Life and Style

(Clockwise from top) 1. Fall in Rose Lipstick, £21, lancome.co.uk

A Single Man, Tom Ford, 100 mins (12A)

Tom Ford's cinematic love letter to the Sixties, starring Colin Firth as a bereaved, gay Englishman in LA, hits the spot as a highbrow weepie

A Single Man (12A)

Slight, but it's perfectly formed

Hit & Run: Party like it's 1962

Tomorrow, A Single Man, the debut feature by fashion designer Tom Ford, hits British screens. It stars Colin Firth as a gay man trying to come to terms with the death of his lover in Los Angeles in 1962. Why 1962? Because everything at the moment is set in the early 1960s. An Education, Lone Scherfig’s film of Lynn Barber’s story about her seduction, while a teenager, by a plausible middle-aged man, is set in 1961. Mad Men was initially set in 1961 and the third series, currently showing on BBC2, takes us through 1963 right to the cataclysmic events of November.

Philip Hensher: Polite guests always eat the weirdest meat

What a nightmare. You're asked out to dinner by some new friends. You really want to be a good guest – they're nice people, you want the evening to be a cheerful one. They take your coat, sit you down, give you a drink and a peanut. And then you notice that there's a slightly strange smell permeating everything. You don't say anything just yet, but they must have noticed something. "We're cooking you our favourite dish," they say. "It's a family favourite." "How lovely. What is it?" you say. "Boiled seal," they reply. "The kiddies clamour for it."

Mirren and Hornby lead British charge

Helen Mirren fulfils the unofficial requirement for at least one British Dame to be in the running for a Best Actress Oscar, but the big story for home-grown talent this year involves two of our most celebrated comic writers: Nick Hornby and Armando Iannucci.

Gay actors face obstacles

Colin Firth claimed today that gay actors risk missing out on work if they come out. The actor stars as gay college professor George Falconer in A Single Man, directed by Tom Ford, the US fashion designer who turned around the Gucci label before heading to Hollywood.

Editor-At-Large: A 999 call is a call for help. Pity the police don't know

If you're being harassed or threatened by your neighbours, I hope you don't live in Leicestershire. Fiona Pilkington, who killed herself and her mentally disabled daughter after enduring a decade of abuse from anti-social youths, made 33 unavailing complaints to Leicester police. Joanne Butler, who suffered from mental problems and depression, called 999 twice as she was being battered to death by a neighbour in 2006. Leicester police were too busy to attend, and her body was later found in her burnt-out flat.

Colin Firth: Single man's hero

Colin Firth has taken the film world by storm with his performance as a grieving professor

Snooker: O'Sullivan into next round as Allen stages comeback

Former champion Ronnie O'Sullivan beat Stuart Bingham 5-1 to reach the second round of the Welsh Open in Newport yesterday.

Move over, Mr Humphries: The changing face of gay culture

After decades of camp stereotypes on film and TV, gay culture is not only mainstream, says Philip Hensher, but is booming. He salutes Doctor Who, The Wire and Glee, but wonders why it has taken so long for homosexuality to become unexceptional

How Tom Ford became the toast of Hollywood

His racy collections for Gucci defined a decade of style. Now fashion's 'Mr Sex' is making movies – and winning huge acclaim. Veteran Tom Ford-watcher Tim Blanks explains why the designer's new role is one he's always been destined to play

George Clooney film leads Golden Globe nominations

The tale of a corporate hatchet man who travels the US sacking people and obsessively collecting air-miles has emerged as front-runner in the early stages of Hollywood’s awards season, as George Clooney’s recession-era satire Up In The Air drew six nominations to lead the field for next month’s Golden Globes.

Firth wins Best Actor award for portrayal of gay professor

Britain's Colin Firth has won the prize for best actor at the Venice film festival for his portrayal of a college professor grappling with solitude after his gay lover's death.

Tom Ford: From fashion to film

He's best known as the designer who sexed up Gucci and the catwalks in the Nineties. Now Tom Ford has turned his hand to directing with his movie debut, 'A Single Man'. Kaleem Aftab reports from Venice

Dress code: Barry Alford, Grooming Guru

What are you wearing right now?

Well, it's early morning in California. So I'm wearing my red velvet slippers.

News
The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
people
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

Sport
football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
News
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
News
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister
news

Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Salisbury ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities

The city is home to one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, along with the world’s oldest mechanical clock
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album