Arts and Entertainment

Mario Testino’s talent with a camera must be maddening for other photographers working in a highly competitive field, but he remains one of the most revered stars in his profession. Testino has a natural ability to float effortlessly from studio to backstage to after-party, producing stunning shots in any kind of situation. From royals to mega-celebrities, Testino has shot some of the world’s most inaccessible subjects, always with an ease that betrays the complexity of the task. When Testino gets “in your face” he captures you at your best — and that is what makes him the best.

Monitor: The Academy Awards

All the News of the World

'Tis true, 'tis pity, and pity 'tis, 'tis true. 'Tis total tosh

Yes, yes, it's nice for everybody - nice for the British film industry, nice for the investors, nice for Dame Judi, nice for Marc, nice for Sir Tom, nice for Gwyneth (though maybe not so nice for all those genuinely British Violas who might have been up for the part had someone not been thinking Oscars from the very beginning) but still, yes, yes, nice. And God knows the last thing one wants to do is spoil a good party. But Shakespeare in Love, Best Film, in any company, in any year, judged by any standards - my masters, are you mad?

The Oscas: Shame on you, Oscar

David Thomson on tonight's Academy Awards - and why a Holocaust comedy should not even have been considered

`Great characters and a terrific climax'

W ith the return of Pip, Estella, Magwitch and Miss Havisham to television next month, Great Expectations becomes the Dickens novel most often adapted by the BBC. There have been three previous versions, in 1959, 1967, and 1981, as well as the celebrated 1946 film directed by David Lean, in which John Mills played Pip and Valerie Hobson was Estella. A cast that included Michael York, Sarah Miles, James Mason, Margaret Leighton, Robert Morley, Rachel Roberts and Anthony Quayle could not rescue a TV movie of the novel made in 1975. Last year came a modern-day film version with Gwyneth Paltrow and Ethan Hawke.

And the Bafta nominations are...

MICHAEL CAINE, who was ignored in the Oscar nominations this year, could still pick up a best actor award from his British peers.

UK Films

THIS LAST TITLE WEEKS TOTAL GROSS

London Films

THIS LAST TITLE WEEKS 3-DAY GROSS

Words: callipygous, adj.

NO SOONER had Stephen Crook mentioned Nabokov's penchant for callipygous than Julian Barnes said that he revised the OED's entry for the word, first used by Sir Thomas Browne, rarely since.

Critic's choice: Film

Bulworth (18)

Real Living: Debate

Women are split: there are those who adore Gwyneth Paltrow and think she is beautiful, talented and fully deserves her Oscar nomination last week. And then there are others who see the star of 'Shakespeare In Love' as a sorry sign of just how bland Hollywood has become. Elizabeth Heathcote (a fan) and Anna Melville-James (a critic) fight it out

Notebook: Oscar nominee plays squeeze-box in pub

THERE ARE at least three reasons to admire the musician Stephen Warbeck apart from his musicianship.

How America had Oscars for breakfast

"PLEASE TRY to behave yourselves!" announced a disembodied voice to the assembled crowd of journalists, television crews and anxious publicists as we made our way up the stairs of the Samuel Goldwyn theatre for the grand announcement of this year's Academy Award nominations.

Theatre: Certain Young Men

Last year, the Almeida made its mark with a string of star-lead productions. Its first offerings of 1999, however, are potent reminders of its commitment to challenging work, first and foremost. There's not a single Hollywood celebrity appearing in Peter Gill's new play, Certain Young Men, unless you count Jeremy Northam (right) - who played Knightley to Gwyneth Paltrow's Emma. Gill, who has been busy directing both this and Gorky's Vassa at the Albery, has picked a strong cast of homegrown talent for his comedy of manners about eight unmarried men living in London now. Anyone who doubts the wisdom of a writer directing his own material should look at Gill's track-record: his self-directed Cardiff East was a huge hit at the National two years ago.

Joseph Fiennes interview: My name is Joe, and I'm an actor

Joseph Fiennes has served his time as a lovelorn support. Now, as a lovelorn Shakespeare, he's the main man. Maggie O'Farrell met him

Grin and bare it (if you must)

Everyone's stripping off these days. Here's 10 ways to satisfy those naked ambitions.
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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