"We seem to be in an apocalyptic moment," said Michael Grunwald.
Mr. Grunwald of Time.com went on then to write one of the most heartening and interesting takes on the moment. He proceeded to say:
The summer's crop of popular movies -- such as 'World War Z' and 'This Is the End'--depicts a human race that is 'basically screwed,' and every day, the news is full of depressing stories about various crises, scandals, and trends.
'Relax! The apocalypse is not nigh. In fact, while the U.S. has many problems -- and always has -- things are on the upswing. In the fourth year of 'slow but steady recovery,' the economy is adding close to 200,000 jobs a month--a total of 6.8 million since the end of the Great Recession. The stock market has doubled in four years and is at a record high. Housing prices are coming back. The sequester hasn't derailed the economy. Inflation is very low. This year's federal deficit will be an estimated $642 billion -- half of what it was in 2008. America is not turning into Greece. Meanwhile, U.S. carbon emissions have dropped to the lowest level in two decades, and so have oil imports. Admittedly, all this good news would make for a boring summer movie -- but maybe we should enjoy it anyway.
Thank you, Michael Grunwald!
• None other than the closet intellectual, Uma Thurman, one of the most talented girls in the movie biz, is going to now play the controversial Anita Bryant for writers Rob Epstein (he won an Oscar for "The Times of Harvey Milk") and Jeff Friedman. They will both direct.
I think this story of the all-American girl celebrity who caused so much trouble for her homosexual brethren is just catnip for this team of trouble-makers who also did the Oscar-winning "Common Threads: Stories From the Quilt" and "The Celluloid Closet." I believe my longtime pal, Howard Rosenman, is producing this movie and he was so good himself, acting a kind of rich, gay villain in "Milk," that he has had seven acting offers since.
Howard, the most Israeli-active person in Hollywood, recently played a Catholic priest in the movie "Backmask." This one was directed by Marcus Nispel, well-known for the remake of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacres."
• My friend Nora Ephron has been practically canonized since her shocking and unexpected death last year. As well she should be. It seems sometimes to me that nothing has been the same since she died!
But now, good news. Nora's sister Delia, has written an amazing book titled "Sister Mother Husband Dog" and it is coming in September from Penguin's Blue Rider Press. This book borders on hysterical insanity -- it deals with the loss of Nora, stories about their working together, their successes, their failures, tales of their sisters Amy and Hallie, their famous screenwriting mother and father, husbands, pets, friends. And, this book is the thing that has heartened and cheered me up.
(Well, I'll include the above opening to the column by Michael Grunwald.)
I am not allowed to review Delia's book right now because that would require quoting from it and I gather it is verboten. But let me just tell you in advance that it is simply brilliant.
And Nora would be proud -- and probably envious.
We wrote here the other day about the potential for "The Devil Wears Prada' novel to have its sequel, out now, and titled "Revenge Wears Prada," made into another movie.
Naturally, any sequel reminds one of Meryl Streep acting out Miranda Priestly, very loosely based on the youthful Anna Wintour...then, Anne Hathaway's conflicted character...and the one who really almost stole the movie. I do mean Emily Blunt as Meryl's top assistant, driven half mad by demands and almost as neurotic as her boss.
Emily Blunt gives a hilarious, eventually poignant performance. I was surprised she didn't get an Oscar nomination. She has gone on to make "Young Victoria" and "Salmon Fishing in theYemen," among others. She is a funny, earthy, dishy, young woman. She deserves to be a bigger star.
Now comes word she will play the baker's wife in the coming screen version of the Stephen Sondheim musical "Into the Woods." Emily Blunt's character is not treated well by the witch in this movie, a role to be played by the inimitable Ms. Streep. Blunt says, laughing: "I can't believe I'm going to be in two movies with Meryl in which she is horrible to me!"
Well, if you're going to be mistreated, better it be by a genius like Meryl Streep.
• David Bowie took a 10-year hiatus with a new album titled "The Next Day," released last March. But now his international retrospective of an entire important career is at London's Victoria & Albert Museum through August 11. One hopes it will come to America.