Film: Making a land fit for heroines

For his latest film, The Land Girls, David Leland sent his three leading actors on a course in farming and shot a sex

Who definitely isn't behaving badly

Interview: Rachel Weisz (that's 'vice' to you) is not your usual cover-girl pretty actress. Charlotte Moore finds her revelling in the frumpy character she plays in her latest film, 'The Land Girls', and determined to beat the tabloid rap

Film: Why can't life be a Meg Ryan movie?

Catherine von Ruhland answers that question and asks another: What do the movies suggest we do when destiny calls?

Books: All boys' complaint

About a Boy by Nick Hornby Gollancz, pounds 15.99 No More Mister Nice Guy by Howard Jacobson Jonathan Cape, pounds 15.99

Books: Paddy Clarke, no no no

ABOUT A BOY by Nick Hornby Gollancz pounds 15.99

Pussy galore

When the Cat's Away Cedric Klapisch (U)


Worry beads in one hand, hookah in the other, lovestruck Khan Guirei sits staring into the distance. Wracked with desire for Maria, the fair-skinned Polish beauty - kidnapped by the Tartar chieftain during his last bloody battle and now imprisoned in his harem at Bakhchisarai (ancient seat of the Khanate Crimea) - Guirei takes no interest in the parade of women who are unceremoniously shoved under his nose by a pair of eunuchs.

Theatre : Dandy, but not quite fine

THE travels of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya continue: from Anthony Hopkins's Clwyd to Louis Malle's Manhattan, and now to Derrywhere Field Day's touring production opened last week.

THEATRE / How to make drama out of a melodrama out of a crisis

WHEN George Bernard Shaw admitted that his plots were less than original, uppermost in his thoughts would have been The Devil's Disciple. His third play, which is set in the American War of Independence, is structured around set-piece scenes in which the conventions of melodrama are humbly obeyed.

THEATRE / A twist in the cocktail: Paul Taylor on Design for Living at the Donmar

The design on the poster and the programme for Sean Mathias's revelatory Donmar revival of Design for Living is studiedly deceptive. At first (or even second and third) glance, you seem to be looking at a cocktail glass into which an olive is tumbling from on high. Then it dawns on you that the olive might actually be a navel, and that the glass has a pair of vertical lips swimming in it . . .

THEATRE / 25 under 35: It's the role for actresses of that uncertain age. Today, Imogen Stubbs. Tomorrow . . ? Georgina Brown plays casting director

There are a handful of big classical roles for women - Rosalind, Hedda, Cleopatra and St Joan among them - exciting and exacting parts that present an actress with a chance to prove herself to be extraordinary, a chance indeed to stake her claim as an heir to greatness. St Joan, a glorious part in dire danger of being smothered in a flood of other people's words, is perhaps the trickiest of all. An actress needs infinite variety; she must be boyish, brusque, inspired, exalted, mannerless, tactless, victimised and victorious. The best - Eileen Atkins, Judi Dench, Frances de la Tour, Joan Plowright - have made gold of the material. Last week it was Imogen Stubbs's turn.

BOOK REVIEW / Let's hear it for golden oldies: 'The Fountain of Age' - Betty Friedan: Cape, 17.99 pounds and 'Singing in Tune with Time: Stories and Poems about Ageing' - ed Elizabeth Cairns: Virago/Age Concern, 6.99 pounds

IT APPEARS that we are heading for a 12-year discrepancy between the life expectancy of women and that of men. Betty Friedan discovered early on that, at least in America, when a man's wife dies, unless he remarries he is more likely to follow suit within the next two years than other men of his age, whereas the same isn't true of a woman whose husband dies: she goes on living. This might sound like feminist crowing, but in fact Friedan's experience in feminism gives her a lead in her new field: youngish people setting up as experts on the old are no better than men setting up as experts on women.
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