The Two-Way
6:05 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Have Foreign Policy Questions? 'Weekend Edition' Will Try To Answer Them

Our friends at Weekend Edition are trying something different starting this weekend. They're calling on NPR reporters to answer some of your questions on different topics.

Here's how they explain it:

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The Two-Way
5:41 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Was The American Consulate Attack In Benghazi Planned?

Broken furniture outside the U.S. consulate building in Benghazi on Thursday, following an attack on the building late on September 11.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 5:54 pm

One of the biggest questions still outstanding about the attack on a United States consulate in Libya is whether it was planned or whether it was the result of a protest against a U.S.-made film that criticizes the Prophet Muhammad.

The attack killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

The bottom line is that nothing is firm. But NPR's Leila Fadel reports that Libya's Deputy Interior Minister, Wanis al Sharef, said this was a sophisticated two-prong attack.

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Movie Reviews
5:25 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

For Ex-Con 'Francine,' A Rocky Attempt At Rebirth

Former inmate Francine (Melissa Leo) struggles with her newfound freedom.
Washington Square Films

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 6:55 am

The opening moments of Francine find Melissa Leo, playing the title role, standing naked, wet and blankly confused in a prison shower. She's on the verge of release after an unspecified crime and an unspecified period of incarceration, and the visual metaphor is an obvious one: a woman in middle age experiencing rebirth, coming into her new world in much the same way she entered at the start.

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Movie Reviews
5:08 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

'Stolen': What's Been Taken Is Mostly The Plot

Will (Nicolas Cage) is a former thief who must race to find his daughter before a onetime partner kills her in Stolen.
Millennium Entertainment

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 6:23 pm

Stolen is very different from Pierre Morel's 2008 exploitation megahit Taken: There are six letters in its title, not five. It's set in New Orleans, not Europe. And it stars Nicolas Cage, not Liam Neeson. So any resemblance between these two films about fathers who'll stop at nothing to get their kidnapped offspring back is purely coincidental.

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The Two-Way
4:57 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

The First Amendment: Why The Muhammad Film Is Protected Speech

Protesters carry an American flag pulled down from the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt on Tuesday.
Nasser Nasser AP

The First Amendment guarantee of free speech is in the spotlight this week. If you haven't kept up, a U.S.-produced film depicting the Prophet Muhammad in a less than flattering way has inflamed the Arab world.

In a lot of ways, the story is showing how the sweeping nature of the First Amendment puts the United States at odds with most of the world.

That rift was perhaps most evident when you compare the statements of Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Morsi and that of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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Movie Reviews
4:55 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

'Liberal Arts': A Lesson In Arrested Development

Emotionally stunted Jesse (Josh Radnor) forms a relationship with Zibby (Elizabeth Olsen), a much younger woman, in Liberal Arts.
IFC Films

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 7:08 am

In his first big-screen sitcom, HappyThankYouMorePlease, writer-director-star Josh Radnor emulated Woody Allen. Radnor's second feature, Liberal Arts, is less Allenesque, except for one crucial, and vexing, aspect: It's about an older man's infatuation with a younger woman.

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Movie Reviews
4:44 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

'Master' Actors Deliver Glimpse Into Cult Life

Navy veteran Freddie (Joaquin Phoenix) falls under the influence of cult leader Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman) in The Master.
Phil Bray The Weinstein Co.

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 12:12 pm

Overheard after a screening of The Master:

"So I guess this is an unfinished print?"

"Nope. This is the one they're rolling out."

And it's true that there are moments, especially toward the end of its meandering 137 minutes, when The Master feels like a series of brainy but disconnected thoughts about 20th-century America. That's how writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson works, and for those who don't insist on coherence or closure in narrative any more than they do in life, it's part of the thrilling madness of his method.

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Movie Reviews
4:30 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Gere Humanizes A Steely One-Percenter In 'Arbitrage'

Robert Miller (Richard Gere) struggles to hide his financial indiscretions from his daughter (Brit Marling) in Arbitrage.
Myles Aronowitz Roadside Attractions

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 11:55 am

Anyone looking for a moral high ground — or any high ground at all — in Arbitrage will be sorely disappointed. And that's only one of the reasons that Nicholas Jarecki's family-and-finances drama, handsomely photographed by Yorick Le Saux, is so appealingly adult.

At a time when filmmakers might be under some pressure to punish the 1 Percent, Jarecki (who also wrote the script) chooses instead to remind us that making and keeping scads of cash is rarely accomplished by the fainthearted or the foolish.

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Monkey See
4:22 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

When TV Shows Go To College, They Fail To Make The Grade

Many lead characters in Fox's Glee will head to college this season. But will higher education lead to lower ratings?
Fox

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 11:57 am

I was packing up my recording equipment after interviewing TV executive Susanne Daniels — for a different story — when she said, casually, "Have you ever noticed how there's never been a really great TV show about college?"

I looked at her. Then I started unpacking my equipment again. She had just offered me a story.

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Law
4:20 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Florida's 'Stand Your Ground' Law Likely To Remain

Sandra Boden holds a photo of her son, Jason, during a Task Force on Citizen Safety and Protection hearing. Prosecutors told Boden that Florida's Stand Your Ground law prevented them from filing charges against the person who shot and killed Jason.
J Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 10:19 pm

A panel in Florida tasked with examining the state's "Stand Your Ground" law is unlikely to suggest that any major changes are needed.

Since it was convened in May, members of the task force have held meetings at locations around the state. At almost every meeting, they've heard impassioned testimony from people like David Boden, whose son, Jason, was killed in a shooting. Prosecutors in West Palm Beach told Boden that Florida's Stand Your Ground law prevented them from filing charges against the shooter.

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