22-year-old adult James Ashford recently visited Harry Potter World on his own. This is his sorry tale

The Word On... The Reader

"This film is emotionally inert. At the very least, it could be objectionable and offensive – I'd hoped it would be offensive, when I first heard the plot – but no, that would interfere with Stephen Daldry's Prestige Machine." - Tim Brayton,

The Reader, Stephen Daldry, 123 mins, 15

A boy's passion gives way to grown-up German angst as his former lover's ugly past is revealed

Oedipus, National Theatre: Olivier, London <br> A disappearing number, Barbican, London

A harrowing and fateful voyage round his father

Clash of movie titans as Rudin revives 'Reader' row

In sporting terms, it's the Hollywood equivalent of a bloodied prize-fighter suddenly deciding to chuck in the towel and flee the ring in the dying seconds of a long and gruelling heavyweight bout that was almost certainly headed for a draw.

The Duchess (12A)

There are few surprises in The Duchess, other than the director: Saul Dibb, who made punchy street drama Bullet Boy before going upmarket with the BBC's The Line of Beauty. In The Duchess, the sobriety of Dibb's approach makes for an intelligent addition to the historical canon: though perhaps here I, to use an appropriately 18th-century expression, damn with faint praise.

Saul Dibb - from gun-crime to costume drama

How did the director of 'Bullet Boy' make a Keira Knightley costume drama? Kaleem Aftab explains

You Write The Reviews: God of Carnage, Gielgud Theatre, London

On the strength of the play's title you could be forgiven for expecting a gory epic about the war in Afghanistan or Iraq. In reality, the French playwright Yasmina Reza's new drama is about a domestic kind of bloodletting: between husband and wife, man and woman.

First Night: God Of Carnage, Gielgud Theatre, London

Gasp! Middle-class parents lose their sense of humour

Minghella, genius of the screen, dies at 54

Anthony Minghella, the film director whose work included The English Patient and Truly, Madly, Deeply, died yesterday, aged 54, after suffering a haemorrhage at Charing Cross Hospital in London following an operation last week for a growth in his neck.

The talented Mr Minghella

The film debut of director and screenplay writer Anthony Minghella - who won the best director Oscar for The English Patient in 1997 - could not have been better.

The Painted Veil (12A)

Miles Kington: Tall tomes everyone should read on holiday

Sven Goran Eriksson has made all England football fans miserable and many women happy
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William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

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Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
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Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
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Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
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From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

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