December 10, 2012 In Who Could That Be at This Hour?, a prequel to A Series of Unfortunate Events, Daniel Handler satirizes pulp mysteries and uncovers the parallels between detective fiction and childhood. In both, he says, an outsider is trying to make his way in a mysteriously corrupt world.
December 7, 2012 Two new biographical studies that read like novels explore the familial relationships that shaped two of the 19th century's most beloved authors. Critic Maureen Corrigan calls Great Expectations: The Sons And Daughters Of Charles Dickens "a Gothic nightmare" and Marmee & Louisa "a romance."
December 6, 2012 Judd Apatow draws on his own experiences as a husband and father in a new comedy that explores the ups and downs of family life. The film stays close to home, literally and figuratively. It stars his wife, Leslie Mann, as well as their two daughters, and was filmed a few doors down from his house.
December 5, 2012 When it was released 32 years ago, Michael Cimino's revisionist Western was considered one of the most colossal flops in Hollywood history. Critic John Powers takes a second look at the film and concludes that it's clearly "the work of one man and ... he wanted you to remember it forever."
December 4, 2012 It's holiday box-set season, and Fresh Air critic David Bianculli shares some favorites for the TV-lover on your list. "Giving someone a gift of a TV show," he says, "is somehow very personal. You're giving something that you love, and that, in many cases, will occupy many hours ... of their time."
December 3, 2012 In his new novel, The Testament of Mary, Irish author Colm Toibin imagines Mary's life 20 years after the crucifixion, as she wonders what she might have done differently to ease her son's suffering. "I felt that I was Mary," he says. "I was her consciousness, watching the thing happening."
December 1, 2012 Robert Zemeckis' film tells the story of a pilot who crash-lands a plane while drunk and high. Friends and songwriters Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale just released a new album of duets. Also, Hilary Mantel has just won her second Man Booker Prize, this time for her novel Bring Up The Bodies — the sequel to Wolf Hall.
November 30, 2012 Thorn has recorded a holiday album, Tinsel and Lights, that critic Ken Tucker says might just work for warmer weather, as well. Tucker praises Thorn's voice as "bolstered by a firm intelligence," and says she avoids the fatty treacle that often weighs down Christmas albums.