The virtuous icon John Wayne in his Oscar-winning role as a cantankerous marshal Rooster Cogburn who helps a young girl hunt down her father’s murderer. The 1969 version of ‘True Grit,’ starring Wayne differs in style and tone from this year’s version. Wayne is a big, ornery galoot who hides his sentimentality under a carapace of bravado. AP/File
The Coen Brothers’ contemporary version of 'True Grit,' starring Jeff Bridges, is full of comic bluster but Bridges's Cogburn is also mercenary and violent – reflecting, perhaps, America in a discontented age. Paramount Pictures/AP
Natalie Portman portrays an obsessive ballet dancer in ‘Black Swan,’ one of many dark movies of 2010. Fox Searchlight/AP
'The Fighter,' starring Mark Wahlberg (l.) as Lowell, Mass. boxer Micky Ward, doesn’t evoke the same sense of triumphalism as an earlier boxing movie, 'Rocky,' according to Neal Gabler. Newscom
Actress Jennifer Lawrence is shown in a scene from the film 'Winter's Bone.' Lawrence plays a teenage girl in search of her dope-selling father who abandoned the family. The film was nominated for best picture for this year's Academy Awards. Roadside Attractions/Reuters
Daniel Radcliffe is shown in a scene from 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.' The film is tinged with sadness according to critic Neal Gabler. Warner Bros. Pictures/AP
Russell Crowe appears in a scene from 'A Beautiful Mind' which was produced in the late Clinton years. It uses Nash’s paranoia to show how closely madness interfaces with genius and how genius interfaces with isolation. It ends victoriously with Nash receiving his Nobel Prize for economics and ignoring the phantoms that still attempt to haunt him. Universal Studios/AP
Jesse Eisenberg portrayed Facebook cofounder Mark Zuckerberg in ‘The Social Network,’ one of this year’s nominees for best picture. This year's genius, Mr. Eisenberg’s character, comes off as something of an antihero, not so much lost in his genius and isolated by it as he is lost in his ambition and isolated by that. Sony Pictures
Maundy Thursday: Pope Francis washed the feet of 12 disabled people on Maundy Thursday, saying the Catholic Church must always be a refuge for the needy.
Philip Pullella, Reuters /
April 17, 2014
Pope Francis, starting four packed days culminating in Easter, said the Catholic Church must always be a refuge for the needy and later washed the feet of 12 disabled people at a traditional Holy Thursday ceremony.