At the movies
“Leave No Trace,” opening June 29, stars Ben Foster, 37, as the father of a teenage daughter. For years, they live happily off the grid in a huge Oregon park. As the result of a mistake, they are discovered and placed in urban shelters by social services. They hate their new surroundings and attempt to return together to the wilderness. The director is Debra Granik, 55, who also directed the critically acclaimed “Winter’s Bone” (2010), about the struggle of a poor Appalachian teen (Jennifer Lawrence) to hold her family together. Propelled by a good script, great direction and a breakthrough performance by Lawrence, this film hit viewers in the kishkas even though the characters came from a milieu that is utterly unfamiliar to most Americans. I suspect Granik may work this same magic in “Leave No Trace.”
“Ant-Man and the Wasp” features Marvel heroes with the incredible ability to shrink. Paul Rudd, 49, who starred in the 2015 film “Ant-Man,” reprises that title role in this film. Evangeline Lily, who had a co-starring role in the 2015 film, returns for the sequel, this time with the superhero moniker the Wasp. The plot has Ant-Man torn between his new role as a husband and father and the call of duty when the Wasp says she really, really needs his help. The “Ant-Man” films are lighter and more family-friendly than most Marvel pics. It opens Friday, July 6.
Over on Netflix
Anthony Bourdain was the best host of a travel and cooking show, hands down. (Bourdain was the secular son of a Jewish mother and a non-Jewish father). His entire acclaimed series, “Parts Unknown” is available on Netflix. Plus: Phil Rosenthal’s Netflix series “Somebody Feed Phil” is at least in the same league. The show is a witty and interesting look at the cultures and food of the worldwide places Rosenthal visits. The complete second season starts streaming on July 6.Rosenthal, 58, was the co-creator of “Everybody Loves Raymond.” He has been married since 1990 to Monica Horan, 55, who played Amy, the wife of Raymond’s policeman brother.
The second season of “Glow,” the hit comedy-drama about pro women’s wrestling, begins on June 29. The performance of Alison Brie, 35, in the lead role earned her a Golden Globe nomination this year. Co-stars include Marc Maron, 54, and Jackie Tohn, 36.
The Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” released its second season in May. This series has attracted controversy because of its focus on teen suicide. The author of the book it’s based on, Jay Asher, 42, has a Jewish father, and one of the stars, Brandon Flynn, 24 (who plays Justin), has a Jewish mother.
Allee Willis, 70, was inducted into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame at a ceremony in New York on June 14. Eight songwriters were inducted this year; Willis was the only woman. A multimedia artist, Willis is best known for writing such hits as “I’ll Be There for You” (the theme from “Friends”), “Neutron Dance” (Pointer Sisters); “What Have I Done to Deserve This?” (Pet Shop Boys) and “September” (Earth, Wind & Fire).
The Boston Herald reports that Willis won over the crowd by first telling a few stories from her life, including an amusing tale about how the sex life of a frisky female friend was an inspiration for many of her songs. Then Willis addressed the fact that she was the sole woman among the inductees. “I really started thinking about how, at the time, mentally painful it was that the girls were not getting the chances the boys were,” she said. “So I just want to say, “We’re here. We’ve always been here. And we’re no longer the little wilting flowers that we were when it comes to equality.’ So wipe off the seats, because here we come.”
Country songwriter Steven Dorff, 69, was in tears as he listened to an induction speech delivered by his son, actor Stephen Dorff, 44. The elder Dorff’s hits include “Every Which Way But Loose” (Eddie Rabbitt) and “Through the Years” (Kenny Rogers).
Neil Diamond, 77, received the Johnny Mercer Award. It is given to a songwriter who already has been inducted into the Hall of Fame (Diamond was inducted in 1984) for “a history of outstanding creative work.” Diamond closed out the ceremony by performing a rousing version of “Sweet Caroline.”