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Tribute: Dean Jones

posted by Nell Minow

When the sad news came about the death of actor Dean Jones, those who remembered him most fondly mostly fell into two separate groups with not much overlap. Many baby boomers remembered him as the eternally fresh-faced star of Disney […]

Interview: Rachel Hendrix of “77 Chances”

posted by Nell Minow

Rachel Hendrix plays Mac in the faith-based romantic film “77 Chances.” It’s a “Groundhog Day”-style story about a young man who feels lost after the death of his mother. He meets a pretty girl and they have a wonderful evening […]

Three Hundred Year-Old Actors Are Still Working

posted by Nell Minow

Scott Feinberg talked to three actors with a combined age of 302 for The Hollywood Reporter. Patricia Morison (age 100), Norman Lloyd (age 100) and Connie Sawyer (age 102) shared memories and offered tips. All are in good health. “I […]

Worst Accents in Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Thanks to Indiewire for including me in this great rundown of the all-time worst movie accents. Critics vented frustration and fury, many picking Quentin Tarantino and Dick van Dyke, but I went with two actors who played Robin Hood:

Possibly the Greatest Pairing Since Lennon and McCartney: Lawrence and Shumer

posted by Nell Minow

Jennifer Lawrence told the New York Times that she and Amy Schumer are writing a screenplay together! It’s about two sisters, to be played by Lawrence and Schumer themselves. “Amy and I were creatively made for each other. We have […]

Interview: Ravi and Geeta Patel on the Adorable Documentary “Meet the Patels”

posted by Nell Minow

“Meet the Patels” is a warm, funny, and irresistibly captivating romantic comedy documentary about Ravi Patel’s efforts to find love according to the traditions of his family’s culture. His parents, Vasant and Champa Patel, are immigrants from the Gujarati region […]

Interview: Raffey Cassidy of “Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism”

posted by Nell Minow

Raffey Cassidy gives a performance of endless charm in “Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism,” following her breakthrough appearance in “Tomorrowland,” where she stole the film from the grown-up stars including George Clooney. I was thrilled to get […]

TCM Star of the Day: Ann-Margret

posted by Nell Minow

The Star of the Day tomorrow on Turner Classic Movies is Ann-Margret. Her most iconic roles showcased her fiery hair, creamy skin, flashing turquoise eyes, gorgeous figure, seductive purr, and the unmatched energy and flair of her dancing. She was […]

MVP of the Week: Mamie Gummer

posted by Nell Minow

I am a big fan of Mamie Gummer, who has a recurring role on “The Good Wife” as opposing counsel Nancy Crozier and who played medical professionals in two television series, “Emily Owens, M.D.” and “Off the Map.” This week, […]

The Oldest Living Movie Stars

posted by Nell Minow

The Film Experience has a put together a list of the 200 oldest movie stars, from age 82-105.  It includes two-time Oscar winner Olivia de Havilland (“Gone With the Wind”), John Wayne c0-star Maureen O’Hara, and century-old Norman Lloyd, who appeared […]

Interview: Lillete Dubey of “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”

posted by Nell Minow

Lillete Dubey stars with Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, and Richard Gere in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, available now on DVD, Blu-Ray, and streaming video. Dubey plays the formidable Mrs. Kapoor, the disapproving mother of the eternally optimistic proprietor […]

Tribute: Theodore Bikel

posted by Nell Minow

We mourn the loss of actor/singer/activist Theodore Bikel, who has died at age 91. The multi-lingual performer was the original Captain Von Trapp in “The Sound of Music” on Broadway and played the role of Tevye in “Fiddler on the […]

Amy Schumer Talks to Michael Ian Black on “How to Be Amazing”

posted by Nell Minow

Amy Schumer appeared on Michael Ian Black’s brilliant interview series, “How to Be Amazing.” In this clip, she talks about creating her stand-up persona and “tricking people into listening.” You can download the hour-long interview for free, as well as […]

Where You’ve Seen Them Before: The Cast of Ant-Man

posted by Nell Minow

“Ant-Man” has great special effects and a fun storyline but its real strength is the cast, several of my favorite performers.  They may look familiar. Paul Rudd has been one of the most appealing actors in Hollywood since “Clueless” came […]

The 100-Year-Old Actor in “Trainwreck” Who Worked with Hitchcock and Orson Welles

posted by Nell Minow

Actor/director/producer Norman Lloyd appears in “Trainwreck” as the resident of an assisted living facility. He’s been an actor for 80 years. He was the villain in Hitchcock’s “Saboteur,” hanging from the hand of the Statue of Liberty. He worked with […]

Comic-Con 2015: Interview with Bella Heathcote and Douglas Booth on “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”

posted by Nell Minow

Bella Heathcote (“Dark Shadows”) and Douglas Booth (“Romeo and Juliet”) play Jane and Mr. Bingley in the latest of innumerable movie and television adaptations of Jane Austen’s novel, Pride and Prejudice. While I have not seen them all, I feel […]

Wil Wheaton Talks About His Mental Illness in a Video for UROK

posted by Nell Minow

I love the way Wil Wheaton sort of plays himself on “The Big Bang Theory.” The characters interact with him as Wil Wheaton, Wesley Crusher from “Star Trek: TNG” and star of “Stand By Me” (and “Serial Apeist 2″). But […]

Sesame Street’s Maria Says Goodbye

posted by Nell Minow

Sonia Manzano has announced that she is leaving Sesame Street after 44 years.  She was 22 years old when she auditioned for the brand new series that would revolutionize children’s programming. She became Maria, one of the first Latina characters […]

Happy 99th Birthday, Olivia de Havilland!

posted by Nell Minow

Two-time Oscar winner Olivia de Havilland turns 99 years old today. She was one of the biggest stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood, appearing memorably opposite Errol Flynn eight times, most memorably in “The Adventures of Robin Hood.” She […]

Interview: Stephen “tWitch” Boss of “Magic Mike XXL”

posted by Nell Minow

I asked actor/dancer Stephen “tWitch” Boss whether it was as much fun to make “Magic Mike XXL” as it looked, and he said, “Absolutely and even more. People have been asking me what I would say to guys that are […]

Interview: Jalmari Helander and Onni Tommila of “Big Game”

posted by Nell Minow

Big Game, now in theaters and on VOD, is an exciting action movie about Oskari, a Finnish kid on a solo hunting trip, who has to save the President of the United States when he is ejected from Air Force […]

Interview: Boaz Yakin and Josh Wiggins of “Max”

posted by Nell Minow

Boz Yakin wrote and directed “Max,” the story of a weapons-sniffing military dog whose human partner is killed. So traumatized he can no longer work, he goes to live with the grieving family and is cared for by their younger […]

Where You’ve Seen Them Before: The Cast of “Jurassic World”

posted by Nell Minow

Of course the dinosaurs and the geniuses at ILM who created them are the real stars of “Jurassic World.”  But the highest compliment we can pay the human performers is that they can hold their own next to the CGI […]

The New Yorker’s Actress Profiles: Tilda Swinton, Angela Bassett, Katharine Hepburn, and More

posted by Nell Minow

The New Yorker has created a section with some of its best profiles of actresses, including Angela Bassett, Julia Roberts, Diane Keaton, Tilda Swinton, and Katharine Hepburn. They are a treat to read and will inspire you to check out […]

