Robert Redford's historical drama focuses on the months after President Lincoln was assassinated — and on Mary Surratt, the woman alleged to have aided the plotters. Critic David Edelstein says it's a dramatized civil-liberties lecture, both transparent and exaggerated.
Critic-at-large John Powers reviews a newly-released DVD of Roberto Rossellini's 1966 film The Taking of Power by Louis XIV. Originally made for Italian television, the costume-drama follows a rocky transfer of power amidst the lavish court rituals of 17th-century France.
With writer-director Christopher Guest, Parker Posey has poked fun at small-town theater, overzealous dog owners, and folk singers. Now, she takes on the Oscars, co-starring in Guest's fourth parody film, For Your Consideration. Posey has also appeared in films such as Dazed and Confused, Kicking and Screaming and The Daytrippers.
Actor Ed Harris plays Ludwig van Beethoven in the new film Copying Beethoven, and he's also starring in the new play Wrecks, written and directed by Neil LaBute. The play is set to begin previews at New York's Public Theater on September 26 and open on Oct. 10.
Actor, director, writer Tim Robbins talks about his new film *The Cradle Will Rock*. It is the first film written and directed by Robbins since the Academy Award winning Dead Man Walking. The Cradle Will Rock is based on the events surrounding the production of a 1937 labor musical, directed by Orson Welles. The play was shut down by a government injunction for the cast's alleged left-wing politics. Robbins is known for his roles in such films as Shawshank Redemption, The Player, and Bull Durham.
Actor Kevin Kline. He can currently be seen in the movies "In and Out" and "The Ice Storm." This winter, he'll also be playing the title role in the Anton Chekhov's play, "Ivanov." Kline's past movies include "Dave," "The Big Chill," and "I Love You to Death." He received an Academy Award for "A Fish Called Wanda."
Actress Jennifer Jason Leigh. She stars in the new film "Washington Square" which is based on the Henry James novella. In it she plays Catherine Sloper, a shy and unattractive woman who risks estrangement from her father who disapproves of a man she has fallen for. The character is one of a diverse many for Leigh, who has portrayed everything from a phone-sex girl in Robert Altman's "Short Cuts" to a psychotic roommate in "Single White Female" to poet Dorothy Parker in "Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle."
Director Curtis Hanson and actor Russell Crowe from the new film "L.A. Confidential" which is adapted from the 1990 novel by James Ellroy. (James Ellroy is a previous Fresh Air guest whose memoir "My Dark Places" was about his mother's murder in L.A. in 1958) The film, which has received a lot of attention at film festivals including Cannes, and Toronto, is about corruption and retribution in L.A. in the 1950s and 60s. (THIS INTERVIEW CONTINUES INTO THE SECOND HALF OF THE SHOW)
Film director Philip Haas. His newest movie is "Angels & Insects" based on the novella "Morpho Eugenia" by writer A.S. Byatt. Previously, Haas made his feature film debut with "The Music of Chance," adapted from a Paul Auster novel. (Interview by Marty Moss-Coane)
Just in time for Columbus Day, Paramount is releasing 1492: Conquest of Paradise, starring Gerard Depardieu as the legendary navigator and directed by Ridley Scott, who made Alien, Blade Runner, and Thelma and Louise. Film critic Stephen Schiff has this review.