Midnight in Paris
Director: Woody Allen
Celebrated writer-director Woody Allen is again courting Oscar buzz, for his visually splendid and star-filled destination comedy-drama, Midnight in Paris, a lush exhilarating gift and lyrical ode to the City of Lights. Owen Wilson stars as a struggling writer on a trip to Paris who escapes into fantasy (he visits the Roaring 20s) on the stroke of midnight and achieves inspiration from his encounters with Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, Salvador Dali and a host of other artistic legends. Rachel McAdams and Michael Sheen costar alongside Oscar winners Marion Cotillard, Kathy Bates and Adrien Brody.
Spirituals in Concert
Performers: Kathleen Battle and Jessye Norman
You expect nothing less than heavenly perfection when two of opera’s pre-eminent divas join forces with a legendary conductor like James Levine to create a stellar recording of spiritual standards. Celebrated sopranos Jessye Norman and Kathleen Battle (whom I saw in glorious concert at King’s House when she visited Jamaica over a decade ago) are absolutely divine here, delivering 18 gems, including “Oh, What a Beautiful City,” “You Can Tell the World” and “Talk about a Child.” Though recorded live at New York’s Carnegie Hall more than ten years ago (in March 1990), the songs still boast a lustre for all seasons.
Author: E. Lynn Harris
No one spins a sexy urban love story quite like the late great E. Lynn Harris, whose mouth-watering novels illuminate the secret lives of men and women in black America. With 2009’s expertly crafted Basketball Jones, Harris transports readers into the athletic universe of the NBA, cooking up an absorbing account of a close friendship between a star athlete and a longtime college pal that culminates in blackmail, heartache and dashed hopes. Taking unpredictable turns and teeming with a generous supply of Harris’ flair for the dramatic and trademark wicked wit, Basketball Jones is an ideal late-summer page-turner.