Interview: “Mike and Molly’s” Billy Gardell on “Dancer and the Dame”

posted by Nell Minow

Billy Gardell, star of television’s Mike & Molly, talked to me about his new film, Dancer & The Dame. He plays Rick Dancer. “He was once like a super detective and he kind of got obsessed chasing this bad guy […]

Tribute: Anne Meara

posted by Nell Minow

Today we mourn the loss of actress/comedian Anne Meara, wife of Jerry Stiller and mother of actor/director Ben Stiller. Stiller and Meara were a comedy team who appeared frequently on the Ed Sullivan show. Their humor often focused on their […]

Blythe Danner Talks to Susan Wloszczyna About “I’ll See You In My Dreams”

posted by Nell Minow

One of my favorite critics interviewed one of my favorite actresses — Susan Wloszczyna spoke to Blythe Danner about her role in the bittersweet romance, “I’ll See You in My Dreams.” Paltrow talks about introducing her daughter, Gwyneth Paltrow, to […]

Interview: Carlos Pratts of “McFarland USA”

posted by Nell Minow

Carlos Pratt plays a real-life high school championship athlete in McFarland, USA, available on DVD and Blu-Ray June 2, 2015. Kevin Costner plays Coach Jim White, who has never coached running before when he helped a group of boys from […]

Orson Welles: Happy First Century

posted by Nell Minow

Happy 100th birthday to the writer/director/star of one of the greatest films of all time, Citizen Kane. Everyone should see that movie, and then everyone should see it again, listening to Roger Ebert’s shot-by-shot commentary, a master illuminating a master […]

Interview: Brenton Thwaites of “Ride”

posted by Nell Minow

Australian actor Brenton Thwaites (“Maleficent,” “The Giver”) stars in “Ride,” a new film written, directed, and starring Oscar-winner Helen Hunt. She plays Jackie, an overprotective mother whose son Angelo (Thwaites) is about to start college and move into a dorm […]

MVP of the Month: Matthias Schoenaerts of “A Little Chaos” and “Far from the Madding Crowd”

posted by Nell Minow

Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts is this month’s MVP and best screen boyfriend, playing patient, decent, devoted, outdoorsy lovers in two different costume dramas. In “Far from the Madding Crowd” he plays farmer Gabriel Oak and in “A Little Chaos” he […]

Interview: Georgie Henley of “Sisterhood of Night”

posted by Nell Minow

Georgie Henley stars in “Sisterhood of the Night,” a story of intense teenage girl friendships and bullying, based on a story by Steven Millhauser. I have been a big fan since she played Lucy in the Narnia movies, and it […]

The Famous Families of the Longest Ride Cast

posted by Nell Minow

The cast of this week’s big release, the Nicholas Sparks movie “The Longest Ride,” includes three actors with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars in their family trees. It’s a good reminder to check out some of their best films. Scott […]

Tribute: Stan Freberg

posted by Nell Minow

The world lost one of the funniest and most creative men in broadcasting, Stan Freberg, who died today at age 88. One of the great thrills of my life was seeing Mr. Freberg at Comic-Con, and seeing the wildly enthusiastic […]

Actress Speaks Up Against Absurd Hollywood Casting Conventions

posted by Nell Minow

Cheers to the understandably anonymous “Miss L,” an actress in Hollywood, for her Tumblr posting real-life casting information that shows how limited and misogynistic Hollywood casting is.  Casting Call Woe shows actual casting call notices, most of which require actresses […]

Interview: Tom Berenger of “Lonesome Dove Church”

posted by Nell Minow

Tom Berenger stars in Lonesome Dove Church, available March 24, 2015 on DVD. He spoke to me about the role and why Westerns have such enduring appeal.  And I have a copy of the DVD to give away!  Send me […]

If You Miss Downton Abbey: More From Maggie Smith, Penelope Wilton, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern

posted by Nell Minow

“Downton Abbey’s” season is ending and it will be months before we get new episodes. Now might be a good time to check out some of the other roles played by your favorite Downton-ites. Maggie Smith (the Dowager Countess) may […]

Interview: Jordan Trovillion of “Horse Camp”

posted by Nell Minow

Horse Camp is a heartwarming story of a young girl’s adventures at summer camp. I really enjoyed talking to Jordan Trovillion, who plays Kathy, a shy girl who goes from having no friends to having one close friend to abandoning […]

Fashion Week Announcement: Zoolander 2!

posted by Nell Minow

Guess who showed up on the Valentino runway for Paris fashion week! Derek Zoolander and Hansel! And Blue Steel, of course. Derek (Ben Stiller) wears a custom Night Butterflies brocade suit with hand-embroidered overcoat and black Creeper shoes. Hansel (Owen […]

Interview: David Milchard of Russell Madness — Plus Copies to Give Away!

posted by Nell Minow

David Milchard stars in “Russell Madness” as the father of a family who inherits a wrestling arena.  But I think he would agree that the real stars of the film are the talking monkey and dog. He took the time […]

If You Love Cookie on “Empire” — More From Taraji P. Henson

posted by Nell Minow

The breakout hit of the television season is the steamy, soapy, musical melodrama “Empire,” and the breakout star (long overdue) is the fabulous Taraji P. Henson as Cookie Lyon, just out of prison after 17 years and determined to get […]

MVP of the Week: Dev Patel

posted by Nell Minow

British-born actor Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire, The Newsroom) is competing with himself this week as the star of two big releases. In the sequel “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” he returns as Sonny Kapoor, the ever-optimistic proprietor of the […]

Tribute: Leonard Nimoy

posted by Nell Minow

We mourn the loss of Leonard Nimoy, who created one of the most iconic characters of all time, “Star Trek’s” half-Vulcan, half-human Mr. Spock, with pointed ears and angled eyebrows perfectly designed to convey a wry sense of irony.  The […]

Interview: Ryan Potter, Hiro in “Big Hero 6″

posted by Nell Minow

Ryan Potter provided the voice for Hiro in this week’s DVD/Blu-Ray Pick of the Week, the Oscar-winning Big Hero 6. Talking to him on the phone, it was easy to imagine I was talking to Hiro himself. Other than a […]

Julianne Moore and Patricia Arquette — Why We’re Rooting for them on Oscar Night

posted by Nell Minow

No one is smarter about actors and Oscars than Susan Wloszczyna, and I was honored to be included in her latest Big O piece about front-runners Julianne Moore and Patricia Arquette, and why wins for the two of them will […]

Meryl Streep as The Worst Singer Ever and Why We Love Awful Failures

posted by Nell Minow

Why is complete artistic failure so fascinating? I’m a huge fan of Epic Fail: Bad Art, Viral Fame, and the History of the Worst Thing Ever by Mark O’Connell, who pays tribute to the “sort of accidental surrealism” of bad […]

Tribute: Louis Jourdan

posted by Nell Minow

We mourn the loss of French movie star Louis Jourdan, who has died at age 93. Best remembered as the handsome, elegant, bored Gaston who lost his heart to Gigi (Leslie Caron), he appeared in a variety of roles opposite […]

Interview: Ali Faulkner of “The Song”

posted by Nell Minow

Ali Faulkner is in every way the heart of the new faith-based film, “The Song.” She plays Rose, who inspires the title song and marries the musician who wrote it for her. Unlike most films, this one does not end […]

Interview: Ira Glass Talks to “Boyhood’s” Richard Linklater and Ellar Coltrane

posted by Nell Minow

“Boyhood” writer/director Richard Linkater and star Ellar Coltrane talk to “This American Life’s” Ira Glass about making the film over a twelve year period that began when Coltrane was six years old.

From Hermione to Belle: Emma Watson to Star in Live-Action “Beauty and the Beast”

posted by Nell Minow

Disney is working on a new live-action “Beauty and the Beast,” a follow to the upcoming “Cinderella,” and they have announced that “Harry Potter’s” Emma Watson will star as Belle. It will be directed by Bill Condon (“Dreamgirls,” “Kinsey”). Watson […]

SAG Awards 2015

posted by Nell Minow

The Screen Actors Guild awards for television and movies in 2014 are in and it looks like Patricia Arquette, Julianne Moore, and J.K. Simmons are in line to bring home Oscars on February 22. The tough one to call right […]

Before They Were Stars: Television Commercials With Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves, and More

posted by Nell Minow

Phil Hall has a delightful collection of “before they were stars” television ads featuring Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves, James Dean, Morgan Freeman, Matt LeBlanc, Steve Carell, and more. Here’s one I love that he left out, with pre-“Laverne and Shirley” […]

Interview: George Lopez and Carlos PenaVega of “Spare Parts”

posted by Nell Minow

Spare Parts is based on the true story of four undocumented high school students who entered a robotics competition and beat the team from MIT.  I was lucky enough to get a chance to talk to George Lopez, who produced the film […]

Interview: Meredith Anne Bull of “Strange Magic”

posted by Nell Minow

Meredith Anne Bull stars in this week’s release “Strange Magic,” an animated musical fairy tale based on a story by George Lucas. She plays Dawn the “young, naive, unaffected and thrilled with life” younger sister of the heroine, Marianne, played […]

Debbie Reynolds on Movie Addict Headquarters

posted by Nell Minow

Debbie Reynolds, who will receive a well-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award at the SAG Awards this Sunday, appeared on Movie Addict Headquarters to talk about her career in the Golden Age of Hollywood with Betty Jo Tucker. Be sure to tune […]

Tribute: Rod Taylor

posted by Nell Minow

Today we mourn the loss of the Australian actor Rod Taylor, star of classic films including The Time Machine and Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds.  He was an affable leading man with the confident physicality of an athlete, comfortable in light […]

Elvis Presley’s 80th Birthday

posted by Nell Minow

Today we pay tribute to Elvis Presley, who was born on this day 80 years ago. Here he is with Ann-Margret in my favorite of his movies, Viva Las Vegas. This is the only dance number he choreographed personally. Here […]

Oscar Isaac on “A Most Violent Year”

posted by Nell Minow

Oscar Isaac (“Inside Llewyn Davis”) is one of my favorite actors.  In “A Most Violent Year” he plays an immigrant in 1981 New York trying to keep his very successful home heating oil business both legitimate and competitive in a […]

Tribute: Edward Herrmann

posted by Nell Minow

The loss of actor Edward Herrmann was a sad end to 2014. His elegant, patrician quality made him a perfect choice to play real-life characters like Franklin Roosevelt in Eleanor & Franklin and its sequel (and in “Annie!”) and fictional characters […]

TCM’s Farewell to The Filmmakers We Lost in 2014

posted by Nell Minow

Denzel Washington Turns 60

posted by Nell Minow

Happy 60th birthday to the man I consider the finest actor working in movies today, Denzel Washington. Genetta M. Adams assembled an impressive top ten list for The Root in honor of his 60th birthday. Many of my favorites are […]

Actors Of Color Discuss Racial Stereotypes In Hollywood

posted by Nell Minow

Film Courage produced this excellent and very compelling film with actors of color talking about the challenges they face in Hollywood. If we did a better job of representing diversity in film, we would not just tell better stories and […]

See The Year’s Most Intriguing Actors In New Kissing Scenes: NY Times Magazine

posted by Nell Minow

The New York Times brought together the stars of some of this year’s biggest films and asked them to kiss. Each is a tiny gem of a film that suggests so much more.

Casting News: The Next James Bond Villain and a Remake of a Classic Western

posted by Nell Minow

Just ten more months until the next James Bond film! Daniel Craig will return as 007, and he will be joined by Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz, along with “Guardians of the Galaxy” star Dave Bautista, Andrew Scott (Moriarty to Benedict Cumberbatch’s […]

The New X-Men Villain is….Oscar Isaac

posted by Nell Minow

Ever since he played Joseph in “The Nativity Story, I’ve been saying that Oscar Isaac should be a full-on movie star. He gave my favorite performance of last year as Llewyn Davis in the Coen Brothers movie “Inside Llewyn Davis,” […]

Interview: Nate Parker of “Beyond the Lights”

posted by Nell Minow

I first interviewed Nate Parker seven years ago about “The Great Debaters.” It was a great pleasure to catch up with him to discuss his performance in “Beyond the Lights,” one of the year’s best romantic dramas, with sizzling chemistry […]

Behind the Scenes: Eddie Redmayne and Stephen Hawking on “The Theory of Everything”

posted by Nell Minow

Here is a behind-the-scenes look at the making of “The Theory of Everything,” with comments from stars Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, director James Marsh, and Stephen Hawking himself.

The Other Stephen Hawking Movie — With Benedict Cumberbatch

posted by Nell Minow

Before “The Theory of Everything” with Eddie Redmayne as cosmologist Stephen Hawking, there was “Hawking” with Benedict Cumberbatch. You can see it on YouTube.

Interview: Jet Jurgensmeyer of “A Belle for Christmas”

posted by Nell Minow

A Belle for Christmas, available today on DVD, is a cute holiday story of a dog named Belle who comes to live with kids named Elliot and Phoebe and their widowed father (Dean Cain).  Kristy Swenson plays Dani, the crafty […]

An Interview With Planes: Fire & Rescue Stars Erik Estrada and Fred Willard

posted by Nell Minow

Erik Estrada and Fred Willard provide two of the most distinctive voices in Disney’s Planes Fire and Rescue, and it was a great treat to hear those voices through my telephone, as both actors called me to talk about their […]

List: Sam Rockwell

posted by Nell Minow

Sam Rockwell is one of the most versatile leading me in Hollywood. This week, he stars with Keira Knightley in “Laggies,” playing a single dad. Here are some of my favorite Sam Rockwell performances: Moon Rockwell takes on the biggest […]

Nell Scovell Pays Tribute to the Under-Used Women Alumnae of SNL

posted by Nell Minow

The wonderful Nell Scovell, who helped Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg write Lean In and is now working on a screenplay based on the book, has an excellent essay in Time about the talented women who appeared on “Saturday Night Live” but […]

Benedict Cumberbatch: Behind the Scenes as Smaug

posted by Nell Minow

Here is a fascinating glimpse of Benedict Cumberbatch’s full-on performance as Smaug in “The Hobbit” series.

