Catherine Keener's Guilty Pleasures
Nicole Holofcener’s movies— Walking and Talking, Friends With Money, and Lovely & Amazing—are the definition of cult hits. And her realistic, ultra-feminine dialogue made a star out of Catherine Keener, who has been working with the director for more than a decade. The two have paired up again for Please Give, a send-up of white guilt and privilege in these recession-plagued times. Keener plays Kate, a woman who buys cheap furniture at estate sales and then marks it up threefold for her trendy Manhattan store, but cannot be moved to purchase expensive clothes for her teenage daughter. She and her husband (Oliver Platt) are focused on purchasing the apartment of an old woman next door after she dies, though the woman’s granddaughters (Rebecca Hall and Amanda Peet) have other plans. It is classic Holofcener—strong female characters, subtle drama stemming from everyday life, and a subdued ending that will sideswipe your expectations.
Sherie Rene Scott: A "Semi-Star" is Born on Broadway
The Tony nominations came out this week, and despite some surprises, one that was a lock was Sherie Rene Scott for her performance in the musical Everyday Rapture, a story of a woman named, well, Sherie Rene Scott who travels from a small town in Kansas to Manhattan, where she becomes a “semi-star” on Broadway. Scott’s retelling of her life story, in which she worships both Jesus and Judy Garland, is quirky, touching, and clearly the performance of her career (she has been working on the musical with co-writer Dick Scanlan for several years). Scott shows that songs can be sweet ways to soundtrack one’s life story. In his review for The New York Times, Ben Brantley described the musical’s appeal best: “I can’t think of another production in recent years that captures and explains so affectingly the essence and allure of musicals, and why they’re such an indispensable part of the New York landscape.”
MoMA Celebrates Women's Photography
For as many photography retrospectives as MoMA has put on in recent years, few have featured the work of female artists. That is all about to change when Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography opens on May 7, featuring the works of Diane Arbus, Imogen Cunningham, Nan Goldin, Helen Levitt, Cindy Sherman, Kiki Smith, and Yoko Ono. With three women curators at the exhibition’s helm, the show is part of quite the girl power movement at the museum—next month, MoMA will publish Modern Women: Women Artists at The Museum of Modern Art, and the Modern Women’s Fund is sponsoring the show. Just in time for Mother’s Day. Read Philip Gefter on Pictures by Women.