If you hired Nate Silver to identify and collect every single cliché about the American heartland, plot them out on a graph and divide them into the incidents of a three-act screenplay, the result would be August: Osage County.

The film is part of a new genre invented by Hollywood in its waning days — thespornography.  Celebrated actors are hired apparently with the express promise that they will be allowed to chew the scenery until their gums bleed, with no distracting attempts to tell a coherent story or to create recognizably human characters.  The Master and American Hustle helped define this genre — Meryl Streep’s performance in August: Osage County takes it to new heights of ham.


Streep calls on every ounce of technique she possesses in order to telegraph a simple message, over and over and over again — “Give me my Oscar now.”



A mean, sad, bitchy movie about a mean, sad, bitchy woman — the narrative of a life on the skids presented without grace, without mercy, without a hope of redemption.

You can indulge your schadenfreude to the fullest here, courtesy of Woody Allen in full bitch queen mode, then slink home and try to forget the whole episode.

Good luck!



Shirred eggs are basically just baked eggs, usually cooked in small oven-safe flat-bottomed baking dishes or ramekins and served in the containers they’re cooked in.

They can be prepared very simply by just buttering the dish and cracking the eggs (without breaking the yolks) into the dish. Salt and pepper the eggs to taste and cook them to the consistency desired.  (At 10 minutes in a 375-degree oven the eggs will start to set and become opaque.)  One can also add some ham to the bottom of the dish, or some cooked rice, and sprinkle cheese over the tops of the eggs, plus any herbs one fancies. Some recipes call for the addition of a little cream to the eggs.  Variations are endless.

I cooked the eggs pictured above in a bowl designed for French onion soup, with the eggs on a bed of precooked rice I had on hand and with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.  Delicious and very easy to prepare.

Click on the image to enlarge.