November 8, 2012 |
One of the year's most arresting, heartfelt indies, Sean Baker's "Starlet" trains the flat, harsh San Fernando Valley sun on a pair of checked-out lives testing new interpersonal waters: a fizzy young porn actress and the cranky octogenarian widow she befriends. Dree Hemingway, daughter of Mariel, exudes airy curiosity as young Jane, whose discovery of a stash of cash in a thermos purchased from a yard sale drives her to acts of charity toward its original owner, suburban shut-in Sadie (newcomer Besedka Johnson, whose feisty, affecting turn earned her Special Jury Recognition at SXSW this year)
November 4, 2012 |
Set in the deep recesses of the San Fernando Valley, the film "Starlet" explores an unlikely friendship between a twentysomething girl and an eightysomething woman. After young Jane (Dree Hemingway) buys an old thermos at a yard sale - she thinks it will make a nice vase - she discovers a large amount of cash inside it. Rather than return the money, she begins to insert herself into the life of the woman who sold it to her, offering the elderly Sadie (Besedka Johnson) rides to the market or going with her to bingo.
October 24, 2012 |
There's something shambling and unassuming about "The Flat," a home-movie quality to much of its footage. But it's not just any home that's being examined, and that makes all the difference. Israel's top-grossing documentary of last year as well as the winner of that country's best documentary award, "The Flat" succeeds by being wide-ranging as well as particular. It tells an out-of-the-ordinary personal story and examines broad historical issues of societal memory and selective amnesia, of what is hidden between generations and what is revealed.
October 4, 2012 |
Chris Brown has confronted wide speculation about the status of his relationship with Rihanna by dumping girlfriend Karrueche Tran. That's one way to, uh, clarify what's been happening with Brown and RiRi, as months and months of increased time spent together - and finally a reported makeout session in New York on Monday - have had fans and the industry buzzing. "I have decided to be single to focus on my career," Brown said in a statement via his publicist (CNN noted his thoughts came unsolicited)
September 19, 2012 |
Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods have apparently struck up a friendship. In an interview with the Irish Times, McIlroy, the ranked No. 1 in the world, told the newspaper that the golf stars have a fun, light-hearted replationship. “Tiger gives me stick about being short,” McIlroy said . “He always asks me, 'Seriously, how tall are you?' I'll say, '5-foot-9.' 'Yeah, but without the hair? That's 5-7, right?' He'll ask me, 'What do you do when Caroline [Wozniacki, McIlroy's girlfriend]
September 8, 2012 |
In "How to Train Your Dragon," the 2010 film from DreamWorks Animation, a skinny viking teen named Hiccup discovers that dragons can be taught and tamed, a lot like dogs, except that these dogs are 30 feet across and breathe fire. By the end of the film, vikings and dragons, who began the movie trying to brain each other, are best pals. As with so many other stories of star-crossed, interspecies pairings, from "The Adventures of Milo and Otis" to "Avatar," one wonders just where this relationship will go. That question is answered in the new animated series "Dragons: Riders of Berk," which is being produced by DreamWorks Animation for Cartoon Network.
September 6, 2012 |
In what's becoming known as one of the sweetest acts of friendship to set the blogosphere abuzz, "American Idol" alum Kellie Pickler shaved her head in support of her best friend, Summer Holt Miller, who had a mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer. On Wednesday the women cut off their locks for the world to see on "Good Morning America," and since then Twitter has been filled with support for Miller. The same day, a touched Pickler tweeted, "I cannot thank everyone enough for all the love and support you've given Summer.
August 30, 2012 |
A meek, mild-mannered movie about phone sex, "For a Good Time, Call…" offers a scattershot take on the recent trend of female-centric comedies. It's a showcase for writing that doesn't dazzle and a story of self-discovery that reveals no new insights. Written by real-life friends Katie Anne Naylon and Lauren Anne Miller, the film stars Miller as a young woman named Lauren who is knocked off-course when her boyfriend breaks up with her because he finds her boring. She begrudgingly moves in with Katie (Ari Graynor)
HOME & GARDEN
August 4, 2012 |
We went for it anyway ... even though we were geographically undesirable. Love knows no bounds, right? So we flew in the face of reason and committed to a commuter relationship. If it weren't for the vexing distance between us, we'd be the inspiration for a Lifetime movie. His marriage officially dissolved the same week my husband died 51/2 years ago. Middle-aged, hearts trampled, we rediscovered joy and magic and all those things supposedly reserved for the young. We'd been friends for 30 years.
July 5, 2012
In the 20th century, American politicians with ethnically diverse constituencies were advised to visit the "three I's" - Ireland, Italy and Israel. Mitt Romney is heading to the third of those countries this summer on a mission that he hopes will burnish his image with American supporters of the Jewish state. Fair enough, but in establishing his bona fides as a friend of Israel, the Republican candidate for president must be careful of what he says and promises in order to avoid creating problems in the future.