Arts and culture

There are a number of reasons why you shouldn't cast Michael Fassbender in your movie and have him wear a giant, papier-mâché head throughout, but most central is that he has a wonderfully emotive face (stern in Shame, wild-eyed in 12 Years a Slave, creepy in Prometheus), one that's central to his acting abilities and that happens to be as attractive as it is talented. Put the two together, and the mask stands to get you accused of both thespian and aesthetic crimes.

It might seem hard to describe The Giver without revealing some of those plot points that touchy suspense fans call "spoilers." But this brisk, deftly art-directed parable is basically unspoilable. Even viewers who know nothing of its source, Lois Lowry's 1993 novel, will be able to anticipate every development.

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Back in the '90s, there was a Hollywood comedy — I can't remember which one, I'm afraid — that became a surprise hit. Afterward, the movie's producer had this great line. He said, "If we'd known it was going to be so popular, we would've tried to make it good."

British photographer James Ostrer purchased about $8,000 worth of junk food over the past two years — enough to fill up six or seven cars.