August 14, 2016
As Florence Foster Jenkins ambles back into the limelight - with her famously campy fake angel wings graciously bequeathed to Meryl Streep - she is not simply a batty high-society lady singing intricate opera arias very badly, but a figure of ever-deepening mystery. The new film Florence Foster Jenkins , starring Streep and directed by Stephen Frears ( The Queen, High Fidelity ), suggests the Wilkes-Barre-born heiress (who also lived in Philadelphia during a falling-out with her family)
August 10, 2016 |
If a movie ever seemed blessed right out of the gate, it's the clever, classy, musical comedy Florence Foster Jenkins . The true story of the New York socialite who came to be known as the "Diva of Din" after singing - terribly - at Carnegie Hall, it's powered by world-class talents. Stephen Frears ( The Queen , High Fidelity ) directs, and film greats Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant grace the screen as the Wilkes Barre-born Florence and her husband, St. Clair Bayfield. But somehow - and almost miraculously - the picture, which opens Friday, truly comes alive when the leads are joined by costar Simon Helberg.
July 17, 2016
Her Again Becoming Meryl Streep By Michael Schulman; HarperCollins. 293 pp. $26.99 Reviewed by Carrie Rickey 'Superlatives stick to her like thumbtacks," Michael Schulman writes early in his chronicle of the making of America's most-acclaimed actress. It is a sign that he comes not to bury her, but to puncture her with praise. The book's title comes courtesy of Streep's 2012 Oscar acceptance speech for her role as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady . "When they called my name," she said, "I had this feeling, I could hear half of America going, 'Ohhh, no. Oh, come on. Why?
November 1, 2015 |
Room A woman and her 5-year-old are held captive in a garden shed - the only reality the boy, born there, has ever known. Amazing, gripping, scary, beautiful adaptation of the Emma Donoghue novel (by the writer herself), deftly directed by Lenny Abrahamson. Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay are extraordinary as the mother and son. R Suffragette Set in 1912 London, a fictional tale built upon the historic fight for women's voting rights. Carey Mulligan is a lowly laundry worker who has a political awakening, joins a band of activists who throw rocks and blow up mailboxes, and gets tossed into prison for her trouble.
October 19, 2015 |
As Halloween approaches, scares pop up everywhere: haunted houses, spooky decorations, horror movies. The scariest word? Feminist. Boo! Are you terrified? Was Meryl Streep? When asked in a recent interview whether she considered herself a feminist, Streep answered: "I'm a humanist. " My head spun like Linda Blair's in The Exorcist . I barely flinch at the nervous equivocating or outright rejection of feminism coming from young starlets. I chalk that up to the ignorance of youth or the real fear of alienating the powerful men who remain the gatekeepers in Hollywood.
December 27, 2014 |
'Foolishness can happen in the woods," Chris Pine, as the handsome Prince, sings to Emily Blunt, as the Baker's Wife who has just planted an adulterous kiss on said preening royal in Into the Woods. And, indeed, there is much foolishness to be found in Rob Marshall's adaptation of the James Lapine/Stephen Sondheim musical, a jolly mash-up of symbol-laden, signature once-upon-a-time tales about lust, envy, greed, and misguided pursuits of happiness. Happily, the idea of bringing Into the Woods to the screen turns out not to be one of those foolish acts.
September 23, 2014 |
PRINCETON - Meryl Streep, the Takacs Quartet, and Philip Roth aren't names likely to be seen together, much less people found in the same concert hall. Yet Princeton University Concerts presented all three in Richardson Auditorium on Friday evening, with the quartet playing Arvo Pärt and Franz Schubert, Streep reading extensively from the 2006 novel Everyman , and its author, Roth, listening in the audience - in a one-time-only event that guaranteed a packed house. Interdisciplinary events are a priority for Princeton University Concerts, this one building on a similar Takacs program presented at Carnegie Hall in 2007, with Philip Seymour Hoffman reading Roth's accounts of how everyday people decline, die, are grieved and remembered.
August 15, 2014 |
"THE GIVER" is a bit of a dud on-screen, and we might have seen it coming - writing about an emotionless society is one thing, filming one is quite another. The movie is drawn from Lois Lowry's popular and influential novel of tweens growing up in an authoritarian society where citizens take a daily injection of drugs to dull their feelings. More disturbingly, leaders of the blandly named "Community" come up with Orwellian language to describe the actions they take to maintain rigid uniformity - troublesome infants and burdensome elderly are released and removed to "elsewhere" via lethal injection, shown in graphic detail in one particularly gruesome scene.
March 11, 2014 |
FRED DILGER was a big-time residential designer in Manhattan and Atlanta when, he said, "You get to the end of the rainbow and you ask, 'Is this all there is?' I wanted something more. " Seven years ago, he found that something. He suddenly gave up his career and all his worldly possessions to become a Franciscan friar in Kensington, living among and feeding the poor. At St. Francis Inn, the core team of Franciscan friars, nuns and lay staff served 151,699 hot meals last year to the neighborhood's most desperately poor men, women and children.
February 10, 2014 |
THE WEEK WAS marked by the sad, stunning news of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman 's tragic death and the subsequent outpouring of emotion - along with some lesser celebrity goings-on. Yesterday A private funeral was held for Hoffman at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in Manhattan, the same church that hosted the funerals of Aaliyah and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis . Among the mourners, Cate Blanchett , Spike Lee , Joaquin Phoenix and Meryl Streep , the New York Daily News reported.