Lourdes Garcia-Navarro | WYPR

Lourdes Garcia-Navarro

In the new romantic comedy Last Christmas, Emilia Clarke plays Kate. She dresses like an elf, she works in a year-round Christmas-ornament shop and her life is a mess.

Enter the dashing Tom, played by Henry Golding (Crazy Rich Asians). He's handsome, kind and quirky — but, of course, there is something elusive about him.

"I speak into the silence. I toss the stone of my story into a vast crevice; measure the emptiness by its small sound."

That's a line from the opening chapters of In the Dream House, a new memoir by Carmen Maria Machado. It's an examination of sexuality and a haunting account of a physically and emotionally abusive relationship with her then girlfriend. