Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies.” — Gore Vidal
I’ve always thought that quotation summed up Vidal to be what he was: as a bitter old queen’s bitter old queen. I was reminded of his words the other day when I had a brief private chat on Facebook with my friend Charles Graeber, author of The Good Nurse, an investigative book about the most prolific serial killer in history, Charles Cullen, which was released last week and entered at number fourteen on The New York Times non-fiction bestseller list. After his appearance on a 60 Minutes special on Sunday, as well as Charlie Rose,
Forgive the incidental pun on a cliché, but it’s a sign of the times that when The New York Times awards a film with a Critics’ Pick it tends to be a hallmark of mediocrity and safeness, so fuddy-duddy has the Grey Lady become. Such is the case with Henry-Alex Rubin’s Disconnect, an ensemble piece about cross-connecting lives that is basically the sequel to Paul Haggis’ Best Picture-winner Crash with a far superior soundtrack.
The challenge with ensemble films that aren’t live-action superhero comic books like X-Men or The Avengers is there is no single protagonist,