Tonya Harding: New insight into the real-life story behind Margot Robbie's buzzy biopic
The moments when winter sports capture the imagination of the general public are few and far between.
The moments when winter sports capture the imagination of the general public are few and far between.
It would give you some hope that last week the biggest story on social media wasn't about which famous man had been a sex pest or Conor McGregor's shameless shenanigans. Eclipsing both...
Milly Tuomey was a beautiful child, the kind that you might expect to see in a film or in an ad campaign. Her cherubic looks should have been beside the point last week but her unhappiness...
It feels like we are in a panto moment. Somehow it has survived Pixar movies, recession and scandal and emerged into the modern world stronger than ever. Panto teaches young people about drama - it is the first taste of theatre for many of them - and reminds older people of the importance of silliness.
When Ratko Mladic was sentenced to life imprisonment at the Hague last week, the news was met with scenes of jubilation in Bosnia. CNN showed pictures of old women in headscarves dancing in the street.
The Light House cinema in Dublin put 1970s classic Network on again recently. I took a friend who had never seen it. When they got to that famous scene where Howard Beale urges his viewers to go to the window and scream "I'm mad as hell and I can't take it any more" she turned to me and whispered "that's pretty much what's happening now".
A moving evening at City Hall in Cork gave real meaning to the word inclusion.
It was late Thursday night when a friend texted to say that Louis CK was the latest man caught in a sex scandal. "He was genuinely funny. Soon there won't be anything left on Netflix," she grumbled, and it was hard to disagree, but, to be fair, the scandals have been at least as riveting as anything in the cinema at the moment. Anyway who needs Hollywood when we've had our homegrown...
Kevin Spacey's mangled gangster brogue from Ordinary Decent Criminal may go down as one of the worst Irish accents in celluloid history - but the film saw the now disgraced star form ties in Dublin which led to him returning here at every opportunity over a near 20-year period.
There was widespread disgust last week when Kevin Spacey announced that he was coming out - or "choosing to live as a gay man", as he put it - at the same moment as he acknowledged attempting to have sex with the then 14-year-old actor Anthony Rapp.
Hopes for a successful mediation of the bitter dispute between a son and his mother, concerning ownership of the well-known Kilkenny group of luxury design stores, have receded following the breakdown of talks.
For discerning culture vultures, the hottest ticket in London last Friday night was undoubtedly Jodie Foster's appearance at the screening in the BFI's South Bank cinema of the horror classic, Silence of the Lambs. It has been a quarter of a century since the film came out, sweeping all the major Oscar...
Can a straight person ever really get away with saying 'faggot'? That is the burning question posed by the video of Conor McGregor repeatedly using the word to motivate one of his minions during...
Can a straight person ever really get away with saying 'faggot'? That is the burning question posed by the video of Conor McGregor repeatedly using the word to motivate one of his minions during a UFC bout this past week.
For Dr Ciara Kelly this coming week marks the end of an era. After 16 years as a GP in Greystones, the country's foremost TV medic is giving up the day job and moving full-time into a media role - she will present a 12-2pm slot every weekday on Newstalk.
Sometimes, how thoroughly, completely, irrevocably past it you are just creeps up on you. Until recently, I sort of thought I could sort of fool a lot of people into thinking I was still sort of young and with-it.
Can you still love someone who has committed a terrible crime? That is the stark question posed by Ann Marie O'Donnell in a new film, Property of the State, which dramatises the life and crimes of her brother, Brendan.
The rumour, spreading like wildfire up and down the Firhouse Road, was that the actual Tom Cruise had shown up at the opening of the new Scientology Centre in Dublin on Saturday afternoon.
A quarter of a century after he left Ireland for the last time, disgraced former national swimming coach George Gibney still periodically makes headlines here. A reporter will track him down to a small American town where there will be outrage at his proximity to young children. A blurry photo will accompany quotes from a politician here about how the powers that be must look again into Gibney's extradition. And there will be renewed handwringing about why a man who stood accused of multiple counts of child rape was ever allowed to block a prosecution against him.
'In the fullness of time," Michael D assured reporters who wondered when he would make a decision on whether to keep his word about serving just one term as the country's President. "It is just my decision; it doesn't affect anyone else."
