The 50 top films of 2017 in the UK: No 6 The Handmaiden

Sarah Waters’s novel Fingersmith has had a lavish, almost operatically spectacular adaptation by the Korean auteur Park Chan-wook, which isolates and intensifies the keynote of eroticism. The sexuality drenches the superbly designed fixtures, fittings and fabrics of this film and perfumes the intoxicating air that all the characters breathe. This is, arguably, disproportionate to the …

Anti-trans zealots, know this: history will judge you | Owen Jones

It all seems so chillingly familiar. As gay and bisexual men and women were making limited strides in the struggle for equality not so long ago, a furious backlash followed. Today’s media-driven moral panic over trans people and their rights seems like history repeating itself. Over the past few weeks, there have been almost daily …

After this week, I refuse to believe that Brexit is unstoppable | Martin Kettle

Appearances matter a lot in politics. But in the end, the numbers matter more. On Brexit as on everything else, Theresa May has always behaved as if she is a prime minister with a clear parliamentary majority, a united party and a reconciled country behind her. But the reality is that she is none of …

The Tories are savaging libraries – and closing the book on social mobility | John Harris

If they weren’t already here, we’d have to invent them: public spaces, crammed with books, computers and information points, where events and meetings regularly take place, and children in particular get an early taste of the world beyond their own immediate experience. The author Robert Macfarlane says that public libraries are nothing less than “magic …

What Salma Hayek’s Weinstein story reveals about Hollywood power and pay

In Salma Hayek’s blistering and upsetting account in the New York Times of the harassment and threats she received from Harvey Weinstein after she rejected his advances, there was a small but telling description of how deals in Hollywood were made – the sort of secretive, manipulative, imbalanced deals that enabled Weinstein to get away …

Feeling the force: why directing a Hollywood blockbuster is tougher than ever

It was hardly short of work, but “creative differences” must have become the most overused phrase in Hollywood. It was trotted out earlier this year when directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller departed the Han Solo spin-off, and when Colin Trevorrow was jettisoned from Star Wars: Episode IX. Ditto when Edgar Wright left Marvel’s Ant-Man …

Trabzonspor challenge puts Gianni Infantino’s stint at Uefa under scrutiny

The Fifa president, Gianni Infantino, has been accused of permitting a lax approach towards match-fixing when he was Uefa general secretary during the 2010‑11 scandals within Turkish football, which still reverberate years later. Fenerbahce won the 2011 Turkish Super League on goal difference from Trabzonspor but 36 officials and players were later convicted of match-fixing …