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Carey Mulligan

Cultural Life: Joanna Trollope, novelist

Books: As usual, I have several books on the go. The current crop includes Kishwar Desai's 'Witness The Night', which won the Costa first novel prize; George Eliot's 'Daniel Deronda', which I'm re-reading skipping most of the ponderous faith/Jewish culture bits; and Colin Thubron's 'A Mountain in Tibet' – he's such a writer, and my late pa got halfway to Lhasa from Delhi in 1944, when he hadn't enough wartime leave to come home in.

Diary: The girl with the star role

So we now have the first pictures of 25-year-old Rooney Mara in the role of the year: the goth bisexual computer hacker Lisbeth Salander, in David Fincher's English-language version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The accompanying interview in W magazine does not, I'm afraid, dispel troubling rumours that the stars, Mara and Daniel Craig, will be "doing" Swedish accents in the film. However, Fincher does reveal the names of some of the others who auditioned for the role at a time when any actress seen to have cut her hair was said to be desperate to land it (viz Carey Mulligan, Emma Watson). Natalie Portman, he explains, was too exhausted after shooting three other films back-to-back. Scarlett Johansson was "too sexy". Jennifer Lawrence was "too tall". Mara's winning moment came when she screen-tested a graphic scene, which required her to insert something large into something small belonging to another character. "That's Salander's big scene," said Fincher. "We had to see if they could do it."

'Blomkvist, Mikael Blomkvist'

The financial crisis has left Daniel Craig's most famous alter ego shaken and stirred. But just like James Bond, the British actor is a master of reinvention.

All things bright and beautiful

From animal stripes to kaleidoscopic swirls, prints are everywhere this season, says Harriet Walker. Graphics may seem daunting, but don't be shy

Bigelow, Bridges and Bullock are best in show at the Oscars

Like a well-made film, it all went according to the script: Kathryn Bigelow scored a historic first for female film-makers, and an eagerly anticipated David and Goliath-style battle saw the little guy triumph as The Hurt Locker walked away with six trophies and most of the headlines at the 82nd Academy Awards in Los Angeles.

More headlines

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.

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.