Patrick Bergin has a magical and unexpected knack for making even the comical seem coolly menacing. On the day we meet he's been hobbled by a fall and the walking stick, ankle brace and huge overcoat give him an air of Richard Harris by way of Christian Grey. It is a suave, imposing, craggily handsome impression which belies the actual cause of the accident: he slipped on a cow pat in a field in Tipperary. I'm mewing my sympathy, while suppressing a laugh, but Patrick lets me know I needn't bother. "Just make sure you specify cow," he deadpans. "I don't do bulls**t."
It's the final few moments before the crowning moment of Miss Universe Ireland 2017, and it's not just the contestants feeling the tension. An entire audience worth of sphincter muscles have just involuntarily tightened. Toes are curling inside shoes. People can hardly look through their hands.
Oh how we love an impolitic designer. In a fashion world dominated by mutual backslapping and air kisses, there is a guilty pleasure in the unedited broadsides of an opinionated provocateur
Seven years after Phoebe Prince's tragic death changed laws in America, and as one of her tormentors is back in court, our reporter talks to Phoebe's father and sister about life after her death
If you'd asked me a few years ago, I would have confidently said I already knew "Trump Country". Back then that would still have meant martinis, models and skyscrapers - I had spent the better part of my 20s and 30s living in the shadow of Trump's Fifth Avenue building.
The video which Sinead O'Connor posted this week on Facebook made for fairly excruciating viewing, not least because it seemed like so much history repeating.
Les Dennis looks unexpectedly menacing with no hair. That might be partly the idea - he is, after all, playing Uncle Fester in The Addams Family musical at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre - but it also might explain why he won't have his picture taken until it grows back.
In a way, maybe it was a little early for the rehabilitation of Brian Cowen. Americans are just now allowing George W Bush airtime to twinkle and reminisce, but they have Donald Trump as a present-day point of comparison.
Donald Trump's America apparently doesn't make it easy for new immigrants, but he might make an exception for the beautiful ones.
It was one of those headlines that was supposed to send a chill down the spine: 'Government think tank says we should work until we're seventy.' And, at first glance, the ESRI's latest prediction of the medicine we have to take does sound a little grim.
"Frankly Mister Shankly, this position I've held, it pays my way, but it corrodes my soul, I want to leave, you will not miss me, I want to go down in celluloid history" - The Smiths, Frankly, Mr Shankly
It's just a few days before she steps on stage in The Great Gatsby but Kate Gilmore looks like she has just gone a couple of rounds with Conor McGregor. Her arms and legs are a map of purpling bruises, the result, she tells me, of a bike accident that happened a week earlier.
'Fitting in has never been so complicated," reads the tagline from Halal Daddy. It refers to the warmhearted culture clash comedy about a British Indian trying to make a life for himself in Sligo, but the sentence might be equally applicable to one of the film's young stars - actress Sarah Bolger (she plays the man's Irish girlfriend).
The world's press, including our own, was unanimous last week. Caitriona Perry, RTE's Washington bureau chief, had been humiliated and demeaned by Donald Trump's complimenting of her smile.
The late, great essayist David Foster Wallace drew a key distinction between tennis's greatest icons - Federer and Nadal. Federer, Wallace said, was the artist, the dancer, the creator. Nadal was the superhero, the athlete, the avatar for war.
What is it about Rachel Wyse?
The rainbow, aside from being the symbol of the gay community, also signifies a happy ending. And for the past two years, the dominant narrative in Ireland has been that gay people have reached their crock of gold.
Obviously we are all very serious about the national conversation around drink. We have taken on board the stern lectures we get about side-effects like 'wine face' and 'early death'. We would never dream of drink-driving. A full half of us are reported to be determined to cut down. We let them euthanise Arthur's Day and we didn't even flinch. Slowly we are struggling toward what once seemed impossible: proper European moderation.
The company which owns the Kilkenny stores wants to have a bitter dispute, which has torn the retail dynasty apart, to be heard in camera - with no media reporting allowed.
Have you ever wanted to see your favourite dirty comedies without the dirty jokes? Sony Pictures is banking on the fact that you might. Last week it announced its new 'clean initiative' which will allow viewers to see certain releases without the lewd humour and for other releases, scenes of "graphic violence, offensive language, sexual innuendo and other adult content" either edited or removed.
