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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

FILM / On love and social death: Adam Mars-Jones on the difficult job of making romantic comedy for a modern audience in Anthony Minghella's Mr Wonderful

When, with a careless strum of the keyboard, Gus (Matt Dillon) loses a vital piece of his ex-wife's academic work on his computer, he tells her to pray to St Anthony for its return - St Anthony finds things. Anthony Minghella, director of Mr Wonderful (12) isn't ready for cinema canonisation just yet, but he does have a great knack for finding truth in played-out situations, walking through the dead heartland of cliche unscathed. In Truly Madly Deeply he found some of the emotional ugliness of grief that Ghost had tactfully airbrushed out (and Juliet Stevenson found the indignity and mucus that has always been missing from screen crying scenes). In his new film, Minghella finds freshness and charm in the situation of an estranged couple who can't quite get free of each other, and will ultimately come together with a positive clang of reconciliation. There can only be one Philadelphia Story, but Mr Wonderful makes a good shot at the difficult assignment of making romantic comedy for a modern audience.

FILM / A really bad Dwight in: Sheila Johnston reviews the charming This Boy's Life, John Woo's Hard Target and Me Ivan You Abraham

AS Anthony Minghella observes this week (see interview opposite), the hard sell is growing harder. We might bemoan the fact that The Fugitive is squatting in Warner's new West End multiplex in no less than four screens, but it's increasingly difficult to lure viewers into the equally as good, but lower-profile pictures playing next door.

FILM / Some kind of wonderful: Anthony Minghella would like you to forget Sleepless in Seattle. He tells Sheila Johnston why

YOU'D think it was enough to make a highly regarded film, one which won awards and proved its commercial mettle on both sides of the Atlantic. It should be enough, too, to be a respected writer in a range of media, for theatre (Made in Bangkok), television (What If It's Raining?; Inspector Morse) and radio (Hang Up; Coffee and Cigarettes). But no: none of the above sufficed for the wonderful world of movie promotion, and when Anthony Minghella's first film, Truly, Madly, Deeply, began to attract attention, it was pitched, almost inevitably, as the thinking person's Ghost.

TELEVISION / Hired to make drama out of a crisis: He once had the gall to turn Noele Gordon out of Crossroads, but does Charles Denton have what it takes to turn around the nosedive of BBC drama? Sue Summers talks to the new head of drama who must keep his head while others worry about losing theirs

It's a piquant fact that, before Charles Denton became the BBC's new head of drama, he ran an independent production company called Zenith, responsible, among other things, for ITV hits like Inspector Morse and successful films like Personal Services and Prick Up Your Ears. Some people may rush to the observation that the man from Zenith is taking over BBC drama at its nadir.

BOOK REVIEW / The villa of the peace: The English patient - Michael Ondaatje: Bloomsbury, pounds 14.99

MICHAEL ONDAATJE has invented a way of writing a novel that approximates the mind's habit of coming back again and again to the same moments of ecstasy, shame, peril or slipped meanings. Robbe-Grillet pointed the way towards this form in Jealousy, but in a much more austere and impersonal style.
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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003