Interview: “Avatar” Villain Stephen Lang on Playing a Good Guy Coach in “23 Blast”

posted by Nell Minow

Stephen Lang is best known for playing the villain in “Avatar.” But in “23 Blast,” based on the real-life story of Travis Freeman, a high school football player who lost his vision but stayed on the team, Lang plays a […]

Dylan Baker on Directing for the First Time in the Fact-Based High School Football Movie “23 Blast”

posted by Nell Minow

Dylan Baker is probably best remembered for playing some of the most horrific villains imaginable (“The Good Wife,” “Happiness”).  But his extensive career has included wild comedies (“Planes, Trains, and Automobiles,” “Anchorman 2″), historical drama (he was Robert McNamara in […]

Interview: Courtney Baxter, Actress, Producer, and Just Out of Her Teens

posted by Nell Minow

Pennsylvania native Courtney Baxter attends Pace University in Manhattan as a double major in Economics and Film Studies.  In her early teens, Courtney filmed over a dozen national commercials and also appeared in television shows such as Gossip Girl, 30 […]

Robert Downey Jr. Pays Tribute to His Mother

posted by Nell Minow

In a sad case of life imitating art, Robert Downey, Jr., lost his mother just before the release of “The Judge,” in which he plays a brash lawyer who must return home for his mother’s funeral.  Downey’s tribute to his […]

Interview: Bill Smitrovich

posted by Nell Minow

Bill Smitrovich appeared most recently in “The November Man” with Pierce Brosnan as a CIA official with some secrets even his colleagues did not know. He has had an extensive and varied career in theater (“Of Mice and Men”), television […]

Join Me at the Hill Center for A Tribute to Mary Wickes — Including An Exclusive Showing of Her “Mary Poppins”

posted by Nell Minow

I am so excited about this!  Steve Taravella, author of the wonderful Mary Wickes: I Know I’ve Seen That Face Before, and I will host an tribute to Wickes at DC’s Hill Center on November 16, 2014. And we will […]

The Inside Story of “The Princess Bride” by Cary Elwes: As You Wish

posted by Nell Minow

Fans of The Princess Bride, which means pretty much everyone, will love the new book from Cary Elwes (Westley), who takes us behind the scenes for the inside story of the making of the film, from his nervous audition (his imitation […]

Gone Girl’s Rosamund Pike

posted by Nell Minow

Rosamund Pike delivers a stunning breakthrough performance in this week’s “Gone Girl.” She’s been a favorite of mine for a long time, for her elegant voice and precise acting choices. It’s a good excuse to check out some of her […]

Interview: Nathan Gamble and Cozi Zuehlsdorff of “Dolphin Tale 2″

posted by Nell Minow

The young human stars of Dolphin Tale, Nathan Gamble and Cozi Zuehlsdorff, are back for the delightful sequel. They conducted a charming Q&A session after a screening in Washington, D.C., always remembering to say “Good question!” to the children who […]

Tribute: Joan Rivers

posted by Nell Minow

Joan Rivers has died at age 81. More abrasive than her trademark raspy voice, Rivers wanted to be an actress but became famous as a comedian, in an era when comedy was almost completely all-male. She did act, appearing on […]

Bill Hader’s 200 Movie-List for Comedy Writers

posted by Nell Minow

SNL’s Bill Hader has a great list of the top 200 movies anyone interested in comedy should see.  And of course that means that they’re great choices for anyone who likes to laugh.  I love all of his choices and […]

Interview: Bo Svenson

posted by Nell Minow

Bo Svenson is an actor, writer, director, judo champion, and, as I was lucky enough to find out, an enthralling guy to talk to, turning an interview into a wide-ranging conversation. Svenson was born in Sweden. His family emigrated to […]

Michael Mirasol Pays Tribute to Robin Williams

posted by Nell Minow

My friend Michael Mirasol shares some of his favorite moments from Robin Williams extraordinary range of films.

More from Chris Pratt

posted by Nell Minow

Chris Pratt is having a very good year.  The buffed-up star of Guardians of the Galaxy also provided the voice for the lead character in another of the year’s best films, The LEGO Movie.  But many of us have known how […]

Tribute: Lauren Bacall

posted by Nell Minow

We mourn the loss of Lauren Bacall, who has died at age 89. “Anybody got a match?” With those words, a teenager born Betty Perske from Brooklyn made her first screen appearance, in To Have and Have Not. Her chin […]

Tribute: Robin Williams

posted by Nell Minow

The loss of actor Robin Williams is almost unbearably wrenching.  His boundless gifts could not help him battle depression so devastating that it prevented him from understanding how deeply he was loved or perhaps how deserving he was of love. […]

Interview: John Michael McDonagh and Brendan Gleeson of “Calvary”

posted by Nell Minow

Writer/director John Michael McDonagh and Brendan Gleeson met with my friend John Hanlon and me to talk about “Calvary,” where Gleeson plays an Irish priest in an oceanside community that is filled with sadness, regret, and loss. Some of the […]

Tribute: James Garner

posted by Nell Minow

One of my favorite actors has left us. James Garner, handsome, wry, effortlessly masculine, all-purpose leading man for decades on television and in movies, has died at age 84. He had consummate skill in comedy, drama, and romance, and even […]

Tribute: Elaine Stritch

posted by Nell Minow

The great Elaine Stritch has died at age 89. It is hard to imagine a world without that vibrant, brash, brassy, and utterly vital force of nature.  She was the kind of woman about whom it was not just apt […]

Who Should Play Non-White Characters?

posted by Nell Minow

Amanda Scherker has an excellent piece in the Huffington Post about “whitewashing” in films — ethnically white actors playing non-white characters. We understand now how absurd it was to have John Wayne play Genghis Khan or Katharine Hepburn play “Dragon […]

Trailer: Kevin Kline Plays Errol Flynn in “The Last of Robin Hood”

posted by Nell Minow

Errol Flynn became one of the greatest movie stars of all time, specializing in swashbucklers like “Captain Blood” and “The Adventures of Robin Hood.”  No one was better than Flynn at playing the dashing, gallant hero. But the Tasmanian actor […]

Tribute: Carla Laemmle, 104-Year-Old Actress

posted by Nell Minow

The actress Carla Laemmle has died at age 104.  She is not widely known, but is well worth remembering for her role in film history and her incandescent spirit.  Her uncle Carl Laemmle, whose name she adopted (her given name […]

Upcoming Show Business Memoirs

posted by Nell Minow

Mashable has a very intriguing list of upcoming show business memoirs, by everyone from Oprah Winfrey (What I Know For Sure) to rapper Ja Rule (Unruly: The Highs and Lows of Becoming a Man). I’m particularly looking forward to Yes […]

Academy Originals: Hollywood Filmmakers Talk About What Inspires Them

posted by Nell Minow

In this short from the terrific Academy Originals series, Seth Rogen says that it is friendship that is at the center of the stories he likes to write.  [Warning: Some strong language.]  “Academy Originals” is AMPAS’s first original digital series.  […]

Interview: “Earth to Echo” star Astro

posted by Nell Minow

Brian “Astro” Bradley plays Tuck in this week’s “Earth to Echo,” the story of three friends who discover a stranded alien and help to rescue him. Astro talked to me about being in the film and the books and music […]

Tribute: Eli Wallach

posted by Nell Minow

One of the all-time great character actors, Eli Wallach, has died at age 98.  He leaves behind an extraordinary range of work, from iconic bad guys (The Magnificent Seven), to sweet old guys (The Holiday). He appeared with Clark Gable, […]

Movie Greats: John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands

posted by Nell Minow

John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands were at the forefront of a revolution in cinema that led to a new era of naturalism in subject matter and performance. Cassavetes, best known as an actor for starring opposite Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s […]

Interview: Michael Ealy and Meagan Good of “Think Like a Man Too”

posted by Nell Minow

I am a huge fan of Michael Ealy and Meagan Good and it was a lot of fun to talk to them about “Think Like a Man Too.” Meagan, I loved your performance of Bell Biv DeVoe’s classic “Poison!” MG: […]

