“Victor Frankenstein,” a new take on the classic horror tale that opened this week, stars Daniel Radcliffe, 26, as Igor, the brilliant protégé of Dr. Frankenstein (James McAvoy). They share a noble vision of aiding humanity via their research into immortality, but Victor’s experiments go horribly too far. Only Igor can bring his friend back from the brink of madness and save him from his monstrous creation. Radcliffe, who recently got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, is high on this film, promoting it in a blitz of media appearances. In the interviews, he has disclosed that the end of the “Harry Potter” films led him to sow some wild oats, including drinking too much (he’s now sober).
“Victor Frankenstein” was written by Max Landis, 30, son of director John Landis, 65 (“Blues Brothers,” “American Werewolf in London”), and Deborah Nadoolman, 62, an Oscar-nominated costume designer. Max’s writing credits include “Chronicle” (2012), a budget sci-fi film that became a surprise box office smash.
“Spotlight,” which opened last week, is being hailed as the best journalism movie since “All the President’s Men.” It details the Boston Globe’s investigation of reports that Boston-area Catholic priests had been molesting children and the discovery that the church hierarchy had been covering up the scandal for decades. In the end, as many as 250 local priests were implicated in the scandal.
Liev Schreiber, 48, stars as editor Marty Baron. Baron, 60, who joined the Globe in 2001, brought an outsider’s perspective to a newspaper whose staff was mostly Boston-raised and Catholic. He tasked the Globe’s investigative unit with producing rock-solid evidence that the Boston Archdiocese was covering up for pedophiles, and finding whether there were just a few “bad apple” priests or many. Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams and Mark Ruffalo star as the reporters who helped uncover the evidence. The church pushed back hard against the Globe’s investigation, and there was more than a hint of anti-Semitism in its criticism of the newspaper, including the implication that Baron, a Jew from Florida, had some anti-church agenda.
Co-screenwriter Josh Singer, 43, said in an interview that “Spotlight” does not attack Catholicism as a religion. Rather, the focus is on the church’s man-made institutional problems. Baron, who recently has revived the Washington Post as its chief editor, told Variety he was “thrilled” about the film. Baron is depicted onscreen as a quiet, soft-spoken man who leads by intellect and example — not by berating his staff. Notwithstanding Baron’s mild manner, a Variety reporter told the journalist that the movie paints him as being “perhaps a bit superhero-ish.” Baron laughed and said: “A Jewish superhero! First one ever!”
In July, I reported that Rachel Platten, 34, had broken out as a star with her feminist empowerment song “Fight Song,” which was then near the top of the charts. “Fight Song” has gone on to sell over 2 million downloads. Her follow-up single “Stand by You,” released in September and promoted by BFF Taylor Swift, is doing very well. Platten was scheduled to take part in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, singing her song while riding on a float. If you missed her appearance, check NBC online or YouTube. Her Dec. 5 concert in San Francisco is long sold out.
Actress Hailee Steinfeld, 18, has just released her first EP, “Haiz.” Entertainment Weekly praised it: “She has some true hits on this EP of dance floor bangers about getting together, falling apart and feelin’ herself.”