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Interview: Producer Jim Whitaker on “The Finest Hour”

posted by Nell Minow

Producer Jim Whitaker says that when he first read The Finest Hours: The True Story of a Heroic Sea Rescue, “every time it came to a different point in the story it just got more and more amazing. And in […]

Interview: Ilya Tovbis on the DC Jewish Film Festival

posted by Nell Minow

Ilya Tovbis is director of the Washington DC Jewish Film Festival, which will take place from February 24-March 6, 2016. In an interview, he talked about what it means to be a “Jewish movie.” “It’s on one hand easy and […]

Interview: Matt Charman, Co-Screenwriter of “Bridge of Spies”

posted by Nell Minow

Matt Charman is a British playwright whose first script (with the Coen brothers) was for the Steven Spielberg movie, Bridge of Spies. It is based on the true story of an insurance lawyer named James Donovan (Tom Hanks), who negotiated […]

Interview: Thelma Todd Biographer Michelle Morgan

posted by Nell Minow

Michelle Morgan has followed her books on Marilyn Monroe and Madonna with a meticulously researched and insightfully written biography of Thelma Todd, a star of early Hollywood who appeared in films with the Marx Brothers and Buster Keaton but who […]

Interview: Will Poulter on “The Revenant”

posted by Nell Minow

I’ve been a big fan of Will Poulter since he played a young filmmaker in the delightful Son of Rambow, and it has been a lot of fun to watch him grow up — and grow as an actor — […]

Interview: Lawrence Kasanoff on the New Documentary “Mindfulness — Be Happy Now”

posted by Nell Minow

Hollywood producer Lawrence Kasanoff makes movies like Mortal Kombat. But his interest in mindfulness and its link to happiness has inspired a documentary called Mindfulness: Be Happy Now. In an interview, he talked about the difference between mindfulness and meditation […]

Interview: Oscar Isaac in 2006

posted by Nell Minow

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” star Oscar Isaac played Joseph in The Nativity Story and I have been a huge fan ever since. Here’s the interview I did with him back in 2006. Oscar Isaac plays Joseph in the respectful […]

Interview: Kent Jones on the Documentary “Hitchcock/Truffaut”

posted by Nell Minow

If you are very lucky, some day a book will change your life. And no book changed my life more profoundly than Hitchcock/Truffaut, a book-length interview of one of the world’s greatest movie directors by another who happened to be […]

Interview: Jared Hess on the Biblical Archeology Comedy “Don Verdean”

posted by Nell Minow

Jared and Jerusha Hess are best known as the co-screenwriters of the offbeat comedy Napoleon Dynamite, which Hess also directed. Their latest film is “Don Verdean,” with Sam Rockwell as a hapless Biblical archeologist who commits fraud to satisfy backers […]

Interview: Juliet Stevenson on Playing Mother Teresa in “The Letters

posted by Nell Minow

Juliet Stevenson plays Mother Teresa in William Riead‘s The Letters. In our interview, I began by asking her about playing the famously tiny nun when she is a tall woman. ” You’re absolutely right and one of the first things […]

Interview: Trevor Habberstad on the Stunts in “Ant-Man”

posted by Nell Minow

Trevor Habberstad, a second generation stuntman, coordinated the stunts for the Marvel movie, Ant-Man. In an interview, we talked about the special challenges of creating stunts for a superhero who is only a fraction of an inch high. “We had […]

Interview: Bill Riead of the Mother Teresa Film, “The Letters”

posted by Nell Minow

William Riead is the writer/director of the lovely film about Mother Teresa called The Letters. It was a great pleasure to talk to him about his dedication to sharing her story. “I wanted the story to be accurate when I […]

Interview: The Blonde at the Film

posted by Nell Minow

Cameron is The Blonde at the Film, and her blog on vintage movie classics is one of my favorites. I especially love the History Through Hollywood series where she traces technology and culture as portrayed over the years in films. […]

Interview: Teyonah Parris and Spike Lee on “Chi-Raq”

posted by Nell Minow

“Chi-Raq” is one of the best films of the year and one of the most important films of many years. It is a searing wail of love, grief, and fury inspired by “Lysistrata,” a play written in 411 BC. A […]

Interview: Erin Bernhardt of “Imba Means Sing”

posted by Nell Minow

The African Children’s Choir is more than a performing group. It is a chance. Children from the direst poverty who tour with the group get to see the world. They go to school. And when they grow up, their education […]

Interview: “Shaun the Sheep” Co-Writer/Director Richard Starzak

posted by Nell Minow

Richard Starzak and Mark Burton wrote and directed the adorable “Shaun the Sheep,” and it was a lot of fun to talk to him about making a stop-motion animation movie with no words. The DVD/Blu-Ray, which will be available November […]

Interview: Jay Roach, Director of “Trumbo”

posted by Nell Minow

Jay Roach is best known for wild comedies like the Austin Powers and “Meet the Parents” films, but he also directed the sharp, fact-based political films “Recount” (about the Bush-Gore election) and “Game Change” (about Sarah Palin) for HBO. He […]

Interview: Billy Ray on “Secret in Their Eyes”

posted by Nell Minow

It was a thrill to get a chance to interview one of my favorite screenwriters, Billy Ray (“Shattered Glass,” “Breach”) about the new film he both wrote and directed, “Secret in Their Eyes,” a thriller starring three Oscar winners, Julia […]

Interview: Johann Johannsson, Composer of “Sicario”

posted by Nell Minow

Jóhann Jóhannsson is an Icelandic composer who created the moody, evocative score for the intense law enforcement drama, “Sicario.” Previously, he wrote the score for the Stephen Hawking film, “The Theory of Everything.” It was a pleasure to speak with […]

Interview: Sarah Gavron on “Suffragette”

posted by Nell Minow

Sarah Gavron directed “Suffragette,” starring Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham-Carter, and Meryl Streep in the story of some of the women who fought in the decades-long struggle to give women voting rights in the UK. I spoke to her in an […]

Interview: “Armor of Light,” the Documentary about Faith and Guns

posted by Nell Minow

Armor of Light is a thought-provoking new documentary with important insights for everyone on all sides of the debate on guns. Documentarian Abigail Disney made a film about two people who are making a faith-based case for addressing gun violence […]

Interview: “Chaplains” Director Martin Doblmeier

posted by Nell Minow

Martin Doblmeier has made more than thirty movies about faith. The latest from his Journey Films is “Chaplains,” showing this month on PBS. It is a profound and moving documentary about chaplains of many different faiths in a variety of […]

Interview: Leonard Maltin on His New Classic Movie Guide

posted by Nell Minow

The third edition of Leonard Maltin’s indispensible guide to older movies is now called Turner Classic Movies Presents Leonard Maltin’s Classic Movie Guide: From the Silent Era Through 1965. It is even more important than ever in the era of […]

Interview: James Vanderbilt on “Truth,” With Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford

posted by Nell Minow

James Vanderbilt wrote and directed Truth, based on journalist Mary Mapes’ book about the controversial story that ended her career at CBS News. Working with Dan Rather, she produced a news story with explosive allegations about President George W. Bush’s […]

Interview: Reverend T.D. Jakes on His New Book, Destiny

posted by Nell Minow

It is always refreshing and inspiring to talk to Reverend T.D. Jakes, and it was a great pleasure to have a chance to hear more about his new book, Destiny: Step into Your Purpose, a follow-up to his best-seller, Instinct. […]

Interview: Dan Romer, Composer of the Score for “Beasts of No Nation”

posted by Nell Minow

Dan Romer composed the score for Finders Keepers, a documentary about two men fighting over the ownership of a severed leg. “I saw the film and I mean I love it. You know I was laughing all the way through, […]

Interview: Brie Larson of “Room”

posted by Nell Minow

Brie Larson is one of the most talented and dedicated young actors in Hollywood and also one of my favorite people to interview. We first spoke when she was still a teenager about her appearance in Hoot. And I was […]

Interview: Writer-Director John Swetnam of the Dance film “Breaking Through”

posted by Nell Minow

John Swetnam is the director of “Breaking Through,” the story of a young dancer who achieves viral fame and then sees it strain her relationships with her friends. I talked to him about the best way to film dancers “There […]

Interview: Jon Gries of “Endgame” (and “Get Shorty” and “Napoleon Dynamite”)

posted by Nell Minow

I’m a big fan of actor Jon Gries, who always brings something very specific and interesting to his roles. In “Endgame,” the story of a championship chess team from a school in a poor community from writer/director Carmen Marron, it […]

Interview: Bryan Carberry and J. Clay Tweel on the Documentary “Finders Keepers”

posted by Nell Minow

Bryan Carberry and J. Clay Tweel have made some of my favorite documentaries, including “King of Kong” and “Make Believe,” bringing us into worlds that at first seem exotic and downright weird and seamlessly making us feel a part of […]

Interview: Adriana Trigiani of “Big Stone Gap”

posted by Nell Minow

Adriana Trigiani really is from a coal mining town in Virginia called Big Stone Gap and the biggest movie star in the world did choke on a chicken bone there. Now if that is not enough to inspire a book […]

Interview: Adam LaVorgna of “Masterless”

posted by Nell Minow

Adam LaVorgna became an actor very young and was in the cast of the television series “Brooklyn Bridge” and “7th Heaven” before he was out of his teens. He loved the cast but he felt lost. He tried to use […]

Interview: Goran Visnjic of “The Journey Home”

posted by Nell Minow

Goran Visnjic stars in the family movie adventure The Journey Home, with Dakota Goyo as an Canadian boy who is determined to bring a polar bear cub back to its mother. The scenery is spectacular and the story is heartwarming […]

Interview: Giulio Ricciarelli of Holocaust Drama “Labyrinth of Lies”

posted by Nell Minow

Giulio Ricciarelli co-wrote and directed the German film “Labyrinth of Lies,” based on the real-life story of the courageous post-WWII German prosecutors who insisted on investigating the atrocities of the concentration camps and prosecuting those responsible. Surrounded by former Axis […]

Interview: Randall Wallace on the Braveheart Life

posted by Nell Minow

Randall Wallace tells his story, from seminarian to songwriter to screenwriter of the Oscar-winning “Braveheart” and other inspiring films in his new book, Living the Braveheart Life: Finding the Courage to Follow Your Heart. It was a great pleasure to […]

Interview: Phil Vischer of VeggieTales in the House

posted by Nell Minow

Phil Vischer is co-creator of the popular VeggieTales characters and videos and still provides the voice of Bob the Tomato. It was a lot of fun to talk to him about the characters and their new series, VeggieTales in the […]

Interview: Writer-Director Carmen Marron of “Endgame”

posted by Nell Minow

“Endgame” is a heartwarming family film inspired by the true story of a championship middle school chess team from a school in a poor Texas community. It stars “Modern Family’s” Rico Rodriguez and two actors from “Napoleon Dynamite,” Efran Ramirez […]

Interview: Ashley Smith Robinson, the Real-Life Captive Who Inspired the Movie

posted by Nell Minow

Ashley Smith Robinson was a recovering drug addict, a widow in her 20’s, and a mother who desperately wanted to be able to prove that she could care for her little girl. Brian Nichols was a desperate man about to […]

Interview: Director Khoa Le of “Walt Before Mickey”

posted by Nell Minow

“Walt Before Mickey” is the story of Walt Disney’s earliest years in animation, filled with passion and imagination but also plagued by failures and setbacks. “American Pie’s” Thomas Ian Nicholas and “Napoleon Dynamite’s” Jon Heder play brothers Walt and Roy […]

Interview: Karina Longworth on the “You Must Remember This” Podcast, Now on Panoply

posted by Nell Minow

Karina Longworth is the creator/narrator of the brilliant “You Must Remember This” podcast, which covers Hollywood history. Last season was entirely devoted to a mesmerizing narrative about the Charles Manson murders. The show has now moved to Slate’s Panoply podcast […]

Interview: Sarah Colt on the PBS Documentary “Walt Disney”

posted by Nell Minow

Sarah Colt’s two-part “American Experience” documentary about Walt Disney is a fascinating look at one of the towering figures not just of film history but of American history. Disney revolutionized film and the way we tell stories with his animated […]

Interview: Patricia Clarkson on “Learning to Drive”

posted by Nell Minow

Patricia Clarkson stars as Wendy in Learning to Drive, the story of a New York writer who has to get her first driver’s license after her husband of 21 years leaves her for another woman. The license is just a […]

Interview: Director Morgan Matthews on “A Brilliant Young Mind”

posted by Nell Minow

Morgan Matthews made a documentary about brilliant teenagers competing in the Math Olympiad, many of whom were on the autism spectrum, and that inspired his feature film, “A Brilliant Young Mind,” with “Ender’s Game” and “Hugo” star Asa Butterfield. Sally […]

Interview: Alex Sheremet on Woody Allen (Part 2)

posted by Nell Minow

This is part 2 of my interview with Alex Sheremet about his book, Woody Allen: Reel to Real. You can read Part 1 here. He keeps coming back to a character’s taking moral judgement into his own hands to commit […]

Simon Abrams Interviews Legendary Producer Roger Corman

posted by Nell Minow

One of my favorite critics interviewed Hollywood’s legendary producer, Roger Corman, for New York Magazine’s Vulture, and it is a treat to read. Corman is by many measures the most successful filmmaker of all time because he made ultra low-budget […]

Interview: Kim Campbell on Caring for Glen Campbell and “I’ll Be Me”

posted by Nell Minow

Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me is a beautiful documentary about an ugly disease. Glen Campbell, one of the most popular and successful musical performers of all time, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2011. As memories, words, and some basic concepts […]

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 […]

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: Neil Citron Talks About the Music in Meryl Streep’s “Ricki and the Flash”

posted by Nell Minow

Neil Citron was the Musical Director for Ricki and The Flash starring Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, and Rick Springfield, written by Diablo Cody and directed by Jonathan Demme. It was a lot of fun talking to him about helping Streep […]

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 […]

Interview: Daniel Pemberton, Composer of the “Man from UNCLE” Score

posted by Nell Minow

When director and co-screenwriter Guy Ritchie needed someone to write a cool, sexy, sophisticated score for “The Man from UNCLE,” he went to Daniel Pemberton. The soundtrack is one of the best of the year and I had a lot […]

Interviews: Jewish Views on Sex and Intimacy in “The Lost Key”

posted by Nell Minow

“The Lost Key” is a documentary that explores contemporary society’s confusion of sex and intimacy, and how the ancient principles from Jewish theology can restore the holy connection between husbands and wives. I spoke to director Ricardo Adler, whose own […]

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 […]

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 […]

Interview: Dana Nachman of “Batkid Begins”

posted by Nell Minow

Dana Nachman is the director of the heartwarming documentary “Batkid Begins.” She talked to me about how one five-year-old cancer survivor’s Make a Wish story captivated the entire world. At the screening I attended there was audible weeping. I also […]

Interview: Lorne Balfe, Composer for “Terminator Genisys”

posted by Nell Minow

Lorne Balfe composed the score for “Terminator Genisys,” the fifth in the series, which takes place in three different time period, some very dystopian. He talked to me about creating a sound that conveyed the mechanistic themes and how he […]

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: David and Christi Eaton of “Hope Bridge”

posted by Nell Minow

David and Christi Eaton wanted to help families devastated by suicide and those who struggle with thoughts of suicide. And so they wrote “Hope Bridge.” I spoke with them about how a busy couple with six children who had never […]

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: Patrick Brice on the Very R-Rated Comedy “The Overnight”

posted by Nell Minow

Writer/director Patrick Brice talked to me about his funny and provocative new film, “The Overnight,” about a couple new to Los Angeles (Adam Scott and Taylor Schilling) who are invited to dinner at the lavish home of an impossibly hip […]

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 […]

Interview: Antonia Bogdanovich of “Phantom Halo”

posted by Nell Minow

Antonia Bogdanovich is the co-writer and director of “Phantom Halo,” the story of two brothers and their father, a one-time Shakespearean actor who forces them to steal to support his gambling and alcohol addictions. The brothers are named for the […]

Interview: Maya Forbes on “Infinitely Polar Bear”

posted by Nell Minow

Writer/director Maya Forbes did not just base her new film on her own childhood; she had her sister contribute to the soundtrack and cast her daughter as Amelia, the character inspired by Forbes herself. The film covers the period when […]

Interview: Director Peter Cousens of “Freedom”

posted by Nell Minow

“Freedom” interweaves two stories of slavery. In one, an enslaved family led by Samuel (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) escapes via the Underground Railroad. In the other, set a century earlier, John Newton, the captain of a slave trader sails from Africa […]

Interview: Pastor Steven Earp of “Where Was God?”

posted by Nell Minow

“Where Was God?” is a documentary about “stories of hope after the storm,” the impact on the community of Moore, Oklahoma of an E5 storm with destructive power eight times that of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. I spoke to […]

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 […]

Interview: Brett Haley, Writer/Director of “I’ll See You in My Dreams”

posted by Nell Minow

Brett Haley wrote and directed “I’ll See You in My Dreams,” a bittersweet romance starring the luminous Blythe Danner as Carol, a widow taking some tentative steps toward love with Bill, a handsome new neighbor played by Sam Elliott. Haley […]

Interview: Claire LaZebnik, Author of Wrong About the Guy

posted by Nell Minow

The wonderful Claire LaZebnik has written another terrific YA book.  This one is Wrong About the Guy, the story of Ellie, a high school senior who lives with her mother, her musician stepfather, who has become unexpectedly famous as the […]

Interview: Junkie XL, Composer of “Mad Max: Fury Road”

posted by Nell Minow

It was a treat to talk to Junkie XL (aka Tom Holkenborg), the award-winning, multi-platinum producer/composer who created the sensational soundtrack for Mad Max: Fury Road, ranging from orchestral to heavy metal, and now available for purchase. Coming up next, he […]

Interview: Sandy McLeod on “Seeds of Time”

posted by Nell Minow

Seeds of Time is a documentary that seems like a terrifying science fiction story. It is about the efforts of Cary Fowler, funded by Bill Gates, to find, preserve, and store seeds from plants necessary for all life forms on […]

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 […]

Interview: Tom Salta, Composer for HALO Spartan Strike

posted by Nell Minow

It’s one thing to create a soundtrack for one story. But Tom Salta had to create one consistent theme for multiple potential storylines and outcomes for the latest version of HALO, called Spartan Strike. The game is available on Windows […]

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 […]

Interview: Jonny Campbell, Director of J.K. Rowling’s “The Casual Vacancy”

posted by Nell Minow

J.K. Rowling’s first book for adults was the dark, sometimes savage story of small town politics, The Casual Vacancy. The title refers to an elected office that is vacated before the term is up, which in this story occurs in […]

Interview: Alex Garland of “Ex Machina”

posted by Nell Minow

Alex Garland is the screenwriter of thought-provoking sci-fi films like “28 Days Later” and “Never Let Me Go.”  He wrote and for the first time directed “Ex Machina,” a fascinating story about Caleb, a computer programmer (Domhnall Gleeson), invited to […]

Interview: Barak Goodman of “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies”

posted by Nell Minow

Director Barak Goodman talked to me about his superb series for PBS, Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, now available on DVD. The series is produced by Ken Burns, based on the book by book by Siddhartha Mukherjee. Everybody who […]

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 […]

Interview: Jean-Michel Cousteau of “Secret Ocean 3D”

posted by Nell Minow

Jean-Michel Cousteau has carried on the legacy of his famous father, Jacques Cousteau, who first allowed the world to see the creatures that live in the water, through deep-sea diving and his pioneering underwater photography. Now his son has used […]

Interview: Writer/Director Noah Baumbach of “While We’re Young”

posted by Nell Minow

Writer/director Noah Baumbach talked to me about his new film, “While We’re Young,” starring Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts as a middle-aged couple. They befriend a young couple played by Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried, and the movie has a […]

Interview: The Woman in Gold’s Simon Curtis and E. Randol Schoenberg

posted by Nell Minow

Director Simon Curtis told me, “My last film was My Week with Marilyn, and this one is my century with Maria.”  He is referring to “The Woman in Gold,” with Helen Mirren as Maria Altmann, who brought a lawsuit to […]

Interview: Amy S. Weber of the Bullying Movie “A Girl Like Her”

posted by Nell Minow

Writer/director Amy S. Weber first became interested in the problem of bullying when she was producing educational films for young people in 1996, over about a 10 year period. “I was working with mostly teenagers on real life stories documenting […]

Interview: Costume Designer Colleen Atwood of “Into the Woods”

posted by Nell Minow

Stephen Sondheim’s dark take on fairy tales, Into the Woods, out on DVD/Blu-Ray this week, includes Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick, Johnny Depp, and Chris Pine, but equally important is the contribution from another superstar, three-time Oscar winning costume […]

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 […]

Interview: Robert Kenner of “Merchants of Doubt”

posted by Nell Minow

Robert Kenner’s Merchants of Doubt is a deeply unsettling documentary about the way corporations divert money they should be spending on making better products more effectively to spend it instead on undermining science and scientists. By creating fake “public interest” […]

Interview: Dan Fogelman, Writer/Director of “Danny Collins”

posted by Nell Minow

Dan Fogelman wrote “Cars,” “Tangled,” and “Crazy Stupid Love,” and now for the first time has directed with “Danny Collins,” starring Al Pacino and Annette Bening.  Fogelman told me he was wasting time on the internet because he did not […]

The Grandparent Effect: Superb New Resource for Families

posted by Nell Minow

I am a huge fan of Olivia Gentile’s new website, The Grandparent Effect, a warm, wise, and highly informative resource for parents, grandparents, and caregivers. As she explains, Grandparents are healthier, wealthier, and longer-lived than ever before. What does this […]

Interview: Writer/Director Tom McCarthy of the Adam Sandler Fantasy “The Cobbler”

posted by Nell Minow

I am a huge fan of writer/director Tom McCarthy (Win Win, “The Station Agent,” The Visitor), and was delighted to get a chance to talk to him about his new film, co-written with Paul Sado, “The Cobbler.”  It is a […]

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 […]

A New Alphabet Book for Women’s History Month: Rad American Women A-Z

posted by Nell Minow

Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries who Shaped Our History . . . and Our Future! is a wonderful new alphabet book to teach girls, boys, and their families about sounds and letters and stories about women who […]

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 […]

Interview: Jody Lee Lipes of “Ballet 422″

posted by Nell Minow

“Ballet 422″ is a new documentary directed by cinematographer Jody Lee Lipes (Lena Dunham’s breakthrough “Tiny Furniture,” Judd Apatow’s upcoming “Trainwreck,” written by Amy Schumer).  It is an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at the creation of a new dance number for […]

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: Composer Matthew Margeson of “Kingsman: The Secret Service”

posted by Nell Minow

Matthew Margeson and Henry Jackman composed the score for Matthew Vaughn’s new spy movie, “Kingsman: The Secret Service.”  Margeson told me that “Henry and I had composed the film score to ‘Kick Ass 2′ together. And that kind of went well […]

Interview: Dogs on the Inside, Documentary About A Prison Program for Rescue Dogs

posted by Nell Minow

“Dogs on the Inside” is a profoundly moving documentary about a program that teaches prisoners how to care for rescue dogs.  Seeing the dogs and the men in prison learn patience and trust from each other is touching and inspiring. […]

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.

Interview: Nancy Spielberg and Roberta Grossman of “Above and Beyond”

posted by Nell Minow

In 1948, a group of World War II pilots volunteered to fight for Israel in the War of Independence. As members of “Machal” (volunteers from abroad), they not only turned the tide of the war, they also laid the groundwork […]

Interview: “Mozart in the Jungle” Author Blair Tindall

posted by Nell Minow

Amazon’s sexy and provocative “Mozart in the Jungle” series stars Gael Garcia Bernal, Lola Kirke, and Malcolm McDowell in a story set in the intensely competitive world of a big city orchestra.  It is based on the tell-all tale by […]

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 […]

Interview: Kate Fowkes on Fantasy and Fairy Tales

posted by Nell Minow

Ten years ago, would anyone have believed there would be popular fairy-tale-inspired television series both serious (Once Upon a Time, Grimm), and comic/musical (Galavant)? Why do fantasy and fairy tales mean so much to us? I asked one of my […]

Interview: David Heyman, Producer of “Paddington”

posted by Nell Minow

David Heyman was selected by Entertainment Weekly as one of the smartest people in Hollywood. It may be because he grabbed the rights to a children’s book called Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I enjoyed his latest movie, “Paddington,” […]

Interview: Dan Heath, Co-Composer of the “Big Eyes” Song

posted by Nell Minow

Tim Burton’s “Big Eyes” is based on the real-life case of Walter Keane, who said he was responsible for the hugely successful “big eye” paintings of children in the 1960’s, and his wife Margaret Keane, who, as determined in a […]

Interview: Lacey Schwartz on Her Family’s “Little White Lie” — No One Told Her She Was a Black Daughter in a White Family

posted by Nell Minow

Lacey Schwartz grew up as the much-loved only child of warm, loving parents in a close-knit middle-class Jewish family. She did not resemble her parents, but they reassured her that she had a Sicilian grandparent who was the genetic source […]

Interview: Ava DuVernay of “Selma”

posted by Nell Minow

My favorite movie of the year is “Selma,” the story of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King’s march from Selma, Alabama to the state capital, Montgomery, to bring attention to the barriers the Southern states were using to prevent black […]

Interview: A.J. Edwards of the Lincoln Movie “The Better Angels”

posted by Nell Minow

A. J. Edwards is the writer and director of “The Better Angels,” a lyrical new film about the early years of Abraham Lincoln, when he was a boy growing up in a small log cabin. The title comes from Lincoln’s […]

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 […]

Interview: Gina Prince-Bythewood of “Beyond the Lights”

posted by Nell Minow

It was an honor to speak to one of my favorite filmmakers, Gina Prince-Bythewood, writer/director of one of this year’s best romantic dramas, “Beyond the Lights.” As I spoke to her, she had just received word that Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who […]

Interview: Laura Poitras of the Edward Snowden Documentary “Citizenfour”

posted by Nell Minow

I normally begin my interviews by asking for permission to record the conversation for my notes.  But there was something eerily resonant about that routine request when I spoke to journalist Laura Poitras, director of the new documentary “Citizenfour,” about […]

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 […]

Interview: Todd and Jedd Wider about the Bullying Documentary “Mentor”

posted by Nell Minow

Producers Todd and Jedd Wider generously took time to answer my questions about their documentary, “Mentor,” the story of two teenagers who committed suicide following relentless bullying. The film, which received Honorable Mention for Best Documentary Feature at the 2014 […]

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 […]

Interviews: “Art and Craft’s” Sam Cullman and Jennifer Grausman

posted by Nell Minow

The documentary “Art and Craft” is the extraordinary story of two men.  One is Mark Landis, an artist who created counterfeit paintings and then disguised himself as various philanthropist personas and donated them to art museums over three decades.  The […]

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: Ted Melfi of “St. Vincent”

posted by Nell Minow

Writer/director Ted Melfi got Bill Murray to appear in his first film by calling him. Murray does not have an agent or a manager. He has an 800 number. And Melfi left message after message until Murray finally called back […]

Dear White People: Interview with Writer/Director Justin Simien

posted by Nell Minow

“Dear White People” is fresh, provocative, timely, and very funny.  In the tradition of “Higher Learning” and “School Daze,” it is the story of four black students at an Ivy League college, all making different choices about adapting or challenging […]

Interview: David Dobkin of “The Judge”

posted by Nell Minow

Interviewing David Dobkin was a double pleasure for me. First, I loved the film he co-wrote and directed, “The Judge,” starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Robert Duvall. And second, he is the son of old friends Jim and Irma Dobkin, […]

Interview: Zane, Writer of “Addicted”

posted by Nell Minow

Zane is the pseudonym of the author of steamy novels and founder of two publishing imprints. “Addicted,” which opens on Friday, is based on her novel about a woman who risks her loving marriage with three affairs due to sexual […]

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 […]

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 […]

Interview: Matthias Malzieu of “Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart”

posted by Nell Minow

First it was a concept album of ethereally bittersweet songs from the French group Dionysos, and then it was a graphic novel, and now, writer/musician Matthias Malzieu has brought his tenderhearted fantasy love story to the screen in the animated […]

Interview: Ned Benson of “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them, Her, and Him”

posted by Nell Minow

Every story has at least two sides, especially the story of a relationship.  Writer/director Ned Benson explores romance and loss from the perspective of the man (James McAvoy) and the woman (Jessica Chastain) in two separate films, “The Disappearance of […]

Interview: Genevieve Bailey of “I Am Eleven”

posted by Nell Minow

There’s a reason that so many heroes and heroines of classic literature are eleven years old. It is that last magical moment at the cusp of childhood and adolescence, which is what makes it so fascinating and delightful. Genevieve Bailey […]

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 […]

Interview: Dylan Brody on Comedy, Depression, and Robin Williams

posted by Nell Minow

Dylan Brody is a comedy writer and stand-up performer dubbed “brilliant” by Robin Williams.  It was Williams’ tragic suicide that inspired Brody to write a moving essay about his own struggles with depression.  Brody generously took time to talk with me […]

Interview: Daniel Schechter, Writer/Director of “Life of Crime”

posted by Nell Minow

Newcomer Daniel Schechter, who wrote one of my favorite neglected gems, The Big Bad Swim, worked with an all-star cast in “Life of Crime,” which he adapted from The Switch by Elmore Leonard and directed.  It is set in 1970’s Detroit and […]

Anne Hathaway, Chris Pratt, Andy Serkis, Kate Winslet And More — Interviewing Each Other

posted by Nell Minow

I got a kick out of seeing what happened when Total Film asked the celebrities on junkets to interview each other.

Interview: Ira Sachs of “Love is Strange”

posted by Nell Minow

It’s hard to imagine that there will be a more tender love story on screen this year than John Lithgow and Alfred Molina in “Love is Strange,” from writer/director Ira Sachs.  They play a long-time couple who get married after […]

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 […]

Interview: Gayle Forman of “If I Stay”

posted by Nell Minow

Gayle Forman is the author of If I Stay, the source for this week’s movie starring Chloë Grace Moretz as Mia, a talented young cellist in a coma following a car accident.  As she hovers between life and death, she […]

Interview: Elan Mastai, Screenwriter of Daniel Radcliffe’s Romantic Comedy “What If”

posted by Nell Minow

Daniel Radcliffe’s first romantic comedy is “What If,” co-starring Zoe Kazan. Radcliffe plays Wallace, a former medical student who dropped out after his romance fell apart. He meets a girl named Chantry (Kazan) who seems perfect, but she has a […]

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 […]

Interview: Mike Cahill of “I Origins”

posted by Nell Minow

Mike Cahill writes and directs singular, provocative stories where science and faith combine — and sometimes clash. In “Another Earth,” Cahill’s college classmate, sometimes co-writer and friend Brit Marling starred as a girl who befriends the man whose family she […]

Interview: Michel Gondry of “Mood Indigo”

posted by Nell Minow

Michel Gondry is one of my favorite directors, with a distinctive style of romance and whimsy, best known for “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “Be Kind Rewind.”  His films usually feature intricate contraptions with a very hand-made feeling. […]

Interview: Thunder Levin of “Sharknado” and “Sharknado 2″

posted by Nell Minow

One of the highlights of Comic-Con was the chance to catch up with Thunder Levin, screenwriter of the sensation, “Sharknado” and the sequel, “Sharknado 2,” which premieres tonight on Syfy.  The original was remarkable for its over-the-top storyline and even […]

Interview: Joseph Nasser of “Amber Alert: Terror on the Highway”

posted by Nell Minow

Reserve Police Officer Joseph Nasser produced Amber Alert: Terror on the Highway to help raise awareness of the Amber Alert system. It stars Tom Berenger as a man on the edge, making a dead rush for Mexico and kidnapping two young […]

Interview: Dan Cohen of “Alive Inside”

posted by Nell Minow

Dan Cohen is the gifted and passionately committed man who transforms the lives of people with dementia and other severely debilitating diseases.  He is featured in the documentary “Alive Inside.” He is the founder of Music and Memory, which provides […]

Interview: Michael Rossato-Bennett of “Alive Inside”

posted by Nell Minow

Michael Rossato-Bennett agreed to spend one day filming Dan Cohen’s remarkable music therapy work with people struggling with dementia. He ended up spending three years there and the result is “Alive Inside,” an extraordinary documentary about the power of music […]

Interview: Richard Linklater of “Boyhood”

posted by Nell Minow

Richard Linklater is one of my favorite directors.  Films like “Waking Life,” “Before Sunrise”/”Before Sunset”/”Before Midnight,” “Dazed and Confused,” “School of Rock,” “Bernie,” and “Me and Orson Welles” display his restless intelligence and remarkable range.  His latest film, “Boyhood,” was […]

Interview: Raffi and His New CD “Love Bug”

posted by Nell Minow

Raffi has a new CD! His first new music in twelve years is called Love Bug and it will be available tomorrow. It was a special thrill to talk to someone whose music has been so important to our family. […]

Interview: Director Steve James on the Roger Ebert Documentary “Life Itself”

posted by Nell Minow

Roger Ebert said that Steve James’ documentary “Hoop Dreams” was the greatest film of the first decade of the 21st century. He wrote, “A film like “Hoop Dreams” is what the movies are for. It takes us, shakes us, and […]

Interview: Joe Berlinger of “Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger”

posted by Nell Minow

Joe Berlinger is one of my favorite directors and it was a treat to talk to him about “Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger,” his new documentary on the trial of the notorious gangster. We know Bulgar […]

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 […]

Interview: Robert May of “Kids for Cash”

posted by Nell Minow

One of the most outrageous scandals in the history of the U.S. justice system involved two judges who took undisclosed multi-million dollar payments from the developer of a privately owned and operated facility for incarcerating teenagers.  A “law and order” […]

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: […]

Interview: Carl Deal and Tia Lessin of the Documentary “Citizen Koch”

posted by Nell Minow

“Citizens United has unleashed money that our disclosure laws are not equipped to reveal.” Tia Lessin and Carl Deal wanted to make a documentary about the toxic effect of corporate money on politics following the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens […]

Interview: James Ward Byrkit of “Coherence”

posted by Nell Minow

James Ward Byrkit wrote “Rango” and designed the visual effects for the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies.  His new movie, “Coherence,” is a nifty little mind-bender of a psychological thriller that makes the most of its micro-budget.  He talked to […]

Interview: Dean DeBlois of “How to Train Your Dragon 2″

posted by Nell Minow

Writer/director Dean DeBlois is one of my favorite people to interview and it was delightful to talk to him about the wonderful “How to Train Your Dragon 2.” Just give me the basics just to set the stage. Tell me […]

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 […]

Interview: Dave Clark of the Dave Clark Five

posted by Nell Minow

It was a tremendous thrill to speak to Dave Clark, from the Dave Clark Five, one of the greatest pop groups of all time.  Their string of classic hits include “Glad All Over,” “Bits and Pieces,” “Because,” and “Catch Us […]

Interview: Don McKellar of “The Grand Seduction”

posted by Nell Minow

Before we talked about his charming new film, “The Grand Seduction,” I just had to ask Don McKellar about the plans to make the sensational Broadway musical he co-wrote, “The Drowsy Chaperone,” into a film. He assured me that while […]

Interview: Fred Schepisi of “Words and Pictures”

posted by Nell Minow

Fred Schepisi is a soft spoken Australian director whose films include “Roxanne,” the charming update of “Cyrano de Bergerac” starring Steve Martin, and the thoughtful drama about connection and disconnection, “Six Degrees of Separation,” starring Will Smith. His new movie […]

Interview: Legion of Leia Founder Jenna Busch

posted by Nell Minow

I’m a huge fan of Jenna Busch, co-host of Most Craved for CraveOnline. She co-hosted ‘Cocktails With Stan’ with the legendary Stan Lee and she’s written for sites like Zap2it, After Buzz TV, Fanhattan, Screen Crave, Inside Horror, Huffington Post, […]

Interview: Bishop T.D. Jakes on His Best-Seller “Instinct”

posted by Nell Minow

Bishop T.D. Jakes’ new book, Instinct: The Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive is an instant best-seller. Combining historical, cultural, and personal examples with biblical insights, in INSTINCT Bishop Jakes outlines how to re-discover your natural aptitudes and re-claim the wisdom […]

Interview: John Ottman, Editor and Composer of “X-Men: Days of Future Past”

posted by Nell Minow

I last talked to editor/composer John Ottman about “Jack the Giant Slayer” and loved hearing about his unique combination of roles, often working with his former classmate, director Bryan Singer.  They collaborated again on X-Men: Days of Future Past and it […]

Interview: Sister Stephen, End of Life Nurse from “American Nurse”

posted by Nell Minow

Director Carolyn Jones told me that she learned more from Sister Stephen than anyone she has ever met.  Sister Stephen is an end-of-life nurse featured in Jones’ documentary, The American Nurse.  I also learned a great deal from her, even […]

Interview: Carolyn Jones of “American Nurse”

posted by Nell Minow

“American Nurse” is a deeply moving documentary about the men and women who are, as the bumper sticker says, “patient people.”  The film explores aging, war, poverty, and prisons through the work and lives of nurses.  Jason Short drives up a […]

Interview: Gia Coppola of “Palo Alto”

posted by Nell Minow

Gia Coppola is the 27-year-old writer/director of a new film called “Palo Alto,” based on a book of stories by James Franco, who appears in the film.  Other performers in the movie are, like Coppola, Hollywood-bred.  Coppola is the granddaughter […]

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: Mark Ciardi, Producer of “Million Dollar Arm”

posted by Nell Minow

Mark Ciardi is an athlete turned producer who specializes in taking real-life sports stories that sound like Disney movies into actual Disney movies: “The Rookie” and “Miracle.”  His latest is the Cinderella story “Million Dollar Arm” about sports agent J.B. […]

Interview: Sophia Grace and Rosie

posted by Nell Minow

Sophia Grace & Rosie’s Royal Adventure comes out on DVD and Blu-Ray on May 20. I am a big fan of these cute little British girls, and it was a treat to get to talk to them. Sophia Grace, tell […]

Interview: “Fed Up’s” Laurie David and Stephanie Soechtig

posted by Nell Minow

Oscar-winning producer Laurie David is back with an even more inconvenient truth: our food is killing us and the government is powerless to stop food companies from making it worse. I spoke to David and director Stephanie Soechtig about the […]

Interview: James Levine, Composer of “American Horror Story,” “Royal Pains,” and “Glee”

posted by Nell Minow

Composer James S. Levine worked on two of my favorite television series, so I was especially delighted to get a chance to speak to him.  I love “Glee’s” fabulously curated choral selections.  And I love the soundtrack to “Royal Pains,” […]

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 […]

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 […]

Interview: Daniel Licht, Composer of “Dexter”

posted by Nell Minow

Daniel Licht composed the music for “Dexter” as well as two of the “Silent Hill” video games and films including “Permanent Midnight” and “Stephen King’s Thinner.”  He talked to me about the difference between composing for thrillers and comedy and […]

Interview: Martha Williamson of “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”

posted by Nell Minow

Talking to Martha Williamson is pure positive energy and a real treat. The creator of “Touched by an Angel” has a new series on the Hallmark channel. It’s called “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” and it is about a USPS dead letter […]

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”) […]

Interview: Charles Humbard of UPTV on “The Passion of the Christ”

posted by Nell Minow

Charles “Charley” Humbard, Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of UP, is a 32-year entertainment industry veteran.  Since the network’s inception, he has led the channel’s overall business strategy and growth and maintained the network’s mission to uplift, inspire and entertain viewers through […]

Interview: Tom Allen on “The Passion of the Christ”

posted by Nell Minow

The Passion of The Christ is making its commercial television debut on UP TV on Palm Sunday night, April 13, with limited commercial interruptions and edits approved by the producers.  I spoke to Tom Allen who worked closely with Mel Gibson […]

Interview: Amy Powers on the “Heathers” Musical

posted by Nell Minow

Can it be possible that “Heathers,” the highly quotable ultimate mean girl story, was made 25 years ago? As Entertainment Weekly dishes with the actors and filmmakers to mark its anniversary and The Atlantic’s Alan Zilberman considers its impact, a […]

Interview: “Island Of Lemurs” Filmmakers

posted by Nell Minow

I spoke with the humans behind the gorgeous new IMAX nature film, “Island of Lemurs 3D: Madagascar,” Drew Feldman (writer/producer), David Douglas (director/cinematographer), and Dr. Patricia Wright, about the challenges of making the film and the more daunting challenges of […]

Interview: Stephen Endelman, Composer for “Rob the Mob”

posted by Nell Minow

“Rob the Mob” is a fact-based story about a couple named Tommy and Rosie who thought they had a foolproof way to make some money.  Since Mafia members were not allowed to bring weapons into their social clubs, why not […]

Interview: Rachel Boynton of Oil Business Documentary “Big Men”

posted by Nell Minow

Documentarian Rachel Boynton (Our Brand Is Crisis) spent seven years filming “Big Men,” a documentary about what happens when the American oil business meets a previously unknown oil reserve in Ghana.  Is it possible for American business, with its obligations […]

Interview: April Hernandez of 100 Huntley Street

posted by Nell Minow

April Hernandez and author Eric Metaxas will co-host host the syndicated talk show 100 Huntley Street, produced by Crossroads Media Group, featuring engaging conversations with extraordinary people to well-known celebrities.  The half-hour lifestyle show will  inspirational and uplifting stories, giving it […]

Interview: David Kaplan and Mark Levinson of “Particle Fever”

posted by Nell Minow

I loved “Particle Fever,” the gripping, illuminating, inspiring story of the world’s most brilliant physicists searching for the answer of answers — the building blocks of the universe with the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) .  So it was a special […]

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, […]

Interview: Author, Game Creator, History Buff Arie Kaplan

posted by Nell Minow

The multi-talented Arie Kaplan (From Krakow to Krypton: Jews and Comic Books)graciously took time to answer my questions about his latest projects.  He wrote the story, dialogue, and in-game fiction for the new videogame PARANORMAL STATE: POISON SPRING (based on the […]

Interview: Joshua Oppenheimer of “The Act of Killing”

posted by Nell Minow

If I were voting, “The Act of Killing” would not only win the Best Documentary Oscar, it would be a contender for Best Picture as well.  Director Joshua Oppenheimer broke through barriers from the secrecy and denial of government-sanctioned gangster […]

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 […]

Interview: Moviewise — Movies to Teach Morality and Character

posted by Nell Minow

The anonymous creator of the Moviewise website was kind enough to agree to an interview about movies and the lessons they teach. How did the moviewise website get started?  How long have you been doing it? I started the moviewise site in […]

Interview: Patrick Creadon of “If You Build It”

posted by Nell Minow

Patrick Creadon is the director of the new documentary “If You Build It,” the story of an idealistic young couple who movie to a depressed North Carolina community to teach teenagers how to solve problems with design.  He talked to […]

Interview: Christopher Lennertz, Comedy Movie Composer

posted by Nell Minow

Christopher Lennertz is one of Hollywood’s busiest composers.  Lately, he has specialized in writing scores for comedies like Kevin Hart’s Ride Along, with two more big comedic projects later this year: Think Like A Man Too (with Ride Along director Tim Story) and Horrible Bosses 2. […]

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 […]

Interview: Legendary Disney Animator Floyd Norman of “The Jungle Book”

posted by Nell Minow

I am a big fan of Disney’s The Jungle Book, the last animated film personally overseen by Walt Disney. Tomorrow, a gorgeous new Diamond Edition will be released, and so I got a chance to talk to one of the […]

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 […]

Interview: The Real Philomena Lee

posted by Nell Minow

Philomena Lee is a retired psychiatric nurse who lived quietly with her family in England until a search for the son taken away from her and adopted by Americans led to a  book by journalist Martin Sixsmith (Philomena: A Mother, […]

Interview Jose Prendes of “Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark”

posted by Nell Minow

“Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark” had to be made.  And someone had to write it.  I got to talk to the man who took that on, Jose Prendes. When you were growing up did you enjoy watching a lot of […]

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 […]

Interview: Writer-Director Anthony Joseph Giunta of “Contest”

posted by Nell Minow

I really enjoyed writer-director Anthony Joseph Giunta’s first film, “Contest,” a smart, funny, thoughtful story about high school bullying — and a televised cooking competition.  It was a pleasure to talk to him about making the film. How did this […]

Interview: James Udel Takes Us Behind the Scenes in The Film Crew of Hollywood

posted by Nell Minow

James Udel is the author of a magnificent new book, The Film Crew of Hollywood: Profiles of Grips, Cinematographers, Designers, a Gaffer, a Stuntman and a Makeup Artist.  He goes behind the scenes, interviewing ten people who created movie magic […]

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, […]

Interview: Nicholas Britell, Composer of “12 Years a Slave”

posted by Nell Minow

One of the most powerful moments in the extraordinary film 12 Years a Slave has its main character, Solomon Northrup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) joining with the other slaves to sing a spiritual.  It was a great pleasure to speak with the talented […]

Interview: Daniel Ferguson of “Jerusalem”

posted by Nell Minow

Daniel Ferguson told an audience that making his extraordinary 3D IMAX film about Jerusalem required four years and “thousands of cups of tea.”  It took four years.  But he was able to persuade Muslims, Christians, and Jews to allow him […]

Interview: Playwright Jason Odell Williams of “Handle With Care”

posted by Nell Minow

Many thanks to playwright Jason Odell Williams for taking time to talk to me about his romantic comedy, Handle With Care, opening tonight in New York, and starring Broadway legend Carol Lawrence, the original Maria in “West Side Story.” It tells […]

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: William Lorton on “Take Away One” about Teacher Mary Baratta Lorton

posted by Nell Minow

Mary Baratta Lorton was a pioneering teacher whose revolutionary ideas about making learning more accessible and involving transformed nearly every classroom in America in the 1970’s.  Her books included Mathematics Their Way.  Tragically, she was murdered.  The killer was never found.  Her […]

Previous Posts

Black History Month 2016
Be sure to take time during Black History month to watch movies the Civil Rights movement, ("Eyes on the Prize," "Selma," "Boycott"), and movies that are themselves a part of black history and film history (add to that list: "Killer of Sheep," ...

posted 3:55:11pm Feb. 05, 2016 | read full post »

A Moving Tribute to a Father Through Movies
Jessica Ritchey wrote a touching essay for Rogerebert.com about the movies she watched in the year after her father died, and how watching them helped her to keep him close. I’ve been published several times by the time I see "Crimson ...

posted 8:00:40am Feb. 05, 2016 | read full post »

Hail, Caesar!
The Coen brothers love old movies, and not just the classics. I remember reading an interview where they discussed their affection for ...

posted 5:59:12pm Feb. 04, 2016 | read full post »

The Choice
Nicholas Sparks is one of the rare authors who has become a brand of his own, bigger than any of his movies. One reason is their predicability; ...

posted 5:55:13pm Feb. 04, 2016 | read full post »

Trailer: LAIKA's Kubo and the Two Strings
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4-6qJzeb3A[/youtube] Clever, kindhearted Kubo (voiced by Art Parkinson of Game of Thrones) ekes out a humble living, telling stories to the people of his seaside town including Hosato (George Takei), ...

posted 8:00:59am Feb. 04, 2016 | read full post »

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