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?

Dance: Beautiful? Yes. Thrilling? Noh

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

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.

Medici chapel roof crumbles

Medici chapel roof crumbles
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All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans