Entertainment and Lifestyle Editor
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Sep 3, 2013

In era of leaks, Toronto film festival tackles transparency

LOS ANGELES/TORONTO (Reuters) – As director Bill Condon was finishing up his film “The Fifth Estate” about Julian Assange and anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, former spy agency contractor Edward Snowden started leaking U.S. security documents, reigniting the public debate over secrecy, security and whistleblowing in the Internet era.

“The same lines were being used, the same script was being recited, it was fascinating,” said Condon. “And then Assange appeared and became part of the story.”

Aug 30, 2013

Showtime bets ‘Ray Donovan’ will be summer success for years

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – From the FBI agent tripping on acid to the action film star marrying a transsexual, the Sunday night Showtime drama “Ray Donovan” has served up its share of bizarre twists.

In the tale of a ruthless yet morally conflicted Hollywood “fixer” played by Liev Schreiber, “you never know where it is going to go,” executive producer Mark Gordon says.

Aug 26, 2013

Hollywood reflects on race in year of black, civil rights films

LOS ANGELES, Aug 26 (Reuters) – Race in America has been a
hot topic of debate this summer and Hollywood, as if on cue, has
muscled its way into the conversation.

This year is shaping up to be a big one in film for African
American, black and civil rights themes, offering audiences
different lenses through which to consider the complex question
of racial equality, both historically and in the present day.

Aug 7, 2013

‘Elysium’ delivers action, destruction and a deeper message on life

LOS ANGELES, Aug 7 (Reuters) – Director Neill Blomkamp and
leading man Matt Damon mostly want summer filmgoers to be
completely entertained by the action-packed, sci-fi thriller
“Elysium.” But if the audience could also ponder the question of
what to do about world poverty and inequality, well, that would
be a bonus.

“Elysium,” which opens this weekend, is not the typical
light summer fare served up in big-budget Hollywood productions.
And Blomkamp, the South African who made waves with his first
feature, “District 9,” is no typical director.

Aug 7, 2013

Downton Abbey draws ‘handsome’ new men for Matthew-less Season four

BEVERLY HILLS, California (Reuters) – It is hard to say who will grieve more for Matthew Crawley when the next season of the wildly popular television show “Downton Abbey” airs: his on-screen widow Lady Mary or the legions of fans of the show.

At least the fans can rest assured. Several eligible bachelors will swoop in on the mourning Mary and her English estate in Season Four, producers and cast members said on Tuesday, offering U.S. critics a tease of what lies ahead.

Aug 7, 2013

Downton Abbey draws “handsome” new men for Matthew-less Season 4

, Aug 6 (Reuters) – It is hard to say
who will grieve more for Matthew Crawley when the next season of
the wildly popular television show “Downton Abbey” airs: his
on-screen widow Lady Mary or the legions of fans of the show.

At least the fans can rest assured. Several eligible
bachelors will swoop in on the mourning Mary and her English
estate in Season Four, producers and cast members said on
Tuesday, offering U.S. critics a tease of what lies ahead.

Jul 26, 2013

Woody Allen’s ‘Blue Jasmine:’ portrait of a lady who loses it all

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – So sharp is the reversal of fortune for Woody Allen’s female protagonist in his latest film, “Blue Jasmine,” that the Manhattan socialite’s possessions are reduced to a faint echo: a Chanel jacket, designer suitcases, a clutch of anti-depressants.

She does manage to retain a regal bearing and a posh accent. But for the most part, Jasmine, played by Oscar winning actress Cate Blanchett, has lost everything including her mind, thanks to her husband’s financial and marital misdeeds and her own hapless ways.

Jul 25, 2013

For ‘Fruitvale Station’ director, film school and football pay off

LOS ANGELES, July 25 (Reuters) – Two years out of the
University of Southern California’s film school, Ryan Coogler is
still paying down his debt.

That may not be the case for long. Coogler’s first feature
film, “Fruitvale Station,” goes into wide U.S. release this
weekend, having earned universal acclaim from critics, awards at
the Sundance and Cannes film festivals and some early Oscar
buzz. Coogler, 27, wrote the script and directed the independent
drama, while Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker produces.

Jul 22, 2013

U.S. statistician Silver moves popular site to ESPN from NY Times

By Mary Milliken

(Reuters) – Nate Silver, the statistician who earned star status by correctly predicting the 2012 U.S. presidential election in all 50 states, said on Monday he is moving his popular FiveThirtyEight blog to sports media company ESPN from the New York Times.

Disney-owned ESPN said it is buying the URL www.fivethirtyeight.com and the trade name for an undisclosed sum. The relaunched site will encompass not only sports, but also politics and elections, economics and weather among other subjects. Content will be shared with ABC News, also owned by Disney.

Jul 19, 2013

‘Horror Story’ scares up most Emmy nods, Netflix shakes up race

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The dark thriller “American Horror Story: Asylum” scored the most nominations for television’s Emmy Awards on Thursday, but it was the Internet streaming service Netflix that made history with nods for its big push into original programming.

Netflix landed a total of 14 nominations for political drama “House of Cards,” comedy “Arrested Development” and thriller “Hemlock Grove,” a validation of its challenge to broadcast and cable networks. It is the first time programs not produced specifically for television have won Emmy nominations in the top categories, with “House of Cards” competing for best drama and leading stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright contenders for best actor and actress.

    • About Mary

      "Mary Milliken is Entertainment and Lifestyle Editor for the Americas since July 2013, based in Los Angeles. In 15 years with Reuters, she been bureau chief in Washington DC, the West Coast and South America and has organized news teams covering everything from presidential elections to economic crises to natural disasters. She speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese."
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