Giamatti’s Latest, a Hot Brit TV Import & Baldessari’s Light Show

Barney’s Version
Paul Giamatti as beloved antihero? Sure, we’ll buy it. In this affecting new film based on Mordecai Richler’s novel, the lovable schlub stars as Barney Panofsky, who managed to get not one, but three women to marry him. He tells his own story of how they met and fell in love, and Giamatti—along with Dustin Hoffman as his straight-talking father—ably does the whole “age 40 years in two hours” gimmick. The trailer plays up his romances with characters played by Minnie Driver, Rachelle Lefevre, and Rosamund Pike, but there’s a dark underbelly to his life story. Scott Speedman plays Barney’s attractive best friend who suddenly goes missing, and Barney spends his life wondering if he somehow killed him (because Barney has a drinking problem, you see, and conveniently blacks out during key moments). Forget Sideways—this is the performance of Giamatti’s career. Barney comes to limited theaters on Friday.

John Baldessari: Your Name in Lights, 2011 Sydney Festival, Now – January 30
Famed contemporary artist John Baldessari knows everyone’s secretly waiting on his or her 15 minutes of fame, and he’s tapping into that desire to be seen this week at a new installation in Australia. Modernizing Andy Warhol’s belief that everyone will be famous in the future, the California artist is flashing 100,000 names in blinding lights for 15 seconds each on a huge billboard. “I want it to be as glamorous as possible,” he said. And accessible, too: Webcams filming the exhibit from now until January 30 will livestream the light show to anyone who can’t make it to the Australian Museum. The 79-year-old, who won the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Biennale in 2009 and just wrapped a huge show at LACMA, continues to amaze in 2011.

Will Cotton: New Paintings, Michael Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles, January 14 – February 26
Will Cotton’s artwork makes mouths water. He paints dreamy landscapes swirling with cotton candy and chocolate, nude models usually lounging seductively around his fantasy land. The New York-based artist scored a coup when one of his paintings featuring “Firework” singer Katy Perry was appropriately made the cover of her new album Teenage Dream. In his latest exhibition of new works, Cotton’s branched out and clothed his models in candy-themed garb: lollipop crowns, cupcake foil wrapper dresses, and pop rock candy bodices abound. Those fans of pop music will be pleased that Katy Perry’s featured in a number of new paintings as well. Cotton was also artistic director for her scandalously candy-themed video “California Gurls.” Looks like he’s got a new muse.

The Social Network
Although it’s getting a splashy re-release in theaters, anyone who’s antisocial and can’t pry themselves away from Facebook will be glad last year’s hit The Social Network is coming to DVD. Starring Jesse Eisenberg as misunderstood Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, the film is an Oscar frontrunner and big hit with audiences who got a glimpse into the business that transformed the way the world communicates. Eisenberg as the young nerd-turned-billionaire is fantastic, but it’s future Spider-Man Andrew Garfield as spurned business partner Eduardo Saverin who’s the heart and soul of the film. Justin Timberlake is said to be gunning for a Best Supporting Actor nod for his portrayal of Napster founder Sean Parker.

Welcome to My World
Johnny Weir’s made a career out of being outrageous in an already outrageous sport: figure skating. He’s made enemies with his fellow skaters, including the brawny specimen Evan Lysacek, and is unapologetically flamboyant. He’s also an aspiring pop star and Skating with the Stars judge. Now he’s telling his life story—or quarter life story—in his new autobiography out Tuesday. Are you ready for the big surprise? Johnny’s gay! (As if his stilettos on the cover didn’t give it away…) “I delve into a lot of the nitty-gritty about my sex life, which people have been waiting for, but I wanted to wait until I could tell it in my own words,” he said. At long last, it’s refreshing to hear the polarizing skater be true to himself—dirty stories and all.


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