Friday, Jan. 23, 2009

Stanley Tucci's Short List

A veteran actor, director and screenwriter, Tucci recently appeared on the big screen as the earthy, adoring husband of Julia Child in Julie & Julia and as a cutthroat editor's fashionable right-hand man in The Devil Wears Prada. Next up, he takes on a far creepier role, as a killer in The Lovely Bones, out this month. Tucci spends some of his downtime Dwelling on one of his favorite magazines and getting his Marx Brothers fix.

Brilliant artist
I just saw Uruguayan artist Joaquín Torres-García's brilliant, life-altering wood-construction exhibit at the Menil Collection in Houston. I had never heard of him, but he is absolutely incredible. Known primarily as a painter, he later made beautiful wood sculptures. His work has elements of Paul Klee and Georges Braque.

Songbirds that soar
The depth of the music of Dusty Springfield, the Dixie Chicks and Rosanne Cash and the range of their instruments is gorgeous. I'm also an admirer of the Dixie Chicks because of the political and moral stance that they take.

Reading material
The Guardian is by far the best newspaper because of its unbiased information; it is probing and without spin. And I love reading Dwell--it's a great, cutting-edge architecture magazine.

Transformative theater
Annie Baker's play Circle Mirror Transformation, which recently ran in New York City, was not only very sophisticated but also beautifully directed — subtle yet theatrical. The dialogue is naturalistic and poetic, and the acting in this new play was impeccable.

Movie classic
Animal Crackers is still one of the greatest movies ever. It's both the opposite of what I just said about Annie Baker's play and exactly the same. I've loved the Marx Brothers since I was a kid. They are irreverent, ironic and ultimately profound.