As he shuffled into court on Monday, leaning heavily on a cane and a woman who played his daughter on television, Bill Cosby appeared every bit the dignified patriarch that his defence team would portray him to be.
It was a letter signed by a long list of stars you wouldn't have even thought knew each other, from Blondie to Paloma Faith to Anna Friel.
There was a time, not so long ago, when it seemed like the only acting starlets who ever came out of Ireland were male.
In the window of the Avalon House on Aungier Street, in Dublin’s city centre, the Starbucks mermaid glows like a secular sacred heart in the window.
In the window of the Avalon House on Aungier Street, in Dublin's city centre, the Starbucks mermaid glows like a secular sacred heart in the window.
The biblical downpour that begun the day could not dampen the spirits of the 80,000 revellers who thronged Slane early on Saturday for the much anticipated first leg on Guns N Roses European Tour.
The ferocity of the Fine Gael leadership contest, which moved inexorably toward its climax last week, is all the more surprising because for the longest time it looked as though nobody in the upper echelons of the party particularly burned to take over from Enda. Least of all Leo Varadkar.
The Kilkenny Group, one of Ireland's leading retail dynasties, may face a €300,000 bill from the Revenue over the status of a Spanish villa owned by the group but used by family members as a holiday home for years.
Luckily Martin Nolan is now well used to dealing with the type of people who would think nothing of wearing gems worth €40k to dinner. The Westmeath man has lived in LA for several decades and he now runs and co-owns Juliens - the auction house to the stars. This is where you go when you have a bit of money and a yen for halcyon glamour.
We seem to have gone on something of a journey with stress. Twenty years ago the notion of the strains of life and work being a possible cause of illness was still something of a taboo. It wasn't possible in most industries to take time off work for stress alone - there had to be a 'cover' illness - and the nascent mental health services had barely begun to address the problem. In the intervening years there has been something of a revolution in terms of attitudes.
Are men worse at friendship than women? I'd always assumed that the answer was 'yes', but only because I am a man, bad at friendship, and sort of entering that period of life where a lot of the comrades of youth are increasingly Facebook phantoms, if that, and actual socialising frequently feels like a major expending of effort, requiring weeks of notice. Not that it's not pleasurable when it happens, but I find you need less and less of it.
BROTHER Kevin Crowley has spoken about how he hopes Pope Francis will visit the Capuchin Day Centre in Dublin where the lost generation of the recession still come to be fed — nearly a decade after the crash.
In a way there's something heartening about Record Store Day, a series of events held last weekend around the world - including in Dublin, where there were DJs and live music in several of the biggest shops.
A peek at the famous St James's Church will be on the itinerary for many of the thousands of tourists who throng into Dingle, Co Kerry, this weekend for Feile Na Bealtaine.
A hangover needn't actually be such a terrible thing. The artist Damien Hirst, whose benders would go on for days, used to insist that the comedown was "the best bit". And, given the right conditions - hugs, tea, decent telly and possibly the company of your fellow debauchees - you can mostly wallow in your own crapness and avoid thoughts of suicide.
And so the debate about PrEP - the daily HIV prevention pill - continues to rage.
It's probably hard to know how to take it when people tell you you look like "the worst bust of all time". When the bronze likeness of Cristiano Ronaldo was unveiled at Madeira airport two weeks ago the internet was open in its scorn - most people felt the slightly demented-looking sculpture bore no resemblance to the preening soccer superstar.
It was just one man, after all. Just one flight. And it involved an airline that has actually historically been relatively decent on customer service - seldom pulling the kind of stunts we see from budget carriers here.
In some ways it seems strange that only now are filmmakers getting around to the Heath Ledger story. The lore of a young star gone too soon can drive box office takings and Ledger's story, and his brief, brilliant career, would seem to be irresistibly dramatic fodder for a biopic. Now comes something close to that.
Her comedy may be edgy but there is something deeply reassuring about Joanne McNally. In an era in which many of the country’s young creatives are being swallowed whole by the PR industry, Joanne has moved the other way — ditching the steadiness of copywriting and re-inventing herself as a stand-up comic. It’s the type of career change that takes guts — especially at a moment when every other Irish person fancies themselves as possessing a comedic gift — but in hindsight, it doesn’t look all that foolhardy a move. Over the last few years, Joanne has established herself as one of the...
For someone with such an unswerving instinct for spectacle, George Michael's funeral seemed to strike all the wrong notes. The service took place last Thursday in Highgate Cemetery, London amid tight security, with black tarpaulin covering the cemetery's iron gates. It was organised in such a cloak of secrecy that rather than arriving in a hearse, the pop star's body came in a private ambulance. Even the rabidly intrusive British press could barely get any of the details. The most they could tell us was Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley and George's old flame Kenny Goss were in...
The photo, posted to Twitter on St Patrick's Day, shows a young girl in a white dress, her belongings slung under her shoulder, a little boy in a flat cap by her side. The girl in the picture was screen legend Maureen O'Sullivan and, her daughter Mia Farrow wrote, it was taken the day Maureen left Ireland for America. O'Sullivan would of course go on to carve out a legendary career in Hollywood but when Mia grew up she often made the journey the other way across the ocean to Ireland. Her speaking engagement this weekend at the Bord Gais theatre was cancelled due to "unforeseen...
It's the day before the Dancing with the Stars finale and the final rehearsals are taking place in a studio in Wicklow. A huge translucent sheet of material billows in a wind machine as chiselled dancers pivot and pose around it.
Taxi drivers who ferry Rebecca Coll around Brisbane generally assume she works in a bar or building site, like so many young Irish in the city. But in fact this brilliant young scientist left Dublin in 2014 to undertake scientific research in Australia, and has already won national recognition for her work there.
Irish people can speak with wonderful colour at the kitchen table, Terry Prone once said, but when the cameras are on "they iron themselves flat".
Professor Chris Fitzpatrick was for many years Master of the Coombe, and delivered many babies into the world. So it's high praise indeed when Moya Doherty, chairwoman of RTE and producer of Riverdance, notes that "what he's actually really good at is delivering words".
The first time I meet Des Bishop, just a few days have passed since he was eliminated from Dancing With the Stars, leaving it with just one Des to spare.
Once known as boring old Hogtown,Toronto is now a sparkling, bustling metropolis, says Donal Lynch.
On the face of it there doesn't seem anything especially macabre about the site of the former mother-and-baby home in Tuam. Nestled between middle-class semi-ds and bathed in a soft winter light, it looks less like a latter-day Auschwitz and more like the kind of plot an ambitious developer would be licking his chops over. Hoarding is still erected around the site known locally as the...
If there is any word sure to strike fear into the heart of a journalist, it's 'influencer.'
In an upper room, behind a velvet rope, Michael Colgan is pouring the wine and explaining how he will say goodbye to his "mistress", the grey and stately Gate Theatre.
The writer Susan Sontag said that if we truly looked closely and empathetically at war photography, war itself would cease. It was the simple, stark images, shot through the barbed wire at Auschwitz, that woke Europe to the real horror of the Holocaust and it was photography, she pointed out, that really turned the US public against the Vietnam War.
It's not often a man comes of age before an audience of millions, but that was what happened to Luis de Matos.
If we didn't know the boom was back from the busy bars and crowded restaurants, we could see it in the buffed, polished and frozen faces at their tables. Like therapy, 'getting a little work done' was once considered 'so American' but now Irish people are splashing out on cosmetic procedures like never before, with the most marked upswing in non-invasive procedures, like botox.
The Kilkenny Group founded by entrepreneur Marian O'Gorman is poised to dismiss Michael O'Gorman, her husband of 40 years.
When she drew up her 'Family Constitution' seven years ago, Marian O'Gorman, matriarch of the Kilkenny Group, sought to draw a line under a series of high-profile disputes with her brothers and sisters that had tarnished an otherwise outstanding reputation as an entrepreneur and chief executive of one of Ireland's leading, luxury retail dynasties.
Anyone who loved Breaking Bad will be fascinated by what the stars did next. Aaron Paul appears to be largely enjoying his fame with unchallenging multiplex fodder.
I have a good friend who dismisses all talk of the distant future with an airy: "Sure, I'll be dead by then anyway."
