A pair of con artists and their FBI wrangler go after political corruption in American Hustle, inspired by the ABSCAM scandal of the '70s. Critic David Edelstein says the film, directed by David O. Russell, is "a bit of a hustle itself" — and still a hell of a ride. (Recommended)
The players that year faced a sobering new reality: The nation was at war and they'd soon leave the football field behind for the battlefield. In All American, author Steve Eubanks recalls that game through the eyes of two players — Army quarterback Chad Jenkins and Navy linebacker Brian Stann.
Mbali Vilakazi, the winner of our Poetry Games last year, honors Mandela's memory with a poem, "The Black Pimpernel." The title is a derogatory nickname given to Mandela in his revolutionary days. Vilakazi's poem looks toward the future: "And if we have stood on the shoulders of giants, / We are giants still / And giants, we will come again."
With Congress expected to pass its first bipartisan budget in years, renewed focus has fallen on the tactics that brought it about. These tactics may be puzzling (or alarming), but according to author Tim Harford, they're not new: They're rooted in game theory. He suggests reading Thomas Schelling's The Strategy of Conflict to learn more.
Redford says filming All Is Lost was a "pure cinematic experience — the way films used to be." He talks with Fresh Air's Terry Gross about how it's been "sort of weird" being known for his good looks, and about how he nearly wasn't cast in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Jennifer Holliday sprung to stardom in the 1980s for her Tony Award-winning performance in Dreamgirls, and went onto a recording career after Broadway. But her life wasn't always glamorous: She suffered from depression and obesity, and once attempted suicide. She talks about the message she's trying to send with her forthcoming album, The Song is You.