Guy Adams: How to lose celebrity friends in Hollywood

LA Notebook

DVD: The Damned United, For retail & rental, (Sony)

Peter Morgan and Michael Sheen, the screenwriter and star of The Queen and Frost/ Nixon, collaborate on yet another true-life drama.

DVD: Frost / Nixon, For retail and rental, (Universal)

Ron Howard's Oscar-nominated film of Peter Morgan's play dramatises the events which led up to David Frost's televised interviews with Richard Nixon in 1977.

Film favourites: Politicians to pop stars reveal the movies that changed their life

The transformative power of film is something that Hollywood has always depended upon. Think of those portentous voiceovers on trailers: they seem to promise the viewer – in their peculiarly over-enunciated way – a more exciting, more romantic, somehow better life. It's all a stardust-sprinkled illusion, of course: watching Angelina Jolie pout through a love scene won't actually make you any more beautiful. Nor will gasping at Daniel Craig as he fells evil henchmen make you any stronger, pound for pound. But for 90 minutes, anything seems possible.

The Damned United (15)

Big 'ead is back

The Independent Film Forum: Have your say on 'The Damned United'

At last a good film about football or a cinematic own goal? The next film up for discussion in The Independent Film Forum is The Damned United, adapted by Peter Morgan from David Peace's novel about Brian Clough's disastrous reign at Leeds United. Is old big 'ead an impersonation too far for Michael Sheen? Add your comments below and we'll print the best in the newspaper next week.

Outside the Box: Let's hope Forest stars are not wooden in Clough stage tribute

Brian Clough's family, who have expressed their displeasure at David Peace's novel 'The Damned Utd', about his disastrous 44 days at Leeds, may be surprised at how well he comes out of the filmed version (on general release from Friday week), thanks largely to an endearing performance by Michael Sheen.

Pandora: The curious case of Brangelina

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were two of the most eagerly-anticipated guests at last night's Baftas, having won three nominations between them. But I'm told that the Hollywood couple's attendance was far from guaranteed. In fact, as the first of the guests arrived on the red carpet, organisers claimed that they still weren't sure whether "Brangelina" would make it.

Hours previously, Jolie had been pictured in Thailand, which she was visiting in her role as a United Nations' Goodwill Ambassador and, although she had booked a suite at London's Dorchester hotel, she hadn't been photographed since.

"We don't know for certain if they're coming at all," fretted one spokesperson for the event. Happily – and to the relief of the waiting paparazzi – the beautiful twosome arrived in good time, explaining that they had spent the day indoors enjoying tea and scones.

Frost/Nixon, Ron Howard, 122 mins, 12A<br>Valkyrie, Bryan Singer, 123 mins, 12A<br>Rachel Getting Married, Jonathan Demme, 113 mins, 15

Frank Langella's Nixon is a perfect ogre as he tries to avoid being skewered on TV by David Frost

Frost/Nixon (15)

The atmosphere of Frost/Nixon is so heavy with self-importance that you'd be forgiven for thinking that, in it, the very fate of Western politics hangs in the balance. Ron Howard and Peter Morgan have opened up the latter's stage play to embrace a world of ritzy hotels and stretch limos, but he has kept the quasi-documentary build-up to persuade us that what we're to witness is a duel as legendary as David and Goliath, and as enthralling as Ali versus Foreman. And the prize at stake in this momentous encounter? An apology on TV from a disgraced politician. Pardon me if I'm underwhelmed.

Exclusive: The making of Frost/Nixon

The cast of Frost/Nixon, including Frank Langella, Michael Sheen, Kevin Bacon and director Ron Howard, discussing the making of the film which is in cinemas from January 23rd.

Coming Soon: Oscar&rsquo;s big hitters prepare for battle

For you and me, February’s Academy Awards might just be an opportunity to ogle some over-priced frocks, but Hollywood is utterly obsessed with them, judging by the shameless way it’s cramming all of its most Oscar-worthy releases into the next few weeks.

Michael Sheen: 'I try to inhabit what it is I'm doing'

The award-winning actor thrives on playing real people. After Tony Blair and Kenneth Williams, he has now taken on David Frost

Knighthood stuns Pratchett

Terry Pratchett, the author of the Discworld series of novels that have sold more than 55 million copies worldwide, said he was "stunned, in a good way" after receiving a knighthood in the New Year's Honours List.

David Morrissey fuels Doctor Who speculation

David Morrissey has fuelled speculation that he could be the next Doctor Who, saying he would jump at the chance to be in the show again.

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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