Voices

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

Film: The Oscars: Our odds-on favourites

They're just a bunch of no names or three-names, yelled the New York Post, bewailing this year's Oscars' lack of star status: "Billy Bob Who? Armin Mueller Which? Kristin Scott Huh?" Here in Britain, where we recognise that three names help to confer genuine star status, we are looking forward to next Monday rather more.

NO SLOB STORY

Actress KATHY BURKE talks with James Rampton If someone's casting for a bit of rough, you can't get rougher than me

Film crashes into barrier over cuts

Crash, David Cronenberg's disturbing film about a group of people who find car crashes and resulting injuries erotic, has been banned - at least temporarily - from being shown in the West End of London.

Mandy, her lover, the publicist and the doctor: it has all the tragedy and farce of a Mike Leigh film

Rebecca Fowler reports on the unconventional life of the woman who is expecting eight babies

THE CRITICS : Rich, spoilt, and mad to talk

TELEVISION

case study

"And, finally, thank you to the lawyer who put the deal together."

The good, the bad, the ugly

CANNES DIARY Norman Wisdom turned up, and the Hollywood stars stayed at home. But strong entries and the right decisions made this a Cannes Festival to remember. Sheila Johnston, our woman on the Croisette, took notes

THE CRICTICS FILM: Today suburbia, tomorrow the world

That Golden Palm which now casts its dappled shade over Mike Leigh's Secrets & Lies (15) might come as something of an agreeable surprise, for all that it is well deserved; his wanly comic drama about families has many of the qualities of a national family joke, so replete with this country's shared disappointments, half-forgotten grudges and rueful acceptances that you might not think it fully intelligible in Cannes, or anywhere outside these shores. Do audiences in Nancy yelp with laughter, as we do, when Paul (Lee Ross) grunts "Can be, mate" to someone who asks if his work is hard? Will cinema-goers in Helsinki squirm, as we do, when Monica (Phyllis Logan) says of her WC "I think the peach tones make it quite tranquil"? Are Bostonians likely to wince in recognition, as we do, at the shrill maternal whine with which Cynthia (Brenda Blethyn) catechises her daughter Roxanne (Claire Rushbrook) about contraceptive devices?

critics' choice

CINEMA

Film: Life is sweet after all...Secrets and Lies Mike Leigh (15)

Mike Leigh has buried the caricatures and obsessive bleakness to make a sentimental, human melodrama. By Adam Mars-Jones

Film: It's raining in the fast lane

There was high excitement at Cannes this year: a French outsider won the Grand Prix, and crashing cars became sexually charged. Which was nice. By Chris Peachment

Flying off the outside edge

It's no secret that Brenda Blethyn has just been voted Best Actress at Cannes. But it would be a lie to say that success has gone to her head

Cultural ambassadors face curb on global crusade

Budget cuts are threatening the work of the British Council,

Life is (bitter) sweet as Manchester's bard of bleakness wins the top prize at Cannes

Mike Leigh, once a cult British film-maker for manic depressives and students of urban working-class disintegration, yesterday won over the film glitterati.

LIFE IS RARELY SWEET

In 1993, Mike Leigh won top prize at
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