Making evil a career
“The most cruel dictators are usually, in private, quite charming people,” purrs Christoph Waltz in that gloriously precise, Oscar-winning Austrian accent. Not that he’d know. He’s not played a dictator in a movie — yet. But give him time.
In just a couple of years, Waltz has become the cinema’s go-to villain. Quentin Tarantino unleashed him on the world with “Inglourious Basterds,” for which Waltz won an Oscar. Then “Django Unchained” earned him another. He smiled to hide a violent streak in “Water for Elephants,” grinned and stabbed Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day in the back in “Horrible Bosses 2.”
And now, he’s alternately charming and abusive to America’s sweetheart, Amy Adams, in “Big Eyes.”
In it, he plays Walter Keane, a hustler who “rescued” painter Margaret Keane (Adams), who charms his way into her life, discovers the novelty in her “big eyed waifs” paintings and markets them to fame and glory. Then he steals all the credit.
‘The Twilight Zone’ returns
Rod Serling’s “The Twilight Zone,” makes its 20th yearly orbit on the Syfy Channel’s marathon on Dec. 31.
“There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. . .” Serling would begin the anthology, his mouth taut, his voice staccato and mesmerizing.
Each episode was a small morality play played out in modern times.
“The Twilight Zone,” which beamed up long before “Star Trek,” “The Outer Limits,” or “The X-Files,” became one of the most popular series ever on TV and marked Serling as one of the first creators to bring timeless writing to television.
Serling died 39 years ago of complications following heart surgery.
Putting some glitz in our lives
Style setter Jonathan Adler isn’t shy about glamour.
“I hate to sound macabre,” he says, “but when you’re about to kick the bucket and looking back on your life, I hope you remember the glamorous moments more than the quotidian ones. My calling in life is to provide those glamorous moments.”
Adler, a famed potter, designer, author and retail force, has long been a proponent of fearless fun in decorating. But he also prescribes a liberal dose of shine and recently launched a collection that focuses on gleaming brass.
“I think that a room is like an outfit,” he said recently. “It all needs a bit of gold to crank up the glamour. A little glitz is good for the soul.”
Holiday special for adults
Do you believe in Santa Claus? You may have an opinion after this year’s “Doctor Who” Christmas Special.
Like all of Steven Moffat’s best writing, it’s a multilayered episode to be enjoyed by children and discussed between adults. There are moments where you’ll laugh and moments to make you cry.
It will be broadcast Christmas Day at 9 p.m. ET on BBC America, and available online the day after.
Moffat defines “Last Christmas” as a “big, optimistic show that does, of course, have monsters.”
— From News wire services