FILM: Oscar Choices 2018

The 90th Academy Awards ceremony takes place on Sunday, March 4th. Leading up to that evening, I will give my analysis and my favorites among the nominees over the next three weeks. Actually, I believe it’s absurd to choose winners when art is involved. Art is not a race and carries a great amount of its impact in the eye of the beholder.... Read more →


Food Review: Little Ruby Café

I watched a program on TV last week that chronicled the life of a very successful restaurant owner in New York City. What I learned from him was that location is mildly important, food quality is important, but above all what makes a restaurant successful is making the customer feel good. That concept came to mind recently when I had a... Read more →


Playtime: You Will Want To Choose “The Chosen”

Chaim Potok was to the tenets and vicissitudes of Judaism as Eli Wiesel was to the Holocaust. Each man pursued his personal obsession with unflagging intensity, to a total of 57 books by Elie Wiesel and 32 by Potok (including 14 volumes on Jewish Ethics). But Potok was also a prolific playwright, presenting the diversity of Jewish thought... Read more →



In The Post, the character “Katharine Graham” states, “News is the rough draft of history.” This concept has been the mantra of those who have reported for and published newspapers for over a century and it is the heart of this very timely film. Writers Liz Hannah and Josh Singer have created an efficient screenplay, establishing a... Read more →


Fresh finds: Broccoli Rabe

Editor’s Note: Starting this Saturday, the Daily Press will feature a local vegetable, fruit, flower or food you can find at Santa Monica Farmers Markets. “Call it rapini,” Alex Weiser said as he handed me the loose bundle of dainty yellow flowers and leaves. “I like saying rapini.” Weiser is telling me the Italian word for... Read more →



Molly’s Game is the story of Molly Bloom, a promising Olympic class skier. After a devastating accidental fall during a qualifying meet, Molly gave up her athletic pursuits and went to work for a real estate mogul. One night he assigned her to manage his high stakes poker game. Molly thus found a new outlet for her tightly wound, highly... Read more →



Rated R 132 Minutes Released December 25 The saddest detail about the incident that inspired the movie All the Money in the World is that John Paul Getty III never really recovered from the emotional scars left by the events and by the microscopic public scrutiny into which he was born as the grandson of one of the richest men in the... Read more →


Culture Watch: Who Needs Libraries? We do!

This cartoon by Chris Obrion went viral on social media in 2015 when the Library Journal posted it to its Facebook page. Although originally created for The Roanoke Times, which re-ran it last year alongside an editorial by the president of the Roanoke Public Library Foundation, I actually saw it earlier this month, also on Facebook, shared... Read more →


Playtime: A Loving Portrait Of A Happily Married Couple

In the old days when everyone was young, studios like MGM made films filled with cutie-pie girls who sang and danced and fell blissfully in love and presumably lived happily ever after. But now that 13% of the American population is 65 and older, an array of independent filmmakers are making films that deal with the daily lives, the... Read more →



PHANTOM THREAD Rated R 115 Minutes Released December 25 Some of the most interesting elements behind the rather cryptic film Phantom Thread are the backstories of the people who created the film. Director/Writer Paul Thomas Anderson seems to create a different style of film with each project he takes on. He wrote and directed... Read more →


Spielberg Posts A Skosh From the Vietnam War

Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg. Who could ask for anything more! The film they've made together is called "The Post" and it is thought by many to be 2017's Best Picture in a year filled with an overwhelming collection of exceptionally fine films. The Post refers, of course, to the Washington Post and its historical role in... Read more →


Restaurant Review: MEAT

One of our pleasures over the decades has been a trip to New York to see great shows and eat at great steak houses. I don’t know why the steak houses there seemed so much better than in Los Angeles. Boa is good. Ruth’s Chris is good. And I hear that Cut is good, but out of my price range. But there was something better in New York. No... Read more →



THIS WEEK AT THE BROAD STAGE Two Broad Stage productions caught my attention this week: “Small Mouth Sounds” on the main stage and “Shakespeare, His Wife and The Dog” at the Edye, the smaller black box theatre. I spoke with Philip Whitchurch, who wrote “Shakespeare, His Wife and The Dog,” and stars in it with his real-life... Read more →


Culture Watch

BUSTED-DOWN FORD AND PLATFORM HEELS Sometimes life is defined by a single incident. And when that incident is tragic, things change abruptly. Author, poet and playwright Susan Hayden’s beloved husband, Christopher Allport, a well-respected and busy actor of stage, screen and TV, died in a freak avalanche while skiing at Mountain High in... Read more →


Giving Voice To Local History (Part 2)

  At lunch with his wife Katherine (Kat), our mutual friend Ted Bonnitt, who brought us together, and me, Noel Blanc was doing what he does best, sharing personal reminiscences of our area as he experienced it. (This column is a continuation from Dec. 21). There once was a time when Ocean Park was an entity unto itself, Noel says,... Read more →