Golden Globes Noms: Quick Reaction

This morning, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced its nominees for this year’s 75th annual Golden Globe Awards, an event that annually honors the best in television and film. The awards will be given out on January 7th in Los Angeles. There weren’t a lot of huge surprises. I was bummed that neither Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”) nor Luca Guadagnino (“Call Me By Your Name”) were nommed for Best Director/Film — that category remains a straight-white-male club, even in post-Weinstein Hollywood. Neither “Get Out” nor “Call Me,” which are Oscar favorites for screenplay, received screenplays noms. All the Money in the World” — you know, the one that had to replace Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer just two months ago — received noms for its director (Ridley Scott) as well as for Michelle Williams and Plummer. On the TV side, “Will and Grace” popped up but mostly, like the Emmys, it was all about “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “This Is Us,” and “Big Little Lies.”

TV: Sunday-Night Scorecard

The Crown (pictured): I couldn’t believe how ponderous and, frankly, dull were the first three episodes. But Vanessa Kirby brought the new season to life in episode four. Her Princess Margaret is a combination of royal restraint and seething fury. Grade: A-. The Walking Dead: Just when you thought it couldn’t get more shocking than Negan bashing in the brains of two fan favorites, The Walking Dead proved it had some more twisted tricks up its sleeve. The zombie drama unleashed its most surprising move in eight seasons when it revealed that Carl Grimes (played by Chandler Riggs) had been bit by a walker, signaling his impending death on the show. Grade: A.

New Exhibitions: ARTificial Intelligence

The year is 2019. Police cars can fly, people are having sex with lifelike robots and the exodus to off-world colonies has begun. This may sound like a sci-fi movie, but many of the predictions in the original Blade Runner movie—set just two years from now—have already come true, not least the evolution of artificial intelligence (AI). In such a world, the question “what does it mean to be human” has become more urgent than ever. Artists have been grappling with the subject of personal identity for some time, but now a cluster of exhibitions across the US examine the profound social and ethical effects of technology on the human condition.

James Blake Performs 3 Songs Live

During his recent stops in San Francisco and Los Angeles, James Blake previewed three new songs live. He played “I Can’t Believe That We Float,” “Asking For A Friend,” and “Black Lung.” At the end of the latter song, he segued into a cover of Radiohead’s “Videotape.” Watch it happen here.

“Nureyev” Finally Opens At Bolshoi

Roslyn Sulcas writes: ‘“A country that does not value its heroes is such a shame.” That’s a line spoken late in the Bolshoi Ballet’s “Nureyev,” the much anticipated, gossiped about, postponed and rescheduled new ballet about the great Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev that opened at the Bolshoi Theater amid intense speculation and rumor here on Saturday. Crowds thronged around security guards zealously manning the entrances. Sequins and blingy jewelry, supernova heels and pouty lips made their way into the Bolshoi’s gold and red interior. A who’s who of Muscovite society, including Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, Dmitri Peskov, and the film Read more »

Your Weekend: A Selective Guide

Movies: Wanna see a skater’s legs get hobbled? Then “I, Tonya” is for you! “The Shape of Water,” the lovable-monster story starring the appealing Sally Hawkins, has been lavished with praise. TV/Streaming: The Crown The Crown The Crown The Crown The Crown The Crown The Crown The Crown The Crown The Crown The Crown The Crown The Crown. Music: Don’t usually listen to the latest tunes but like to keep up — and with imaginative video artists, too? Then take a peek at Pitchfork’s Best Music Videos of 2017. Books: What? You don’t know the work of Lawrence Osborne? Start with his first novel, “The Forgiven.” On the face of it, it’s a mildly thriller-ish satire about upper-class foreigners who come a terrible cropper in Morocco. Osborne’s like a grown-up version of Graham Greene, an Evelyn Waugh or Edward St Aubyn without the snobbery and cruelty. Sports: Disillusioned with the NFL after the disgusting brutality of this week’s Pittsburgh/Cincinnati game, I think I’ll go back to watching curling. Finally: I don’t care about Advent, but I sure do love chocolate Advent calendars. Only 99 cents at Trader Joe’s!

“Phantom Thread”: I’m Not Buying This Rave

Todd McCarthy used to be the most reliable movie critic and America but I’ve found myself disappointed with his assessments lately. Latest to raise my eyebrow is his review of “Phantom Thread,” in which Daniel Day-Lewis plays a 1950s English dress designer alongside newcomer Vicky Krieps as his muse in the latest from director Paul Thomas Anderson. McCarthy writes: ‘it’s a singular work played out mostly in small rooms that harks back to psychological melodramas of the 1940s/’50s but hits stylistic notes entirely its own.’ I’m not persuaded. I found Anderson’s most recent films, “The Master” and “Inherent Vice,” punishingly dull. And the one before that, “There Will Be Blood,” in spite of the brilliant Day Lewis, also left me unsatisfied. “Boogie Nights” remains his high-water mark: daring, exuberant, classic, sexy, and with one of the best ensembles ever.