Originally published on Sat January 17, 2015 11:14 am
Housewife and superstar Dame Edna Everage is the creation of Australian comedian Barry Humphries. Blazing out of Moonee Ponds, a Melbourne suburb, Dame Edna has conquered stage, screen, television, bookshops and more over the last 60 years.
"The right actors win Oscars, but for the wrong roles," Katharine Hepburn once said.
The Motion Picture Academy has a history of rewarding stars for less-than-celestial performances, and this week's Oscar nomination announcements left a lot of people scratching their heads — over the snubs for Selma, for example, and the nomination of Robert Duvall for best supporting actor in The Judge.
"I think most people hadn't even heard of The Judge before that nomination," says Alyssa Rosenberg, culture columnist for The Washington Post.
Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 3:23 pm
Since 9/11, folks have been saying we need poetry more than ever, but perhaps now we need poetry even more than "more than ever." 2014 will go down as the year of Ferguson and Eric Garner, of the CIA torture report, of lost elections and more than a few dashed hopes.
The high bar that a biopic about Whitney Houston has to clear is essentially this: Is it better than just watching YouTube videos of Whitney Houston singing? Does it somehow tell you more, open her up more, explain her legacy more? Because honestly, all it takes is watching her sing to understand why she was as beloved as she was, from her arrival as a 21-year-old phenomenon through her The Bodyguard superstardom and the shocking news that she had died the night before the 2012 Grammy Awards.
Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 6:32 pm
Audie Cornish talks to former NPR reporter Sarah Chayes about how corruption can create the fertile ground for religious extremism. Chayes is a senior associate in the Democracy and Rule of Law Program and the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment. Her new book is Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security.
In the new movie Still Alice, Julianne Moore plays Alice Howland, a 50-year-old linguistics professor at Columbia with a razor-sharp intellect. She's at the prime of her career, but gradually she starts to forget things. She loses her way, she gets fuzzy — and she is soon diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. The movie charts her rapid decline and her struggle to hold on to her sense of self.
Despite being the daughter of a child psychologist and self-help author, Jessica Lamb-Shapiro has spent most of her life recoiling from the self-help industry. But eventually, her curiosity got the best of her. She tells Fresh Air about self-help's high- and low-brow iterations and the ways the industry helped her address her fears.