Arts and Entertainment

(15) Dir. Scott Cooper; Starring Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson, 117mins

Chalk Talk: Yee hah! The cowboy spirit that's driving our headteachers

It seems the trend of headteachers likening themselves to famous American cowboys is continuing.

Lisa Markwell: New talent comes in more than one shape or size

Breasts continue to be debated, frequently in an unhelpful way, most often by people who don't have them; photographs of women on holiday are making great sport for headlines about shifting weight for the New Year; and – although it's funny – the viral video doing the rounds for a fake beauty ad for an improving product called "Fotoshop, by Adobé" has a shifty undertone about a lady's supposed obsession with looking perfect.

Album: Jeff Bridges, Jeff Bridges (Blue Note)

Following Jeff Bridges' Oscar-winning depiction of a country singer in Crazy Heart, it was inevitable the actor would make his own album; thankfully, he was able to retain T-Bone Burnett's house band to assist him, lending a sleek authenticity to his grizzled, whiskery performances.

DVD: The Big Lebowski (18)

"That rug really tied the room together," the Dude, justifiably, laments after two thugs pee on his carpet.

The Dude has left the building: Big Lebowski house on sale for $2.3m

The dude no longer abides. In fact, he's moving up the property ladder. The house occupied by Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski has been placed on the market. But unemployed pot smokers who spend all day in a dressing gown will almost certainly be unable to afford it.

The Bargain Hunter: Half price sale at Body Shop

The Body Shop's summer sale began earlier this week with 50 per cent savings on hundreds of items in store and online. The best place to check them all out is http://ind.pn/jWVsg2, where you'll find products categorised by price and style and where you can also claim the slightly confusingly-titled 'free standard delivery for just £1'.

DVD: True Grit, For retail & rental (Paramount)

Other than being their first Western, this Oscar-nominated retread of a John Wayne classic is a typical Coen brothers' affair.

DVD: True Grit (15)

Jeff Bridges finally bagged his long-deserved Oscar for last year's flimsy Crazy Heart, but he's better in this far superior film, the Coen brothers' refreshingly straightforward and faithful take on Charles Portis's genre-bending Western novel from 1968.

Boxing: Froch earns place in final with champion's true grit

Carl Froch beat Glen Johnson to retain his World Boxing Council super-middleweight title on Saturday and reach the final of the Super Six tournament in the type of fight that leaves both fans and critics claiming victory.

The Last Picture Show (15)

Starring: Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Ellen Burstyn

Country Strong (12A)

Starring: Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw

The Oscars: Years to remember - and to forget

Jonathan Romney picks the best and worst Oscar decisions and presents his guide to 2011

Organise your own sweepstake and you too can be an Oscar winner

Watching the Academy Awards could send anyone to sleep, even if they're in the correct time zone. But organising your own sweepstake is one way to add some extra drama to proceedings on Sunday night.

Tom Sutcliffe: Rooster's a bit too slow on the drawl

The week in culture

Culture Club: Readers review True Grit

Readers review this week's big film
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Independent Travel
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
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South Africa
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Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
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
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

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
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

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
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
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