Monthly Archive for February, 2013

: February, 2013

‘Indiscretion’: we’re not as ‘liberated’ as we think we are

The wages of sin are presented with great drama and suspense in the new Charles Dubow novel, “Indiscretion” (William Morrow), which follows the impact of marital infidelity on a famous, and famously

‘Curse of the Starving Class’: Sam Shepard done right

There is so much that can go wrong in any production of a Sam Shepard play — casting, tone, design — that when everything is done right it’s a cause for celebration. That’s what has occurred with

Notes on last night’s Oscars, or: has it ever been a good show?

With its pulse being taken second by second on Twitter and other social media, the Oscar telecast now feels more like a giant focus group than a coherent TV special. Last night, it was hard to sort

Who needs an Oscar party when you have Twitter?

For those of us who are “civilians” — i.e. outside of the Hollywood film industry — watching the Oscars has been a long-running, annual orgy of snark. Picking apart the fashion ensembles of the

If ‘Argo’ wins best picture, who takes the best director Oscar?

Movie people and TV network executives believe that more people will watch the annual Oscar telecast when the nominees include big, popular hits. If that’s true Sunday night’s telecast should score

The best book ever written about the Academy Awards?

Critic and historian Mark Harris has been the most reliably sane and informed commentator on the Oscar race over the past few years. Sadly, for us, Harris had to sit out this year’s Oscars because he

Oscar madness: try to remember Cary Grant & ‘Rocky’

It’s the movie buff’s equivalent of the Super Bowl. A huge TV event that is anticipated for weeks — months? — and then forgotten almost immediately. At two recent Oscar library discussions that I led,

‘Things We Love’: no worries about books disappearing

After viewing e-Book readers as superfluous high-tech foolishness for several years, I fell hook, line and sinker for my Kindle Fire last year. The convenience of having lots of books in one small

What an Oscar meant to Rod Steiger 45 years ago

After spending more than a decade as one of Hollywood’s finest character actors, Rod Steiger had a brief run as a top-billed movie star after he won an Oscar in 1968 for “In the Heat of the Night.”

‘How to Survive a Plague’: extremism with tangible results

There was a time not too long ago when the Oscar best documentary category was famous for overlooking the most notable non-fiction films of any given year. Mini-scandals swirled around the omission of