Thursday, May 30, 2013

Patti Smith and the Contemporary Arts Center

Inside the CAC
     Ten years ago the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) opened across from the Aronoff Center with a national splash.  It was one of Zaha Hadid’s first major constructed buildings.  Before that, she’d been more a theorist than a practitioner.  It was

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Buona Terra: Gelateria & Creperie

French and Italian specialties 
meet for a modern rendezvous

Buona Terra's Sleek Modern Space
     Mount Lookout Square welcomed another eatery this past Friday in the crêperie and gelatería Buona Terra.  It’s a compact, sleek space that is the epitome of contemporary modern, though without the industrial undertones of the

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Angels' Share

Imagine The Full Monty without the performing or Trainspotting without the speed

     Ken Loach’s latest movie, The Angels’ Share, was awarded third place at Cannes last year.  It’s a comedy based on the desperation of a group of young unemployed people who form a bond through community service and the chance they’re given by their social worker.  It’s a shaggy dog tale that

Friday, May 24, 2013

Barbara Vine (Ruth Rendell): The Child’s Child

     The Child’s Child has been rumored to be the last novel Ruth Rendell will write as Barbara Vine.  If so, it’s been a great run since 1987, during which Vine has won major mystery awards and probably should have been nominated for or won

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Cilantro Vietnamese Bistro

An around the corner move 
lends room to some old favorites

Cilantro's New Home

      Eric and I started going to Cilantro around 10 years ago when it was a hole-in-the-wall with barely enough room to sit down estaminet on Clifton Avenue.  It had that feel of being in the middle of a university and, more appropriately, a space that could be found in an alley of Saigon.  The pho soups and noodle dishes, combined with a 1-2-3 simple order concept, were fairly new to our city at the time.  The tastes and smells

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby

"The Great Catsby"
     If Busby Berkeley had directed color dramas, they might have looked like The Great Gatsby as envisioned by Baz Luhrmann.  He has the guts to mix music from the ‘20s with

Friday, May 17, 2013

Linda Cardellini brightens “Mad Men”

This performance is the stuff for which 
the Guest Star Drama Emmy was made

The Drapers Entertain the Rosens (and Dexter)
     Mad Men always finds itself referred to as ‘not as good as it was last season.’  And yes, we’re some of the biggest whiners of all.  Part of the reason is because of its ambition to recreate one of the watershed eras of modern American life by going

Thursday, May 16, 2013

BBP: Bobby’s Burger Palace at the Horseshoe Casino

A tour of the bedazzled casino reveals a diner with pizzazz

The Horseshoe Casino Gaming Floor
     Neil and I finally visited the Horseshoe Casino and, yes, it’s just like Vegas except without the smoke.  This is somewhat of a relief because an elderly lady with an oxygen tank would

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Let My People Go!

A sweet, light comedy 
that’s a French-Finnish-English co-production

     By the time anyone reads this, Let My People Go! will probably have departed from The Esquire.  It’s cute fluff about a French Jewish family dealing with a series of slapstick catastrophes during Passover.

Nicolas Maury and Carmen Maura with Dexter
Spanish legend Carmen Maura plays the mother in a strong ensemble, though Nicolas Maury is the stand out as the

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Peter Lovesey: Worth a Look

Though not as well known as Colin Dexter 
or Reginald Hill, he’s just as good 

Peter Lovesey

     I first ran across Peter Lovesey’s name when I was checking out the Crime Writers’ Association Dagger of Daggers, given in 2005 to the top winner of the fifty previous Gold Dagger winners.  This would be the British equivalent to the Edgar Awards.  Lovesey’s The False Inspector Dew, which won in 1982, was one of the seven nominees.  John le Carré’s The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, the 1963 winner and one of the most significant novels in any genre of the past sixty-five

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Kaze: Glamorous, Upscale Japanese

An indication that Cincinnati dining 
can be deemed cutting edge

My Kah-Zay Pose.
Arigatou Gozaimasu
     Kaze (kah-ZAY) is the new Japanese gastro pub (must every cuisine be a gastro pub?) on Vine Street in the Gateway Quarter a.k.a. gentrified Over-the-Rhine.  Karen and Tom had asked to come along on a review so that we’d be able to

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Dawes: Stories Don’t End

Reviving the Southern California 
country rock sound of the ‘70s

Dawes with Friends*
     Stories Don’t End, the third studio album by the L.A. band Dawes, lives up to its title.  The story that the band continues started in the late ‘60s – early ‘70s with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and they’ve been labeled as proponents of the “Laurel Canyon” sound.  Actually, to me, they utilize an instrumentation and arrangement that sounds more like the

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Kacey Musgraves

Searching for a new female country star among the kids

Kacey Musgraves
     Kacey Musgraves is making a big stir in country music and mainstream culture right now by being well reviewed in Entertainment Weekly and profiled on CBS Sunday Morning, the arbiter of middle-class, middlebrow taste (and I mean that as a compliment).  She’s twenty-four, but has been releasing albums for a decade and, in the grand tradition of young

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Ginger and Rosa

Back to ’62 (again), but this isn’t 
on the same level as An Education

     Going into Ginger and Rosa, I knew that Elle Fanning (Nowhere, Super 8) would be excellent and that either the subject matter or the story would be told idiosyncratically since it was written and directed by Sally Potter (Orlando).  It’s set in London around the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis and