrhage at Charing Cross Hospital in London following an operation last week for a growth in his neck.

The talented Mr Minghella

The film debut of director and screenplay writer Anthony Minghella - who won the best director Oscar for The English Patient in 1997 - could not have been better.

Oscar-winner Minghella dies after cancer op

Oscar-winning film director Anthony Minghella died today at the age of 54. He suffered complications following surgery last week for cancer of the tonsils and neck, his agent said.

Cover Stories: McCall Smith's premiere; Laureate's doctorate; self-publishing help

* The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency will reach our television screens at Easter, and last week the Scottish book trade had a preview of Anthony Minghella's drama, featuring Jill Scott as Mma Ramotswe. Author Alexander McCall Smith revealed that some of the proceeds from sales of 15 million copies of his series will support Botswana's first opera house. The 60-seater theatre will be on the site of a former garage which features in the film as Speedy Motors, where Mma's great admirer, JLB Matekoni, plies his trade. Meanwhile, McCall Smith's own opera, Dream Angus, has just been premiered. He wrote the libretto, Stephen Deazley the music. Others in the series of short works for Scottish Opera include Gesualdo, which teams Ian Rankin with Craig Armstrong in a story of renaissance murder, and The King's Conjecture by Bernard MacLaverty and Gareth Williams.

Dyke to chair British Film Institute

The former BBC director general Greg Dyke has been chosen to succeed Anthony Minghella as the chairman of the British Film Institute.

Julie Myerson: 'We've been having a terrible time'

Julie Myerson's novels have always tackled edgy subject matter but in writing her latest, she was seeking to escape from a trauma that was horribly close to home

After Beckham's dream scene, Taylor-Wood heads to Hollywood

As the creator of a silent film picturing nothing but David Beckham sleeping and another work consisting of a musician playing an invisible cello, the Turner Prize-nominated artist Sam Taylor-Wood may not be an obvious choice as director of a full-length movie based on a novel heavy on dialogue and gut-wrenching tragedy.

Robert Fisk: Film-makers must atone for their sins

Cultural censorship is like a disease. It moves among us unseen. Let me show you how it works. Shekhar Kapur's Elizabeth gave Cate Blanchett a unique moment to recreate the Virgin Queen in his 1998 film. But the sequel, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, is a clunker because – in the one vital scene where Elizabeth demonstrates to her soldiers that she is among them as their fighting sovereign – when she addresses her troops at Tilbury before the expected arrival of the Spanish Armada in 1588, her most famous statement, learned by every schoolboy in Britain, has been ruthlessly expunged.

Juliette Binoche: France's best-paid actress reveals what makes her tick

She can fall in love in just three days, and reckons doing films for money is 'sick'

Cold Mountain (15)

Puddle deep, mountain high
Sport
sportGareth Bale, Carl Froch and Kelly Gallagher also in the mix for award
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Japan's Suntory Beverage & Food has bought GlaxoSmithKline's Lucozade and Ribena
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A tongue-eating louse (not the one Mr Poli found)
newsParasitic louse appeared inside unfilleted sea bass
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The illusionist believes hypnotism helped him to deal with the lack of control he felt growing up
people'It’s not that people react badly to it – they really don't care'
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peopleJack Monroe accuses David Cameron of 'misty-eyed rhetoric'
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Tana Ramsay gave evidence in a legal action in which her husband, Gordon, is accusing her father, Christopher Hutcheson, of using a ghost writer machine to “forge” his signature
peopleTana Ramsay said alleged discovery was 'extremely distressing'
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Robin Windsor and Aljaz Skorjanec rehearse their same-sex dance together on Strictly Come Dancing
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In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
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Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
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Through the stories of his accusers
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The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible