Movies: Can’t remember the last time I wanted to see a Will Smith movie: “Focus,” anyone? Newly minted Oscar winner Julianne Moore has a new movie: “Maps to the Stars.” Television: Can’t wait to watch the new episodes of “House of Cards.” Also eager to see “La Dolce Vita: The Music of Italian Cinema” on Friday. “The Good Wife” returns on Sunday. Music: If Lady Gaga did a Rodgers & Hammerstein album, it would sell big. Meanwhile, her duets album with Tony Bennett keeps selling well. Books: Every time I look at the new Fiction bestsellers on Amazon, I shrug my shoulders and reach for the Jane Austen or Tolstoy. Sports: If the highlight of spring training is Alex Rodriguez, I may defect to the Red Sox for good. Finally: It’s amazing how a 40-degree day feels so balmy right now.
After Mo’Nique (right)’s husband was called out this week for being “nasty and mean,” did the comedienne catch some shade herself at the hands of original Dreamgirl Sheryl Lee Ralph (left)? The talk around Hollywood, led by Lee “Empire” Daniels, is that Mo’Nique was blackballed after she won her Academy Award for “not playing the game.” Miss Ralph was asked to comment on the “blackball” rumors. According to the actress, “Sometimes you just need to shut up, sit there and look pretty.” Snap!
Alexei Ratmansky‘s lavish new production of “The Sleeping Beauty” for American Ballet Theater will be unveiled Tuesday in Costa Mesa, California. This production is not an occasion for the choreographer to express his bold originality as is the case with his “Nutcracker.” Rather, his approach to “Sleeping Beauty” is to re-create as closely as possible the 1890 choreography by Marius Petipa, notation for which has survived. Diana Vishneva and Thomas Forster (pictured) will dance the premiere.
Oh, that Eddie Redmayne. Just when I thought I couldn’t love him any more, along comes this photo of the new Oscar winner. It’s from the upcoming movie “The Danish Girl,” based on the novel by David Ebershoff. Eddie is playing transgender “pioneer” Einar Wegener, who later became Lili Elbe. Alicia Vikander and Amber Heard costar.
“Prisoners” director Denis Villeneuve is in negotiations to direct Harrison Ford in the “Blade Runner” sequel for Alcon Entertainment. Written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green, the “Blade Runner” sequel will take place several decades after the 1982 original. Ford recently said the second installment’s script was the “best thing he’s ever read.” He will reprise his role as Rick Deckard in the film, which originally took place in a dystopian 2019 Los Angeles. Further plot details are known. Ridley Scott, who directed the original, will produce the sequel.
Brenda Wineapple writes: ‘“Survivors pay with their conscience,” Sybille Bedford (pictured) observed in her memoir, “Quicksands,” written in 2005, toward the end of her very long life. Born in 1911 outside of Berlin in Charlottenburg, Germany, she died in London in 2006…She’d endured two world wars and the heedlessness preceding each of them as well as the Holocaust, though from afar, and the painful, impossible, and sometimes exhilarating reconstruction of several cultures: she understood firsthand the burdens of survival. Perhaps as a result she developed her remarkable talent for making the inchoate circumstances we retrospectively understand as “historical forces” seem real, palpable, human.’
Blessedly unhurt by her fall on stage and looking to make even more headlines and sell her new album, Madonna has lashed out at intolerance in Europe, saying it is now so high in France and across the continent that “it feels like Nazi Germany.” Speaking to French radio station Europe 1, Madonna said “antisemitism is at an all-time high” in France and elsewhere in Europe (really? more than during the Holocaust?), and likened the atmosphere to the period when German Read more »