EDITOR’S PICKS: Tyrone recommends DiCaprio’s gritty Basketball Diaries and anthologies by Alexander and Goodison
SECOND CHANCES: Long before Titanic made him a globally recognized dreamboat, Leo DiCaprio was turning in earnest, astonishingly mature performances in films that wonderfully serve his capacity for intense, affecting drama. (See his Oscar-nominated turn in 1993’s What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.) In The Basketball Diaries (1995), the actor is magnificent as gifted high-school basketballer and budding writer Jim Carroll, whose reckless dalliance with drugs nearly cost him his promising career and his life. It’s a compelling, brilliantly acted coming-of-age story as much as it is a cautionary tale about the hideous world of drugs – and an amazing early vehicle for its star, who has gone on to deliver in such powerhouse films as The Aviator, J. Edgar and The Departed.
LITERARY GOLD: There are two poetry anthologies that I find myself returning to repeatedly: Elizabeth Alexander’s engrossing 2005 collection American Sublime (Graywolf Press) and the Lorna Goodison pageturner Goldengrove: New and Selected Poems (Carcanet Press, 2006). These are fine books of evocative, masterful poetry by writers at the height of their creative genius. Highly recommended.