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.

DVD: Mamma Mia, Retail & Rental, (Universal)

Mamma Mia is 2008's biggest hit at the British box office, due largely to the singalong nights attended by women of a certain age. I'm sure those same women will make it 2008's biggest Christmas DVD, too.

On The Road: Nobody drives for fun, so how are we managing to cut back our car use?

It is official. We are all mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. Or, at least, a little put out and not going to take the Astra to Bluewater 'just to have a scratch around and maybe get a new bath mat'.

Melanie McDonagh: Celebrate long life and good living

Welcoming the growing number of pensioners

The Manchurian Candidate

Directed by John Frankenheimer

The French Lieutenant's Woman

Directed by Karel Reisz

Hollywood and the curse of Princess Vi

By Joan Smith

Sophie's Choice

A great novel, a great movie, but what about the new opera? Edward Seckerson sees the premiere at Covent Garden of Nicholas Maw's Sophie's Choice

Radcliffe isrun ragged heat

Festival: From the heart

Hot on the heels of St Patrick's Day comes the Barbican's annual Irish knees-up. "From the Heart" taps into the Emerald Isle's rich cultural vein to present concerts, literature, poetry, dance, film and comedy. Highlights include: Nobel-prizewinning poet Seamus Heaney, who joins forces with uilleann piper extraordinaire, Liam O'Flynn; madcap comedy trio, The Nualas (28 Mar); Mary Coughlan in an evening celebrating Irish divas (27 Mar) and a selection of gaelic-themed films including Dancing at Lughnasa (5 Apr, left), adapted from Brian Friel's award-winning play and starring Meryl Streep and Kathy Burke

Arts: Heart of darkness

Klaus Maria Brandauer is in London to play the architect Albert Speer. And it's not the actor's first brush with the Nazi era. What's the attraction?

Not just in the comedy camp

Interview: Kevin Kline

Jazz: A kind of magnum music that made Clint's day

"Ladies and gentlemen, I'm Clint Eastwood, and I love jazz." So begins old Stoneface's brief and humble oration towards the end of the double-CD, Eastwood After Hours, a remarkable recording of a Carnegie Hall concert held in the actor and director's honour in October last year, and released on his own Malpaso label (via Warner Brothers). What makes the album so special is not the reaching out of jazz to Eastwood or vice versa, but rather the fact that the whole enterprise is so damn good.

why are they famous?: Amanda Donohoe

Main Claim: Stripped naked, had a lesbian snog, developed fangs, and all in cut-glass accent. Amanda, 35, is famous for her, let us say, eccentric choice of roles. She is a pretty talented luvvie, but hers has not been the classical route to damehood and thespish immortality. But now she's playing Wallis Simpson in Snoo Wilson's new West End play, HRH, which exposes the underbelly of the most exciting love match of the century before Dodi Fayed hit the scene.
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project