HBO’s six-part series “The Plot Against America” starts the 16th.
It’s timely. The plot against humanity has already begun.
Starring Winona Ryder, John Turturro, Zoe Kazan, based on Philip Roth’s 2004 novel, it’s set in the 1940s. The smell is isolationism, totalitarianism, fascism, racism, anti-Semitism. Europe and America can sniff its aroma today.
Part 1 has incumbent political pro Franklin Roosevelt challenged for re-election. The candidate? Charles Lindbergh. Following his solo flight across the Atlantic, a hero. But passive about Nazi-ism, aggressive about Semitism, decisive about calling Jews “war instigators.”
Winona: “I knew about this project when it was in work. I called. Volunteered. I wanted to be part of it. David Simon, its creator, I knew since he worked on ‘The Wire.’ He always talked about Philip Roth, whom he’d met. Philip Roth gave David his blessing to do this, and even read its first draft, which he read silently, reread a second time, then handed it back and wished David Simon luck.”
Dressed all in black, carrying a bottle of water, she said: “I’m playing a messed up, older unmarried sister. My own family’s Jewish. From Brooklyn. I know that back then a Jewish older unmarried sister is a shanda. An embarrassment.
“My own great aunt was like this not married character and she, too, wore tight clothes to be noticed. But because she was sweet we loved her.”
John Turturro. “I play a rabbi from South Carolina who throws into Lindbergh’s negativity, tries to smooth over differences, and looks to assimilate the Jewish population at a time when most of the country was isolationist. He knew about anti-Semitism. It was a regular discourse. In 1924, they closed immigration to Jews.
“To understand my character, I had help from sources. I even studied old politicians who were close to power. Their attitudes and how they positioned themselves were a key to the character.”
Turturro, playing God across the board, also directed and stars in the new movie “The Jesus Rolls.”
Set a lifetime ago, now this HBO series has come alive. Anti-Semitism is on the rise. Jewish cemeteries in Europe, vandalized. Synagogues in America, painted with swastikas. In some cases, the surrounding population — silent.
Naked portrayal of a prince
All the nudes that’s fit to print. England’s Josh O’Connor, who plays Prince Charles in “The Crown,” is full-frontal in films “God’s Own Country” and “Amorous.” If you missed those things, you missed his other thing — and the thing is it’s not my problem.
Now comes more nudity for buttoned-up Prince Charles. He’s played in Broadway’s new musical “Diana” by Roe Hartrampf, another hunk who flashed his chunk in 2011’s off-Broadway “Unnatural Acts.” Some fans remember him — or it — and now have tried hustling the stage door to get to him. They were bounced by security.
Amazing. All these beings trying to get to Charles while Diana was trying to get away from him.
On a roll . . .
March 3 was also Super Tuesday for Laurie Metcalf fans. She’s been Tony-nominated four straight years, two of which she won. With “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” the showbiz junkola “Broadway Encyclopedia” website IsLaurieMetcalfOnBroadway.com trittered “Yes.” Let’s see if she gets five straight nods — it could make history.
Easter parade’s coming. To fill her now available time, Elizabeth Warren might paw through her closet and throw out those crappy jackets — or refit them for Bailey, her dog.
OK, so Bernie’s not good-looking — but he did win. Came in first in the Yasser Arafat look-alike contest.
Only in New York, kids, only in New York.
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