‘The most boring part’: why the killer didn’t matter to Georges Simenon

Reading group Georges Simenon Identifying the murderer in Maigret and the Man on the Bench is of scant concern to a writer preoccupied with deeper secrets Georges Simenon, pictured in 1962. Photograph: Stuart Heydinger/the Observer It isn’t normal to begin reviews of detective novels by…

Trust your nose: what rich people can learn from Parasite

Parasite Bong Joon-ho’s savage Oscar-winning satire offers plenty of helpful insights into how the wealthy can avoid being preyed on by the less fortunate Warning: contains spoilers Get a smaller table … the oblivious Park family in Parasite. Photograph: CJ ENM Corporation, Barunson E&A Now…

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Brit awards 2020: who will win every award … and who should

Brit awards Lewis Capaldi could sweep the board in his breakthrough year, but he faces strong competition from Stormzy, Dave and Michael Kiwanuka Contenders … from left, Stormzy, FKA twigs and Lewis Capaldi. Composite: PA/Redferns/Getty Images Group of the year ColdplayFoalsBring Me the HorizonD-Block EuropeBastille…

From rep to reps: can a ‘Shakespeare gym’ solve the crisis in verse-speaking?

Acting From rep to reps: can a ‘Shakespeare gym’ solve the crisis in verse-speaking? Michael Billington The Royal Shakespeare Company has vowed to drill the Bard’s rhythms into its actors – but our alienation from his language runs deeper Ear-opening … Paapa Essiedu as the…

Rose McGowan says she regrets Natalie Portman Oscars dress comments

Film McGowan tweets that she ‘lost sight of the bigger picture’ after calling fellow actor a ‘fraud’ ‘All voices are valid’ … Rose McGowan, centre, stands with other accusers of Harvey Weinstein outside the New York Supreme Court on the first day of his criminal…

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Tyll by Daniel Kehlmann review – plague, war and practical jokes

Book of the day Fiction The talented Austro-German has created a dazzling, picaresque romp but he squanders the potential of his best character Daniel Kehlmann ‘puts us deftly inside Tyll’s fretful mind.’ Photograph: Alejandro García/EPA-EFE Time and again, Daniel Kehlmann’s novels feature an artist whose…

Maaza Mengiste on the Ethiopian women who fought Italy – books podcast

The Italian invasion of 1935 is a pivotal moment in Ethiopia’s history. The novelist Maaza Mengiste explains how she discovered that women had been written out of this story, and why her novel The Shadow King circles around seen and unseen photographs. And Aida Edemariam…

Rogue colons, endless ellipses: the worst grammar crimes in film titles

Film New Austen adaptation Emma. puts the period into period dramas. What other film titles include incongruous punctuation? Point of no return … egregious examples of film punctuation. mother! In “the most Darren Aronofsky thing of all time”, the director decided on having the exclamation…

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Harvey Weinstein jury carries weight of #MeToo into deliberations

Harvey Weinstein Twelve New Yorkers will walk out of courtroom 99 on Tuesday to decide the case that triggered a movement Courtroom sketch of the jury listening to testimony during film producer Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault trial. Photograph: Jane Rosenberg/Reuters Seven men and five women…

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