Linda Holmes

Linda Holmes writes and edits NPR's entertainment and pop-culture blog, Monkey See. She has several elaborate theories involving pop culture and monkeys, all of which are available on request.

Holmes began her professional life as an attorney. In time, however, her affection for writing, popular culture and the online universe eclipsed her legal ambitions. She shoved her law degree in the back of the closet, gave its living-room space to DVD sets of The Wire and never looked back.

Holmes was a writer and editor at Television Without Pity, where she recapped several hundred hours of programming — including both High School Musical movies, for which she did not receive hazard pay. Since 2003, she has been a contributor to MSNBC.com, where she has written about books, movies, television and pop-culture miscellany.

Holmes' work has also appeared on Vulture (New York magazine's entertainment blog), in TV Guide and in many, many legal documents.

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Monkey See
12:13 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Pop Culture Happy Hour: O Canada!

NPR

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 6:45 pm

  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

We taped this week's show with half of us in D.C. and half of us — me and Trey, plus NPR's own Bob Mondello — in a studio in Toronto. Why? Because of the Toronto International Film Festival, which provides the front half of the show. Trey, Bob and I talk about a bunch of the films we saw, many of which you can see covered on the blog's TIFF '12 section.

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Monkey See
8:04 am
Wed September 12, 2012

TIFF '12: 'To The Wonder,' A Pretty Film In Which A Woman Dances With A Rooster

Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams star in Terrence Malick's To The Wonder.
Mary Cybulski Toronto International Film Festival

For people who may have been baffled by the dinosaurs in Terrence Malick's The Tree Of Life, it may be a relief to hear that in his latest, To The Wonder, there's no such opaque sequence. There's nothing to "get," and there's nothing nearly so disorienting as all the business with the people on the beach, let alone all the business with the world being born.

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Monkey See
2:09 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

TIFF '12: Billy Bob Thornton's Film That Is Not About 'Jayne Mansfield's Car'

Billy Bob Thornton and Kevin Bacon star in Jayne Mansfield's Car.
Van Redin Toronto International Film Festival

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 2:30 pm

[Monkey See will be at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) through the middle of this week. We'll be bringing you our takes on films both large and small, from people both well-known and not.]

Here's a declaration for you: I haven't seen even ten percent of the films playing at the Toronto International Film Festival, but I am convinced that Jayne Mansfield's Car has the worst title.

Let's go back to the beginning.

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Monkey See
1:17 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

TIFF '12: 'Mr. Pip' And Literary Escape

Hugh Laurie and Xzannjah in Mr. Pip.
Toronto International Film Festival

[Monkey See will be at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) through the middle of this week. We'll be bringing you our takes on films both large and small, from people both well-known and not.]

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Monkey See
6:56 am
Tue September 11, 2012

TIFF '12: Strong Performances Highlight Paul Thomas Anderson's 'The Master'

Joaquin Phoenix plays a sailor very much at sea in Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master.
Phil Bray Toronto International Film Festival

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 3:37 pm

[Monkey See will be at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) through the middle of this week. We'll be bringing you our takes on films both large and small, from people both well-known and not.]

Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master probably came to Toronto with as much Oscar buzz as anything showing here. Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix in his first film since the 2010 experimental quasi-documentary I'm Still Here, The Master is emphatically a piece of award bait, but deservedly so.

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Monkey See
1:38 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

TIFF '12: Recovery Is The Watchword In 'Thanks For Sharing'

Mark Ruffalo and Gwyneth Paltrow in Thanks For Sharing.
Toronto International Film Festival

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 2:14 pm

[Monkey See will be at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) through the middle of this week. We'll be bringing you our takes on films both large and small, from people both well-known and not.]

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Monkey See
11:33 am
Mon September 10, 2012

TIFF '12: Bill Murray Plays Franklin Roosevelt In 'Hyde Park On Hudson'

Bill Murray in Hyde Park On Hudson.
Nicola Dove Toronto International Film Festival

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 2:15 pm

[Monkey See will be at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) through the middle of this week. We'll be bringing you our takes on films both large and small, from people both well-known and not.]

If there's one thing I wish I could tell Hollywood biographers and be sure they'd believe me, it would be this: you don't necessarily have to be interesting to get a famous person to have an affair with you, so having had an affair with a famous person doesn't make you a good subject for a biographical film.

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Monkey See
9:23 am
Mon September 10, 2012

TIFF '12: Robert Redford Is On The Run In 'The Company You Keep'

Robert Redford stars in The Company You Keep.
Doane Gregory Toronto International Film Festival

[Monkey See will be at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) through the middle of this week. We'll be bringing you our takes on films both large and small, from people both well-known and not.]

