Culture

Dame Maggie Smith Delights in 'The Lady in the Van' Trailer

Maggie Smith, 'The Lady in the Van' © Tristar Pictures

Editor's Note: We're doing our part to bring Stateside attention to "The Lady in the Van," a closer look at Marvel, and more in our Daily Blunt.

Why isn't anyone stateside talking about "The Lady in the Van"? Trailers for the BBC-produced film have been quietly dropping for months now (see the latest below), but despite "Downton Abbey" anticipation still running hot, this vehicle for Dame Maggie Smith has gone all but ignored. That's a literal vehicle, if you didn't catch it: In this adaptation from the stage, Smith plays a real-life elderly woman who parked herself in a writer's driveway for fifteen years -- now that's a Christmas release worth marking on the calendar.

The more people think about "The Age of Ultron," the less they seem to like it, and the more blame gets heaped on Marvel's ever-expanding universe. In Sady Doyle's comprehensive new article, the author illustrates how Marvel's contempt for certain storytelling principles -- the kind that made Joss Whedon's the original "Avengers" a crowd-pleasing hit -- translates to an outright contempt for the audience itself. "Stories are an affirmation of our human value; they teach us what life means, make and keep us human. Marvel, by removing the human from its storytelling, may be bringing about the end of story altogether." It's something to think about as focus shifts onto this summer's "Ant-Man," the latest carrot dangled before story-malnourished comics fans.

You can experience Wes Anderson's latest project in 3-D, and you won't even need those ugly glasses. The director has designed an entire bar in Italy in the visual style of his films -- "a bar I would want to spend my own nonfictional afternoons in," he explained to Wired. It looks like a terrific place to run into Bill Murray, or at the very least burn quarters on a Team Zissou pinball machine.

As another season of "RuPaul's Drag Race" winds to a close, why not catch up on a former title-winner? Season five champ Jinkx Monsoon is the subject of a new documentary called "Drag Becomes Him," which examines the narcoleptic queen's fascinating life and career. These photos from the film's recent premiere are themselves an advertisement for the Monsoon lifestyle. But enough history: which of this season's remaining crew will be sashaying away tonight?