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 THE nominations ARE...

Woody Allen rehabilitated; British thespians applauded. Phil Reeves on how the Oscars are going down in LA

A comedian comes in from the cold

Woody Allen rehabilitated; British thespians applauded. Phil Reeves on how the Oscars are going down in LA

Grant wins Golden Globe Oscar hopes boosted

Hugh Grant's prospects of being nominated for an Oscar as this year's best actor are looking rosier, after he walked away with a Golden Globe award for his performance in the hugely successful British film, Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Film: Divided they stand, together they fall?

It should have been a smash, but Warren Beatty and Annette Bening's remake of `An Affair to Remember' is an affair to forget. David Thomson shows how a control freak went wrong wron

Letter: Forrest Gump is not a moron

QUENTIN Curtis's review of Forrest Gump ('Gump: simple, but ineffective', 9 October) says that 'a man with an IQ of 75 would barely be able to tie his shoe-laces'.

FILM / Charts

----------------------------------------------------------------- TOP 10 LONDON ----------------------------------------------------------------- 1(-) Forrest Gump. . . . . . . . . . .US 2(1) Speed. . . . . . . . . . . . . . US 3(-) The Lion King. . . . . . . . . . US 4(2) Clear and Present Danger. . . . .US 5(3) The Mask. . . . . . . . . . . . .US 6(4) True Lies. . . . . . . . . . . . US 7(6) When a Man Loves a Woman. . . . .US 8(7) The Last Seduction. . . . . . . .US 9(5) Four Weddings and a Funeral. . . UK 10(9) Dazed and Confused. . . . . . . .US -----------------------------------------------------------------

FILM / Gump: simple, but ineffective

LIKE a cinematic Prozac, Forrest Gump (12) is in the process of anaesthetising America out of caring or criticism. The film is as passive and simple- minded as its hero, the mentally retarded Forrest, and it has become one of the top five box- office grossers of all time. It is a symptom of America's weariness: a security blanket, thrown over the last 30 years' history and clutched for dear life by a harrowed nation. If all these metaphors are muddling their way towards the hospital ward, that is not just an indication of this viewer's condition after a 142-minute ordeal. It hints at the movie's clinical proficiency. In Gump's Brave New World, the cinematic is edging its way towards the narcotic.

FILM / Getting the Gump: Forrest Gump not only tells the story of a blank, it draws one too, writes Adam Mars-Jones. Plus round-up

Forrest Gump has taken America by storm. More fool America. Forrest Gump is an orgy of fake wonder. Robert Zemeckis's film tells the story of three decades or so of American life - from the Fifties through into the Eighties - as seen through the eyes of a man with no intellect and a big, big heart. The people behind the camera present a complementary personality profile, being smart enough but shameless.

INTERVIEW / Huge: Having won one Oscar, Tom Hanks is bidding for a second by playing a retard. And the multiplex tills are ringing. Hanks may be America's most liked person. But what price likeability when another Hollywood nice guy is on trial for murder?

'AMERICA'S Gone Gump,' shout the ads as the success of Forrest Gump spreads. They have a point: in its 12th week of release in America, Gump went back to the No 1 box-office spot for the week. Its sweet endorsement of ignorance and the absence of critical thinking are as satisfying as sleep. Gump may retreat from responsibility but it amassed dollars 239m ( pounds 153m) in rentals with it, and . . .

Much more Mr Nice Guy: In Hollywood, Nice (as played by Forrest Gump) is wiping the box-office floor with Nasty (starring Natural Born Killers). By Sheila Johnston

It was, on reflection, never going to be a fair contest. On the side of the devils, the Hollywood bad boys: Oliver Stone (director) and Quentin Tarantino (writer), firing on all cylinders with Natural Born Killers: a film so consumed by carnage that it took five trips to the US ratings board before it was passed for public delectation (and even then it carries a caveat of unprecedented length and detail).

Drunk on romance: Last week, Lynette Ross described how she and two friends placed a joint advertisement in 'Private Eye'. This week, they squabble over the replies

Three excellent wines 1957- 60, each seek new man with taste. Honeyed, mellow white with superb nose; smooth, oaky burgundy with good legs; warm vivacious claret with pleasing body. Are you vintage 1950- 1963? Witty, successful, single, extremely attractive? Photograph and letter please.

'And I am not just saying that . . .': The Oscars

THE OSCARS: Once a year they leave the security of Beverly Hills and the San Fernando Valley to venture into downtown Los Angeles. Stepping out of their limos on to a two-speed red carpet (slow lane for megastars, fast lane for co-stars), they take their places in the charade that is the Academy Awards. Phil Reeves looked on from the wings

FILM / Video

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FILM / Right of Reply

I FEEL obliged to respond to some of the criticism directed at the motion picture Philadelphia, so the world can return its attentions to less pressing matters, like the civil war in Bosnia.

'I'm pretty much the absolute apex of a charming, disarming, likable kind of personage': Tom Hanks, perfectly chosen as Hollywood's first Aids hero, talks to Simon Garfield

On Saturday nights the President of the United States likes to hang loose and screen movies at the White House. A few weeks ago he showed Philadelphia, the Aids drama. Tom Hanks, the star of the movie - the star who dies at the end of the movie - turned up to meet the Pres and First Lady and share the gourmet popcorn. Bill and Hillary had a few doubts about some of the courtroom details.
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Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
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Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
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Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

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Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

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Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project