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The New Haven Nose On 'Ad Astra' And 'Downton Abbey'

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Brad Pitt in James Gray's 'Ad Astra.'

The Nose couldn't decide which of last weekend's two big new movies to go see, so it went to both.

Downton Abbey, the feature film continuation of the incredibly popular PBS series, is the number one movie in the country. Its $31 million opening was the biggest ever for the studio that made it, Focus Features. Not bad for a PG-rated, special effects-free drama made for grownups.

James Gray's Ad Astra is kind of at the opposite end of a number of spectrums. As a huge, expensive space adventure that travels to Neptune and back, its #2 opening is underperforming its budget a bit. But it's also being called, "one of the most ruminative, withdrawn, and curiously optimistic space epics this side of Solaris," and, "also one of the best."

Some other stuff that happened this week, give or take:


  • Tom Breen - Film critic and reporter for the New Haven Independent; host of WNHH radio's Deep Focus
  • Lucy Gellman - Editor of The Arts Paper; host of WNHH radio's Kitchen Sync
  • Pedro Soto - An aerospace executive working on a secret project

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Colin McEnroe and Chion Wolf contributed to this show.

Jonathan is a producer for ‘The Colin McEnroe Show.’ His work has been heard nationally on NPR and locally on Connecticut Public’s talk shows and news magazines. He’s as likely to host a podcast on minor league baseball as he is to cover a presidential debate almost by accident. Jonathan can be reached at jmcnicol@ctpublic.org.

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