Arts and Entertainment Despicable Me 2 grossed £47.4 million at the UK 2013 box office

The Universal Pictures animated movie beat Les Miserables and Iron Man 3

First Night: Twelfth Night, The Cottesloe Theatre, London

Gift of a role: Rebecca Hall stars in her father's play to mark his 80th birthday

DVD: Please Give (15)

"We buy from the children of dead people." Shrewd Manhattan couple Kate and Alex (Catherine Keener and Oliver Platt) run a lucrative vintage furniture store where the stock is acquired from the recently deceased.

Seen any good books lately?

The liberties film-makers take with characters and plot when they adapt well-loved novels too often spoil the stories for fans of the originals, argues Arifa Akbar

Digital Digest: 14/07/2010

The Best Of The Web

Please Give (15)

A beady female point of view

The prostitute murder mysteries

They were bought, used, killed, and then discarded. Today, in some cases years later, their deaths go unsolved

Murder of three prostitutes sparks fears of new 'Ripper'

Thirty years after the Yorkshire Ripper's reign of terror was finally brought to an end, fears over a new serial killer returned yesterday to haunt the city of Bradford.

Observations: Curtains raised on sacred spaces and famous faces

The few minutes immediately before an actor or actress takes to the stage in the theatre is sacred; it's a time for total privacy and preparation. Which is exactly what makes the photographer Simon Annand's images, on display in a new exhibition at the Victoria & Albert museum from 25 January, so special. They are an insight into a hidden world.

Girls on top: The next generation of British actresses

The new generation of British actresses know each other, and many have appeared in the same films and TV dramas. James Mottram reports on a remarkable flowering of fresh talent

DVD: Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Rental and retail, (Optimum)

This breezy tale of two American tourists (Scarlett Johansson and Rebecca Hall) who have their hormones and preconceptions shaken by two Spanish artists (Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz) is the return to form Woody Allen fans had given up hoping for.

DVD: Vicky Cristina Barcelona (12)

Better than Match Point but far from the heights of Manhattan, this Spanish romance is a welcome return to form for Woody Allen.

<a href="http://david-nicholls.livejournal.com/" target="new">David Nicholls' screenwriting blog</a>

David Nicholls trained as an actor before making the switch to writing. His TV credits include the third series of Cold Feet, Rescue Me, and I Saw You. He was co-writer for the film adaptation of Simpatico, which starred Nick Nolte, Jeff Bridges and Sharon Stone. David's bestselling first novel, STARTER FOR TEN, was selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club in 2004. David wrote the screenplay for the film version, released in 2006, starring James McAvoy, Rebecca Hall and Dominic Cooper. He also wrote And When Did you Last See Your Father (2007), with Jim Broadbent and Colin Firth and a much-praised modern adaptation of Tess of the D’Urbervilles (2008), with Gemma Arterton for the BBC. His latest novel, ONE DAY, will be published on 11th June.

Red Riding: Yorkshire noir on TV

Channel 4's trilogy of films based on David Peace's 'Yorkshire noir' novels, will shock even seasoned viewers of crime drama, says Gerard Gilbert

The Word On... Vicky Cristina Barcelona

"The film wouldn't work without its superb acting quartet. Johansson, the latest Allen muse, gives her best performance for him as the capricious Cristina... Yet fittingly it's the Iberian contingent who really shine." - Leigh Singer, www. channel4.com/film

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there