“Solo”: Reviews Are Pretty Meh

THR sums up the general feeling about the latest “Star Wars,” which will have a big weekend no matter what the scribes say: ‘Although Ron Howard dependably steered the production back on tonal course after the original directors reportedly took it in a different, less traditional direction, the realignment has ultimately resulted in something that feels a bit too comfortably familiar.’

Exhibition: Devastatingly Human

Jenny Uglow writes: ‘The gripping and dramatic show “All Too Human: Bacon, Freud and a Century of Painting Life” merits its title: it is “all too human” in the tender, painful works that form its core. But “a century of painting life” promises something wider—does it smack of marketing, a lure to bring people in? In fact, the heart of the show is narrower and more interesting, illustrating the competing and overlapping streams of painterly obsession in London in the second half of the twentieth century. It shows us how, in their different ways, painters such as Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud, Leon Kossoff and Frank Auerbach, R.B. Kitaj, and Paula Rego redefined realism. Read more »

Sad News: Interview Magazine Has Folded

I was saddened to hear that Interview magazine folded yesterday. I had worked there a decade and more ago when my friend Ingrid Sischy was editor-in-chief. After she left and Fabien Baron (no fan of Ingrid’s) took over, the magazine had a succession of top editors, none of them able to put Interview in the public eye the way Ingrid had, or, much more splashily, the way Interview’s founder, Andy Warhol, had. It’s tough to keep a print vehicle afloat these days, alas.

Patricia Morison Dies At 103

Patricia Morison, who originated the role of an overemotional diva in the Broadway musical Kiss Me, Kate, starred on stage opposite Yul Brynner in The King and I and appeared in films with Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, died on Sunday at the age of 103. Morison died of natural causes at her home in Los Angeles. With her long auburn hair and fiery blue-gray eyes, Morison radiated a sophisticated sex appeal. She had “the most sensual mouth of any lady in the movies”, Gregory William Mank wrote in his book “Women in Horror Films, 1940s.” My favorite title of a Morison film was 1942’s “Are Husbands Necessary?

TV: Sunday-Night Scorecard

The Good Wife (pictured): The firm battles ICE and faces a new enemy. Some morning media called this “a filler episode” but I was satisfied. Grade: A-. Billions: An episode filled with decisions that seem to have a monumental impact on the character arcs of the season, and it all begins when Axe decides to take a meeting with an advisor who works for Grigor Andolov (John Malkovich, natch). Grade: B+.

Even If You’re Sick Of Royal Weddings…

…read this anyway. Anthony Lane both celebrates and skewers the weekend’s nuptials. ‘Well, that was fun. A good time was had by all. In the words of one well-placed source, “the ceremony was over very quickly, in about fifteen minutes. Then everyone hit the dance floor. It seemed they all just wanted to party.” No, wait. Hang on, that was Meghan Markle’s first wedding, held in 2011, in Jamaica. Then came her second wedding, at the end of last month, when, in the guise of Rachel Zane, she married Mike Ross, formerly a fake lawyer, as the seventh season of “Suits” drew to a close. (“We’re getting married, and it can be as small as possible, with just our close friends, O.K.?,” Rachel once said.) Given that he had proposed to her in the fourth season, the wait had been a long one. Mike was played by Patrick J. Adams, who greeted the announcement of Markle’s engagement to Prince Harry with a pained lament: “She said she was just going out to get some milk.”’

Aretha: “Spirit In The Dark”

Pitchfork takes an in-depth look at Aretha Franklin’s immensely personal 1970 album “Spirit in the Dark.” I certainly don’t agree with the writer that Aretha spent her early Columbia Records years singing “schlocky jazz” — there are many gems on those albums. But otherwise the assessment is insightful.