'They have already taken our booze," I couldn't help thinking as I digested the crusading moralism of Dr Eva Orsmond's documentary Medication Nation, "and now they want our pills."
It was unlikely, given the incredible success of The Office, that there wouldn't be a cover version or two to satisfy its monumental fan-base. But then David Brent did always say that he was "a friend first, then a boss and probably an entertainer third".
'Misinformation and assumptions" - those were the stated targets of Airbnb's new report on the good it's allegedly doing us. Forget the housing crisis, never mind the vague tax rules for hosts, or the fact that our capital city is bursting at the seams.
January is three weeks in and most people will have already reneged on their New Year promises. The gyms around Dublin have begun to empty out again as many of us revert to comfort eating our way through the long dark nights, all the while steeped in self-loathing for not having more self-discipline.
This was first screened in Canada on the Discovery Channel but Netflix funded it, hence they have the rights to show it worldwide. It's a sort of Wild West tale but instead of oil the Canadians have fur. The action - and there is plenty of it - centres around the cartel murders which mark shifts in control of the trade.
"If you're interested in stories with happy endings," Patrick Warburton's Lemony Snicket warns in the second trailer for Netflix's A Series of Unfortunate Events, "that story is streaming elsewhere. I would advise all our viewers," he adds, "to watch something more pleasant instead".
This is like PS I Love You meets an English Thelma and Louise - an independent tragicomedy which tackles the hefty issues surrounding one man's death from pancreatic cancer.
'If you feel sad in London, you feel really sad," Fiona O'Shaughnessy tells me, her eyes ablaze with dramatic emphasis, "but if you feel happy, you feel really happy". Blessedly, today seems like a happy day. This relatively new emigrant to London is in a good mood. A joke is never far from her bee-stung lips. She vamps joyously for the photographer, who struggles against the last of the...
So, if we tell you that this was originally produced a couple of years ago for the Hallmark Channel you might get some sense of the diabetes-inducing sweetness and sentimentality it contains but, really, would you prefer that or someone crying into a drink on EastEnders? We'll take Mimi any day.
Are psychiatrists the new landlords? To listen to Majella O'Donnell last week you would have thought they were. Her description of her friend's search for a psychiatrist had many parallels with the stories from the ongoing housing crisis: A desperate punter at the end of her tether, a whole class of (presumably wealthy) individuals dispassionately benefiting from the shortage of supply - the friend was told she'd have to wait until February to be seen - and an overall system that seems hopelessly skewed against the ordinary person earning an ordinary wage. €300 an hour was the rate Majella's...
As the recent furore about RTE cancelling its home produced children's programming demonstrated, there is always a sense with kids TV that they don't make 'em like they used to.
There was a time when comedy was left to comedians, people who were actually funny. But something changed a few years ago. It might have been Graham Norton's fault (who mastered the art of making dull-as-dishwater famous people seem like they were at least in on the joke) but now they literally all think they are the second coming of Lenny Bruce.
Tullamore twinkles like a Christmas bauble in the winter fog and around the town there is a palpable sense of relief that Bernadette Scully was acquitted of the manslaughter of her daughter, Emily.
It was 2009 and I decided to go and live in New York for a while. I had just arrived in Manhattan, on a brutal January night when the news spread through the streets like wildfire that a plane had gone into the Hudson. The cacophony of sirens summoned me and many of my fellow Hells Kitchen residents down to the freezing river to see for ourselves. There we saw rescue workers swarming on the water's edge. The news crews couldn't believe their luck - a world event right on their doorstep.
There has already been some Oscar buzz around this hotly anticipated biopic of Barack Obama. The film is set in the early 1980s, when Obama first arrived in New York City.
Is there still really such a terrible stigma around getting therapy? If you went by recent celebrity interviews and the amount of awareness campaigns out there, you would think Irish people are still in chronic denial about how messed up they really are. But the reality on the ground feels somewhat different.
In a way you could understand the apparent hesitancy of authorities at King's Hospital to report the alleged sexual assault of one of its students by a group of others. Any organisation faced with the prospect of having its reputation damaged by a group of young people brandishing smartphones and sports equipment would probably have reacted similarly.
