Taylor Swift has just joined the cast of The Giver as Rosemary. As written in Lois Lowry"s Newberry Prize winning novel the role of Rosemary isn"t huge; she"s the young woman who preceded Jonas as a Receiver but couldn"t handle it.The Giver tells Jonas -"She was a remarkable young woman. Very self-possessed and serene. Intelligent and eager to learn."and what he reveals about her training -"It broke my heart, Jonas, to transfer pain to her. But it was my job. It was what I had to do, the way I"ve had to do to you."Decent casting IF Swift can act.


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Hmmm. I posted back in August thatThe Giver was finally headed to the screen with Jeff Bridges in the titular role. I kvetched about the casting of 20-something Brenton Thwaites (above in Blue Lagoon) as Jonas the 12 year old boy who is destined to be the next Receiver in the colorless world of pain-free stultifying sameness.- he"s the one charged with holding the memories of life as it was once known; all the senses, the colors, the pain and pleasures for the people. Reliving horrifying events, being intimately acquainted with real pain is a tremendous burden to place on Jonas who, much like Rosemary is much affected by the sensations and memories. Anyway Jonas is supposed to be a thoughtful courageous pubescent kid on the verge of growing up NOT some studley hero.
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Sixteen year old Odeya Rush (seen above in The Odd Life of Timothy Green) has been cast as Jonas" friend and "favorite female" Fiona so it is clearer and clearer to me that the filmmakers are aging - and possibly sexualizing - the children making fundamental changes to the original dynamic. I would have expected to see a young actor a la Hugo"s Asa Butterfield.Fume fume fumeAlexander Skarsgard, the wannabe dad in What Maisie Knew is onboard as Jonas" father, along with Katie Holmes as the boy"s mother. Meryl Streep is firmly in place as the main elder.

I read The Man with the Golden Arm way back in a college English class. American Literature: Post World War II. Something like that. The novel was written by Nelson Algren, born on this day (March 28, 1909) in 1949, won the National Book Award in 1950 and was made into a film starring Francis Albert Sinatra in 1955. The main character, Frankie the man with the golden arm is an army vet “with a monkey on his bank’’. He's an addict, a dealer in illegal card games, a wannabe drummer tricked into marriage to the wrong woman. Set in Chicago, on its poverty-ridden streets, revealing a dark underbelly of America in a way unlike the way I was used to seeing our country, I was deeply moved. At the time I was still very much enamored of the British writers ala Dickens or at least the American writers who crossed the pond and gave us their view of the continent, ala Henry James. This ugly America was for my sheltered eyes, a whole new bag. ‘ Frankie Machine had seen some bad o
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“ A story as fresh as the girls in their minins ... and as cool as their teacher had to be. ” That tag line’s impossibly heavy-handed now, but Sydney Poitier was, and remains, the epitome of cool.  Poitier was the first black man I fell in love with. Black boys and men were a rarity when I was growing up in Canada in the sixties. In middle school in Niagara Falls, George Bell was the only black boy on campus, period, an outsider. It was 1967 and I was 13 when I saw Sydney Poitier in the now classic To Sir with Love . Everything about the drama called out to me.  The tough London kids, girls with their white lipstick and cool clothes, the boys with their wild bravado. And this calm, classy man with the velvety voice, determined not to lose his temper, determined to break through. Like Judy Geeson as Pamela, I wanted to dance with Sir. Like Lulu as Babs, I wanted to send him my love in a song. Never mind the seething racial tensions, I was consumed with the
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I'm not normally a huge fan of fantasy. Witches, vampires, demons just aren't my thing but when the vampire is Matthew Goode and he's resisting his cravings for human blood the way author Deborah Harkness intended when she created the Discovery of Witches character, it seems to be another story. The story belongs to the American witch Diana Bishop,  (played by Australian Teresa Palmer) in England to do some research at the University of Oxford's Bodleian library.  Diana's discovery of the Ashmole 721 manuscript—an ancient document that may the original Book of Spells which reveals how the witches can rid the planet of vampires altogether—serves as the underlying inciting incident.  Diana is one of those witches—not unlike Samantha in Bewitched —who resists her own use of witchcraft but I tell you what, if I had some power that enabled me to seduce Matthew Goode, I would make use of every power I had! All's fair in love and whatever, right? I h