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Watch a selection of trailers for our film and television critic's choice:

Ricci's return to favour has come with a makeover: she has slimmed down, sports an expensive-looking straightened hair cut with fringe

Christina Ricci: The goth who found glamour

The actress tells Kaleem Aftab about her tricky transition from troubled teen roles to romantic lead

Maltilda may be on her way to Broadway

The RSC is considering taking its hit musical Matilda to Broadway.

James Farentino: Actor whose personal life damaged his career

The American actor James Farentino was endowed with the dashing good looks that should have made him a Hollywood leading man, but he might be remembered more for the women in his life than his screen roles. Four times married, he was also close to being four times divorced. At various times, he and his final wife, Stella, started legal action to end the marriage on the grounds of "irreconcilable differences", only to withdraw the petitions.

Blonde ambition: Megan Hilty and Katharine McPhee star in Steven Spielberg's 'Smash'

Spielberg's NBC TV venture Smash is set to divide and multiply

Steven Spielberg's upcoming NBC TV venture, Smash, suggests a whole new future for the story-within-a-story device. Due to air in the UK on Sky Atlantic later this year and starring Anjelica Houston, Debra Messing, and Katharine McPhee, this comedy drama, which premieres in the US on 6 February, presents the backstage politics behind the production of, and the drama of the production process of, a fictional Broadway show about Marilyn Monroe.

Crazy For You, Novello, London

Beat off those economic blues with a bit of Gershwin glitz

Mark Grant and Lights Of Broadway clear the last at Taunton to land odds of 200-1 in yesterday’s mares’ novice hurdle

Darlan dazzles, Lights dazes

On the face of it, only one of the novice hurdle winners at Taunton yesterday could be described as breathtaking. The first, after all, was returned at 200-1; and the second, sent off at odds-on, won by only half a length. But the manner of Darlan's success was such that he stole the show even from the eye-watering starting price of Lights Of Broadway.

You Can't Take it With You, Royal Exchange, Manchester (5/5)

Frank Capra's classic film It's a Wonderful Life has become as established  a landmark in the modern Christmas landscape as Dickens's story of Scrooge did in post-Victorian times.

A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas (18)

Starring: John Cho, Kal Penn, Neil Patrick Harris

Howard Jacobson: We English do comic explosiveness our own way

Surfing the net recently, on one of those feverish Sunday afternoons when you pretend to be relaxed, enjoying doing nothing, I came upon a diverting piece in which Elaine May purports to interview Woody Allen and Ethan Coen.

The British on Broadway

The British are colonizing New York all over again – with branches of Prêt à manger, and with theatrical productions.

Police injured after night of violence in Belfast

Twenty-two police officers have been injured during rioting in Northern Ireland.

Video: Spider-Man finally opens on Broadway

It cost £40,000 and four cast members were hurt during rehearsals, now Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark has finally opened on Broadway.

Police offer reward in missing women cases

Detectives are offering a reward of up to £15,000 for information regarding the disappearance of two women who vanished from the same stretch of road more than a decade ago.

Neva Patterson

Injured officers commended for 'bravery'

Tributes were paid today to a police officer and a police community support officer who were injured by a man with a knife in a busy shopping street.

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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
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'