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

Helena Bonham Carter: In all the best circles

She was once a waif-like fixture in costume drama who struggled to impress the critics. Now she has evolved into one of cinema's most intriguing actresses. And then there's the company she keeps...

The Kings Speech (12A)

Starring: Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, Geoffrey Rush

Natalie Haynes: Wikipedia shows the internet at its best

Wikipedia will celebrate its 10th birthday later this month. And its users will celebrate with ad-free pages, because the annual Wiki fundraiser has been a record-breaker this year. The Wikimedia Foundation plastered its pages with pictures of co-founder, Jimmy Wales, staring moodily at the reader and asking for cash. Although it provoked ungenerous criticism from some parts of the blogosphere (mocked-up Wikipedia pages with Wales's face superimposed on woodland creatures, for a start), it worked. The banner ads sporting his face received three times more clicks than the ones without him, and they received higher average donations.

Culture Club: Come Fly with Me

Readers review this week’s big TV show

Crowning Glory: How The King's Speech got made

Bedlam Productions’ co-founder Gareth Unwin explains how he took an unknown script and turned it into one of the most high profile British films of 2011.

Facebook film wins friends – and awards

First blood in the long battle that will end at the Oscars in late February was drawn by the film The Social Network, which picked up the lion's share of honours at the opening event of the Hollywood awards "season".

Tom Sutcliffe: Dramatic pause that says so much

The week in culture

DVD: A Single Man

Colin Firth stars in Tom Ford’s adaptation of the Christopher Isherwood novel, playing a bereaved professor who’s planning his suicide over the course of a day in early- 1960s California.

A Single Man, Tom Ford, 100 mins (12A)

Tom Ford's cinematic love letter to the Sixties, starring Colin Firth as a bereaved, gay Englishman in LA, hits the spot as a highbrow weepie

A Single Man (12A)

Slight, but it's perfectly formed

Gay actors take a risk, says Colin Firth

Colin Firth says gay actors risk missing out on work if they come out.

Gay actors face obstacles

Colin Firth claimed today that gay actors risk missing out on work if they come out. The actor stars as gay college professor George Falconer in A Single Man, directed by Tom Ford, the US fashion designer who turned around the Gucci label before heading to Hollywood.

DVD: Dorian Gray, For retail & rental (Momentum)

This slickly scripted new interpretation of Oscar Wilde's novel stars Ben Barnes as the handsome aristocrat who will never age as long as his portrait does it for him, and Colin Firth as the ultimate bad influence.

Amy Jenkins: Why shows like Legally Blonde are the opium of the lasses

Legally Blonde, the musical, is the new feel-good girls night out. The hype was such that the show was a hit before it even opened – or so the story went. "The first preview was what I imagine Beatlemania to have been like," said producer Sonia Friedman. "You sometimes couldn't even hear the performers through the screaming."

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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee