I used to get upset every October when baseball pre-empted some of my beloved shows, but as a late-blooming fan of the game, I understand why they have to do it. We should all be thankful that most of the networks now choose to air new episodes of hit shows after the World Series has ended rather than showing them late at night after ballgames (a real pain in the rear in the days before TiVo). While we’re on the subject, you know I can’t resist the opportunity to gloat about the fact that the Red Sox were swept out of contention by the White Sox, beginning a new streak of long-suffering misery for unofficial Boston Superfan Ben Affleck.

Read More


Yesterday I saw an early screening of Felicity Huffman in Transamerica at the Mill Valley Film Festival. Prior to the film, Huffman was interviewed onstage by a local film critic, and I was pleasantly surprised at how down-to-earth, tiny and funny she is. This is the kind of film that needs to be seen; the kind of film that you need to tell your friends about because it is going to be released in limited markets and on few screens in December. Although Huffman’s character is a (pre-op) male-to-female transsexual, the movie is first and foremost about family, and is NOT an ‘issue’ film. Huffman gives the performance of her career as Sabrina Osborne, a character (thankfully) ten thousand miles away from Lynette on Desperate Housewives.  Her physical transformation was so incredible that I was convinced they’d found a man resembling her for the first few scenes of the film. Without a doubt, if this movie receives even an inkling of the critical acclaim and proper marketing it deserves, Huffman should be a shoo-in for an Oscar nomination. Note: this is the very first non-Miramax film to be acquired by The Weinstein brothers, who are distributing it (along with IFC Films). Given their reputation for aggressive campaigning during award season, perhaps this little indie treasure has a chance.

Read More


Last night I did something I haven’t done in years – purchased a stack of CDs. Not one song at a time at $.99 each, but actual discs imprisoned by impossible stickers and jewel cases just begging to be cracked. There are certain artists that I will always buy on CD, and paying a few dollars more for the packaging is worth it for the liner notes alone. Inadvertently, my new CDs create a Lilith Fair reunion of sorts: Fiona Apple, Tracy Chapman, Sheryl Crow, and Liz Phair. 

I go through phases when songs stick in my head for months, providing the soundtrack of my life. Current obsessions include:

Arcade Fire – Cold Wind (Six Feet Under, Vol. 2: Everything Ends)
Blink 182 – I Miss You [James Guthrie mix] (Future Soundtrack for America)
The Postal Service – Against All Odds (Wicker Park soundtrack)
Cast of Rent – Seasons of Love (2005)

Read More


I’m not at all surprised that there is yet another gem on HBO. I was disappointed to hear that The Comeback has been canceled, but at least now I have Extras to fulfill my cable comedy jones. Although at times the British accents are difficult to decipher, Ricky Gervais (BBC’s The Office) and the cast are all pathetically funny as obnoxious and sometimes inappropriate movie extras. 

Read More


I saw A History of Violence this weekend. The pace (slow and purposeful intermingled with bursts of very violent scenes) and ambiguous ending reminded me of In the Bedroom. Even though the title of the film makes it crystal clear that this isn’t going to be a peaceful Disney picture, the violence came as a surprise because the story and characters are so engrossing. This is one of my early favorites for an Oscar nomination or two, especially for the stellar Maria Bello.

Read More