Diederik van Hoogstraten

Diederik van Hoogstraten is a writer in Los Angeles, covering Hollywood.

How to Look at Important Historical Men

 

Before I talk about the drama Marshall, a moment to catch up on a film that has been in theaters for a week. Loving Vincent tells a crime story of sorts about the death of my Dutch compatriot, the painter Vincent van Gogh, in a small French village in 1890. It is not the most […]

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Stuck With Each Other and a Dog

 

We are a nation of dog lovers. America houses 78 million canines, almost half of all households have a dog. As the companion of an insanely energetic, loving Vizsla named Charlie I’m partial to them, so to me this love of dogs confirms we inhabit the greatest country on the planet. The new survival drama/outdoor […]

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A Very Old Guy Walks Into a Bar

 

The only thing worse than awkward silence is small talk. That sentence in the new film Lucky sums up the mood of the character named Lucky, and of the film itself. Spare me the b.s., Lucky keeps telling his friends in the bar and diner of the tiny desert town where he lives his simple […]

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Courage in Boston

 

Before we move on to Stronger, an example of courage and terrific film making, a note on yet another cruel mistake by Jennifer Lawrence. I generally shy away from negative reviews; I prefer recommending the good ones. mother! by Darren Aranofsky deserves an exception to the rule. (Like everything about this W.T.F. film, even the […]

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Fighting Jihadists, Fighting the Midlife Blues

 

Hollywood loves red-carpet affairs. Hollywood Boulevard shuts down, actors pose for selfies with screaming fans, and traffic becomes a special version of hell. None of this occurred Tuesday night, when American Assassin opened at the Chinese Theater. The publicity machine had decided to cancel the red carpet, “in an effort to keep the attention on […]

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The Kindness of Strangers on 9/11

 

Oliver Stone’s 9/11 movie World Trade Center hit me hard in the gut. I saw the film in the summer of 2006 in a mostly empty multiplex theater, a stone’s throw from Ground Zero, then still a sad wasteland. As a New Yorker and a journalist I had lived and breathed the September 11 attacks […]

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A Beach Read of a TV Show

 

Dev loves pasta, Dev loves to cook, so Dev moves to Italy for a while to learn how to make pasta in Modena. He is an American of Indian descent: we know this character from the lauded comedy series Master of None. The conceit of the first episode of the second season is both silly […]

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Let’s Sound-Proof the Planet

 

Sam seems frozen. Any situation outside his family home can make him stand absolutely still, like one of his beloved penguins; Sam is obsessed with the minutiae of life in Antarctica.The only discernible emotion when he freezes will be in his restless eyes. He is looking for a way out. Sam, the main character in […]

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This Rapper Is White and Female

 

Until last week I didn’t know that listening to Nina Simone can now be considered cultural appropriation in countries such as Holland and Germany. (Thanks, Twitter.) Don’t ask me to explain it, just know that the idiocy on either side of the Atlantic knows no bounds. I do wonder what those afraid to enjoy “My […]

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The Dude Saves Another Movie

 

My guess is that most of us don’t need a reason to skip The Only Living Boy in New York. The title of the film, for one. The college graduate in question is not a “boy,” whatever the Simon & Garfunkel song says. He is a young man who seduces and sleeps with his father’s […]

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