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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Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

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Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
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The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
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Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
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Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

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Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
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Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
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Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence