The Yes List – Michael Cera Reveals His Trés Superbad Side

Each week, The Daily Beast scours the cultural landscape to choose three top picks. This week, Michael Cera reveals his French alter ego, two state-of-the-art museum eateries, and a list of free books for e-readers.

Michael Cera Reveals His Trés Superbad Side

After watching Michael Cera play awkward, gawky, fumbling softies for the last five years, it is hard to imagine the 21-year-old star (of Arrested Development, Juno, and Superbad) having a macho bone in his body. But all that is about to change when Youth in Revolt hits theaters on January 8 (for the New Year’s weekend, you’re left with Christmas Day options. Now’s your chance to finally see Avatar in XD). Youth in Revolt, the first film to feature Cera as the dashing romantic lead, is based on a popular young adult novel of the same name by C.D. Payne. In the book and the film, Nick Twisp (Cera) is a bumbling, awkward nerd who has trouble landing the girl of his dreams. That is, until he decides to adopt a bon vivant alter ego—the ascot-wearing, chain-smoking Francois. The French persona makes Twisp brave, and he then can enact his many plans for winning the heart of his beloved Sheeni Saunders. The performance is one of Cera’s most nuanced and grown-up to date. It’s worth hitting the theaters just to see a new side of an actor who is increasingly becoming the leader of his generation’s pack.


The Art of the Meal

If your New Year’s Resolution involves immersing yourself in more art, New York’s museum world now has two delicious ways to get it done. Both the Guggenheim and the Museum of Arts and Design have thrown open the doors to new, impeccably designed restaurants just in time for 2010. At the Guggenheim, The Wright (named for architect of the museum itself, Frank Lloyd Wright), is a bright, curvaceous space in pure white and electric blue, with shots of neon citrus colors. The restaurant’s architect, Andre Kikoski, decided to abandom Wright’s original sketches for the space, which he told the New York Times “wasn’t conducive to social interaction, and it certainly wasn’t about the integration of art.” Instead, he crafted the space in the spirit of Wright’s aesthetic, heightening the arced perspective of the room to give diners a sense of the building’s movement and sweeping roundness. Over at MAD, the new Robert restaurant (named for the late party planner Robert Isabell) is a cheerful space full of silver and pink tones, complete with futuristic see-through bubble chairs. The sculptural furniture is the work of Phillip Michael Wolfson, a rising star in the design world and a protégé of the great Zaha Hadid. His 15-foot communal table and jagged cocktail tables are challenging to the eye but ultimately playful and fun, while perfectly harmonizing with the artist Johanna Grawunder’s ceiling installation, a jumble of neon pink and metal rectangles that add a sense of drama to what is decidedly not the typical museum cafeteria. Read David Kaufman’s review of the restaurants on Art Beast.


Fire Up the Kindle for Free

Were you lucky enough to score a Kindle, Nook, or other e-reader for the holidays? If not, are you still hankering to run out and purchase one for yourself? No matter how you get it, an e-reader is a hot device to own right now, and once you have one, you will want to fill it up with a hefty library of quality reads. Fortunately, for all those who have resolved to finally read the classics this year, Open Culture has compiled an excellent list of the best free classics available online for e-reading, from works by F. Scott Fitzgerald to Joseph Conrad, Charles Dickens to Virgil. The list includes versions for the Kindle, smart phone, or computer, and every title has all been vetted by the good folks at Open Culture, a digital culture lab run out of Stanford University. Go ahead, knock out one of your resolutions for free.