Monthly Archive for February, 2016

: February, 2016

Oscar forecasts: can’t we just wait & see?

It is somewhat ironic that with more people than ever handicapping the Oscars — often many months in advance — last night’s telecast showed a lot of that buzzing to be pointless. Preliminary awards

Some Oscar surprises for a change?

It has always been tough for me to get too worked up about the Oscar race, because I grew up in a time when few serious movie people took them seriously. The telecast of the awards ceremony was always

‘What Remains of Me’: Hollywood secrets

Alison Gaylin’s new novel, “What Remains of Me” (William Morrow), is a terrific piece of Southern California noir about murder, sex, and the movie business. Gaylin has been a rising star in crime

‘Be More Chill’ & new musical development(s)

With teams of producers now needed to put on a major commercial show, it can be harder than ever to develop new plays and musicals. The folks who finally bring shows to Broadway no longer have the

‘Lavender Lane Lothario’: back in not-so-cozy Dorset

David Handler has been juggling a couple of terrific mystery series for the past few years – a new-ish one with a New York City show business background that features the very young and very callow

Rent it now: Legendary dandy ‘Beau Brummell’

Fans of “Downton Abbey” and other British TV period dramas should enjoy the 2006 BBC dramatization of Ian Kelly’s biography of Regency era dandy and style setter Beau Brummell, available on DVD from

‘The Wolves’: nobody does it better

10 books in and Alex Berenson’s John Wells series has lost none of its power, novelty and excitement. Wells is a former CIA operative who keeps getting pulled into missions that are both intensely

‘Margin Call’ vs. ‘The Big Short’: no contest

The critical endorsement of “The Big Short” baffles me. The movie borrows the hyped-up style of Martin Scorsese’s “GoodFellas” and “The Wolf of Wall Street” but the technique wears out its welcome as

‘Find Her’: inside the Stockholm Syndrome

The line between mysteries and thrillers and so-called literary fiction has always been a thin one, but contemporary writers like Lisa Gardner make that sort of arbitrary distinction seem especially

‘View from the Bridge’: stripped-down Miller

Downtown director Ivo Van Hove has finally moved uptown to Broadway with a stark but spectacular staging of the Arthur Miller play, “A View from the Bridge.” Several years ago, the general director of