The Great Debate

Why Imperator Furiosa, not Mad Max, is the hero for our age

May 22, 2015

Charlize Theron in ‘Mad Max: Fury Road.’ Courtesy of Warner Bros.

When the world succumbs to forces of darkness, you want a strong, ethical woman on your side. At least that’s what it increasingly looks like at the movies.

Sony hack reveals Hollywood’s bitter civil war

December 19, 2014

Jodie Foster poses with co-chairperson of Sony Pictures Entertainment Amy Pascal at the 16th annual Women in Entertainment breakfast in Beverly Hills

Nobody ever plunked down 14 bucks to see a movie executive on screen.

That may be an odd takeaway from the Sony hacking scandal that has been wracking the company and the film studio it owns, Sony Pictures Entertainment. But the relative invisibility of these executives vis-a-vis their talent — and what looks like the executives’ anger about this — are among the biggest revelations in the document dumps.

Is one Robert Downey worth two Jennifer Lawrences?

February 28, 2014

Economist Greg Mankiw recently published a column in the New York Times, holding up the actor Robert Downey Jr. as an example of why many deserve outsize pay. Why should we begrudge Downey a $50 million payday for The Avengers? The film brought in $1.5 billion globally. Downey’s take was a mere 3 percent of the haul.