Movies: A new “Poltergeist“? Meh. But “Tomorrowland,” with George Clooney, looks fun. Television: Friday’s “In Performance” saluting the troops at the White House has a strong lineup. Memorial Day brings “Grace of Monaco” to Lifetime. Music: Brandon Flowers‘ “The Desired Effect” has several bouncy selections. Summer is prime-time for outdoor Mozart: so how about this “Le Nozze di Figaro“? Books: Aasif Mandvi’s memoir, “No Land’s Man,” is thought-provoking and delightful. Sports: I never read anything about the field at the Indy 500 — that way, it’s all a complete surprise when I watch. Finally: Why did Keats never write an “Ode To Summer”?
As the perennial debate begins over which songs will own the summer, The Guardian’s critics chime in with their favorites – and find mobile phones, yoga and polyamorous relationships are the big themes this year. Nicki Minaj, Shamir and Janelle Monáe are among the contenders.
Frankly, I wish I’d never heard of Frida Kahlo, a third-rate artist who is apparently having another “moment.” Among the evidence: The New York Botanical Garden has recreated the artist’s Mexico City garden. The Daily Beast hypes the show shamelessly: ‘It perfectly echoes her passionate, vibrant life.’
“Grace of Monaco,” the endlessly delayed, theatre-avoiding Grace Kelly biopic with Nicole Kidman, will air on Lifetime on Monday, 5.25. It is a precious, rarified tale of French political maneuver and regal appearances. It’s about how socially isolated the former Grace Kelly (Kidman) felt when she married Prince Rainer (Tim Roth) in April 1956, and became Princess Grace of Monaco. The story focuses on Grace chafing against the restrictions of her new life and mulling a return to the screen as the star of Alfred Hitchcock‘s “Marnie.” (Fate spared her that embarassment.)
Pathe has released the first image of Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant in Stephen Frears’ “Florence Foster Jenkins,” which is shooting in the U.K. The still depicts Streep as Florence Foster Jenkins with Grant as her partner St. Clair Bayfield. The film is the true story of the New York heiress and socialite who obsessively pursued her dream of becoming a great opera singer. The voice she heard in her head was beautiful, but to everyone else it was hilariously awful. Her “husband” and manager, St. Clair Bayfield, an aristocratic English actor, was determined to protect his beloved Florence from the truth. But when Florence decided to give a public concert at Carnegie Hall in 1944, St. Clair knew he faced his greatest challenge. The script is by Nicholas Martin; I wish they’d used the Florence portrayed in “Souvenir,” a play on Broadway in 2005, which was written by Stephen Temperley and produced by Ted Snowden.
Maggie Gyllenhaal said this week that she was passed over for a role opposite a 55-year-old actor because she was too old – at 37. It’s part of a long, inglorious Hollywood tradition: women are considered sexually attractive in their 20s, men like Liam Neeson (pictured) until they drop dead.
From my Financial Times review: ‘On the wall of the first act of “Permission,” Robert Askins’ new play, there is a motto: “Live Laugh Love.” I’m here to say that I lived through it, I laughed occasionally, but I didn’t love it. But then I didn’t love “Hand To God,” Askins’ previous play, either, which moved from MCC Theater to its current acclaimed run on Broadway.’ Justin Bartha and Elizabeth Reaser (pictured) star in “Permission.”