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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A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
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How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

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Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own