• Just This

    Review: Late Night

    Late Night

    I didn’t know it before seeing Late Night, but apparently jokes involving Doris Kearns Goodwin, the prolific and fascinating historian and author (Team of Rivals, The Bully Pulpit), are a sure-fire way to get me to love your movie. The joke is thrown in during an early encounter quality control agent-turned-comedy writer Molly Patel (Mindy Kaling) has with the host of the late night variety show she’s recently been hired onto. Emma Thompson is that host, Katherine Newbury; it’s a role that cements Thompson’s own iconic character along the lines of Meryl Streep and Miranda Priestley. The moment, though fleeting, is indicative of the film’s sharp wit and intelligence throughout. Neither is wielded…

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    Playing Catch Up: Latest Reviews

    I set myself a goal at the beginning of 2019 to write a film review every week, and after nearly half a year I’m proud to say that I’ve managed to do that for all but one week. Go me! Some weeks, I’ve even managed to post two reviews rather than just one, over-achiever that I am. Only problem is that rather than getting all that coverage posted here, I’m putting it all up over at Third Coast Review, the Chicago-centric culture website I’ve been working with for a couple of years now. Which is great, given that it’s an outlet with a significantly larger following that this ol’ thing.…

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    Review: “An Inspector Calls” at Chicago Shakes

    This is a repost from Third Coast Review; no films this week for me to review, so I’m sharing a theater review I’m particularly proud of. Without ever brandishing so much as a pistol or pocketknife, upheaval and conflict are at the center of J.B. Priestley’s An Inspector Calls, a play that lays out in no uncertain terms the dangers of unchecked privilege, entitlement and hypocrisy. Set in 1912 England, the play was first produced in 1945 for audiences, one can safely assume, still very raw with war wounds both literal and figurative. A drawing room drama in three acts, the play centers around the upper-crust Birling family and the police…

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    All I Want for Christmas…

    I have an Amazon Wishlist that I keep fairly up to date, but you know, where’s the fun in that? As I got to thinking about this holiday season, I decided to take a cue from the various bloggers and doers who I follow and craft a wishlist of my one. It may be a bit aspirational, but if we can’t dream big on a wishlist, what are we even doing here? Houseplants & Planters Last summer, I finally got around to adopting a couple of houseplants. Convinced I had a brown thumb for the longest time, I hesitated to bring anything requiring watering into my apartment. But I’ve had…

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    Listen to This: Christmas 2018

    Listen, I’m not gonna lie: I started listening to Christmas music the day after Halloween. And I wish I could say it’s just to be able to put together this annual playlist for you, and not because…well, because basically the other 10 months of the year are just me waiting for it to be holiday music season. I’ve been making these playlists every year since at least 2009, which means we’re nearing a decade of festive tracks compiled with love, from me to you. And I really do enjoy it. Some years are easier than others, and sometimes I worry I’ve used up all the good Christmas songs. But new…