November 27 – 29

Movies

Once the tryptophan wears off after your Thanksgiving feast the following look like some of the better bets for the weekend new releases.

The Danish Girl
The Danish Girl

The Danish Girl – This movie was inspired by the remarkable love story of artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. After standing in as a female model for a painting by his wife Gerda (Alicia Vikander), Danish artist Einar (Eddie Redmayne – already getting buzz about an Oscar nomination) becomes enamored with his feminine identity and begins living as a woman named Lili Elbe. Wegener stands by Lili as she explores her true self and eventually undergoes the world’s first gender reassignment surgery in the 1920s. Directed by Tom Hooper.

Victor Frankenstein
Victor Frankenstein

Victor Frankenstein – Told from Igor’s (Daniel Radcliffe) perspective, we see the troubled young assistant’s dark origins, his redemptive friendship with the young medical student Victor Von Frankenstein (James McAvoy), and become eyewitnesses to the emergence of how Frankenstein became the man – and the legend – we know today. After the monster puts the scientists and others in grave danger, it’s up to Igor to save Frankenstein from the monster, and for himself.

Legend
Legend

Legend – The film tells the story of the identical twin gangsters Reggie and Ronnie Kray (played by Tom Hardy), two of the most notorious criminals in British history, and their organized crime empire in the East End of London during the 1960s. The film is adapted from John Pearson’s nonfiction tome The Profession of Violence.

Museums

And should you live in New York City Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style recently opened at the Met’s Costume Institute.

Jacqueline de Ribes The Art of Style
Jacqueline de Ribes The Art of Style

The exhibition focuses on the internationally renowned style icon Countess Jacqueline de Ribes, whose originality and elegance established her as one of the most celebrated fashion personas of the twentieth century. The thematic show features about sixty ensembles of haute couture and ready-to-wear primarily from de Ribes’s personal archive, dating from 1962 to the present. Also included are her creations for fancy-dress balls, which she often made by cutting and cannibalizing her haute couture gowns to create nuanced expressions of her aesthetic. These, along with photographs, video, and ephemera, tell the story of how her interest in fashion developed over decades, from childhood “dress-up” to the epitome of international style.

 

Weekend Update: Nov. 20 – 22

Theater

Hamllton on Broadway
Hamllton on Broadway

Hamilton (opened August 6) – While technically not a newly-opened show I include in this post as I was able to see it only recently. I confess that when I first read about the show I had my doubts (a historical musical? Rap? Hip-hop?) but the Public Theater pedigree and rave reviews inspired me to buy a ticket (which I had to buy months in advance to get a decent seat). The show is original, fresh, energetic and the themes most definitely of-the-moment. A must see.

A View From the Bridge
A View From the Bridge

A View From the Bridge (opened November 12) – the play transferred with cast intact from its critically-acclaimed London run (Olivier awards for Best Actor, Best Director and Best Revival). I almost didn’t see this show having seen the revival several years ago with Liev Schreiber and Scarlett Johanssen (with so many new shows to see why see one I have seen before?). I am glad I did – the awards and acclaim are well-founded and the differences between the productions are substantial. The staging is so spare that the powerful  performances and themes of the play are brought into stark relief to great effect.

Movies

The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2
The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2

The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2 (November 20) – In the conclusion (finally!) of the film series, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) stakes her claim as the leader of District 13 and leads the revolution against the brutal dictatorship of President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and the Capitol.

Secret in Their Eyes
Secret in Their Eyes

Secret in Their Eyes (November 20) – Billy Ray directs this adaptation of Juan José Campanella’s 2010 Argentinian film.  Julia Roberts, Chiwetel Ejifor and Nicole Kidman star in this thriller about a close-knit team of investigators whose partnership is strained when their latest murder case involves the daughter of one of their own.

By the Sea starring the Pitts
By the Sea starring the Pitts

By the Sea (November 13) – Set in France during the mid-1970s, Vanessa (Angelina Jolie-Pitt), a former dancer, and her writer-husband Roland (Brad Pitt), an American writer, travel the country together in an attempt to rebuild their marriage. They settle in a small coastal town and bond with a few if its quirkier inhabitants. The film was written and directed by Angelina Jolie-Pitt. Reviews are mixed but when have they not been for a production with which Angelina is involved?

Love the Coopers
Love the Coopers

Love the Coopers (November 13) – Four generations of the Cooper family come together for their annual Christmas Eve celebration. As the evening unfolds, a series of unexpected visitors and unlikely events turn the night upside down, leading them all toward a surprising rediscovery of family bonds and the spirit of the holiday. Based on the reviews the strong cast (Diane Keaton, Marisa Tomei, Amanda Seyfried, John Goodman, Olivia Wilde) can do nothing to save this holiday stinker.

Museums

Jackson Pollock at the MoMA
Jackson Pollock at the MoMA

Jackson Pollock (MOMA opens November 22) – This exhibition offers a concise but detailed survey of the work of Jackson Pollock (American, 1912–1956). It tracks his artistic evolution from the 1930s and early 1940s, when he made loosely figurative images based on mythical or primeval themes, to the late 1940s and early 1950s, when he pioneered the radical abstractions for which he is best known by pouring and dripping paint onto canvas or paper.

The Weekend Report: November 6 – 8

Movies

Spotlight with Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo and Liev Schreiber
Spotlight with Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo and Liev Schreiber

Spotlight (opens November 6) – Under the direction of new editor Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber), the Boston Globe delves into decades worth of child abuse claims against the Catholic Church. Led by Walter “Robby” Robinson (Michael Keaton) the journalists begin to uncover a massive network of sexual abuse and willful ignorance perpetrated by the Church within the city of Boston. Facing political opposition and resistance from the far-reaching influence of the Church, the reporters undertake an explosive exposé on the corrupt system. Directed by Tom McCarthy and based on the true events of the 2002 investigation by the Globe, the star-studded Spotlight also features Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, John Slattery and Stanley Tucci.

Trumbo with Bryan Cranston and Elle Fanning
Trumbo with Bryan Cranston and Elle Fanning

Trumbo (opens November 6) – A tense yet inspiring biopic of blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston), who earned the wrath of anti-Communist forces when he refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee.

Spectre with Daniel Craig
Spectre with Daniel Craig

Spectre (opens November 6) – A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind Spectre.


Museums

Picasso Sculpture at the MoMA
Picasso Sculpture at the MoMA

Picasso Sculpture at the MoMA through February 7. A retrospective exploring what is probably the least familiar aspect of Pablo Picasso’s work. Occupying the Museum’s entire fourth floor, the exhibition features more than 150 sculptures organized chronologically. It aims to advance the understanding of what sculpture was for Picasso, and of how he revolutionized its history through a lifelong commitment to constant reinvention.

The Week Ahead – March 8

Movies

Cymbeline stars Ed Harris, Ethan Hawke, Milla Jovovich and Dakota Johnson
Cymbeline stars Ed Harris, Ethan Hawke, Milla Jovovich and Dakota Johnson

Cymbeline – opens March 13.  This action/thriller starring Ethan Hawke, Ed Harris and Milla Jovovich was inspired by William Shakespeare’s Cymbeline.  A gritty story of a take-no-prisoners war between dirty cops and an outlaw biker gang. Good cast but early reviews haven’t been positive.

Museums

Madame Cezanne Exhibit at the Met ends March 15
Madame Cezanne Exhibit at the Met ends March 15

Madame Cezanne – last chance to see the Madame Cezanne exhibit at the Met as it ends March 15.  The exhibition features twenty-five of the twenty-nine known portraits of Hortense Fiquet, Cezanne’s wife and the mother of his son.  For more information: http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2014/madame-cezanne

Fashion

Epaulet is a specialty men’s retailer with stores in Brooklyn and the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Much of their assortment is product which is exclusive to them – either their own label or collaborations with great brands like Alden.  The proprietor’s (Adele Berne and Michael  Kuhle) goal is “to deliver classic American style (with a heavy touch of British influence), razor-sharp tailoring, consistent sizing, unique fabrics, and phenomenal quality at a fair price” and they largely succeed. Epaulet recently launched a custom shirt program (see link below for more details).  Use the code “Individualized-Welcome” for $25 off each shirt through Tuesday March 10. http://epauletnewyork.com/collections/made-to-order-shirting

Restaurants

For California residents In-N-Out has achieved a cult status and following.  Their secret menu items separate those in-the-know from those who are not.  The following link is a guide to other fast food restaurant secret menu items. http://www.thedailymeal.com/eat/10-fast-food-secret-menu-items-you-have-try?advD=1401,117828

The Week Ahead – February 9

Movies

Kingsman: The Secret Service opens February 13th.  The movie, directed by Matthew Vaughn (Kick Ass, X-Men: First Class) stars Colin Firth (with Michael Caine and Samuel L. Jackson also in the cast) as the head of a super-secret spy organization that recruits a street kid into its training program.  The movie looks promising – I have been watching the coming a’s for months, the move received an 80% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has also spawned a collaboration with Mr Porter (also a personal favorite of mine) – what more do you need?

Kingsman

Fifty Shades of Grey also opens this weekend and really needs no introduction. I don’t have a lot of interest but confess to reading the series to see why these books sold 100MM copies. . .

Fifty Shades of Grey

Fashion

I am a sneaker fan and they are often part of my daily uniform.  My favorites – until now – have been Adidas Originals (Stan Smiths, Sambas, Superstars – a patent pair found on sale at Barney’s Beverly Hills is a special favorite, Jack Purcells and Lanvin (not comfortable but love the look – and form really is more important than function when it comes to fashion). Recently I discovered a line called Greats (two of my favorite models picture below). The line was launched Fall 2013 out of Brooklyn with a direct-to-consumer model.  Prices start at $49 and go up to $199.   Check them out.  http://www.greats.com/

Greats - WilsonGreats Mowbray

Museums

Last Chance – the Cubism exhibit at the Met ends on February 16th.  The exhibit features 81 works of art from the Leonard A. Lauder Collection (a promised gift to the Met) featuring George Braque, Juan Gris, Fernand Leger and Pablo Picasso.

Met - Cubism

Music

Dianne Reeves will be making her annual appearance at Lincoln Center Jazz on February 13th and 14th.  Her concert last year was great.

LCJazz - Dianne Reeves

Restaurants

Dirt Candy, Amanda Cohen’s vegatarian restaurant is now open in its new, larger digs.  http://www.dirtcandynyc.com/

Pete Wells awarded Cosme three stars. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/04/dining/restaurant-review-cosme-in-the-flatiron-district.html?ref=dining&_r=0

The much-anticipated Hell’s Kitchen outpost of Brooklyn Fare is allegedly “two chandeliers” away from opening. Jared Sippel (Frasca) is out and Cesar Ramirez will run both locations.  http://ny.eater.com/2014/8/27/6164979/brooklyn-fare-manhattan-is-almost-here-sippel-is-out

The Week Ahead – February 1

Movies

Jupiter Ascending – a sci fi movie starring Mila Kunis, Eddie Redmayne and Channing Tatum.  Mila Kunis is Jupiter Jones, a young woman of modest origins who discovers she is destined to play an important role as savior of the universe.  The screenplay was written by Andy and Lara Wachowski who also produced and directed. Over the past couple of years (after seeing him in Red on Broadway, My Week with Marilyn and The Theory of Everything) I have become a big fan of Eddie Redmayne – and would see the movie just because he is in the cast.  Given that the team behind the move was also responsible for The Matrix Trilogy the special effects will most likely be spectacular.

Jupiter Ascending

Matt Shephard is a Friend of Mine – the story of Matthew Shepard, the gay University of Wyoming student who was killed in a hate crime in 1998Matt Shephard

Plays

Rasheeda Speaking – from The New Group and playing at Signature Theatre on West 42nd Street. Rasheeda Speaking is directed by Cynthia Nixon and stars Tonya Pinkins and Dianne Wiest who play co-workers driven apart by their boss and into a power struggle that spins out of control.

Museums

Last chance for Matisse – the Matisse exhibit at the MOMA closes on February 10th.  I saw it a couple weeks ago.  Great exhibit.   Popular and crowded though so I recommend going during Members Hours or non-peak times (if there is such a thing).Matisse CutOuts

 Restaurants

Chez Jef – the permanent version of the pop-up French bistro Mathieu Palombino opened in the Bowery Diner last year is now open.  The pop-up got strong reviews so the permanent restaurant promises to be a good place for French bistro classics.  It looks like the $35 prix-fixe is also still on the menu.