News Tom Hanks in the 2000 film Castaway

In a story similar to the plot of the film Castaway starring Tom Hanks, Jose Ivan was found on the atoll having floated 8,000 miles from Mexico

And this year's winner is ... unlikely to be a home-grown screen star

A world-weary Michael Caine in 'The Quiet American' receives nomination for best actor against Pacino and Nicholson

Television Review: Omnibus

IN HIS NOVEL Misery, about a popular author whose "number one fan" imprisons him and cuts off his feet, Stephen King produced the best-known and scariest satire on the cult of the celebrity author. So it was ironic, and more than a little disappointing, to see him fall victim, in a different way, to the same cult in last night's Omnibus (BBC1).

Paperback fighters

Forget the cluttered mustiness of the traditional bookshop. The gloves are off, and now the big booksellers are doing battle.



Letter: Hyping Ryan

Sir: I wonder if Brian Sibley is being fair to the vision of Steven Spielberg in saying that Saving Private Ryan was over-hyped because it contains high levels of realism in its combat scenes ("Hollywood's most over-hyped films", 15 July).

The Critics: Videos

Saving Private Ryan (15) Steven Spielberg's half-hour opening sequence - a graphic rendition of the Omaha Beach landing - is everything it's been made out to be: visceral film-making that immerses the audience in what might be the bloodiest action set-piece in Hollywood history before any of the characters are introduced. (It eclipses everything in the fatuous Shakespeare in Love, this year's Oscar winner for Best Picture.) But it's disheartening to see how swiftly Saving Private Ryan reverts to war-movie cliches. The master manipulator's Second World War epic, hyperbolically lauded as "the greatest war film ever made" by many American critics, is concerned with the rescue of a Private Ryan (Matt Damon), whose three brothers have been killed in combat. Eight soldiers - a predictably diverse bunch, led by a stolid Tom Hanks - are ordered by the State Department to rescue Ryan. The supporting actors (including Tom Sizemore, Jeremy Davies, and Ed Burns) are mostly fine, and Hanks has never been more moving. But the film strenuously poses their mission as a moral dilemma, which here amounts to little more than a series of clumsily written monologues. The movie's failings are almost as indelible as its achievements: there's no more telling indicator of the suspect Spielberg methodology than John Williams's nauseating score, which hammers "meaning" into every scene it accompanies. And the grotesque bookends - a tear-jerking, flag-waving present-day visit to a Normandy graveyard - are among the most spurious images the director has committed to film.

General Release

AMERICAN HISTORY X (18, 117 mins)

Monday Book: Great minds made simpler


The Oscas: Shame on you, Oscar

David Thomson on tonight's Academy Awards - and why a Holocaust comedy should not even have been considered

Real Style: Play crazy for me

Forget youth and beauty - the secret of winning that Oscar is a disability that tugs on the heartstrings, says STUART HUSBAND

You Ask The Questions: So, Germaine, since animals now have rights, how about men?

Germaine Greer's new book, The Whole Woman, which claims women have settled for a fake equality instead of true liberation, is published next week by Doubleday. Nearly 30 years after she wrote The Female Eunuch, she has been driven to write another feminist polemic by the complacency of a younger generation of women. We asked readers to submit their questions for Dr Greer.
Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
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The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
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Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
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Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn