1. “The Reckoning.” The father of the Sandy Hook killer searches for answers.
“’Adam was not open to therapy,’ Peter told me. ’He did not want to talk about problems and didn’t even admit he had Asperger’s.’ Peter and Nancy were confident enough in the Asperger’s diagnosis that they didn’t look for other explanations for Adam’s behavior. In that sense, Asperger’s may have distracted them from whatever else was amiss. ’If he had been a totally normal adolescent and he was well adjusted and then all of a sudden went into isolation, alarms would go off,’ Peter told me. ’But let’s keep in mind that you expect Adam to be weird.’ Still, Peter and Nancy sought professional support repeatedly, and none of the doctors they saw detected troubling violence in Adam’s disposition. According to the state’s attorney’s report, ’Those mental health professionals who saw him did not see anything that would have predicted his future behavior.’ Peter said, ’Here we are near New York, one of the best locations for mental-health care, and nobody saw this.’”
2. “Ridley Sets Record Straight on McQueen 12 Years Rift, Talks Jimi: All Is By My Side.” So what is the rift between Ridley and McQueen about?
“Directors want to share screenplay credit with writers all the time, which is why the Writers Guild of America exacts such a high standard. The director is the ultimate arbiter/creator/visionary on any movie. But they aren’t all writers. So what ordinarily happens in this situation is a WGA arbitration—the contributions of the anonymous writers are objectively assessed—after which everyone abides by the decision. (It can have an impact on what the writer gets paid, as well.) So why not let the WGA decide? Ridley was fine with that, he says. But McQueen listened to his advisors and wisely opted not to pursue credit for a film with a good chance of an impending Oscar campaign. He was nominated as director and won as producer.”
3. “Seitz: The 7 Things That True Detective Was About.” In reverse order, because linearity is an abstract concept, man, all right all right all right.
“Pizzolato is on record owning up to True Detective’s clichés (or ’tropes,’ as they are called by creative writing majors), and the mismatched buddy-cop duo is one that’s dear to his heart. The partnership between Cohle and Hart is your classic Lethal Weapon–type partnership teaming a brilliant but unstable wild card and a more settled family man who just wants to do his job and go home, though the longer you live with it and stare at it, the more allegiance it seems to owe to Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson (Rust has a touch of Holmesian alienation and intellectual smugness, and he lives a spartan life). The bromance aspect really takes over in the last two episodes, which show Marty and Rust, who were burrs in one another’s saddles for two decades, finally putting aside their differences and learning to be true friends, true partners, and true detectives. The eighth episode is one long buddy-cop mind meld, capped by the gory confrontation with Errol that ramps down with the bloodied Rust and Marty crawling toward each other like the doomed lovers at the end of Duel in the Sun, and resolving in the hospital with Marty wheeling Rust around like an elderly husband pushing his beloved wife through a nursing home and even presenting a gift-wrapped pack of cigarettes. ’If we were getting engaged, I’d have gotten a nicer ribbon,’ Marty jokes.”
4. “Mr. Manners” Nick Pinkerton on The Grand Budapest Hotel.
“I’ve long been taken with a quote attributed to another Viennese writer, Karl Kraus, whose particular specialty was the art of the paradox. While the news of the bombing of Shanghai was on everyone’s lips, a friend encountered Kraus sitting in some coffeehouse and quibbling over matters of grammar. ’I know that everything is in vain when the house is burning,’ Kraus said, ’But I have to do this as long as it is at all possible; for if those who are obliged to look after commas had made sure they are always at the right place, then Shanghai would not be burning.’ In this fussy credo we can see something of M. Gustave. Civilization might be saved with the right floral arrangement or shade of nail polish, and if everything is looked after just so, maybe Europe wouldn’t become a slaughterhouse.”
5. “I’m Trying to Love Wes Anderson, That Miniaturist Puppet-Master.” Stephanie Zacharek can’t breathe while watching the filmmaker’s movies.
“Some people may feel cozy and coddled while they’re watching a Wes Anderson movie, but I always feel that I’ve entered the airless interior of a panorama egg, and someone has closed the latch from the outside. That’s especially true of The Grand Budapest Hotel, its visual splendor notwithstanding. One of the chief characters, a junior hotel employee played by a young actor named Tony Revolori, wears a cap embroidered with the words ’LOBBY BOY’ in slightly wonky letters. It’s the slight wobbliness of the stitching that’s so annoying, a homespun touch that was clearly intentional, an adorable little curlicue of self-conscious Andersonian quaintness. That character’s love interest, a baker played by Saoirse Ronan, bears a birthmark in the shape of Mexico on her cheek. There’s no hidden meaning there—that purplish splotch is just a cute, random shape, a bit of whimsy designed to make us say, ’Aha!’ or perhaps ’Oho!’ Anderson fans may find that degree of calculation delightful. The rest of us are left whacking our palms against our foreheads, wondering how on Earth he gets away with it.”
Video of the Day: HBO’s teaser for The Normal Heart:
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