Independent Plus

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.

News
University Edible Garden, Leeds – a sustainable garden in the centre of the university, passers-by can help themselves to the home-grown produce
newsFrom a former custard factory to a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery
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Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
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Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
footballA colourful discussion on tactics, the merits of the English footballer and rebuilding Manchester United
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Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz