This Weekend @ The Movies: A Golden Girl, a Tortured Toon

Helen Mirren reigns onscreen this weekend. That’s the predictable play. If you’re in a more adventurous mood, check out a quirky new cartoon from the legendary Bill Plympton. Otherwise, the post-Oscar parade of big-screen blockbusters hitting home video continues apace. Woman in Gold Helen Mirren is the real golden girl in this true story of Maria Altmann, the woman who sued the Austrian government to recover a painting the Nazis stole from her family. Wide-eyed with exasperation and naïveté, Mirren’s …

Exotic Marigold Hotel: Let’s Check Back In!

Celia Imrie — romance-minded Madge Hardcastle in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011) — says people turned out for that movie because “it touched an audience that had never had a film so directed at their time of life. It was all about tackling a new adventure as a lovely way to end your days.” With the sequel (waggishly titled The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) set to debut on March 6, I made my way to Claridge’s Hotel in …

The Many Oscar Looks of Ms. Meryl Streep

The most nominated actress in Oscar history, Meryl Streep, did not take home a fourth Academy Award Sunday night, but she looked every bit a winner in an evening suit that was a stand out in a crowd of  extravagant ball gowns. As the graphic below demonstrates, Streep’s style has evolved since her first nomination in 1978. She attended the ceremony 18 of the 19 times she was nominated, missing the festivities in 1991 when she was pregnant with her fourth child. …

Shades of Grey or Gray Romance: Your Choice

Pick your Valentine’s Day poison: An edgy tale of sexual domination, a warm and fuzzy rom-com with the ever-charming Hugh Grant, or an explosion-packed secret-agent spectacle. Choose wisely; the ultimate outcome of your romantic dinner-and-a-movie date depends upon it.   50 Shades of Grey We’re not supposed to laugh out loud at a movie that features beautiful young people having kinky sex, right? Yet that’s precisely what happens almost from the moment we’re introduced to billionaire bondage boy Christian Grey …

Cheap Travel Fixes for Winter Doldrums

Groundhog Day has come and gone. Winter’s still here. You’re paying holiday bills. Here are a few inexpensive ideas to keep you going until spring. Host a travel movie night The best way to save money is to stay home. How do you indulge your wanderlust from your living room? Rent a movie that transports you somewhere else. Invite a few friends and enjoy dinner and wine inspired by the movie’s locale. Here are some of my favorites. Research your …

Stefanie Powers Still a Globe-Trotting Activist

Stefanie Powers gives no hint of jet lag during an afternoon conversation – despite having flown in to Los Angeles a night earlier from Kenya, by way of New York. Youthful, dynamic and beautiful at 72, the red-haired actress also gives no hint of slowing down. She divides her time between performing, globetrotting and the wildlife conservation issues that melded with her animal-loving nature during her near-decade-long love affair with the late William Holden back in the 1970s. She is here …