MVP of the Week: Stephen Merchant

Posted on March 3, 2017 at 3:29 pm

The 6 foot 7 inch talk Stephen Merchant, who appears in two very different movies opening this week, is also the creative talent who co-created the original British version of “The Office,” as well as “Extras,” “Lip Sync Battle,” and his own series “Hello, Ladies.” This week he appears as Caliban the mutant tracker in the Wolverine movie “Logan” and Walter, the ex-con in the romantic comedy “Table 19.”

His lip sync battle with Joseph Gordon-Levitt is unforgettable. And I also recommend his interview on the WTF podcast with Marc Maron.

Related Tags:



MVP of the Week: Amy Ryan

Posted on October 18, 2015 at 3:53 pm

Our MVP this week is one of my favorite actresses, Amy Ryan. I have been a huge fan since I saw her in “Gone Baby Gone,” where she played the mother of the missing child.

And she was wonderful with Paul Giamatti in “Win Win.”

I was fortunate to be able to interview her about “Jack Goes Boating,” co-starring and directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman. Here she talks to Vanity Fair about her role in “Birdman.”

This week, she appears in two very different films, “Goosebumps,” as a recent widow moving to a new town with her son, and “Bridge of Spies,” where she is the devoted but concerned wife of Tom Hanks’ character. Coming soon: “Infiltrator” with Bryan Cranston.

Related Tags:


Actors Where You’ve Seen Them Before

MVP of the Week: Mamie Gummer

Posted on August 4, 2015 at 3:41 pm

I am a big fan of Mamie Gummer, who has a recurring role on “The Good Wife” as opposing counsel Nancy Crozier and who played medical professionals in two television series, “Emily Owens, M.D.” and “Off the Map.” This week, she appears in two new films. In “The End of the Tour,” she and Mickey Sumner play friends of David Foster Wallace (Jason Segel) to come to hear him on the last night of the book tour and spend the evening with him and the reporter who is covering him, played by Jesse Eisenberg.

In “Ricki and the Flash,” Gummer plays a woman having a breakdown after her husband leaves her. Her father, distraught, calls for help from her mother, his ex-wife, played by Gummer’s real-life mother, Meryl Streep. Here she is talking about working with her mother.

And about the character she plays:

It isn’t the first time they’ve appeared on screen together. When she was a toddler, she played Streep’s child in “Heartburn.” And in “Evening, she played Streep’s character as a young woman.

Gummer and Streep are terrific together in the film, and of course their resemblance makes their relationship feel immediately real. I look forward to whatever she does next.

Related Tags:



MVP of the Week: Dev Patel

Posted on March 5, 2015 at 3:38 pm

Copyright Columbia Pictures 2015
Copyright Columbia Pictures 2015

British-born actor Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire, The Newsroom) is competing with himself this week as the star of two big releases.

In the sequel “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” he returns as Sonny Kapoor, the ever-optimistic proprietor of the title accommodations. His business plan: “To outsource old age.” His vision: “To create a home for the elderly so wonderful that they will simply refuse to die.” His motto: “Everything will be all right in the end… if it’s not all right then it’s not yet the end.”

And in “Chappie,” he plays the inventor of the title robot. I’m especially looking forward to his next film, “The Man Who Knew Infinity,” about mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan.

Related Tags:



MVP of the Week: ‘Don’t Stop Believin”

Posted on April 22, 2010 at 3:42 pm

The MVP for this week is not a person but a song. Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” was first released in 1981. But it’s back in a big way and has been featured in movies and on television shows. It was on the soundtrack during the stunning conclusion of “The Sopranos.” It was featured in a breakthrough performance on the first episode of “Glee.” And this week it appears in “The Losers,” sung by Chris Evans and later we get to hear the original, as sung by Steve Perry.

Related Tags:


THE MOVIE MOM® is a registered trademark of Nell Minow. Use of the mark without express consent from Nell Minow constitutes trademark infringement and unfair competition in violation of federal and state laws. All material © Nell Minow 1995-2024, all rights reserved, and no use or republication is permitted without explicit permission. This site hosts Nell Minow’s Movie Mom® archive, with material that originally appeared on Yahoo! Movies, Beliefnet, and other sources. Much of her new material can be found at, Huffington Post, and WheretoWatch. Her books include The Movie Mom’s Guide to Family Movies and 101 Must-See Movie Moments, and she can be heard each week on radio stations across the country.

Website Designed by Max LaZebnik