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For master producer Charles D. King, success lies in thinking Macro and diverse stories

Charles D. King has a particular swag about him: corporate yet street; minimalist yet audacious.

It's no wonder that one day he's at an industry panel in Beverly Hills talking about the need for diversity and inclusion in Hollywood, and two days later he's on a decidedly different stage at ComplexCon in Long Beach in conversation with Michael B...Read more

A 'Wonder' to behold

Popular mythology notwithstanding, childhood is difficult for almost everyone. But especially so for 10-year-old August Pullman.

"I know I'm not an ordinary kid," Auggie Pullman explains in the opening paragraph of the young adult novel "Wonder." Yes, he does ordinary things, "but I know ordinary kids don't make other ordinary kids run away ...Read more

The peak TV era has sparked a new love affair between playwrights and the small screen

LOS ANGELES -- "Shameless" writer Molly Smith Metzler calls theater her "secret lover."

"I always want to be with her the most," she says, "and when I'm doing anything else, I'm thinking about her."

In this era of so-called peak TV, the demand for strong storytellers on the small screen has sparked a new love affair: Television adores ...Read more

Timothée Chalamet is Hollywood's next big thing with 'Call Me by Your Name' and 'Lady Bird'

Long before Timothee Chalamet turned 18, he was itching to be considered an adult. By age 10, he was riding the subway alone, a city kid growing up in Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan. At 16, he landed a major role on Showtime's "Homeland," playing the vice president's overly entitled son. A year later, he was admitted to Columbia University at 17 ...Read more

Is the TV writers room facing its diversity problem? Playwrights raise the question

LOS ANGELES -- Before she agreed to attend a Times photo shoot of playwrights working in television, Heidi Schreck asked her agent for information.

"I'm trying to get a little more context about the piece, particularly the level of diversity of the names presented. Are you interviewing any other writers or showrunners of color?" her agent ...Read more

'Coco' celebrates Mexico, music and the dead

Being told you are absolutely forbidden from doing something is the irresistible catnip of incentive to go do it.

For 12-year-old Miguel, the charming central figure in "Coco," being told that he must avoid music -- he cannot listen to it, sing it or play it -- is maddening.

Just as Kevin Bacon's Ren was incredulous that dancing was outlawed ...Read more

Alex Gibney revisits the Irish Troubles in his angry true-crime doc 'No Stone Unturned'

On June 18, 1994, two masked men armed with assault rifles entered a pub in Loughinisland, a village in County Down, Northern Ireland, where locals had gathered to watch the Irish Republic trounce Italy in the World Cup. The assailants opened fire, killing six patrons, all of them Catholic men, and injuring five more.

While a Protestant ...Read more

'Stranger Things' star Paul Reiser never plays it straight when it comes to his career

Paul Reiser never had a plan.

Looking at his long and diverse career, it is indeed hard to see many straight lines between, say, the roast beef sandwich-coveting Modell of the Barry Levinson classic "Diner" and the author of three books of homespun wisdom -- "Couplehood," "Babyhood" and "Familyhood." Or to find the links tethering his ...Read more

Judi Dench reveals the best way to compliment her: Call her 'subversive'

LOS ANGELES -- Judi Dench loves a good surprise. She's cooking one up on this late autumn morning, her last day in Los Angeles promoting her new movie, "Victoria & Abdul," before returning home to London.

Dench's daughter, Finty Williams, an accomplished actress in her own right, thinks her mom is returning to England several days from now. But...Read more

'I fought for him': Jason Mitchell on lessons to be learned from 'Mudbound'

Perhaps the most emotionally charged role of the 2015 blockbuster "Straight Outta Compton" is that of late N.W.A rapper Eazy-E, as played by Jason Mitchell. In a number of scenes, after Eazy-E finds out he had AIDS, Mitchell captures a level of sensitivity not often afforded black men in media; there's ugly-crying and hugging and intimacy. There...Read more

Denzel Washington's remarkable performance in 'Roman J. Israel, Esq.' isn't helped by plot

In his four-decade-long career, Denzel Washington has played heroes and villains, ministers and miscreants and everything in between. "Roman J. Israel, Esq." is not like any of them, not even close.

To call the title character idiosyncratic and eccentric is not the half of it. Overweight, ungainly, awkward with people and immune to compromise, ...Read more

Pixar's 'Coco' required Latino consultants and multiple trips to Mexico

When director Lee Unkrich wrapped the hugely successful "Toy Story 3" in 2010, he started looking for his next project at Pixar Animation Studios. The Chagrin Falls, Ohio, native had long been interested in the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.

"I was always fascinated by the holiday and the iconography," he said by phone....Read more

Carell, Cranston and Fishburne rally to the cause in 'Last Flag Flying'

Films about the brotherhood of veterans have a built-in appeal. They are better still when they are smart here and there, sassy from time to time and contain some meaningful insights. That sums up "Last Flag Flying." It's not splashy, but it's more than enough. It's melancholy about what war does to men, but never feels the need to cue sad, ...Read more

'The Breadwinner' is a striking and affecting animated film set in modern Kabul

In its power and its beauty, "The Breadwinner' reminds us that animation can be every bit as much of a medium for adults as it is for children.

Set in Afghanistan's capital city of Kabul in 2001, the waning days of Taliban rule, "The Breadwinner" does have an 11-year-old girl as its protagonist, but that is the only childish thing about it.

...Read more

Julia Roberts and Jacob Tremblay touch our hearts in 'Wonder'

"Wonder" is a sweet, heartfelt film that makes you feel good about the strong people who stand up to bullying, harassment and stupidity. It also features one of Julia Roberts' best performances, and serves as further evidence that young Jacob Tremblay, who plays Auggie Pullman, is one heck of an actor.

Auggie has a genetic condition that ...Read more

Avant-garde gets 'Square'

Swedish filmmaker Ruben Ostlund might be making some of the most serious comedies in the world today, movies that combine outrageously funny satire with provocative big ideas. His latest, "The Square," forces audiences to consider how they might react to an escalating series of awkward interactions, in spaces both intimate and public, as a self-...Read more

'Man Who Invented Christmas' Dickens of a good time

There have been numerous TV, film and stage adaptations of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" over the years. None have combined as much charm, warmth and holiday spirit as Bharat Nalluri's "The Man Who Invented Christmas."

OK. Before you start shouting "Bah, humbug," this technically isn't a direct adaptation of the well-known story of ...Read more

Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson make this a 'Wonder' to behold

Movies that are largely about illness can be harrowing experienced. "Wonder" moves the genre to a better region. Based on R.J. Palacio's 2012 children's novel, it uses the drama for a study of the grueling, resourceful work good people can do to help a single challenged life. But it's never a mawkish ordeal. Viewing it is a surprisingly ...Read more

It's not too early in awards season to talk acting contenders — you know Daniel Day-Lewis will be nominated

The awards season is in its infant stage, its contenders eating (cocktail party appetizers), sleeping (barely) and crying ("DO I REALLY HAVE TO GO TO THE HOLLYWOOD FILM AWARDS?!") as the races begin to take shape and solidify.

And we're still at the point where we haven't seen everything. We can guess that Steven Spielberg's journalism drama, "...Read more