Movies: Whats the Buzz in Movies from National Public Radio


Here is the latest in Movie News from National Public Radio.

Meet ‘Marguerite,’ A Tone-Deaf Opera Singer Who’s Determined To Perform
Socialite Marguerite has no idea how bad she is — servants, friends and even other opera singers are too polite to tell her. Critic Bob Mondello says her story is both hilarious and heartbreaking.

Do You Sacrifice One For Many? Mirren’s Latest Film Has No Easy Answers
In her new film Eye in the Sky, Helen Mirren plays a colonel overseeing a secret drone operation in Kenya. Mirren and director Gavin Hood say the audience is the jury in this courtroom drama of sorts.

A War Seen In Unnerving Close-Up
Drone warfare forms the backbone of Eye In The Sky, starring Helen Mirren as a British military officer arguing over the messy ethics of collateral damage.

Reichardt’s ‘River Of Grass’ Reissued: A First Film At A Fast Pace
A reissue of the 1994 first film from director Kelly Reichardt shows that her talent for transforming cheerless landscapes into backdrops for soulful journeys can be delivered with humor, too.

It’s Not Really ‘Cloverfield,’ But It’s A Lot Of Fun
Searching for the connection between 10 Cloverfield Lane and the original Cloverfield is sort of pointless and needless, and in the end, the non-sequel stands on its own.

Sally Field Elevates The Tale Of A Woman Of A Certain Age
Hello, My Name Is Doris is directed by sketch-comedy veteran Michael Showalter and stars Field as a woman who enjoys an unexpected moment among new young friends.

‘Fantastic Lies’ Lays Out 2006 Duke Lacrosse Rape Case
David Greene talks to director Marina Zenovich about her documentary, Fantastic Lies, about the Duke lacrosse rape trial. The story begins 10 years ago when team members held an off-campus party.

‘Famtastic Lies’ Lays Out 2006 Duke Lacrosse Rape Case
David Greene talks to director Marina Zenovich about her documentary, Fantastic Lies, about the Duke lacrosse rape trial. The story begins 10 years ago when team members held an off-campus party.

A Retirement Community Where Hollywood Takes Care Of Its Own
The Motion Picture and Television Fund is home to 200-plus residents who once worked on screen, behind cameras and in production rooms and secretarial pools.

‘The Witch’ Achieves Puritan American Horror Without The Gore
With his new film, writer/director Robert Eggers wanted to resuscitate a nightmare figure from the consciousness of Puritan America. NPR’s Rachel Martin talks to him about “The Witch,” and how to really scare an audience.

Barbershop: Chris Rock, Nina And Kendrick
Ravi Patel, Kara Brown and Alex Gale join the Barbershop to talk about Chris Rock’s Oscars performance, a polarizing casting decision for a Nina Simone biopic and the surprise Kendrick Lamar album.

Saldana As Simone Resurfaces A Debate Beyond Black And White
NPR’s Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reflects on the debate over the casting of Zoe Saldana in the role of iconic jazz singer Nina Simone. Saldana wore makeup to darken her skin and look more like Simone.

At 70, Sally Field Navigates Aging In The Spotlight
The actress’ latest role in “Hello, My Name is Doris” hits close to home: “The story really is a coming of age — of a woman of age.” As for Fields, she welcomes the stages of old age with openness.

Actress Ginnifer Goodwin On Playing A Rabbit Cop In ‘Zootopia’
NPR’s Kelly McEvers talks to Ginnifer Goodwin, who voiced main character Officer Judy Hopps, in the Disney animated film, Zootopia, about a world where animals live in perfect harmony.

Restored ‘Race Films’ Find New Audiences
Some of the earliest movies by African-American filmmakers from the 1910s through 1940s have been in film archives over the years on poor-quality film prints. Some have been digitally restored.

Tina Fey’s War-Zone ‘Foxtrot’ Falls Out Of Step
Fey plays a neophyte reporter charged with covering the Afghanistan occupation in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. Critic David Edestein says the film isn’t bad, so much as “shapeless and blandly apolitical.”

More Literary Whispers And Another Quest In Malick’s ‘Knight’
Enigmatic writer-director Terrence Malick returns with Knight Of Cups, which bears a strong resemblance to his last two films, Tree Of Life and To The Wonder.

The Ordinary World Shares Space With Ghosts, Spirits And ‘Splendor’
Cemetery Of Splendor, the latest from Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, beautiful imagery accompanies a story of believers and the healing of mysteriously sleeping soldiers.

‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ Can’t Quite Find Its Footing
Tina Fey stars as a war reporter in a film that struggles to attain a complicated tonal balance between comedy and commentary that it can’t quite manage.

‘Zootopia’: A Nimble Tale Of Animal Instincts And Smart Bunnies
Disney’s latest talking-animal picture is a surprisingly deft film about prejudice and divisiveness that manages to avoid the heaviness that delivering a message can bring about.

Saving The President’s Bacon Again In ‘London Has Fallen’
Gerard Butler once again rushes to the aid of the commander-in-chief in what critic Chris Klimek calls “a slow-release capsule of apocalyptic dread.”

‘Mad Max’ Is Mad About Namibia But Some Namibians Are Mad At The Crew
The success of the Oscar-winning film is good for the country’s film industry. But critics say that the crew didn’t take good care of dunes and animal habitats.

‘Zootopia’ Makes A Pitch For A More Paw-fect Union Without Being Preachy
Zootopia exists in a world where lions and lambs get along just fine. NPR film critic Bob Mondello says it avoids being a lecture and ends up one of the more amusing kid flicks out there.

Restored Movies By African-American Filmmakers Find New Audiences
Some of the earliest movies by African-American filmmakers from the 1920s through 1940s have been in film archives over the years on poor-quality film prints. Some have been digitally restored.

C Is For ‘Condemned’: A Nun Looks Back On 47 Years Of Unholy Filmmaking
A new Turner Classic Movies series honors films that were deemed salacious, immoral or downright lewd by the Catholic Legion of Decency. Condemned is hosted by respected critic Sister Rose Pacatte.

‘Wilhemina’s War’ Explores Barriers To AIDS Treatment In U.S. South
While many Americans now view HIV and AIDS as survivable conditions, treatment and care can still be difficult to get in the southern states, especially for African-Americans. A new Independent Lens documentary, Wilhemina’s War, explores those challenges.

Encore: Hollywood Shines New ‘Spotlight’ On Boston Clergy Sex Abuse
With Spotlight winning the Oscar for Best Picture, NPR’s Audie Cornish talks to Sacha Pfeiffer, one of the reporters portrayed in the film who broke the story of sexual abuse by Catholic priests.

For Better Or Worse, Chris Rock Made The Oscars As Black As He Possibly Could
Despite the fact that no black actors were nominated in any high-profile categories, Academy Awards host Chris Rock kept race at the center of the event.

This Oscar-Winning Film Could Help End Honor Killings In Pakistan
Saba was shot then thrown into a river by her own family for eloping with her lover. She survived, and now she’s fighting back.

Academy Awards: ‘Spotlight,’ DiCaprio And Larson Win Coveted Oscars
Spotlight received the Oscar for best picture. Leonardo DiCaprio, who starred in The Revenant, won for best actor. And, Brie Larson takes home the award for best leading actress for her role in Room.

A Big Night For ‘Spotlight,’ DiCaprio And Earned Discomfort
Sunday night’s Oscars gave best picture to Spotlight, best actor to Leonardo DiCaprio and a lot of opportunities to host Chris Rock.

Oscars 2016: Follow Along With NPR’s Live-Blog
The stars have taken the stage at the Academy Awards, and NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour crew is tweeting all the action. Check here throughout the night for their reactions and news on the winners.

Russell Simmons Has Your Oscars Alternative
Hip hop mogul Russell Simmons talks about his new awards ceremony, the All Def Movie Awards, created in response to the lack of diversity in Hollywood.

‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ Dramatizes War Reporter’s Experience
In “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot,” Tina Fey stars as reporter Kim Barker, on assignment in Afghanistan. Barker joins Rachel Martin to talk about the movie and war reporting.

Brie Larson Channeled Own Childhood Experience Into Oscar-Nominated Role
Brie Larson is nominated for an Oscar for her role in “Room.” Today we bring an alternate cut of Rachel Martin’s October conversation with her.

Some Diverse Views From Academy Members On #OscarsSoWhite
The organization plans to increase diversity after criticism of a very white cast of nominees. A big difference in how some members feel about the changes is based on how they view the Academy’s role.

Why An Ebola Body Collector Will Be Watching The Oscars Tonight
Garmai Sumo is a 29-year-old mom and health worker who collected bodies of Ebola victims during the epidemic — and the main character of an Oscar-nominated documentary.

A Bridge To Hollywood Legend: Saying Farewell To The Sixth Street Viaduct
The bridge starred in so many iconic scenes — in films from Grease to Terminator 2 — it had become an icon unto itself. Due to safety concerns, though, the Sixth Street Viaduct is getting torn down.

‘Cartel Land’ Follows Vigilantes Fighting Mexican Drug Gangs
Director Matthew Heineman embedded himself up close in the action — and the moral ambiguity — of citizen groups who are fighting back against drug cartels in Mexico.

‘The Martian’ Started As A Self-Published Book
The movie that was nominated for several Oscars began as a self-published book by Andy Weir. NPR’s Lynn Neary looks at how an unknown author’s book became a hit audio book and major motion picture.

How ‘Oscars’ Screens The Salty Moments
Live events aren’t for sissies. That’s especially true for the sound guys at the Oscars. NPR’s Lourdes Garcia-Navarro speaks with Dolby’s Steve Venezia about what can go wrong, but usually doesn’t.

In Animated, Oscar-Nominated Doc, A Man Turns His Brother In For Murder
Last Day of Freedom uses more than 30,000 hand-drawn images to tell the story of Bill and Manny Babbitt. The film raises questions about trust, family, mental illness and the criminal justice system.

Oscars Preview: A Look At The Diversity Problem, Performances And Predictions
NPR’s Audie Cornish talks with NPR’s pop culture blogger Linda Holmes and movie critic Bob Mondello about Sunday’s Oscar awards.

Adam McKay Of ‘Funny Or Die’ Dissects The ’08 Economic Crash In ‘The Big Short’
Not only do the characters in McKay’s Oscar-nominated film warn about the collapse of the global economy — they make money off of it. Originally broadcast Dec. 23, 2015.

Film Shines A ‘Spotlight’ On Boston’s Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal
Director Tom McCarthy and former Globe editor Walter Robinson discuss Spotlight, the Oscar-nominated film about Boston’s clergy sex abuse scandal. Originally broadcast Oct. 29, 2015.

Directors Know: When Child Actors Are On Set, The Studio Teacher Is In Charge
All sorts of laws govern the use of children in movies, and studio teachers like Lois Yaroshefsky are in charge of enforcing them. As Jungle Book director Jon Favreau puts it, “Lois is the boss.”

For 2 Black Stuntmen Breaking Into Hollywood, ‘You Were Subject To Get Hurt’
In the 1960s, when jobs were rare for black stuntmen, Willie Harris and Alex Brown had to teach themselves how to take a punch. But they couldn’t prepare themselves for the vitriol they felt on set.

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Our 2016 Oscars Preview
It’s time once again for our annual Oscars Omnibus: a roundup of every Best Picture nominee, many notable performances, and the movies we’d have nominated to improve the awards’ diversity.

A ‘Last Man’ Imperfectly Remembered
A new documentary recounts the story of Eugene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, with warmth but a bit too much reverence.

Silly Accents And Too Many Shadows Sink ‘Triple 9’
Despite a big cast that includes some terrific actors, this thriller about a group of criminals and their convoluted heist plot falls flat.

A Swords-And-Sandals Epic That Glitters But Is Not Gold
Gods Of Egypt wants to be a story of mortals and gods living together, but it gets bogged down in its convoluted plot and CGI effects.

Here’s What People Are Doing Sunday Night To Avoid Watching The Oscars
Oscars too white for you? Here are some alternative ways to celebrate film — and people of color in film — on Hollywood’s big night.

What’s Behind The Best Supporting Actress Curse? Plain, Old, Unmagical Sexism
As legend has it, careers are “cursed” by winning the Oscar for best supporting actress. But film critic Amy Nicholson says it actually has everything to do with the kinds of roles available to women.

Sketch To Impress: How Sandy Powell Costumes The Stars
The British costumer already has three Oscars and is in the running for two more. Cinderella’s gown was “probably the most terrifying thing” she’s created. “The expectations were so high,” she says.

Maggie Smith On The Pressures Of Acting: ‘You Want So Much To Get It Right’
Known for her recent work in Downton Abbey and the Harry Potter films, the Oscar-winning actress now stars in The Lady in the Van, a film about an elderly woman who lived in a van for 15 years.

This Oscar Nominee Could’ve Been An Executive. Instead, She’s A Screenwriter
At one point, Meg LeFauve was getting multiple studio executive job offers. But as her mentor says, “She knew she had a different path.” Now her screenplay for Inside Out is up for an Oscar.

Hollywood Has A Major Diversity Problem, USC Study Finds
The study examined more than 21,000 characters and behind-the-scenes workers on films and TV, and found an “epidemic of invisibility.” For example, just 3.4 percent of film directors were female.

Researchers Examine Hollywood’s Lack Of Diversity
TV and film production is sorely deficient in gender, racial and ethnic diversity according to a study from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

‘Serpent’ Film Explores, Revives Lost Cultural Knowledge For Colombians
The Colombian film “Embrace of the Serpent” tells the story of Amazon exploration not through European, but indigenous eyes. It’s a contender for the Best Foreign Language Oscar.

‘World Of Tomorrow’ Animated Short Explores What It Means To Be Human
Linda Wertheimer talks with Don Hertzfeldt about his Oscar-nominated animated short, “World of Tomorrow.”

‘Race’ Brings Jesse Owens And The 1936 Olympics To The Screen
While Race is, for a while, a conventional athlete biopic, once the story begins to balance the many forces that pulled on Owens and complicated his story, it gets more interesting.

It’s All In Your Head: Director Pete Docter Gets Emotional In ‘Inside Out’
The director’s Oscar-nominated film illustrates the inner workings of an 11-year-old’s mind, and includes the characters Sadness, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Joy. Originally broadcast June 10, 2015.

Frame-By-Frame, Filmmakers Make The Mundane Miraculous In ‘Anomalisa’
Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson discuss their Oscar-nominated film. Anomalisa’s stop-motion “communicates fragility and humanity and brokenness,” Kaufman says. Originally broadcast Dec. 22, 2015.

Long-Term Devastation Springs From A Hasty Judgment Call In ‘A War’
Tobias Lindholm’s Oscar-nominated film tells the story of a Danish commander’s error in judgment during the war in Afghanistan. Critic David Edelstein says A War will “leave you in pieces.”

Pop Culture Happy Hour: ‘Hail, Caesar!’ And Backstage Stories
On this week’s show, the Coen Brothers’ 17th feature, the appeal of tales of filmmaking and other creative pursuits, and what’s making us happy this week.

A Banished Family Fights Its Demons In A Puritanical Age
Half a drama about religious hysteria and half a horror film about isolation, The Witch follows a family struggling to identify the source of an evil that seems to plague them.

The Strange And Intoxicating ‘Embrace Of The Serpent’
This Colombian nominee for the Oscar for best foreign-language film is loosely based on the journals of two real explorers and creates a story in which they spend decades seeking a sacred plant.

A Father And Son Among Tumbling Tumbleweeds Of The Familiar
Donald and Kiefer Sutherland appear together in a Western with little to offer beyond the usual formulas.

New Manufacturer Gives Oscar Statue A Minor Makeover
The New York-based company, Polich Tallix Fine Art Foundry, has taken over production from the Chicago-based R.S. Owens & Co., which had made the statues since 1982.

Misty Copeland Achieves #SquadGoals In The Documentary ‘A Ballerina’s Tale’
Misty Copeland talks body image, ballet, and blackness in the new PBS documentary A Ballerina’s Tale.

‘You Bite Off A Little Bit’: ‘Mad Max’ Editor On How To Shape A Film
NPR’s Ari Shapiro talks with Margaret Sixel, Oscar-nominated editor for Mad Max: Fury Road, about how she highlighted emotional content in the action film.

‘Star Wars’ Editors Defy Hollywood Conventions
In a film industry often dominated by men, there’s at least one exception: Many editors are women. Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey speak about their work on the new Star Wars.

Comic T.J. Miller: Trained Clown And Student Of Nietzsche
The Silicon Valley actor, and former Shakespearean clown, says his latest role is right up his alley: “I’m interested in morality and mortality, and Deadpool kind of has all of these themes.”

Navigating A Minefield Of Moral Quandaries And Consequences In ‘A War’
A War is a contender for the best foreign film Oscar. It’s about a soldier in Afghanistan placed in an impossible situation, and NPR film critic Bob Mondello says it brings the big questions home.

‘Deadpool’ Gleefully Lampoons The Marvel Universe
Ryan Reynolds stars as a soldier-turned-mutant-super-hero in Marvel’s Deadpool. Critic David Edelstein calls the film anunprecedented R-rated … romp with dirty sex talk and tons of splatter.”

Pop Culture Happy Hour: The Awards Show Problem And Product Placement
On this week’s show, we break down what entertainment industry awards are for (if anything) and consider the highs and lows of product placement.

In ‘Rams,’ 2 Icelandic Brothers Tend Troubles Of Flock And Family
Gummi and Kiddi are two sheep-herding brothers who’ve spent a lifetime butting heads near the top of the world. When a disease threatens their flocks, they must overcome decades of estrangement.

‘Theeb’ Looks At Middle East History Through The Eyes Of A Bedouin Boy
The Oscar-nominated film is set in 1916 Saudi Arabia, a pivotal time in the region. Director Naji Abu Nowar says he wanted to explore “how strange and surreal it must have been” for the Bedouins.

‘Mad Max’ Director George Miller: The Audience Tells You ‘What Your Film Is’
Miller, who directed the first Mad Max film in 1979, says it will be a few years before he has any idea as to whether Mad Max: Fury Road “endures in some way.”

From Junkyard To Museum: The Journey Of A ‘Jaws’ Shark
From terrifying man-eater to fish-out-of-water, a sole surviving full-scale model of the 1975 Jaws shark is on its way to a museum.

Duplass Brothers On Filmmaking, Siblings And Parenting’s ‘Fugue State’
The brothers’ latest project, Togetherness, is about four people in their late 30s who live in Los Angeles. Mark Duplass describes it as a “deeply personal television show.”

‘Baskets’ Takes Zach Galifianakis From French Clown School To The Rodeo Ring
The comic, who plays a rodeo clown in his new FX comedy series, says he is “not creeped out by clowns.” Galifianakis is also the creator of the Emmy Award-winning web comedy series Between Two Ferns.

Five Unromantic Comedies For Valentine’s Day Non-Inspiration
We take a look as February 14 approaches at some of the less romantic movies you could add to your schedule.

Meet The Guy Calling Out Hollywood For How It Describes Women
Three months ago, producer Ross Putman started tracking descriptions of female characters from scripts he read. On Tuesday, he shared them with the world on his Twitter account, “Fem Script Intros.”

‘Daisy Is An Animal’: Jennifer Jason Leigh On Her Comeback In ‘The Hateful Eight’
Actress Jennifer Jason Leigh is back in the spotlight with an Oscar nomination for her role as a murderous woman in the movie The Hateful Eight. NPR’s Kelly McEvers talks with her about being cast by Quentin Tarantino.

‘Zoolander 2’ Can’t Quite Walk The Walk-Off Anymore
It’s not hard to believe Zoolander 2 suffers from plot problems, but even beyond that, it can’t find the rhythm with its gags at the expense of fashion, either.

A Family Fixer Struggles To Stay Afloat In ‘Glassland’
Irish writer-director Gerard Barrett gets fine performances from Jack Reynor and Toni Collette in this story of a young man who bears the burden of caring for his alcoholic mother.

A Glimpse Into The Future In ‘Mountains May Depart’
Chinese writer-director Jia Zhangke follows his characters from 1999 all the way forward to 2025, where a sun-bleached tomorrowland threatens alienation from tradition.

‘Touched With Fire’ Is Dedicated To Great Art, But Isn’t Great Art
The drama stars Katie Holmes and Luke Kirby as artists hospitalized with bipolar disorder and struggles in its exploration of the link, if one exists, between their work and their illness.

‘Deadpool’ Is a Potty-Mouthed Splatterfest. A Really Funny One
NPR film critic Bob Mondello says Deadpool goes in deep on its R rating — and has plenty of fun doing it.

Marvel’s New Superhero Movie ‘Deadpool’ Receives R Rating
Mary Louise Kelly talks to MTV pop culture writer Crystal Bell about the new movie Deadpool, and how it reaches an audience unusual for comic book films.

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