It was dubbed 'Band Aid for Beslan' and to those who were involved, it was an unforgettably moving evening.
In some ways John Lithgow seems like a preposterous choice to play Winston Churchill. Tall and rangy, self-effacing, unmistakably American - the antithesis, in other words, of the aristocratic bulldog who led Britain though the war.
This smashed all ratings records when it aired in Italy earlier this year and Netflix is banking on it making a similar splash overseas, which should be helped by it's big name recognition - Dustin Hoffman stars - and by the fact that it was filmed in English.
At his home in Donabate in Dublin Ciaran McQualie Quinn sat down at his computer, took a deep breath, and typed in the words 'Glenn died'. In under a second the screen was filled with images of a handsome young actor called Glenn Quinn, presumably - from the results - the most famous Glenn who had ever died.
Even allowing for her millions in the bank and goddess looks, it's been an undeniably tough year for Amber Heard.
This month marks the 116th anniversary of Oscar Wilde's death and he looms as large over the cultural landscape as he ever did.
In the midst of a fairly cataclysmic week for the world, those of us with a little perspective made time to appropriately freak out at another unnerving rip in the space-time continuum.
More Ryan Phillippe on our screens is always a good thing, and he could probably use a little cheering up after his engagement was recently called off. He also hasn't had a movie hit in a while, although he has carved out a nice niche on TV, particularly in the murder mystery series Secrets and Lies (not to be confused with the excellent Mike Leigh film). So, the time is right for this new drama/thriller series, which premieres in the States on Tuesday and here on Netflix on Wednesday.
It takes some effort to mine a new seam of drama from such well-worn historical terrain as World War II but this film, which is really a meditation on faith, manages to succeed by looking at events from a female perspective. Set in Warsaw in December 1945, it focuses on a French Red Cross doctor who secretly helps a convent of Benedictine nuns who have been brutally raped by Russian soldiers.
The so-called October Surprise - a last-minute change to a campaign narrative - has a storied history in American politics, but it's not always decisive in the presidential election.
Exactly a decade ago I interviewed the feminist writer Naomi Wolf, who had previously expressed her loathing of porn. I thought I was being very clever altogether by pointing out to her that the women in porn, unlike most female stars in mainstream media, came in all shapes and sizes.
Judith Owen can certainly do spooky. Having appeared as herself on The Simpsons in the 13th season episode The Blunder Years, she was asked to sing a spoof version of Shirley Bassey doing a James Bond theme tune at the end of the recent 600th episode - Treehouse of Horror XXVII. It was probably the second scariest moment in the episode - after Homer's 'Ivanka 2028' badge - and showed that the Welsh singer-songwriter is also something of a vocal chameleon, with 'creepy' well within her repertoire.
We've been gradually getting more and more excited about the possible advent of an Irish Dancing With The Stars sometime in the near future. But over the last few weeks the tension has become unbearable as rumour and hype have combined to produce almost unbearable levels of anticipation.
You would have to have some empathy for Housing Minister Simon Coveney when he admitted last week that he still doesn't fully understand what the role of Airbnb should be in the economy. It's a confusing proposition after all; a multinational tech firm - our supposed saviours - mixed up in a dystopian rental nightmare. The State has rich form in attempting to solve clashes of values like these in such a way that the multinational wins every time. But the Airbnb situation feels somewhat unique. Unlike, say, the Apple tax, the connection between our national infrastructure and the...
What is it about a private education that still gives such a distinct advantage in Irish life? We pride ourselves on having greater social mobility than the class-obsessed English, on having a more egalitarian school system than the Americans and their Ivy League, and, yet, still the value of an old-boy background shows itself, with a quick glance at any of the major power centres in our...
"The sun dimmeth, the land sinketh, gusheth forth steam and gutting fire," growls legendary German director Werner Herzog, quoting Scandinavian poetry and reminding us that he has one of the great narrative voices out there. Herzog teams up with "volcanologist" (yes, it's a thing) Clive Oppenheimer, who he first met while filming Encounters at the End of the World, for this new Netflix documentary about volcanoes.
Donal Lynch hits up the best Halloween and autumn activities in The Big Apple, off the beaten tourist track.
It was another brilliant lesson from the French to the world in How To Have (And How To Be) A State Mistress.