If you’ve been following Bryan Cranston’s small-screen adventures in the drug-trafficking trade, presidential timber may be the last thing to come to mind. In six festering seasons of Breaking Bad, Mr. Cranston played Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher who spends his final, cancer-ridden years cooking up a methamphetamine-based nest egg for his family, ending up in the show’s memorable concluding episodes an alpha-type skinhead, street-named Heisenberg. On March 6, the day before he turns 58, Mr. Cranston will switch gears, taking on Lyndon Baines Johnson, the lead role in Robert Schenkkan’s new play, All the Way.
Marsha Norman’s stage-musical rewrite of Robert James Waller’s novel The Bridges of Madison County is previewing its way to a Feb. 20 opening at the Schoenfeld while Robert Schenkan’s All the Way gears up for a March 6 debut at the Neil Simon. Read More
As Seen On TV
Sometimes it’s good to remember that for all the (“I am the…) darkness(“) on Breaking Bad, the actors themselves seem like really fun people to be around.
Showing what a good sport he is, Bryan Cranston spiked his appearance with costar Aaron Paul on Conan last night by reading aloud his favorite fan letter…which of course, is sexual in nature and has very little to do with Bryan Cranston.
On Sunday night, as Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were making history as the first two women to successfully elbow out a male host for the Golden Globes, audiences took in an unprecedented display of girl power. With Lena Dunham winning for Best Actress in a Comedy, Girls taking Best Comedy, and Julianne Moore winning for Game Change, we trumpeted a new era … one in which women could not only captivate an audience but do so with an unlikable protagonist. (Hannah Horvath is no Tony Soprano, but she can be plenty unappealing at times.)
Many of the night’s other nominees, including the stars of Veep and Nashville, fit into the same category, as did the un-nominated (but still there in spirit) Edie Falco in Nurse Jackie, Laura Linney in The Big C and Laura Dern in the criminally under-watched Enlightened, which premiered its second season this week. This last is perhaps the best example of these hard-to-watch heroines, with Ms. Dern playing the most delusional, self-righteous and self-martyring female antihero ever to traipse through premium cable.
It was a great night for rude, crude, progressive women. Unfortunately, it was an even better night for Bad Men.
It’s rare as a pink giraffe, but every once in a blue moon a movie comes along in which each piece fits seamlessly and every detail works. Argo is one of them. I have come to regard Ben Affleck as better, stronger and more self-assured behind a camera than he is in front of one, but in this exemplary, meticulously detailed thriller about a fake movie that saved real lives, he wears both hats magnificently. The result is a movie that defines perfection.
Gifted, intelligent and full of cogent ideas, Mr. Affleck can almost always be depended on to come up with something fascinating, coherent and thoroughly cinematic. Argo, his third feature film as a director after Gone Baby Gone (2007) and The Town (2010), is no exception. It grabbed me by the lapels and held my attention for two solid hours without a sideward glance, and I can’t wait to see it again. You have to see it twice if you want to absorb the myriad pieces of a jigsaw too fantastic to accept as fact, although we know going in that the recently declassified records of an amazing history lesson prove otherwise. This movie is not only true, but unbelievably true.
Last night, Jason Reitman took it upon himself to prove Natasha Vargas-Cooper wrong about the timeliness of Alan Ball’s 1999 script, American Beauty. Apparently it doesn’t have to feel like a rehashed bowl of nostalgic bullshit–as the Up in the Air director proved at the Toronto Film Festival when he got a new and improved cast to breathe life into stale material during a live read.
The Emmy nominations are set to be announced tomorrow, and all eyes in coffee shops and traffic-thirsty blogs will be on the fate of Girls. Let’s predict what other shows were widely regarded as good this past year!
Here’s a reason to leave the Broadway scene and fly across country: For one night only, L.A.’s Geffen Playhouse will host a staged reading of Frank Capra‘s holiday classic, It’s A Wonderful Life. The 1946 film–listed as one of AFI’s “100 Best American Films Ever Made”– is such a Christmas staple that it’s hard to imagine someone other than Jimmy Stewart playing the hapless and kindhearted banker George Bailey. But the production really nailed it with their casting, announced today:New York native Peter “My Face is Smiling But My Eyebrows Tell a Darker Story” Gallagher.
5 Fearless Emmy Predictions: Glee, Amy Poehler and More! Read More
Bryan Cranston woke up on the morning of Wednesday, March 24, and went for a long run over the Williamsburg Bridge and back. Then he ate lunch, did some writing for a new children’s show he’s working on for Nickelodeon and popped into the bar at Soho’s Crosby Street Hotel, where he was staying, for Read More