Arts

3:15pm

Tue December 24, 2013
Movie Reviews

Orbiting Dickens, An 'Invisible Woman' Or Two

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 5:40 pm

Felicity Jones plays Nelly Ternan, longtime mistress of author Charles Dickens, in The Invisible Woman.
David Appleby Sony Pictures Classics

The Invisible Woman is slow to build — but worth its wait in gold. A little over halfway through, this terrific drama bears fiercely down on the steep cost of being two of the significant women in the gilded life of Charles Dickens.

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3:03pm

Tue December 24, 2013
Movie Reviews

In 'Osage County,' A Family Consuming Itself

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 5:34 pm

Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep and Julianne Nicholson are three of the warring Weston women in a blistering film adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play August: Osage County.
Claire Folger The Weinstein Company

"We shouldn't be here."

That's the sense you get watching August: Osage County -- that you're peering in on moments so intimate and painful that no one should witness them, perhaps not even those who are a part of it.

In fact, that's what many characters in the movie — an adaptation of Tracy Letts' Pulitzer Prize-winning play — decide for themselves. They don't want to be part of it, either. In this story of an uncomfortable family reunion, time is marked by cars pulling out of their dusty Oklahoma driveway at regular intervals, never to be seen again.

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3:03pm

Tue December 24, 2013
Movie Reviews

A Wall Street Predator With An Appetite For Excess

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 3:21 pm

Leonardo DiCaprio plays a profoundly corrupt stock-market manipulator in The Wolf of Wall Street, based on the real-life story of convicted fraudster Jordan Belfort.
Mary Cybulski Paramount Pictures

Several times during The Wolf of Wall Street, the wolf himself turns to the camera and offers to explain some stockbroker term or strategy. But then he stops himself and says it doesn't really matter.

It sure doesn't — not in this exuberant but profitless bad-behavior romp. It's based on the career of former penny-stock magnate Jordan Belfort, but might as well be about Keith Richards in the '70s or Robert Downey Jr. in the '90s.

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2:06pm

Tue December 24, 2013
Arts & Life

How Blind Voice Over Artist 'Reads'

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 10:30 am

Pete Gustin has voiced over national ads but he can't read scripts - he's legally blind. As he tells Tell Me More guest host Celeste Headlee, he didn't let his disability deter his talent.

2:06pm

Tue December 24, 2013
Health

After A Cancer Diagnosis, Lessons In Priorities

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 10:30 am

Teaching high school English came naturally to David Menasche but a terminal brain cancer diagnosis forced him to leave the classroom. So he visited some of his former students to see what impact he's had on them. He writes about the experience in his forthcoming book, The Priority List.

1:16pm

Tue December 24, 2013
Movie Reviews

In A 'Miraculous Year' For Movies, Edelstein Picks His Favorites

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 4:44 pm

In the sci-fi romance Her, a lonely man (Joaquin Phoenix) finds love in a rather unexpected place — with a computer operating system named Samantha.
Warner Bros.

"It was a miraculous year," film critic David Edelstein tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. At a time when Hollywood is churning out Blockbusters and superhero movies that are guaranteed to make money at home and overseas, "it's really great when so many interesting movies, somehow or other, manage to bleed through," he says. " ... You really feel as if directors are taking chances in their storytelling. They are creating a new syntax for every story."

Here are his favorite movies this year:

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1:13pm

Tue December 24, 2013
Television

David Bianculli's Top 10 Shows: 2013 Was A 'Good Year For TV'

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 4:44 pm

Kevin Spacey (left) and Robin Wright star in House of Cards, directed by David Fincher. The Netflix series, which follows a Machiavellian politician, is an adaptation of a BBC series of the same name. Hear an interview with Spacey and Fincher.
Patrick Harbron Netflix

This was a good year for TV, says critic David Bianculli, and that had a lot to do with two new shows from Netflix: House of Cards, the American adaptation of the BBC political thriller series, and Orange Is the New Black, a dramatic comedy which takes place in a women's federal prison. "I was very impressed with the overall quality of what Netflix gave us," Bianculli tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "... That was quite a string of good shows."

So, without further ado, here's Bianculli's top-10 TV list for 2013:

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12:07pm

Tue December 24, 2013
The Salt

Hair Dryer Cooking: From S'mores To Crispy Duck

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 9:54 am

Ready for a blowout: Blasting the duck with the dryer before roasting dehydrates the flesh so the skin gets firm and crispy.
Michaeleen Doucleff NPR

This past year, we've introduced you to some wacky cooking methods. We've made an entire lunch in a coffee maker and even poached salmon and pears in the dishwasher.

But a few weeks ago, we stumbled upon a crazy culinary appliance that may be the most legitimate of them all: the hair dryer.

Now, before you think we've fallen off the kitchen stool from too much eggnog, check out the science and history behind the idea.

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12:00pm

Tue December 24, 2013
Food

Spicing Up Your Holiday Drink List

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 2:24 pm

General Harrison's Eggnog No. 3
David Kressler

When it comes to holiday drinks, there's always the traditional recipes for mulled wine and eggnog. But what about a taste of something new and different?

James Beard Award-winning mixologist Dale DeGroff has some surprising ideas to spice up your drink menu this season. He is widely credited with reviving the art of the cocktail. He's also president and founder of the Museum of the American Cocktail.

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7:57am

Tue December 24, 2013
Code Switch

Hey Hey Hey! Historian Draws Attention To '70s Black Animation Art

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 1:34 pm

An original production cel from Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. The show was among a burst of 1970s-era Saturday morning cartoons that featured positive African-American characters.
Courtesy of Pamela Thomas/Museum of UnCut Funk!

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