This Weekend: Birdman, Bill Murray, Late-Life Love

In Theaters This Weekend: Bill Murray is an artful codger; Michael Keaton wings his way to Broadway; Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer discover it’s never too late to find love. At Home: Billy Crystal and Pee-wee Herman remember when. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Did Michael Keaton quit the Batman series 22 years ago just so he could one day make this dreamlike film about an actor who walked away from a smash superhero franchise? In the performance …

Power Color of the Month? Pink!

It may not be your favorite color. But won’t you consider wearing something pink — the color of health and hope — to get the word out that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month? Watching breast-cancer survivor Hoda Kotb’s recent interview with Joan Lunden, who was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer last June, reset my heart to January 2012, when I lost my dear best friend, Charla Krupp, to the disease. Indeed, every woman I know says her life has …

Kevin Kline Loves Maggie Smith as ‘My Old Lady’

In his new movie My Old Lady, Oscar winner Kevin Kline plays a down-on-his-luck American who inherits a Paris apartment only to find it occupied by a woman (Maggie Smith) with the legal right to live there the rest of her days. Kline chatted about working with the legendary Dame Mags, the fun of making a low-budget indie film, and movie trailers that promise a different film from the one you actually see. Q: The trailer for My Old Lady …

Last Call at James Gandolfini’s Brooklyn Bar

Two first-rate grownup films are well worth separate trips to the multiplex this weekend. If you’re in a stay-at-home mood, catch up with a classic 1960s musical or a 1970s music-concert series on DVD.   The Drop More than a year after James Gandolfini’s death, his final film (based on the Dennis Lehane short story “Animal Rescue”) presents the star in the type of role that defined his career: a crusty, dangerous, yet somehow lovable thug. He plays Marv, who …

Death Becomes Downton: It’s Still Great

Who needs Matthew Crawley? That may be the question lingering in the minds of Downton Abbey fans after Sunday’s dishy two-hour season premiere on PBS stations.  The opening episode of Season Four was a welcome return to form – that being high class soap opera – and it reversed most of the sluggishness that accompanied the final episodes of Season Three. Picking up six months after Downton heir and resident hunk Matthew Crawley’s (Dan Stevens) stunning death-by-automobile-crash in the finale of …

Stiff Upper Lips Rejoice: ‘Downton Abbey’ Returns

The holidays are over, but to an awful lot of TV viewers Downton Abbey creator/writer Julian Fellowes is Santa Claus and this weekend’s season premiere is their most anticipated Christmas present of the year. Of course, Fellowes did leave fans with a rather unpleasant lump of coal at the end of last year’s finale.  We’d all been tipped that a major character was going to go to that great Afternoon Tea in the Sky, but virtually no one was prepared …