Everyone’s favorite Mexican politician/drug lord-marrying, iced coffee-sipping anti-heroine is back for a new season. In case you forgot the last events of the Botwin universe (forgivable given the very uneven fifth season), post-pubescent Shane offed Nancy’s rival with a croquet mallet. As the trailer shows, the Botwins now have to fly under the radar and occasionally don wigs as they see fit to elude the wrath of Esteban. What else can we look forward to this season? Besides the unfortunate absence of Celia Hodes (Elizabeth Perkins), it looks like the Botwin clan is up to there usual tricks – iced coffees and all.
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First Film: Fred Zinneman’s Julia (1977)
Must-see: Sophie’s Choice (Alan J. Pakula, 1982); A Cry in the Dark (Fred Schepisi, 1988); and Angels in America (Mike Nichols, 2003)
Star Turn: In Clint Eastwood’s three-hankie, four-star adaptation of The Bridges of Madison County (which, let’s face it, is a crappy book), Streep not only elevated the project’s air of respectability, she also upped her own ante by turning in a performance in which there is absolutely no trace of Meryl Streep. She truly was an Italian war bride, a lonely farm wife who finds love with an unexpected stranger.
Underrated: Her good-natured, singing turn in Robert Altman’s final film, A Prairie Home Companion, where her version of “Goodbye to Mama” challenges any viewer to hold back the tears.
Upcoming, Current and/or Recent: She will work with Mike Nichols again, alongside Oscar-winner Jeff Bridges, in Great Hope Springs and play British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in a bio. Last year, her hat trick of Wes Anderson’s The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Nora Ephron’s Julie & Julia (as Julia Child) and Nancy Meyers’ It’s Complicated cemented her as a box office force as well as an acting legend, a trend she started with The Devil Wears Prada (2006) and continued with Mamma Mia! (2008). Streep brings home the bacon.
On September 21st, Boston based Ryan Montbleau Band will release Heavy on the Vine, the band’s third, independently released studio CD. The recording was financed by sales of a live, solo CD, Stages Volume II. Ryan was named the Best Local Male Vocalist in the 2007 Boston Local Music Awards, and won two awards the same year in the International Songwriting Competition. The band has become a regular on the festival circuit, and spent the past four months touring the country along side Martin Sexton (who produced Heavy on the Vine) as his opening act as well as his backing band for Martin’s own songs. Though the band has made a name for itself among the jamband crowd with a rigorous schedule, the real beauty lies in the poetic and lovely lyrics of the 33-year-old Villanova graduate. The six-piece band has begun recording intimate videos of the 14 new tracks and will post a new video each week until the new CD is released. Below, enjoy the first two videos and keep an ear open and an eye on Mixed Media for the new videos each week until September 21st.
Fred Phelps’ notorious Westboro Baptist Church, the folks who bring their hateful signs and protests to events like military funerals, decided that they were going to take their act to Comic-Con this year. The result: exactly four Westboro protesters showed up while hundreds of Comic-Con attendees bearing dozens of hilarious signs showed up in counter-protest. See all the pics at Comics Alliance.
First Film: Bruce Beresford’s Paradise Road, followed quickly by Gillian Armstrong’s divine Oscar and Lucinda (opposite Ralph Fiennes) in 1997.
Must-see: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (Wes Anderson, 2004); Notes on a Scandal (Richard Eyre, 2005); I’m Not There (Todd Haynes, 2006), the three crown jewels in one of the hottest runs by an actress in recent memory, that also included an Oscar win for Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator in 2004.
Star Turn: As perhaps the most famous virgin queen in all history, Elizabeth (Shekar Kapur, 1998), Blanchett rocketed to the A-list.
Underrated: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (David Fincher, 2008). A performance that spans the entire life of a woman, played beautifully, plausibly, at every age by the versatile Blanchett.
Upcoming, Current and/or Recent: This summer she was Ridley Scott’s Maid Marian in Robin Hood opposite Russell Crowe and played Blanche DuBois for Ingmar Bergman’s great collaborator Liv Ullmann on the stage and is rumored to be reprising the role for Broadway soon. Next year she will be seen in Joe Wright’s Hanna.