Roman Polanski

Battle of the briefs as ex-minister and wife get court date

Chris Huhne was never the centre of a show quite like this in his years as a fast-rising politician. Cameras, lights, celebrity lawyers, piped music and a nutcase in fancy dress were all there to enliven up a short and very routine court hearing.

Carnage, Venice Film Festival

Roman Polanski likes confined spaces. Knife in the Water, Cul-de-Sac, Repulsion and Rosemary's Baby all had a determinedly claustrophobic feel. So does Carnage (a world premiere in Venice.) The difference here is that this is a comedy, albeit a barbed and vicious one. Adapted from Yasmina Reza's play, it is a chamber piece, lasting barely 80 minutes. Thanks to the coruscating dialogue and four tremendous central performances, the film transcends its stage origins. Not since Richard Burton and Liz Taylor tore strips off each other in the movie version of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? has there been a film that has probed so pitilessly into the lives of middle-class couples.

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Swinton: 'It's a horror film, a love story, a war film, not social

A best-selling novel unnervingly brought to life by the British film-maker Lynne Ramsay has so far been the competition highlight of the Cannes Film Festival. Based on the 2003 book by Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin stars Tilda Swinton and is directed by Glasgow-born Ramsay, who made her feature debut in Cannes in 1999 with the acclaimed Ratcatcher and whose last film was Morvern Callar in 2002.

It's time to grow up, advisers tell Sarkozy

Almost four years after taking office, President Nicolas Sarkozy has decided to become the President of France. That is to say, he has been instructed by his advisers that his hopes of re-election next spring will increase enormously if he acts in a more "presidential" manner.

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