Arts and Entertainment Emma Thompson arriving for the National Board of Review Awards in New York

The actor Emma Thompson has spoken out this week in favour of gender-blind casting, admitting her particular desire to play the role of Sherlock Holmes.

Spotlight on: Harvey Weinstein, Co-chairman, the Weinstein Company

And the winner is... Yes, after the Oscars, who can doubt that the brothers Weinstein, Harvey and his younger sibling Bob, are back on top in Hollywood? The Weinstein Company distributed The Artist in the US, and orchestrated its campaign to win Best Picture, and that wasn't the only one of the firm's movies taking plaudits.

Winner for Best Director for 'The Artist' Michel Hazanavicius on stage

Geoffrey Macnab: Hardly a surprise that there was no surprise at the Oscars

What was clear last night is that the Oscars are now a surprise-free zone. By the time the statuettes are dished out on a Sunday night in late February, there have been so many other awards ceremonies already that it is already ordained what will win.

The Artist: The combination of a cute dog, Harvey Weinstein and absolutely no contemporary resonances whatsoever conspire to make this the most inevitable winner for Best Picture

And the Academy Award goes to: We predict who will win an Oscar tonight

Who really deserves to win and who was disgracefully left off the shortlist?

A 1980 photograph of Azaria Chamberlain

Australia's fourth inquest opens in Azaria Chamberlain dingo case

A coroner today opened Australia's fourth inquest into the most notorious and bitterly controversial legal drama in the nation's history: the 1980 death of a nine-week-old baby whose parents say was taken by a dingo from her tent in the Australian Outback.

Michel Hazanavicius' silent film The Artist received the most nominations. It has been honoured in 12 categories, including best film, director, leading actor for Jean Dujardin, leading actress for Berenice Bejo, original screenplay, original music, cinematography, editing, production design, costume design, make up and hair, and sound.

The Artist sweeps the board at London Film Critics' Circle awards

Silent film The Artist swept the board tonight when it won three awards at the London Film Critics' Circle awards.

David Owen: Thatcher's disciples do her no favours by covering up her illness

For the first time, the British public can see in graphic detail on cinema screens throughout the country why the woman they elected three times as Prime Minister was unceremoniously bundled out of office by her fellow Conservative MPs.

Superficially similar, but the Iron Lady had a quality that Streep lacks

Iron Lady film made too soon, says David Cameron

David Cameron today stepped in to the row over the Iron Lady, claiming the film should have been made "another day".

John Rentoul: A missed chance to tell the truth about Mrs T

Meryl Streep's new film could have nailed some of the more persistent myths about how Thatcherism changed Britain
Made up: Meryl Streep (Margaret Thatcher) and Jim Broadbent (Sir Denis) in 'The Iron Lady'

Meryl Streep: Becoming 'The Iron Lady'

The actress' preparation for the role of Margaret Thatcher was cut short, but she was still able to identify with the divisive leader, says Clemency Burton-Hill

Matthew Norman: Margaret Thatcher is still big, it's the politicians that got small

The timing of the release of 'The Iron Lady' has a resonance that transcends normal critical criteria

Andy McSmith: The good sense spoken out of power

The idea that a former prime minister should simply shut up would once have been considered absurd

The Neurotourist: Postcards from the Edge of Brain Science, By Lone Frank

Philosophy? Politics? It’s all in the mind

Unveiled: Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher

Two-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep has been transformed for her role as former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher - complete with the Iron Lady's trademark hairdo.

Meryl Streep attends parliament for Thatcher research

Meryl Streep turned up to watch Prime Minister's Questions at Britain's Houses of Parliament yesterday to research for a film role.

The Sketch: The day Meryl Streep saw a performance in the House of Commons

Meryl Streep's down there." "Meryl Streep? What, literally? Where?"

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
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Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
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BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home