Voices

This definition of anti-Semitism has been too stretched for too long

FILM: Stick up for Brit flicks

When it comes to home-grown movies, we're their harshest critics. MATTHEW SWEET deplores a long and ignoble tradition

Will the real Bilbo Baggins please stand up

Whenever I think about Mike Leigh's new film, Vera Drake, the one about abortion in the 1950s, I worry. Not about abortion. Not even about the1950s. What I worry about is how many women there are out there in real life who are called Vera Drake and whose life is being made difficult by it.

The best of 2004: reference books reviewed

Fighting talk in the year of chavs

How a £1.25m 'blind grant' led to Leigh's Venice triumph

Mike Leigh's portrait of a 1950s working class wife and mother who "helps out" pregnant girls by performing illegal, back-street abortions has been hailed as his greatest film since Secrets and Lies. But when the UK Film Council agreed to stump up £1.25m to fund the film, it had no clear plot or script and was simply known as Untitled '03.

THEATRE: Great minds do not think alike

A play dramatising the wartime struggle between De Gaulle and Churchill is just one of Paris's current stage successes. Why? By Paul Taylor

THE 1990s IN REVIEW: CINEMA - Hollywood takes over the world

In Britain, we had `Trainspotting' and `Four Weddings'. But overall, American blockbusters triumphed. By Gilbert Adair

`Third Man' heads list of century's top British movies

A FILM whose two stars were both American has been voted the best British motion picture of the century. Carol Reed's enduring version of Graham Greene's The Third Man, starring Orson Welles and Joseph Cotten, has come top in a poll of 1,000 directors, actors, producers and screenwriters.

Film: Who's the daddy now?

Tim Roth's directing debut focuses on incest. Is he pointing at a hidden past or exploiting a controversial topic?

Edinburgh Festival '99: Too close for comfort

THEATRE Riddance Traverse Theatre, Venue 15 (0131-228 1404) to 4 Sept

Books: An Aesop's fable from the dead zone

The Nudist Colony

Film: They weren't all 'Life of Brian'

REMEMBER Lenny Henry transformed by latex into a white man in True Identity, his 1991 foray into Hollywood? Or Rik Mayall in Drop Dead Fred, a film condemned by Halliwell's Film Guide as a "singularly tasteless comedy, lacking any vestige of wit"?

Film: Meet our reluctant friend in the North

Gina McKee really doesn't like interviews. But she's a star now. Does she need to loosen up?

Focus: A patio to die for

Once it was the height of suburban aspiration. Now it's for burying bodies

Young, gifted and criminally ignored

'Secrets and Lies' showed Marianne Jean-Baptiste to be one of our brightest talents, so why has she had to go abroad to look for work? She talks to Andrew Gumbel

Offers: Win Tickets To See 'cold Feet And Wet Toes' And Free Day Passes To The Sanctuary

Cold Feet and Wet Toes is a new, part-Bridget Jones, part-Mike Leigh comedy about two twentysomething women who juggle sex with careers and
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Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
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Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas
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Independent Travel
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 Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all