From Katniss Everdeen, to Bella Swan, to Hermione Granger, to Mia Thermopolis, it seems like just about every heroine needs some convincing to realize how beautiful they are. Because, of course, they are beautiful -- though often the character requires a makeover before she herself and the world around her (except, of course, for that One Special Boy Who Always Knew) realize her true beauty. The message that we get over and over is that beauty, even hidden beauty, is somehow part and parcel of being an exceptional, successful young woman.
I was troubled in season two of the usually stellar Mad Men, when Duck Phillips tossed his dog, Chauncey, out onto the mean streets of New York. We were given no resolution for the dog, but a recurring role for Duck (which included far more sex and work than he deserved after what he did to Chauncey).
Following the death of his father, Judd Foxman is forced to live out his father's last wish: For his entire dysfunctional family to spend one full week together in a house. While this seems easier said than done, it trudges up old feelings while digging out some secrets -- including the fact that Judd's wife has been having an affair.
Directed by Thomas Bertlesen, the film's intense 25-minute journey takes you from idealistic happily-ever-after to anxious, desperate climax. Despite all the space in the desert, the lovers are trapped in their own failed dreams. That is the most realistic part of this movie -- and a fitting end to Shakespeare's most famous tragedy.
Usually, outdoor ordeal films, at least of the horror genre, involve members of the middle classes suffering for their privileges, and ultimately being forced to defend them violently against poor people with a righteous grudge. Besides having a glaring class dimension, another aspect of the appeal of such films, is that they present cityfolk in the audience a chance to vicariously test our mettle: can we "do what is to be done under such conditions -- eat raw meat, sleep on the bare ground, betray our comrades, kill someone?" Or has city life made us too soft? 2013's VIFF has no shortage of films that ask these questions, with film after film plunging its characters into ordeals in the wilds, from which they may not emerge. Not all of these are horror films -- though even ones that aren't partake of elements of the genre
A movie is only as good as the actors starring in it. Casting the main role can mean the difference between box office gold, or bust. We looked back at some of the most iconic movie roles that almost went to someone else. Now whether that actor would have been better or worse for the role is something you can decide.
But could Marilyn Monroe's own writings provide clues about her suicidal intentions? Many of the letters, poems, and personal notes that Monroe wrote in the years leading up to her death were recently collected in a single book, Marilyn Monroe's Fragments. Her writings have only recently become available for serious study by suicide researchers.