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 …

This Weekend: Oprah Winfrey Gives a History Lesson

In Theaters: A stirring new film explores the searing emotions—and cold-blooded politics—that surrounded Rev. Martin Luther King’s 1965 Selma march. Selma Focusing on a pjvotal three-month period in 1965, this stirring historical drama follows Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) as he lays the groundwork for his epic civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. Oyelowo uncannily channels King’s appearance, manner of speech and quiet charisma. As his wife, Coretta, Carmen Ejogo evokes a woman watching the bonds …

Reese Witherspoon and Chris Rock Walk on the Wild Side

In Theaters this week: Reese Witherspoon takes to the hills, while Chris Rock takes to the director’s chair. At Home: Helen Mirren cooks up an ageless love story.   Wild Jettisoning her perky Legally Blonde persona like a pair of too-tight hiking boots, Reese Witherspoon gets down and dirty as Cheryl Strayed, the troubled young woman whose solo 1,100-mile trek along the Pacific Crest Trail became the subject of her bestselling memoir. Director Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club) follows Strayed’s …

Mike Nichols, Director of ‘The Graduate,’ Dies at 83

Mike Nichols, who died on Nov. 19 at age 83 in New York, might have gone down as one of the great directors in Hollywood history based upon his first two films alone. His 1966 adaptation of the Edward Albee play Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? was nominated for 13 Oscars and won five. His second, 1967’s The Graduate, won him the Best Director statuette, and its witty, provocative send-up of upper-middle-class mores — set to a Simon and Garfunkel …