Fred MacMurray and Burt Lancaster: Tonight on PBS

posted by Nell Minow

PBS pays tribute to two of the all-time great leading men with documentaries airing tonight (check your local station for viewing times). Burt Lancaster: Daring to Reach  Learn more about the epic screen star Burt Lancaster who went from street-wise […]

Tribute: Ruby Dee

posted by Nell Minow

We lost one of the greats today, the actor and activist Ruby Dee. Kennedy Center honoree with her husband, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee is as much a legend for her pioneering work as a leader of the Civil Rights movement […]

Interview: “Obvious Child’s” Jenny Slate and Gillian Robespierre

posted by Nell Minow

Jenny Slate gives a star-making performance in “Obvious Child,” a romantic comedy about Donna, a young stand-up comic who becomes pregnant and has an abortion. Her decision is not presented in a comic or light-hearted way. What is revolutionary is […]

List: Sarah Lawrence College and Movies

posted by Nell Minow

This weekend my husband and I are attending a reunion at our alma mater, Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. Our son also graduated from Sarah Lawrence, and our niece will enroll in the MFA program in writing there […]

MVP of the Month: Brendan Gleeson

posted by Nell Minow

This month’s Most Valuable Player has to be the brilliant Irish actor Brendan Gleeson, a mountain of a man with great physical power but great subtlety as an actor. He has two very different roles in this week’s sci-fi action […]

Tribute: Ann B. Davis of “The Brady Bunch”

posted by Nell Minow

We bid a sad farewell to the wonderful actress Ann B. Davis, who died today at 88 following a fall in her home.  She is best known as the beloved housekeeper Alice in the blended family sitcom, The Brady Bunch. […]

Cliff Curtis is a New Zealander Who Plays All Ethnicities

posted by Nell Minow

Be sure to take a look at this extraordinary compilation of clips showing off the astonishing versatility of a actor Cliff Curtis.  And I love his comment on being cast as characters of so many different ethnicities in an interview […]

Interview: Sarah Drew of “Moms’ Night Out”

posted by Nell Minow

“Grey’s Anatomy” star Sarah Drew stars in the delightful “Moms’ Night Out.”  I was thrilled to get a chance to interview her. One of my favorite things about this movie was the way it avoided the usual daffy misunderstandings between […]

Interview: Priest Tyaire of “Mrs. Independent”

posted by Nell Minow

It was a very great pleasure to talk to writer/star Priest Tyaire about his new play, “Mrs. Independent,” currently on tour and opening in Washington D.C.’s Warner Theater May 8-11 for Mother’s Day next weekend. Can a woman still be […]

Google Salutes Audrey Hepburn

posted by Nell Minow

Today Google pays tribute to Audrey Hepburn, a movie star of impeccable elegance and grace on what would have been the 85th birthday.  It’s a great reason to watch these unmissable classics. Roman Holiday Hepburn became a star and won her […]

Tribute: Bob Hoskins

posted by Nell Minow

We mourn the loss of actor Bob Hoskins, who died today at age 71.  He was an actor of remarkable versatility, appearing in drama, comedy, crime stories, animation, and even an occasional romantic lead.  His breakthrough was his Oscar-nominated performance […]

The Cast of the New “Star Wars” Movie Includes Oscar Isaac

posted by Nell Minow

I’m delighted to hear that Oscar Isaac, whose performance as the title character in “Inside Llewyn Davis” was my favorite of 2013, will play a lead role in the new “Star Wars” movie.  Also announced for the cast: the legendary […]

Two Terrific New Books About Show Business by Judy Greer and Carol Leifer

posted by Nell Minow

Two smart, shrewd, and very funny women have written books about their lives in show business. Judy Greer has played the heroine’s best friend in romantic comedies like “13 Going on 30,” “27 Dresses,” and “Love Happens.” She has made […]

Interview: Stars of “Walking With the Enemy” Jonas Armstrong, Simon Kunz, and Simon Dutton

posted by Nell Minow

Jonas Armstrong, Simon Kunz, and Simon Dutton talked to me about appearing in the Holocaust story “Walking with the Enemy.” I first asked them about their accents.  Two Brits and an Irishman were cast as Hungarian Jews who spoke both […]

Cameron Diaz

posted by Nell Minow

Cameron Diaz stars in the revenge comedy, “The Other Woman” this week, so it is a good time to look back at some of the highlights of her remarkably varied career. Director Charles Russell said he wanted to give Diaz […]

Interview: John Turturro of “Fading Gigolo”

posted by Nell Minow

John Turturro may be the most versatile actor in films.  Who else has worked so often with such a wide range of directors, from the Coen brothers (“The Big Lebowski,” “Barton Fink,” “O Brother Where Art Thou?” and “Miller’s Crossing”) […]

Kristin Chenoweth Sings “Poisonous Love” in Rio 2

posted by Nell Minow

Broadway diva Kristin Chenoweth sings a love song in a highlight of “Rio 2″ with co-star Jermaine Clement.

Tribute: Mickey Rooney

posted by Nell Minow

One of the last remaining links to the golden age of Hollywood left us this week when Mickey Rooney died at age 93. That means he was in show business for more than 90 years, from his first performance in […]

White Actors Cast In “The Gods of Egypt”

posted by Nell Minow

I’m in favor of race-blind casting except when race is a part of the story.  And that seems to be the case in a $450 million epic film called “The Gods of Egypt” that takes place in Egypt.  But instead […]

Tribute: James Rebhorn

posted by Nell Minow

Today we mourn the loss of actor James Rebhorn, who appeared on “Homeland” and in films like “My Cousin Vinny” (the tire expert) and “Independence Day” (the Secretary of Defense).  He was one of those dependable familiar faces who always […]

Interview: David A.R. White of Pure Flix and “God’s Not Dead”

posted by Nell Minow

David A.R. White (“Evening Shade”) is the founder/writer/director of Pure Flix, which makes films that “uplift and inspire the human spirit.”  He graciously took time to answer my questions about making faith-based films and what he has learned.  New films […]

Interview: Kevin Sorbo of “God’s Not Dead”

posted by Nell Minow

It was great to catch up with Kevin Sorbo to hear about his new role as an atheist professor with a student who is a committed Christian in “God’s Not Dead” from Pure Flix. The last time I talked to you, […]

Idina Menzel, Jimmy Fallon, and The Roots Perform “Let it Go” with Kindergarten Instruments

posted by Nell Minow

Here’s the Oscar-winning song, a knockout no matter the instruments (or how her name is pronounced).

