Arts and Entertainment Carey Mulligan would snap up a role in ITV period drama Downton Abbey if given the chance

The British actress admires Julian Fellowes after he helped launch her career

Lisa Markwell: Never too early to start on child development

There's always been anxiety about bringing up children – not helped by the competitive edge between many parents. "Oh, isn't Savannah walking yet? Marley's very steady on her feet now..." For those whose babies don't seem to be sprinting past the developmental milestones with the speed of Usain Bolt, it's all too easy to panic and bulk-buy Baby Einstein DVDs and state-of-the-art walkers with built-in flashcards.

Carey Mulligan: Hollywood's new star pupil

An Oscar nomination for 'An Education', a famous actor boyfriend – the young London actress is rapidly discovering what it's like to grow up in public. Nina Lakhani talks to Carey Mulligan

Mirren and Hornby lead British charge

Helen Mirren fulfils the unofficial requirement for at least one British Dame to be in the running for a Best Actress Oscar, but the big story for home-grown talent this year involves two of our most celebrated comic writers: Nick Hornby and Armando Iannucci.

Avatar bags nine Oscar nominations

The science-fiction sensation 'Avatar' and the Iraq war thriller 'The Hurt Locker' lead the Academy Awards with nine nominations each, including best picture and director for James Cameron and ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow.

An education in how to compete with blockbusters

British film matches $300m Avatar with eight nominations for Bafta awards

Brothers (15)

Jim Sheridan's drama of guilt and forgiveness reworks the Danish director Susanne Bier's 2005 film, adding an extra polish to the story of US Army captain Sam Cahill (Tobey Maguire), who's missing presumed dead after his helicopter is shot down in the mountains of Afghanistan.

Full list of Orange British Academy Film Award nominations

Nominations for the Orange British Academy Film Awards, as the Baftas are formally known:

Bafta Brits battle Hollywood heavyweights

Blockbuster sci-fi spectacle Avatar, coming-of-age movie An Education and Iraq war drama The Hurt Locker lead this year's film Bafta nominations with eight nods apiece.

Mary Dejevsky: Why we stay away from the Post Office

It's that time of year again, and I don't mean the time when the Christmas lights are prematurely lit. Early December is fine. No, it's that time when you have to make your annual trip to the Post Office to buy stamps for the cards you want to dispatch to far-flung parts of the globe.

Teenage star picks up best newcomer prize

The actress Katie Jarvis, who was spotted by a casting agent at Tilbury Town railway station in Essex and went on to be the toast of last year's Cannes Film Festival, was last night named most Promising Newcomer at the British Independent Film Awards.

Carey Mulligan's in a class of her own

Carey Mulligan received rave reviews for her role in An Education. Next up is Wall Street 2 for Oliver Stone, and Jim Sheridan's Brothers. James Mottram talks to Britain's fastest-rising star

An Education, Lone Scherfig, 100 mins, (12A)

A 16-year-old's crush on a man twice her age with a taste for Ravel and fine art inspires a brilliant evocation of 1961 and a world The Beatles would make disappear overnight

Women on the verge: Why 2009 is the year of the female film director

Have women ever had a better year behind the camera? As Jane Campion releases 'Bright Star', she and three other leading female film-makers discuss the view from the director's chair

An Education (12A)

Too cool for school

Daniel Day-Lewis honoured with British award

Hollywood star Daniel Day-Lewis is to receive an honour from the British Independent Film Awards.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform