NPR: Ella Taylor http://weku.fm en 'Vivian Maier' Brings Nanny-Photographer's Life Into Focus http://weku.fm/post/vivian-maier-brings-nanny-photographers-life-focus Is an artist's life relevant to her reputation as an artist? Thu, 27 Mar 2014 22:52:00 +0000 NPR: Ella Taylor 57434 at http://weku.fm 'Vivian Maier' Brings Nanny-Photographer's Life Into Focus Fighting For Their Family, One Day At A Time http://weku.fm/post/fighting-their-family-one-day-time It would take a heart of stone — or zero tolerance for soap — to resist <em>Any Day Now</em>, a full-throttle weepie about a West Hollywood gay couple trying to adopt a neglected boy with Down syndrome.<p>Their quest might be an easier one today, when 16 American states permit joint adoption for same-sex couples, and all manner of family forms proliferate on and off-screen. But the film, loosely taken from real-life events, is set in 1979, when institutional homophobia was as common as pointy collars on loud print shirts. Thu, 13 Dec 2012 22:03:00 +0000 NPR: Ella Taylor 37081 at http://weku.fm Fighting For Their Family, One Day At A Time For Inspiration, Allen Always Has 'Paris' http://weku.fm/post/inspiration-allen-always-has-paris In Woody Allen's new movie, the only woman over 20 who's neither a harpy nor a groupie is the very late Gertrude Stein. But here's the thing: Having suffered through at least two decades of the director's celluloid shrews and floozies, I got a big kick out of seeing an elderly lesbian <em>literata</em> play den mother to the film's inevitable kvetchy Allen stand-in. Fri, 20 May 2011 02:27:00 +0000 NPR: Ella Taylor 4267 at http://weku.fm For Inspiration, Allen Always Has 'Paris' In 'Bridesmaids', A Divorce From Chick-Flick Norms http://weku.fm/post/bridesmaids-divorce-chick-flick-norms Kristen Wiig is a very pretty, very funny woman with reassuring crow's feet etched around her surprisingly anguished blue eyes. <em>Saturday Night Live</em> fans know Wiig can act out (Target Lady!), but if you've been paying attention, she can also act — she played, of all things, a steadying force in Drew Barrymore's underrated roller derby movie, <em>Whip It</em>. The warring impulses within Wiig set a wonderfully skittish tone for the painfully hilarious new movie <em>Bridesmaids</em>, a screwy tale of female friendship and wedding planning from hell. Thu, 12 May 2011 22:30:00 +0000 NPR: Ella Taylor 3607 at http://weku.fm In 'Bridesmaids', A Divorce From Chick-Flick Norms 'The Beaver': Working On Issues, With A Furry Friend http://weku.fm/post/beaver-working-issues-furry-friend In <em>The Beaver</em>, a stately family drama with a black comedy struggling to break free from within, Mel Gibson deploys a seemingly magical hand puppet — plus more charm than he's allowed out in public in years.<p>Gibson plays Walter Black, a toy-company executive (hold that thought) whose professional and family life have gone exponentially south as his long-festering depression hits rock bottom.<p>Filled with booze and suicidal ideation, Walter rescues a slightly sinister-looking beaver puppet from a dumpster, and before you can say therapeutic transference, the puppet — voiced by Gibso Fri, 06 May 2011 02:09:00 +0000 NPR: Ella Taylor 3023 at http://weku.fm 'The Beaver': Working On Issues, With A Furry Friend 'Prom': A Teen Comedy, Hold The Sex And Rebellion http://weku.fm/post/prom-teen-comedy-hold-sex-and-rebellion From the Walt Disney Company's wholesome-produce department, the pleasantly retro teen movie <em>Prom</em> comes bearing no offense. Thu, 28 Apr 2011 21:00:00 +0000 NPR: Ella Taylor 2504 at http://weku.fm 'Prom': A Teen Comedy, Hold The Sex And Rebellion Under The Big Top, With An Elephant In The Room http://weku.fm/post/under-big-top-elephant-room For all I know, the actor Robert Pattinson may be hell on wheels onstage, where he's done Shakespeare and Cole Porter. But thus far in his film career, he's mostly demonstrated uncommonly lovely bones and a thorough mastery of looking tenderly down upon the desolate damsels nestled in his arms. Thu, 21 Apr 2011 22:44:00 +0000 NPR: Ella Taylor 1998 at http://weku.fm Under The Big Top, With An Elephant In The Room A Guy With Mommy Issues, And The Lady In Question http://weku.fm/post/guy-mommy-issues-and-lady-question Bruno, the peevish sad sack at the center of the charming Italian comedy <em>The First Beautiful Thing</em>, has all the fixings of a decent life, including a stable job teaching at a vocational school and a faithful live-in girlfriend who seems more entertained than annoyed by his stubborn eye for the half-empty glass.<p>Bruno's real mission in life is to nurse old grievances while muddling through the day on prescription drugs illegally obtained at a local park — which also offers convenient amenities for lying down and staring at the sky. Thu, 14 Apr 2011 22:50:00 +0000 NPR: Ella Taylor 1575 at http://weku.fm A Guy With Mommy Issues, And The Lady In Question