Author: Amy Nicholson

  • 5 Summer Reads Guaranteed to Tickle Your Funny Bone

    In late 2009, New York Times culture reporter Dave Itzkoff boarded Robin Williams’s plane to talk about the comedian’s broken heart: his alcoholism, his bruised relationship with his family, and the actual cow’s heart valve he’d had implanted that March. Itzkoff landed one step closer to a journey that would take four years of his […]

  • These Improbable Beasts (and the Rock) Deserve a Wilder Film Than “Rampage”

    There are ludicrous constructions — say, a thirty-foot wolf crossbred with spider, bat, and bug DNA. And then there’s Rampage’s Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson as a misanthropic Special Forces soldier–turned-primatologist. Years ago in Rwanda, Davis (Johnson) murdered poachers who were terrorizing a baby albino gorilla with dreamy Zac Efron eyes. Today, Davis and the full-grown […]

  • At the Oscars, the Same-Old Mixed Intriguingly With Progress

    “Remember me,” sang Coco’s Gael García Bernal in a striped bow tie celebrating the Mexican flag onstage at the 90th Academy Awards on Sunday night. He wasn’t staring at the TV cameras or at the celebrities straight ahead — not even at Meryl Streep, who’s taken Jack Nicholson’s place as the front-row velvet piñata destined to […]

  • Film Poll: In 2017, Supporting Performers Were the Movies’ Soul

    “Together, we’ll make history!” croons Foreigner when Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie) lands her triple axel in I, Tonya. That’s everyone’s goal: make a move, make a movie, make history. I, Tonya’s Allison Janney, who plays Harding’s mother, will get her name carved in gold if she wins Best Supporting Actress at this year’s Oscars. She’s the […]

  • Harvey Weinstein and the Alternative History of Hollywood

    In 1946, Evelyn Keyes’s career was skyrocketing when Columbia Pictures boss Harry Cohn ordered the almond-eyed blonde, best remembered as Suellen O’Hara in Gone With the Wind, to his office, grabbed her between the legs, and whispered, “Save that for me.” Evelyn froze. She left. And that night, she got furious. Evelyn invited actor Sterling Hayden […]

  • Foodie Doc ‘City of Gold’ Journeys Through Jonathan Gold’s Palate — and L.A.’s History

    Halfway through Laura Gabbert’s documentary City of Gold, a salute to Jonathan Gold, the Pulitzer Prize–winning food critic’s brother Mark reveals a dark family secret: Gold grew up devouring iceberg lettuce and orange Jell-O. Every day, we eat. It’s a must. And those meals tell a story: the peanut sauce Grandma invented, the Korean tacos […]

  • The Pest Abroad: An Older, Wiser Michael Moore Invades Europe

    “I’ve turned into this kind of crazy optimist,” Michael Moore admits in the new documentary Where to Invade Next, his first film in six years. At 61, the gadfly savant has mellowed. Instead of charging into rooms, he shuffles, the American flag wrapped around his shoulders like a grandmother’s shawl. Conservatives reject Moore because he […]

  • The 10 Sundance Movies to Watch For in 2016

    The biggest story at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was the record-breaking bidding war for The Birth of a Nation, a prestige biopic about rebellious slave Nat Turner. When Fox Searchlight snatched it for $17.5 million — $5 million more than any other flick in the festival’s history — their intention was clear. Oscars So […]

  • Michael Moore Celebrates Being in a Political Majority — and the White-Dude Minority

    Three years ago, Michael Moore wrapped up a TV interview about the Sandy Hook massacre and asked the producers to leave him alone. “You guys call me every time there’s a school shooting,” he sighed. He had, after all, made Bowling for Columbine, which blasted the NRA and the nightly news for triggering a rise […]

  • 13 Hours Trades Truth for Explosions — But It’s Not Truly Political

    Benghazi is a hashtag battle-cry, a call to arms that many Americans don’t understand. Unlike the simplicity of “Remember the Alamo!” a bleat of “Benghazi!” still has people wondering, “Wait, what happened? And why are we mad?” Michael Bay’s 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi has an explanation, though it should be taken with […]

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