With its intricate plotting, non-linear narrative, and thrilling suspense, Damages is what happens when John Grisham-style storytelling comes to the small screen. The television series, a legal drama that premiered back in ’07, is so gripping and addictive that I recently polished off the first of four seasons in about eight days. The show features the talents of two superb actresses, Glenn Close and Rose Byrne, who play lawyers and arch-nemeses working at the same firm run by Close’s character, the ruthless litigator Patty Hewes. Season One, crammed full of delicious plot twists and jaw-dropping revelations, finds the lawyers working to bring down a scumball businessman (Ted Danson), while playing underhanded games against each other. It’s the kind of stunning work of art where the line between heroism and villainy is seriously blurred.
Gods and Monsters (1998)
Superbly acted and brilliantly scripted, Gods and Monsters is centred on the last days in the life of James Whale, the eccentric filmmaker who brought Frankenstein to life. It’s laden with symbolism and witty dialogue and soars on a rich, nuanced performance from Sir Ian McKellen (The Lord of the Rings trilogy), who picked up an Oscar nod for his turn. Brendan Fraser, in a rare ‘serious’ performance is impressive as a hunky gardener who befriends the old man, while the ever-divine Lynn Redgrave also earned an Oscar nod for her portrayal of Whale’s loyal and long-serving housekeeper.
“Thank You” by Estelle
British-born songstress Estelle maintains her impressive track record of blending groovy R&B with soothing soul with her latest winner, “Thank You,” off her upcoming new album All of Me. Penned by Akon (with svelte production by Jerry Wonder), the song is a stripped-down and heartfelt letter to a former lover that also serves as a lovely reminder of the singer’s emotional depth and cinnamon-spiked vocals.