The Company You Keep features one of the most accomplished casts I've seen in an American film here: Robert Redford, Susan Sarandon, Julie Christie, Chris Cooper, Sam Elliott, Richard Jenkins, Stanley Tucci, Anna Kendrick ... there are a lot of people in it, not counting Shia LaBeouf, about whom I have mixed feelings generally.

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Monkey See
7:29 am
Mon September 10, 2012

TIFF '12: Joss Whedon's Marvelously Homemade 'Much Ado About Nothing'

Alexis Denisof and Amy Acker star in Joss Whedon's adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing.
Toronto International Film Festival

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 5:02 pm

[Monkey See will be at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) through the middle of this week. We'll be bringing you our takes on films both large and small, from people both well-known and not.]

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Monkey See
2:03 pm
Sun September 9, 2012

TIFF '12: 'Love, Marilyn' Tries Yet Again To Show Us Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe has been the subject of many documentary explorations, and the film Love, Marilyn takes a new approach.
Toronto International Film Festival

Will it ever end, the desire to understand Marilyn Monroe?

The film Love, Marilyn begins with the statement that an enormous number of books have already been written about her, that she's been the subject of study and fascination and florid prose. But, it says, some of her papers have been discovered, and maybe it is those papers — her own words — that can cast light on the woman herself.

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Monkey See
12:18 pm
Sun September 9, 2012

TIFF '12: Christopher Walken Plays The Cello In 'A Late Quartet'

Mark Ivanir, Christopher Walken, Catherine Keener and Philip Seymour Hoffman star in A Late Quartet.
Toronto International Film Festival

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 2:20 pm

There's a provocative idea at the center of A Late Quartet, which is that a performing ensemble — here, it's a string quartet, but it's an idea with theoretically broad applications — can easily become the most important relationship in the participants' lives. This quartet is not merely a surrogate family but a sort of four-person marriage with all the complications that suggests.

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Monkey See
11:03 am
Sun September 9, 2012

TIFF '12: A New Documentary Explains 'How To Make Money Selling Drugs'

Curtis Jackson, also known as rapper 50 Cent, is one of the many people who speaks in the documentary How To Make Money Selling Drugs.
Toronto International Film Festival

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 1:13 pm

It takes a certain kind of verve to call your documentary How To Make Money Selling Drugs and really mean it.

Because the title doesn't lie: That is, in fact, what How To Make Money Selling Drugs is about.

It's structured, for about the first half of its running time, as a satirical instructional film about how to get your own drug cartel by working your way up from small-time dealer to local distributor to kingpin and beyond.

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Monkey See
9:33 am
Sun September 9, 2012

TIFF '12: Baumbach's 'Frances Ha' Proves We're All A Little Unfinished

Greta Gerwig plays Frances in Noah Baumbach's new comedy Frances Ha.
Toronto International Film Festival

Frances Ha, from director Noah Baumbach, will likely be a polarizing movie. If you need to understand why, I'll just tell you that it's in black and white and it opens with Frances, played by Baumbach's co-screenwriter Greta Gerwig, and her best friend Sophie frolicking. Frolicking how? Well, Frances is tap dancing and Sophie is playing a miniature banjo. If this is the part where you say, "Heaven forfend I should spend five minutes with such people," then this movie will probably lose you in the first five minutes.

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Monkey See
7:33 am
Sun September 9, 2012

TIFF '12: A Big Film On Very Small Shoulders In 'What Maisie Knew'

Julianne Moore and Onata Aprile star in What Maisie Knew.
JoJo Whilden Toronto International Film Festival

Hollywood loves little kids. Cute ones, sad ones, ones in danger, and ones with pinchable cheeks. It is, however, surprisingly bad at making movies that are genuinely about the emotional lives of little kids, other than in movies that are for kids. It is rare to see an excellent movie about a child made for adults.

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Monkey See
2:03 pm
Sat September 8, 2012

TIFF '12: Stomp Your Feet For 'The Sapphires'

Chris O'Dowd, Deborah Mailman, Shari Sebbins, Jessica Mauboy, and Miranda Tapsell in The Sapphires.
Toronto International Film Festival

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 5:13 pm

[Monkey See will be at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) through the middle of next week. We'll be bringing you our takes on films both large and small, from people both well-known and not.]

Film festival fare can be thrilling and moving and challenging and gorgeous, but here's the thing: it can also be dark and depressing. There's nothing more welcome, then, than a very good film that also happens to incorporate a lot of soul music and dancing, and The Sapphires is that very good film.

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