Bob MondelloBob Mondello reviews movies and covers the arts for NPR News, seeing at least 250 films and 100 plays annually, and shares critiques and commentaries on NPR's award-winning newsmagazine All Things Considered.
Paper Tigers? Employees of The New York Times occupy a prominent perch in the journalism world — but in the year chronicled in Andrew Rossi's Page One, they and the Gray Lady both face how precarious the heights can be.
Friendly Fire: Steve Coogan (right) takes his friend Rob Brydon along on a newspaper assignment to sample fine food at Britain's country inns — though in the end the two spend more time acting the fool than they do appreciating the culinary arts.
Phil Fisk/IFC Films
A Mother's Love: Jessica Chastain plays Mrs. O'Brien, mother of R.L.(Laramie Eppler, left), Jack (Hunter McCracken, right) and Steve (not pictured), and a character who filmmaker Terrence Malick portrays as the very embodiment of grace.
Merie Wallace/Twentieth Century Fox
Kristen Wiig (left) breaks the tired mold of summer wedding comedies with Bridesmaids, where her character grapples with a rival (Rose Bryne) without the genre's typically inconceivable levels of earnestness.
Suzanne Hanover/Universal Pictures
He Did In Fact Start The Fire: Hesher doesn't give him much of a springboard, but Joseph Gordon-Levitt still draws an intriguing portrait of a sociopathic headbanger who bonds with a grieving middle-schooler.
Merrick Morton/Wrekin Hill
The Secret Lives Of Mothers: After the death of the widowed Nawal Marwan (Lubna Azabal), her adult children slowly discover the bitterness of her childhood in a country plagued by endless cycles of violence.
Sony Pictures Classics
Dream Weaver: In Inception, Joseph Gordon-Levitt (center) plays a point man in an elaborate and illicit scheme to plant an idea in the mind of a businessman while he sleeps.
Stephen Vaughan/Warner Bros.