Lars von Trier's latest provocation is an episodic sexual epic called Nymphomaniac, which comes in two two-hour parts, or "volumes," though it's basically one movie sliced in half. The thinking must have been, "Who wants four hours of hardcore sex and philosophizing?," and if you say, "Me, me!," I suggest seeing both back to back: It's an art-house orgy!
Should you see it at all? I recommend it guardedly. It's dumb, but in a bold, ambitious way movies mostly aren't these days, especially when there's sex in the equation. And it's funny, sometimes intentionally.
The woe that is marriage, the subject of the Wife of Bath's prologue in Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" has long been a rich subject for stories. Susan Rieger has just published a novel on the matter called "The Divorce Papers."
Many years ago, the great and grumpy British TV writer Dennis Potter (The Singing Detective, Pennies From Heaven) rounded a corner in a prominent New York art museum and stood wondering whether the coiled thingy on the wall in front of him was a work of art or an emergency fire hose.
The latest teen-girl fiction series to become a movie franchise, Divergent delivers adolescent viewers some bad news and some good news. The bad is that the dystopian future will be just like high school, with kids divided into rigid cliques. The good is that adulthood will be just like high school, so teens face no major surprises.
Feared and feared for in equal measure, today's teenagers are prisoners of pop and punditry. Branded as bad seeds or delicate flowers, they take shape in the public mind as either neglected or overprotected by their parents, abused by or abusive of the Internet, oversexed or terrified of sex. Is coming of age the pits, or what?
A frisky tour of the Gallic equivalent of the U.S. State Department, The French Minister boasts robust pacing, screwball-comedy banter and an exuberant central performance. For most American viewers, though, the movie could use footnotes to go with its subtitles.
It took hundreds of batches of muffins, cakes and cookies before Jack Bishop and Julia Collin Davison â€” of the public TV series America's Test Kitchen â€” figured out the best ways to make delicious baked goods without gluten. They also conducted taste tests of packaged gluten-free breads and pasta.
Collin Davison tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that the show's normal testing procedures "really worked to help us get at the heart of what makes gluten-free things taste just as good as traditional baked goods."
Nazanin Boniadi is on screens now as the mysterious Adnan Salif on the hit show Scandal.
The Iranian-born actress tells NPR's Michel Martin that she loves the role because it plays with people's perceptions. "The beauty of Adnan Salif is, is she a bad guy, or is she just completely lost, is she just damaged goods?" she asks. But she believes that ambiguity is also the key to the show. "The thing that I love about Scandal is every character, it's not clear if they're good or bad. Everyone is both good and bad."