In The Time Traveler's Wife, Audrey Niffenegger married her gently wry sensibility to a classic science-fiction conceit, and the result became a literary sensation — as much a tried-and-true staple of book-club culture as cheap malbec.
What do a forlorn Italian father, a costume-drama cad and a pair of Hollywood slapstick heroes have in common? They're all high on a list of must-see movies that David Chase, creator of The Sopranos and director of the 2012 film Not Fade Away, brought us for the occasional Morning Edition series "Watch This."
What unifies them?
Saps At Sea
"When I was a kid, I used to watch Laurel and Hardy with my cousins all the time," Chase says. "I still think they're extremely funny and so surreal."
In Ramin Bahrani's <em>At Any Price, </em>Zac Efron stars as a teen rebelling against his family and dreaming of becoming a professional race car driver. Sound like a generic summer pic? Critic David Edelstein says the film has "a hell of a sting in its tail."
Studios are putting most of their eggs in $100 million baskets these days, even as American independent filmmakers go hungry from lack of mainstream attention. But two of my favorite American indie writer-directors, Jeff Nichols and Ramin Bahrani, have new films with bigger stars than they've had before — films they hope will break through to wider audiences. The results, at least artistically, are impressive.