Arts and Entertainment

In Runner Runner, Justin Timberlake loses a fortune playing online poker, and then flies off to confront the owner of the website, Ben Affleck. But perhaps he could have saved himself the trip if he’d watched a few poker films before logging on.

Travel Agenda: Sydney Festival; Outdoors Show; London Bike Show; International Boat Show; Monarch Airlines

Today: Cabaret, circus, comedy and a conversation with John Malkovich: some of the treats in store at the Sydney Festival, which is getting underway. Tonight's Festival First Night features a performance from Arrested Development and a vaudeville reinterpretation of Hyde Park. The festival runs until the end of January ( sydneyfestival.org.au).

John Malkovich: 'I don't need to be liked'

John Malkovich is speaking in a tone so low and languorous it seems deliberately pitched at a single, straining pair of ears. As an actor who has used his voice to great menacing effect, it now becomes lighter and more lilting, the more exercised he gets. "Look," he enunciates softly, sitting forward in his chair like an uncoiled snake ready to strike. "I don't need to be liked."

DVD: Jonah Hex (15)

Hex is an attempt to transfer the dark, revenge-fuelled DC comic series to film.

Secretariat (U)

Starring: Diane Lane, John Malkovich, Dylan Walsh

Jonah Hex (15)

Josh Brolin stars as a bounty hunter bent on revenging the murder of his wife and child by a renegade warmonger (John Malkovich) in the aftermath of the Civil War.

John Malkovich to play serial killer in Barbican concert

The life story of Jack Unterweger – an Austrian serial killer who strangled prostitutes with their bras and became a cause célèbre after writing poetry in prison – has been compared to those of Josef Fritzl and Jack the Ripper.

Disgrace (15)

The visionary gravity of J M Coetzee's Booker-winning novel is perhaps untranslatable to the screen, but Steve Jacobs's film is a very creditable try.

Edward Seckerson: Six of the Worst

The word on the street is that "Too Close to the Sun" - a new musical by the composer who tormented us with "The Man in the Iron Mask" - has no business in the West End. How did it get there? Someone's hard-earned money unknowingly squandered. And all the while a wealth of writing talent goes unnoticed and unheard. Don't get me started.

DVD: Changeling (15)

Changeling tells the harrowing true story of single mum Christine Collins (Angelina Jolie) whose son Walter (Gattlin Griffith) was kidnapped from her LA home.

One Click Wonder: Self Parody

New Channel 4 sitcom ‘Plus One’ is notable for an inspired turn from ex-boybander Duncan James, playing himself – and so joining a fine tradition of stars sending themselves up on screen with hilarious/humiliating results...

Kathy Staff: Nora Batty in 'Last of the Summer Wine' and veteran of ITV soaps

The actress Kathy Staff turned Nora Batty into a television icon. Over 35 years, in 29 series, she played the broom-wielding, humourless battleaxe in the BBC sitcom Last of the Summer Wine. Nora had two targets: her henpecked husband, Wally (played by Joe Gladwin), and the shabby, woolly hat-and-wellies-wearing pensioner Compo (Bill Owen), who lusted after her and did eventually get a kiss. Nora's pursuit by Compo was a staple of most episodes. It provided wacky storylines such as the scruffy old man attempting to have his photograph taken in her bedroom and devising a complicated plan to establish her shoe size.

Pick of the picture books

A lifeline to those who consigned treehouses to the same Elysian fields as sand pits and paddling pools, Treehouses, by Paula Henderson and Adam Mornement (Frances Lincoln, £19.99) provides a fascinating account of "the earliest form of natural architecture".

The Word On...Changeling

"Throughout 'Changeling', you can feel Clint Eastwood's sense of accomplishment. There he is behind the lens, champion of women's rights, exposing injustice. What he doesn't see is that he's detracting from Christine Collins' plight by oversimplifying... Eastwood has turned the truth into a bad joke." - Joseph, imdb.com

Changeling, Clint Eastwood, 142 mins, 15<br>Four Christmases, Seth Gordon, 88 mins, 12A

A child goes missing &ndash; and so does the director

Film of the week: Changeling (15)

Clint Eastwood (142 mins) starring Angelina Jolie, Colm Feore, Devon Conti
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War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?