Arts and Entertainment

Family Guy creator writes, directs and stars in western

First Night: The Road, Venice Film Festival

Bleak but moving tale of the apocalypse

DVD: The Burning Plain

The directorial debut from the screenwriter of Babel and 21 Grams,The Burning Plain is, like his other films, a ponderous, politically freighted drama which jumps disorientatingly from country to country,and from time period totime period, before itsstorylines dovetail at the end.

Ari Emanuel: 21st century Hollywood mogul

He's a super-agent who is as glamorous as the stars he represents, the inspiration for a TV series and the envy of countless wannabe moguls. Now, says Guy Adams, he's planning to change the movie business for ever

Kim Basinger's burning desires

A string of raunchy roles made her a star in the 1980s. Now Kim Basinger can't even watch her own movies. By Kaleem Aftab

The Burning Plain (15)

The directorial debut from the screenwriter of Babel and 21 Grams, The Burning Plain, is, like his other films, a ponderous, politically freighted drama which jumps disorientingly from country to country, from language to language, and from time period to time period, before its storylines dovetail at the end. Charlize Theron is a sexually voracious, emotionally withdrawn restaurant manager in grey, rainy Oregon (a locale which looks just as uninviting here as it did in last week's Wendy and Lucy). Kim Basinger is a desperate housewife having a tender affair in New Mexico. Also in New Mexico, two teenagers bond after the deaths of their parents. And in Mexico, a girl goes in search of the mother she has never known.

DVD Review: Hancock (12A)

Peter Berg (92 mins)

DVD: Hancock, Retail & Rental, Sony Pictures

Will Smith stars as an unshaven, alcoholic superhero who's redeemed by a PR guru, Jason Bateman, and his wife, Charlize Theron.

Fashion: Go white for Christmas

At least half the secret to being hailed as a style leader lies in simply being a little unexpected with one's fashion choices. Witness the example of Ms Moss, who regularly reconfirms her coveted spot in the fashion firmament by going against the grain in a minimalist shift on the red carpet, for example, or plumping for super-sized flares when the rest of the world has just slimmed into its skinnies.

Untimely slip could cost Theron £1.75m

Raymond Weil seeks damages after actress breaks brand endorsement contract

Diamond geezer: Michael Caine goes back to his roots

With two Oscars and more than 100 films to his credit, Michael Caine is perhaps our greatest living movie star. In his latest role, he plays a disgruntled Cockney con man in seedy Sixties London. Sounds vaguely familiar? Here, he tells James Mottram about a peculiarly personal project – and explains why he's going back to his roots

Heartthrobs get Venice Film Festival started

The 65th Venice Film Festival gets under way today, with the premiere of a film starring heartthrobs George Clooney and Brad Pitt.

Hancock, 12A

Hancock is another film which doesn't live up to its potential, but it is tantalisingly close. It stars Will Smith as an unshaven, unhygienic superhero.

In the Valley of Elah (15)

Paul Haggis's In the Valley of Elah explores the consequences of a tough patrimony, which is all the more desolate for being nobly intended. It has a quite towering performance at its centre. Tommy Lee Jones, his face as iconically craggy as Clint's, plays a Vietnam vet and former military policeman, Hank Deerfield, whose son, recently returned from duty in Iraq, has gone missing.

Charlize Theron: A chameleon who can chill or charm

The actresses' latest role requires her to do both, says Stephen Applebaum

Monster (18)

Patty Jenkins' film is a disquieting portrait of a soul in stress
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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
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