November 15, 2012 |
To say that John Hawkes and Helen Hunt are "relaxed" around each other - after spending a month last year making "The Sessions," a film that reveals a strikingly intimate series of sex therapy sessions - doesn't quite do justice to their friendship. A good clue comes early on when Hunt, all mock seriousness, answers a question that hasn't been asked. "We had a torrid affair," she says with the air of one just trying to help. "You know that - I thought that was in the press materials.
November 8, 2012 |
You can't blame Quvenzhané Wallis for not knowing what to make of hummus, pita chips and fancily carved crudités. A staple of so many Beverly Hills ladies who lunch isn't exactly comfort food to the 9-year-old actress, whose preferred diet in Houma, La., is more likely to include a hamburger from McDonald's. But like her new food choices, Wallis' life is becoming a lot more complicated. The star of "Beasts of the Southern Wild" is now considered a favorite to be nominated for a lead actress Academy Award, a preternatural outcome that would put the fourth-grader in the company of likely nominees Jennifer Lawrence ("Silver Linings Playbook")
November 8, 2012 |
When Ben Affleck began casting his acclaimed political-thriller "Argo," the first number he dialed was Alan Arkin's. And the moment Arkin comes on screen as Lester Siegel, the past-his-prime schlock movie producer asked by the CIA to set up a fake movie project to help extract six Americans from Iran, you see why he topped Affleck's wish list. Arkin plays the showbiz satire straight, which makes the one-liners all the funnier, and he imbues his Hollywood has-been with the bone-deep knowledge that, in this town, appearances are everything.
November 8, 2012 |
"I put up with those people who look through me as if I were invisible because all they can see is the great and glorious genius, Alfred Hitchcock. " - Alma Reville Hitchcock, as portrayed by Helen Mirren in "Hitchcock" It's not easy being a great man's wife. This fall, several high-end dramas go behind closed doors of tough marriages to explore how formidable women routinely get a lot of grief, but not a lot of credit, for spurring their husbands on to mighty accomplishments.
November 7, 2012 |
Sitting here in Best Picture Limbo, thumbing through the year-old magazines (Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively? No way that works!) and waiting for the bell to ring on the remaining Oscar candidates - "Zero Dark Thirty," "Django Unchained," "Les Miserables," the "Hobbit" movie - we can at least report on one sure-fire contender that's arriving in theaters ... not next month but tomorrow. Consider the movie's pedigree: Its acting ensemble features two Oscar winners and two other actors who have been nominated seven times through the years.
November 7, 2012 |
Richard Gere is on roll. Since January, when the 63-year-old actor's Wall Street-set drama "Arbitrage" premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to a string of glowing reviews, buzz surrounding his star turn as a morally compromised billionaire financier has turned into a veritable din of impending awards season accolades. None of the gurus of gold, however, predicted Gere's current Hollywood hat trick. The preternaturally well-preserved performer's accomplishment: Nabbing a trifecta of lifetime achievement awards - from the Hollywood Film Awards, the Zurich Film Festival and the Hamptons Film Festival - in what must be record time: just under two months flat.
November 6, 2012 |
Forget the bunting and confetti, the balloons and the funny hats. The new symbol of the American election is the oversize touch pad. During the 2008 election, CNN unveiled its "magic wall" and made John King, his fingertips whisking states red and blue, the hippest geek of presidential politics. Four years later, election night 2012 was a visual monument to the iPad generation, with all the major news networks sporting maps equipped with similar wizardry. CNN, MSNBC and Fox News reported returns with speed guaranteed to please the most app-addicted, devoting far more time to CG-heavy demographic deconstruction than to the traditional talking-head gab fest.
November 4, 2012
President: Barack Obama. The president's accomplishments during his first four years - steadying the economy, rescuing the automobile industry and winning passage of measures to stimulate the economy, crack down on financial industry abuses and extend health coverage to millions of uninsured Americans, among others - were all the more remarkable given the stubborn and cynical opposition of Republicans in Congress. His balanced plan for continuing the recovery makes him the clear choice over Mitt Romney, whose tired program of tax cuts for the wealthy and increased military spending is a prescription for disaster.
October 31, 2012
When it comes to so-called sin taxes, tobacco is simple. Food and drink are complicated. Cigarettes cause terrible disease and have no positive side effects. Taxes on them clearly reduce smoking and contribute to public health. But healthy eating requires balancing both the quantity of calories and the quality of those calories - does the food also deliver protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals? As a result, efforts to tax junk foods or regulate dietary behavior are almost sure to have logical inconsistencies.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 29, 2012 |
San Francisco bureau chief Maria L. La Ganga wrote a LATExtra section article about her city's celebrations after the Giants won the World Series on Sunday night. But one erroneous line in the article jumped out at readers -- a reference to the Giants having "left Brooklyn behind to play their first season" in San Francisco in 1958. "Oh, the horror!" Bob Ewing of Whittier wrote to The Times. "I may have been a Jersey boy, but I knew that the Giants played in Manhattan, the Yankees just a short distance away in the Bronx, and the Dodgers in that 'city across the river' known as Brooklyn.