Arts and Entertainment Family values: 'It's a Wonderful Life'

The Independent's film critic selects the ten best festive flicks

Film: How to make a film take off: just add wings

Hollywood's celestial craze is a reaction against materialism (and it really pulls in the punters).

Top 10 video rentals

1 Men in Black - Tommy Lee Jones & Will Smith (PG)

Profile: Mike Figgis: Leaving Las Newcastle

Paul Mungo meets the British film director who has taken on the Hollywood system - and beaten it

LONDON TOP TEN

1 / LA CONFIDENTIAL

Box-office london

1 LA Confidential

Box-office UK

1 The Full Monty

Fan Facts: Nicolas Cage (star of `Face/Off')

Prize-winning: Cage picked up a Best Actor Oscar for his moving performance of a drunk trying to kill himself through the bottle in Leaving Las Vegas.

Film Reviews: The changing face of sci-fi with a heart

About a decade ago, there was a rash of silly, airy fantasies, all of them descended from Disney's Freaky Friday, in which people swapped identities the way children trade bubblegum cards. The new thriller Face/Off is a more imaginative work than any of those films, but is it a more sophisticated one?

Wooed from the heart

It is hardly surprising to discover that the high-octane violence of John Woo has been censored. But Ryan Gilbey finds the director is a man who treasures emotion in his films and yearns for the human touch.

Media: Good Ad Bad Ad-GGT Wrigley's

In which a leading advertising expert picks some of the best and worst around. This week Dave Buonoguidi, joint creative director, St Luke's, on television commercials high and low

THE EYE ON PRIZES: THE GREAT VIDEO GIVEAWAY

One of last summer's blockbusters, The Rock (cert 15) starring Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage, is a cocktail of action, adventure and comedy which boasts a well- crafted script. After its success at the box office, The Rock is now available to buy on video (pounds 14.99).

Just sit back and enjoy...

You probably thought that the Coen Brothers' movies were intricately woven, philosophically abstruse meditations on life, death and madness. You couldn't be more wrong. They're all about showing you a good time. By Ryan Gilbey

Film: Box-office charts

Top 10 UK (23-27 July) Total gross to 27 July

GENERAL RELEASE

ABSOLUTE POWER (15)
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried