Arts and Entertainment Rome sweet Rome: Tony Servillo in 'The Great Beauty'

From its delirious opening montage of disco divas, ageing socialites and strippers at play – one imagines Berlusconi's bunga bunga in a nutshell – Paolo Sorrentino's Roman satire has its sights fixed on epic greatness. There's a touch of La Dolce Vita in its fluid portrait of the city as carnival, with its parade of nuns, tourists, freaks, hangers-on, performance artists and other jokers. It is overseen by the dapper, disenchanted Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo), a journalist who once wrote a great novel but is now more famous for his roof-terrace parties and languid cynicism. The haute bourgeoisie circles Jep moves in turn a blind eye and a Botoxed pout to the depressed, debased society around them, preferring to dance themselves dizzy and drink themselves silly. (Sample dialogue: "What job do you do?" "Me? I'm rich". "Great job"). Nor is there any recourse to religion when Vatican prelates offer not spiritual succour but top cooking tips.

SHOP OF THE NEW

If you thought fashion shopping was all about clothes, you haven't visited the latest crop of chic outlets currently opening in London's West End. Marcus Field visits the new boutiques of three leading designers and discovers that, these days, the architecture is scarcely less important - or exotic - than the garments

Andreotti is cleared of conspiracy to murder

GIULIO ANDREOTTI, Italy's most prominent post-war statesmen, who has been prime minister seven times, was last night aquitted of murder in a stunning verdict that followed a three and a half year trial.

American Psychological Society annual conference: One in three people have no passion in their lives

NEARLY A third of people have no passion in their lives. Psychologists have found that a sizeable proportion of the population have no strong inclination towards any particular object or activity and as a result are less satisfied than people who have a "passion".

Me, myself, I

Why does an artist paint his own portrait? Is it posing, play- acting or self-obsession, or is there perhaps a higher purpose? The 20 or so self-portraits painted by Rembrandt towards the end of his life show a face ravaged by debt, drink and grief. And yet his challenging gaze looks beyond the darkness, bigotry and indifference of his times, with something like hope

Books: Crash course for buffs

The BFI has given `Seven' and `Crash' the monograph treatment. Laurence Phelan wonders if they merit it

THEATRE REVIEWS: Derevo

Derevo

Exhibitions: Artemisia's less-famous father

Orazio Gentileschi

Visual Arts: A little of what you fancy

Why join the queues? Try two small shows at the National Gallery: Gentileschi and Van Der Weyden.

Fifty years as prisoners of war

That a painting by Degas in the National Gallery may have been looted from a Jewish family by Nazis is front-page news. But what of Mr Kellerman's tie-pin, deposited for safekeeping before the War? Or Dr Goldberger 's pounds 344, 12s and 10d? Why have they never been returned?

The restoration game

Michelangelo's damaged masterpiece can at last be viewed in its entirety.

Art: Private view; Patrick Caulfield Hayward Gallery, London SE1

"Social Realism without emotion" is how Patrick Caulfield describes the squeaky clean, vacuum-packed interiors that he has been painting since attending the Royal College in the early Sixties. There he got to know David Hockney and Ron Kitaj, and became associated with the Pop Art movement. But the Hayward Gallery retrospective will show what a lonely and unique furrow he has ploughed throughout his career.

Lords, bishops and Michelangelo Wakeham

ONE OF the consequences of Mr Paddy Ashdown's declaration of his intention to resign was that the White Paper on the Lords did not receive the attention it would otherwise have received. Having decided to write about the Lords, colleagues in the daily commentating trade found they had to turn their attention to the Liberal Democrats instead. My heart went out to them. Some jettisoned their original thoughts, while others tried to combine the two subjects along the lines Lords - constitutional reform - Lib Dems' influence on same - Ashdown and Blair, closeness of - whither constitutional reform? - whither Lib Dems?

Christmas details answers

The 1998 Christmas Details showed 16 points of light shining out of a surrounding darkness. Which paintings were they from? Many entries came close to identifying them all, but one devilish detail defeated all but a few: number 5, The Death of Lucretia, by that proto-photo-realist of the Baroque, Guido Cagnacci. It was variously guessed as Correggio, Leonardo, Etty, Courbet and GF Watts - but mostly as "?". Only 10 entrants got it, and they got all the others right as well. A case of champagne goes to Lilian and David Petty of Stockport; and a bottle each to A McKeegan of St Paul's Cray, Kent; Suzy Croft of London, SW11; and William Gallagher of Dublin.

Dance: Beautiful? Yes. Thrilling? Noh

Sankai Juku Sadler's Wells, EC1 Gilles Jobin ICA, SW1

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Medici chapel roof crumbles
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
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Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
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The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
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Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

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The West needs more than a White Knight

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'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
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Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
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