Lupita Nyoung’o Made a Beautifully Gracious Statement

posted by Nell Minow

I hope Lupita Nyoung’o wins the Best Supporting Actress award tomorrow night.  She deserves it.  But there’s another reason: I want to hear her acceptance speech.  Her speech at the Essence Awards this week was beautifully heartfelt, gracious, and wise. […]

Interview: Alex Wolff of “HairBrained” and The Naked Brothers

posted by Nell Minow

Alex Wolff plays a child prodigy who goes to college at age 13 in the new comedy “HairBrained.”  He and his brother Nat formed the Naked Brothers band when he was 10, and they starred in a movie and television […]

“Girls'” Adam Driver May Be the Next “Star Wars” Villain

posted by Nell Minow

Adam Driver of “Girls” and “Inside Llewyn Davis” is likely to be the bad guy in the rebooted “Star Wars,” now in pre-production. Rolling Stone’s engaging profile describes Driver as an oddity, with an elongated face that has the striking […]

Tribute: Harold Ramis

posted by Nell Minow

Today we mourn the loss of writer/actor/director Harold Ramis, who died at age 69.  Ramis began by writing and editing at Playboy Magazine, then based in Chicago. In 1969, he joined the famous improvisational sketch comedy group, Second City, and […]

Interview: Kit Harington of “Game of Thrones” and “Pompeii”

posted by Nell Minow

Kit Harington (Jon Snow in “Game of Thrones”) stars as Milo in this week’s 3D epic, “Pompeii.”  He plays a gladiator who falls in love with Cassia (Emily Browning), the beautiful daughter of a wealthy merchant.  His gladiator opponent-turned friend […]

Happy 60th Birthday, John Travolta!

posted by Nell Minow

Keep dancing! From “Michael” From “Grease” From “Urban Cowboy” (deleted scene) From “Saturday Night Fever” From “Pulp Fiction”

Tribute: Shirley Temple

posted by Nell Minow

In the darkest days of the Depression, the biggest movie star in the world was a little girl with a dimple and hair in ringlets that bounced when she tap-danced.  We mourn the loss of Shirley Temple Black, a child […]

Interviews: “Bitter Party of Five”

posted by Nell Minow

When “Downwardly Mobile,” a Roseanne Barr TV pilot for NBC, didn’t get picked up, the cast created their own show, “Bitter Party of Five,” a very funny (and very adults-only) interview series where five moderately successful actors interview their much […]

Benedict Cumberbatch on Sesame Street

posted by Nell Minow

Tribute: Philip Seymour Hoffman

posted by Nell Minow

Oscar-winning Philip Seymour Hoffman, who struggled with drug abuse, died today of an apparent drug overdose at age 46. Hoffman, often referred to as the most talented actor of his generation, was an actor of unsurpassed scope, dedication, and intelligence. […]

Interview: Vanessa Hudgens on Playing a Pregnant, Homeless Teenager in “Gimme Shelter”

posted by Nell Minow

Vanessa Hudgens gives a performance of extraordinary courage and sensitivity in “Gimme Shelter,” based on the true story of a teenage girl who is pregnant and homeless. Her name is Agnes, but she insists on being called Apple.  Both Hudgens […]

Tribute: Two 60’s Television Icons, The Professor and Reuben

posted by Nell Minow

This week we say a sad farewell to two of the best-loved television stars of 1960’s sitcoms, Russell Johnson, who played The Professor on “Gilligan’s Island,” and Dave Madden, who was the long-suffering manager Reuben on “The Partridge Family.”  The […]

Interview: E.G. Daily of “The Voice” and “Rugrats”

posted by Nell Minow

E.G. Daily is best known as the voice of ‘Tommy Pickles’ on Nickelodeon’s hit cartoon “Rugrats” and ‘Dottie’ from the iconic 80’s cult classic movie Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. E.G. stunned the judges with her moving rendition of Faith Hill’s “Breathe” […]

Interview: Drew Waters of “The Ultimate Life”

posted by Nell Minow

The Ultimate Gift, based on the book by JIm Stovall had James Garner as a wealthy man who left his grandson twelve “gifts” to teach him that the true meaning of life is not about money but about love, compassion, […]

Harry Belafonte on Movies and Race

posted by Nell Minow

There has been a lot of conversation about whether enfant terrible critic Armond White heckled director Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”) at the New York Film Critics Circle awards ceremony.  What was far more significant were the thoughtful comments […]

Happy Birthday Elvis Presley!

posted by Nell Minow

Celebrate Elvis on Turner Classic Movies: 7:45 AM Live A Little, Love A Little (1968) 9:15 AM Double Trouble (1967) 11:00 AM Spinout (1966) 12:45 PM Tickle Me (1965) 2:30 PM Girl Happy (1965) 4:15 PM Kissin’ Cousins (1964) 6:00 […]

SNL Adds A New Cast Member: Sasheer Zamata

posted by Nell Minow

Saturday Night Live has added Sasheer Zamata to the cast.   She graduated from the University of Virginia and has performed with the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater.   SNL producer Lorne Michaels has been criticized for the lack of diversity in the […]

Tribute: James Avery of “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air”

posted by Nell Minow

We mourn the loss of actor James Avery, who starred with Will Smith as Uncle Phil in Fresh Prince of Bel Air.  Avery was a Vietnam veteran who became a writer, actor, and voice talent. He was a great foil […]

Tribute: Juanita Moore

posted by Nell Minow

We mourn the loss of actress Juanita Moore, who died today at age 99. She was one of the first African-Americans to be nominated for an Oscar, and is still best remembered for that role, in “Imitation of Life.” The […]

Angela Lansbury Becomes a Dame — The Queen’s Honours List 2014

posted by Nell Minow

The magnificent Angela Lansbury will become a Dame (female equivalent of a knighthood), announced today as a part of Queen Elizabeth II’s annual honours (British spelling) list.  From her earliest appearances as the insolent maid in “Gaslight” and Elizabeth Taylor’s […]

Tribute: Joan Fontaine

posted by Nell Minow

We mourn the loss of one of the last of the great stars of the golden age of Hollywood, Joan Fontaine, an Oscar-winner who co-starred with Cary Grant (Suspicion), Fred Astaire (A Damsel In Distress), and, in the Best Picture […]

Tribute: Peter O’Toole

posted by Nell Minow

I was very sad to hear of the passing of actor Peter O’Toole today at age 81.  The New York Times describes him well as “an Irish bookmaker’s son with a hell-raising streak whose magnetic performance in the 1962 epic […]

One-Line Movies With the Year’s Best Actors

posted by Nell Minow

The actors who created some of this year’s most intriguing performances each appear in a eleven original (very) short films directed by Oscar-winning cinematographer Janusz Kaminski.  The one-line scripts are from the year’s best screenwriters, from Lake Bell of “In a […]

Tribute: Paul Walker (1973-2013)

posted by Nell Minow

Paul Walker, the handsome and charismatic star of the Fast & Furious series of films, was killed in a car crash yesterday as he was returning from a fund-raiser for his Reach out Worldwide charity, to benefit the survivors of […]

MVP: Josh Gad

posted by Nell Minow

Josh Gad is a highlight of “Frozen” as the adorable Olaf, a snowman who loves warm hugs.” It is the fourth of his very impressive performances on screen this year. (We won’t speak about his awful television series, “1600 Penn.”) […]

Interview: Antonio Vargas of “Silver Bells”

posted by Nell Minow

Antonio Vargas plays an angel-like character who changes the life of a type-A father in Silver Bells.  He talked to me about how he broke into show business  and singing in the airport with his co-star and fellow 70’s television icon […]

Interview: Bruce Boxleitner of “Silver Bells”

posted by Nell Minow

Bruce Boxleitner stars in Silver Bells, premiering on UP TV tomorrow, Sunday, December 1st at 7pm, 9pm and 11pm ET.  It is the story of a Type A, very competitive dad who wants everything his family does to be the best, including Christmas. […]

Interview: Tatyana Ali of “Home Again”

posted by Nell Minow

Tatyana Ali stars with CCH Pounder in the heartbreaking drama Home Again as Marva, a young Canadian mother deported to Haiti without her children. She talked to me about taking on a role so different from her work on “Fresh […]

Interview: Steve Coogan of “Philomena”

posted by Nell Minow

Steve Coogan co-wrote and stars in “Philomena,” based on the true story of an Irish woman searching for the son she gave up for adoption fifty years earlier.  As an unwed pregnant teenager she was sent to a convent-run home. […]

Interview: “The Book Thief”

posted by Nell Minow

Following an extraordinary evening presenting the film at the U.S. Holocaust Museum, with survivors in the audience, some of the people behind “The Book Thief” sat down for an interview.  Director Brian Percival, who introduced the film, joined stars Sophie […]

Interview: CCH Pounder on “Home Again”

posted by Nell Minow

Home Again is the story of three people, Jamaican by birth but having lived their entire lives in other countries, are who are deported for getting into trouble with the law.  A mother from Canada, a student from England, and […]

Tribute: Marcia Wallace

posted by Nell Minow

The brave, beautiful, and very funny actress Marcia Wallace has died at age 70 after a long battle with breast cancer.  I loved her as the receptionist on the old “Bob Newhart Show” and as a guest on 70’s game […]

MVP of the Week: Chiwetel Ejiofor

posted by Nell Minow

I have been a huge fan of Chiwetel Ejiofor since I first saw him in the 2004 film Dirty Pretty Things. “12 Years a Slave” may be his breakthrough performance, and I hope it encourages audiences to seek out some […]

Interview: Daniel Breaker of “Shrek: The Musical”

posted by Nell Minow

First it was a book by William Steig.  Then it was a sensationally successful series of animated films, featuring the voice talents of Mike Meyers, Cameron Diaz, and Eddie Murphy.  Then it was a blockbuster Broadway smash hit musical starring […]

Interview: AJ Michalka of “Grace Unplugged”

posted by Nell Minow

 AJ Michalka stars in “Grace Unplugged,” the story of a girl who wants more out of life than singing with her church’s worship band.  When she has some success as a pop singer, she has to decide whether secular success […]

Interview: “The Little Mermaid’s” Jodi Benson

posted by Nell Minow

It is always a delight to speak with the sweet-voiced Jodi Benson, who plays Ariel in this week’s DVD/Blu-Ray Pick of the Week, The Little Mermaid. She has also provided the voice for characters including Barbie in the “Toy Story” […]

Interview: Joseph Gordon-Levitt of “Don Jon”

posted by Nell Minow

Joseph Gordon-Levitt met with a small group of journalists to talk about the film he wrote, directed, and stars in, “Don Jon.”  Gordon-Levitt, who has appeared in edgy independent films (“The Mysterious Skin,” “Brick”), teen romances (“10 Things I Hate […]

Interview: Katherine LaNasa of “Jayne Mansfield’s Car”

posted by Nell Minow

Katherine LaNasa stars in “Jayne Mansfield’s Car,” a new 1960’s Southern family drama co-written and directed by Billy Bob Thornton.  LaNasa, Thornton, Kevin Bacon, and Robert Patrick play the children of a World War I veteran named Jim Caldwell (Robert […]

Charlie Hunnam and Dakota Johnson to Star in “50 Shades of Grey”

posted by Nell Minow

E.L. James’ erotic best-seller Fifty Shades of Grey is soon to be a movie, starring Dakota Johnson as literature student Anastasia Steele and Charlie Hunnam as billionaire Christian Grey.  The book began as “Twilight” fan fiction and with its two sequels has […]

Ben Affleck is the New Batman

posted by Nell Minow

Adam West.  Michael Keaton.  Val Kilmer.  George Clooney.  Christian Bale.  And now the cape and cowl go to Ben Affleck, who has been announced as the next actor to play Batman, in the follow-up to this year’s “Man of Steel.” […]

Interview: Jerusha Hess and J.J. Feild of “Austenland”

posted by Nell Minow

No movie this year made me laugh more than “Austenland,” based on the novel by Shannon Hale. The film has Keri Russell as a Jane Austen fan who visits an immersive Jane Austen theme park/experience.  It was a lot of […]

Interview: Lily Collins of “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones”

posted by Nell Minow

It was great to catch up with Lily Collins, star of this week’s release “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones,” based on the best-selling series by Cassandra Clare.  The last time I spoke to Lily, she was playing a princess […]

MVP of the Month: Brie Larson

posted by Nell Minow

I had the great pleasure of speaking to Brie Larson in 2006 about her film, “Hoot,” and I thought she was terrific, both in person and in the film. Last week, I had the even greater pleasure of seeing her […]

“Casting By” — HBO Documentary About Casting Directors

posted by Nell Minow

Anyone who cares about movies should see “Casting By,” a new documentary on HBO about casting directors.  It is a rare opportunity to see early glimpses of some of the greatest actors live in their first roles and even never-seen […]

Interview: Cuba Gooding, Jr. of “Lee Daniels’ The Butler”

posted by Nell Minow

I spoke to Oscar-winner Cuba Gooding, Jr. about his role in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” as Carter, a colleague and friend of Cecil, the character played by Forest Whitaker. My favorite scene with your character is when you had to […]

Interview: David Oyelowo of “Lee Daniels’ The Butler”

posted by Nell Minow

David Oyelowo (“Red Tails”) plays the son of the title character in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.”  Louis is a rebellious young man who becomes deeply involved in the 1960’s and 70’s struggle for equal rights, first through sit-ins and voter […]

Interview: Kirk Cameron on “Unstoppable”

posted by Nell Minow

Kirk Cameron is one of the leading figures in faith-based and inspirational entertainment.  For the first time he has taken on the role of producer for a film he calls his most personal project.  It is the story of his […]

Interview: “Elysium” Villain Faran Tahir

posted by Nell Minow

Faran Tahir comes from a family of actors.  He was born in Los Angeles to Pakistani parents and studied theater at UCLA and Harvard.  He has appeared in “Star Trek” and “Iron Man” and on the television series “Warehouse 13.” […]

The New Dr. Who: Peter Capaldi

posted by Nell Minow

And the new Dr. Who is…Peter Capaldi, most recently seen in “World War Z” but perhaps most memorably seen in “In the Loop,” as the purveyor of the most impressively, explosively, excoriatingly profane tirades of invective ever put on screen. […]

Ten Great Films From Denzel Washington

posted by Nell Minow

He has a couple of Oscars and is one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, but I don’t think we fully appreciate Denzel Washington, in my opinion the finest actor working in Hollywood today.  As we look forward to “2 […]

MVP of the week, sort of: Ryan Reynolds

posted by Nell Minow

It is unusual for an actor to star in two major studio feature films opening the same week.  Studios understandably do not want to split the fans by making them choose between two options.  Even though the audiences for the […]

Glenn Close Auctions Her Costumes for Charity

posted by Nell Minow

Are you a “Damages” fan? Fancy yourself one of Cruella DeVille’s furry fashions?   Glenn Close is auctioning off the clothes she wore as Patty Hughes and many other characters to raise money for her charity combating the stigma of […]

Tribute: “Glee’s” Cory Monteith

posted by Nell Minow

It is with special sadness that we bid farewell to the talented young actor who played Finn on “Glee,” Cory Monteith.  The cause of death is not yet known but he struggled with substance abuse. Here he tells Ellen Degeneres […]

Great Movie Duos: Bette Davis and Miriam Hopkins

posted by Nell Minow

I’m delighted to be participating in the classic movie blogathon about great film duos.  My choice is Miriam Hopkins and Bette Davis, who co-starred in two classics, “The Old Maid” and “Old Acquaintance.”  They were natural opposites, and their battles […]

Interview: Jim Rash and Nat Faxon of “The Way Way Back”

posted by Nell Minow

Nat Faxon and Jim Rash won a screenwriting Oscar for “The Descendants” and won the next day’s headlines by imitating Angelina Jolie’s leg-out pose when they accepted it.  I talked to them about “The Way Way Back,” which they wrote, […]

Happy Birthday Olivia de Havilland

posted by Nell Minow

      A very happy birthday to the magnificent Olivia de Havilland, the last of the greats from the golden era of Hollywood.  This double Oscar winner (for “The Heiress” and “To Each His Own,” plus nominations for “Gone […]

Tribute: James Gandolfini

posted by Nell Minow

Today we mourn the loss of James Gandofini, who died suddenly to day at age 51 while he was vacationing in Italy with his family.  He will always be remembered for his iconic role as Tony Soprano, the mob guy […]

Interview: Joel Smallbone of “The Book of Esther” and For King and Country

posted by Nell Minow

Joel Smallbone of King and Country plays Xerxes in “The Book of Esther,” his first film role.  He was nice enough to take some time off from his For King and Country tour to talk to me about playing the […]

MVP of the Week: Nathan Fillion

posted by Nell Minow

Nathan Fillion is this week’s MVP, with performances in two very different films. In Pixar’s animated “Monsters University,” he provides the voice for the obnoxious campus jock. And in Joss Whedon’s swanky, black and white, modern-dress version of Shakespeare’s “Much […]

Claire LaZebnik Remembers A Visit from Patricia Neal

posted by Nell Minow

Claire LaZebnik wrote a beautiful piece in the Wall Street Journal about a visit from the late Oscar-winning actress Patricia Neal.  The first movie I ever reviewed — for my high school paper — was Neal’s comeback film, “The Subject Was […]

Interview: Joey King of “Oz the Great and Powerful”

posted by Nell Minow

I loved Joey King in “Beezus and Ramona” and very much enjoyed her performance as China Girl and the girl in the wheelchair in “Oz the Great and Powerful,” which is out on DVD and Blu-Ray this week.  She talked […]

Interview: Nick Robinson of “The Kings of Summer” (and the Hilarious Cox Commercials)

posted by Nell Minow

I love the hilarious Cox commercials, with Nick Robinson as the perpetually-humiliated teenager whose father thinks he is super-cool as he shows off all of the great features of Cox television, internet, and phone.  And I love “The Kings of […]

Interview: Steve Taravella, Author of a New Book about Mary Wickes

posted by Nell Minow

I love the great character actress Mary Wickes, who was the nun who was replaced by Whoopi Goldberg as choir director in “Sister Act,” the nurse who was “a treasure” opposite Bette Davis in “Now Voyager,” and the hotel staff […]

Interview: “The Nun Who Kissed Elvis” — Actress Turned Nun R.M. Delores Hart O.S.B.

posted by Nell Minow

How could I throw away a promising acting career for the monastic life of a cloistered nun? I left the world I knew in order to reenter it on a more profound level. Many people don’t understand the difference between […]

Interview: Rama Burshtein and Hadas Yaron of “Fill the Void”

posted by Nell Minow

“Fill the Void” is an Israeli film with a rare, intimate, and very sympathetic portrayal of a very observant Orthodox Jewish community.  It is the story of a young woman, still in her teens, who is under pressure to marry […]

Interview: Gabriel Basso of “The Kings of Summer”

posted by Nell Minow

“The Kings of Summer” is the story of three teenage boys who run away from home and build a house in the woods, and it is one of my favorite films of the year.  One of the boys is played […]

Tribute: Jean Stapleton

posted by Nell Minow

We mourn the loss of television great Jean Stapleton, who died today at age 90.  Best known as Edith, the sweet-natured wife of the bombastic Archie Bunker on “All in the Family,” she was often the target of his insults […]

Happy Birthday Marilyn Monroe!

posted by Nell Minow

Interview: Thomas Horn of “Space Warriors”

posted by Nell Minow

Thomas Horn, Jeopardy champion and star of “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” appears in this week’s “Space Warriors.”  The movie premieres on Friday, May 31st at 8/7c on the Hallmark Channel and co-stars Ryan Simpkins, Danny Glover, Dermot Mulroney, Josh […]

Interview: Jesse Eisenberg of “Now You See Me”

posted by Nell Minow

Jesse Eisenberg (“The Social Network,” “The Squid and the Whale,” “Rio”) stars in one of the most entertaining films of the year, “Now You See Me,” the story of a group of magicians who rob a bank.  It co-stars Morgan […]

Jerry Lewis is Back (in France) With a New Movie — A Drama

posted by Nell Minow

They really do love Jerry Lewis in France, so where better to premiere his first movie in 23 years than Cannes?  The 87-year-old legendary funny man appears in a drama called “Max Rose,” about an elderly widower, co-starring with Claire […]

Want to Know What James Franco Thinks of “The Great Gatsby?”

posted by Nell Minow

I’m interested in James Franco’s take on “The Great Gatsby” because of what this polymath who attended two grad schools at once has to say about the challenges of adapting great writing to the screen and the differing goals and […]

Interview: Directors/Writer/Star of “Desperate Acts of Magic”

posted by Nell Minow

Magic is in the air.  And on the screen.  Two big-budget films with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars playing magicians are being released within a few months of each other.  In March, we had the silly comedy The Incredible Burt […]

Interview: Candace Cameron Bure of “Finding Normal”

posted by Nell Minow

It was great to catch up with Candace Cameron Bure to hear about her new film, “Finding Normal,” premiering this week on GMC-TV.  She plays a brilliant type-A surgeon who is completely focused on status and her career until she gets […]

Interview: Margaret Talbot on The Entertainer

posted by Nell Minow

I loved Margaret Talbot’s book about her father, actor Lyle Talbot, The Entertainer: Movies, Magic, and My Father’s Twentieth Century.  His career spanned the full range of entertainment from the traveling shows of the 1920’s to movies in the golden age […]

Audrey Hepburn and Edith Head

posted by Nell Minow

Audrey Hepburn won an Oscar for her first starring role in “Roman Holiday,” with gowns designed by Edith Head.  I loved this segment from the early days of television that takes us behind the scenes of creating the costumes for […]

Previous Posts

The Transporter Refueled
It must be said. The refueled "Transporter" is very low octane. The original had some of the best chase scenes ever filmed and a ...

posted 5:34:15pm Sep. 03, 2015 | read full post »

Learning to Drive
Katha Pollitt's wry but bordering on scathing essay about taking her first driving lessons in her 50's, after her partner of seven ...

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Tribute: Dean Jones
When the sad news came about the death of actor Dean Jones, those who remembered him most fondly mostly fell into two separate groups with not much overlap. Many baby boomers remembered him as the eternally fresh-faced star of Disney films like ...

posted 2:20:21pm Sep. 03, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: The True Story of "The Man Who Saved the World"
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAAky4iJcsQ[/youtube] Many feature films have imagined what would happen if a real or apparent nuclear attack precipitated war. None of them came close to the real-life story told in this documentary ...

posted 11:53:03am Sep. 03, 2015 | read full post »

What Screen Time Does to Developing Brains
As kids go back to school, it's a good time to establish some rules about screen time.  My recommended rules are below. This is increasingly ...

posted 3:55:33pm Sep. 02, 2015 | read full post »

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