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

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

CINEMA : Crash: did we wait so long for this?

'Beyond depravity' was the verdict of one commentator. Westminster Council agreed. But the fuss was surely misplaced

THE EYE ON NEW FILMS

Crash

Cinema: Drunk and wasted in south London

Gary Oldman has gone back to his roots for his directorial debut, and it's a tough tale of drink, drugs and dysfunction. By Simon Tiffin

CINEMA: Return of the Lynch mob

Ever since `Twin Peaks', David Lynch's career has foundered. Dennis Lim asks if his new film marks a return to form

TAKING A LEAF OUT OF FIGGIS'S BOOK: Film

With his fuzzy head of curls and droopy Sixties tash, pioneering actor, jazz musician and film director, Mike Figgis, doesn't resemble your typical Renaissance man, or, for that matter, a power-broking player in the movie business. Yet this unorthodox Geordie has the kind of rocket- fuelled energy and charisma to succeed at three careers when most of us can only scratch a living from one.

New Films: Home for the Holidays

Director: Jodie Foster. Starring: Holly Hunter, Robert Downey Jr, Anne Bancroft, Charles Durning (15)

A little shaken, but not stirred

FILM

Film: Machine guns and oboes

THE ROCK Michael Bay (15); San Francisco threatened by deadly bath products? Sounds like a tough job for Connery and Cage. By Adam Mars-Jones

Film: Fading starshine

THE OSCARS: Ryan Gilbey takes a cool look at this year's victors

I'd just like to thank...

Not so fast. Very little is clear-cut about this year's Academy Awards, except that the British should be worried. At least, that's what they're saying in Hollywood. By Daniel Jeffreys

Sense, sensibility and Austen's seven nominations

Jane Austen was not represented in any category but her modern co-writer, Emma Thompson, made Hollywood history yesterday, earning Oscar nominations for both best actress and best screenplay. The Academy Awards will be presented on 25 March.

Self-loathing in Las Vegas

A brilliant film, a hymn to self-destructiveness: Mike Figgis is back and on form.

CAGED HEAT

After years of 'wacko Method masochism', Nicolas Cage is being tipped for an Oscar. David Thomson talked to him

The main events

QUENTIN CURTIS'S GUIDE TO THE LONDON FILM FESTIVAL 1995

also showing; He's a cloud. She's a blade of grass

Ermo Zhou Xiaowen (no cert)
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Moss and Grimshaw arrive at the party
peopleKate Moss, Claudia Schiffer and Nick Grimshaw at Jonathan Ross's Halloween party
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Boys to men: there’s nothing wrong with traditional ‘manly’ things, until masculinity is used to exclude people
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Arts and Entertainment
Armstrong, left, and Bain's writing credits include Peep Show, Fresh Meat, and The Old Guys
TVThe pair have presented their view of 21st-century foibles in shows such as Peep Show and Fresh Meat
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Bryan Adams' heartstopping images of wounded British soldiers to go on show at Somerset House

Bryan Adams' images of wounded soldiers

Taken over the course of four years, Adams' portraits are an astonishing document of the aftermath of war
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities