Arts and Entertainment Chiwetel Ejiofor (second from right) stars as kidnapped slave Solomon Northup in '12 Years A Slave'

The Steve McQueen film made £2.5m in its opening weekend

Emotional prisoner: Colin Firth in 'The Railway Man'

The Railway Man (15) - film review

Colin Firth gives one of his best performances in this muted but very touching adaptation of the autobiography of Eric Lomax, the former British army officer who was traumatised by what he endured in a Japanese prisoner of war camp.

A motorist navigates past a fallen tree after weather 'chaos' in north Antrim

Errors and Omissions: Plunged into chaos by journalistic exaggeration

The Independent's letters editor and chief pedant spots this week's best howlers

Jane Austen's best quotes

'Stupid men are the only ones worth knowing after all' and the best of her other quotes

Arifa Akbar: Forget the gruelling films, just read the brilliant books

There are times when the film-of-the-book leads us back to the original text, either to re-live the story or to compare the merits of one medium to the other. Then there are times when a film adaptation is so profoundly dissatisfying that it demands recourse to the book.

Between the Covers 27/10/2013

Your weekly guide to what's really going on in the world of books

The Week in Books: The benefits of GCSE literature go beyond just the classics

A lot of literary fists were shaken at Michael Gove this week for his plans not to include English literature in the five core subjects for the proposed baccalaureate. While the language part of English will remain compulsory, with all its form-filling functionality, literature will be an optional subject alongside French, wood-work, and the rest.

Judi Dench has revived her James Bond character M for an appeal against the decision to give Philomena an R rating

Judi Dench resurrects James Bond character M in appeal to change Philomena's R rating

The film's rating could put off older cinemagoers - its key audience

Between the Covers 03/11/2013

Your weekly guide to what's really going on in the world of books

Between the Covers 27/10/2013

Your weekly guide to what's really going on in the world of books

Between the Covers 20/10/2013

Your weekly guide to what's really going on in the world of books

Helen Fielding signs copies of her latest Bridget Jones novel at Foyles in central London

Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy sells almost 50,000 copies in one day

Helen Fielding's comeback has proven incredibly lucrative

Between the Covers 11/10/2013

Your weekly guide to what's really going on in the world of books

Arts Diary: James Franco the acting polymath extends his oeuvre into novel territory with 'Actors Anonymous'; Fielding's bad news for Firth; Frieze Art Fair; Male nudes at Musee d'Orsay

James Franco – actor, artist, adept dabbler – has written a novel. Actors Anonymous is published on Tuesday and is billed as an “intense, wild ride into the dark heart of celebrity”. “Hollywood has always been a private club,” writes Franco. “I open the gates. I say welcome. I say, look inside.” He also writes, “I’m here to entertain you but I don’t really care about entertaining you.”

Helen Fielding, author

Page 3 Profile: Helen Fielding, author

Monday September 30: Weight: 130lbs (slight over-indulgence), alcohol units: 4 (very well-behaved), cigarettes: 10, calories: 2,560.

Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones

Mr Darcy is dead: Bridget Jones returns as a single mother of two

Fifteen years since The Edge of Reason, shocking extracts from Helen Fielding's new book reveal she has killed off Mark Darcy in the intervening period

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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
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Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
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Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
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Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

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Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas