Hollywood

About those roses

Featured image I wrote here at length about The Subject Was Roses almost ten years ago after I saw author playwright Frank Gilroy’s grandson Sam Gilroy on stage at the Moore Theater in Dartmouth’s Hopkins Center. Meeting up with Frank Gilroy when he visited Dartmouth in 1971 for a screening of Desperate Characters, a film he had produced and directed as well as adapted from Paula Fox’s esteemed novel, was one of »

Terry Teachout recommends

Featured image Yesterday on Twitter Terry Teachout — my favorite critic, of theater for the Wall Street Journal and at large for Commentary — commented on The Third Man, the compelling 1949 film. If you are a fan of the film, you will undoubtedly recall that it was written by Graham Greene and features a chilling star turn by Orson Welles. Terry touted the film as a scrupulous study in moral complexity. »

Made for each other

Featured image This past Thursday afternoon my daughter Eliana interviewed Ambassador Nikki Haley for Politico’s Women Rule podcast. Most of the interview is devoted to Haley’s family background, her first interest in politics, her education in foreign policy, and her work at the UN on behalf of the Trump administration. Walking in the footsteps of Daniel Patrick Moynihan and John Bolton, Ambassador Haley is making us proud. Eliana also asked Ambassador Haley »

Darkest two hours revisited

Featured image I gave my quick take on the highly praised Churchill film Darkest Hour in my post “Darkest two hours.” By contrast, Steve Hayward declared the film “great” in this post and put it in the context of other depictions of Churchill on film in a valuable Weekly Standard column. In praising the film, Steve joins other esteemed Churchill experts who have written about it (Larry Arnn, Victor Davis Hanson, and »

First They Came for Friends. . .

Featured image As noted here previously, a noisy, nosy cohort of the millennial generation can’t stomach the old sitcom Friends, but now they’re going after . . . James Bond! Because 007 was a rapist don’t you know. Michael Walsh is manning (may I still use that verb?) the picket line against this creeping PC censorship, but it also gives us an excuse to screen the evidence that will be used against »

Andrew Roberts for the Win

Featured image I am pleased to see that on the question of how to think about the Churchill biopic Darkest Hour, the great Andrew Roberts comes down pretty close to where I do–and also where to rank the other major Churchill biopics. Our one major divergence is over Brendan Gleeson’s turn in the HBO production Into the Storm, which I thought suffered more from defective writing and poor direction rather than Gleeson’s »

Friends-less

Featured image I tried a few times back in the 1990s to take in an episode of Friends, but just couldn’t get through it. It seemed an entirely mediocre offering, and I could never understand why it was so popular, except I suppose as a prequel to the super-charged self-absorption of the coming of age millennial generation. At its peak it attracted as many as 52 million viewers. But maybe I have »

The Power Line Show, Episode 50: The Lighter Side of David Deeble

Featured image A few months back you may recall that I laid claim to David Deeble as “Power Line’s Next Comedy Legend.” Well a few days ago we tracked him down over in Germany, where he lives half the year (because he really likes a challenging audience for comedy), to talk about why most comics, like most other artists, are liberals, and several other topics. Turns out that I, too, have a »

Make Hollywood great again

Featured image I watched NBC’s broadcast of the Golden Globe awards last night with morbid fascination to soak in the self-love and the self-praise of the Hollywood crowd. The hours spent in psychotherapy seem to have paid off big league, though introspection was nowhere in evidence. The sexual harassment panic featured as a motif. My favorite moment was Halle Berry’s appearance as a presenter in the obligatory black gown with the voluntary »

Hollywood Agonistes

Featured image It’s Hollywood awards show season, and apparently the first of them—the Golden Globes—will be on this evening. It has come to this: Hollywood is counting on ratings going up as people tune in to see how they’ll handle the Harvey Weinstein train wreck. Apparently Hollywood is having second thoughts about the whole matter because they didn’t have the foresight to see how many “good people” it would take down, like »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 47: Shedding Light on ‘Darkest Hour’

Featured image Yesterday Scott and I teamed up to revive our dormant podcast to talk through our divergent opinions about Darkest Hour. I agree with Scott in one major way—that the film takes huge liberties with the facts and interpretation of things, and we spend a good deal of time breaking down some of the historical defects and explaining the deeper story behind some of the truncated and altered scenes. But we »

Next Biopic on Deck: Chappaquiddick

Featured image Coming on the heels of Darkest Hour is another biopic of note. Both Paul and I reported a while ago that there was a movie in the works on Ted Kennedy’s infamous incident at Chappaquiddick in 1969. In September I had an item here about how an early review suggested the film would be very harsh on Kennedy, and the trailer just out makes it appear there may be some »

Democracy dies in dimness

Featured image There’s fake news and there’s non-news. Between the two, they account for way too much of what the mainstream media reports. Here’s an example of non-news. The Washington Post tells us that “Tom Hanks would vote no to attending a screening of ‘The Post’ at the White House.” “The Post” is Hollywood’s homage to the Washington Post for publishing the Pentagon Papers decades ago. Tinseltown hoped, through this vehicle, to »

Enjoying the Hollywood Meltdown

Featured image I’m starting to think the various entertainment awards shows that I usually avoid like the plague—the Golden Globes, the Emmys, and the Academy Awards—might well be worth watching this coming year, as the usual Hollywood hypocrisy and pretentiousness may well become so incoherent and overwrought that it will defy the best attempts at parody. The imperative is to attack Donald Trump, like last year’s shows, but the Weinstein-inspired Pervnado is »

Thank you…

Featured image Christian Toto is the proprietor of Hollywood in Toto. He posted his year-end 10-best list yesterday, with Thank You For Your Service leading the parade. Of the movies I saw in 2017, Thank You For Service was the only one that moved me, shook me up, taught me something I didn’t know and made me want to learn more, all while increasing my gratitude and respect for the service to »

Profiles in Liberal Condescension

Featured image Ironically, once upon a time liberals loved Winston Churchill, while many conservatives didn’t much care for him. Go back to the 1950s and you’ll see encomia to Churchill from Arthur Schlesinger and Isaiah Berlin (among others), and let’s not forget how much John F. Kennedy loved Churchill, and was disappointed he couldn’t lure Churchill to the White House on Churchill’s last visit to the U.S. in 1961. Meanwhile, many conservatives »

Today in Sexual Harassment

Featured image I didn’t think the morning news that Melissa Gilbert has accused Oliver Stone of sexual harassment way back in 1991 (I’d kinda forgotten who Melissa Gilbert is, and Oliver Stone is best forgotten on general principle), but then I saw the news that came out later that Pixar’s major creative force, John Lasseter, is “taking a leave” from the animation powerhouse because of the usual problem: John Lasseter, the head »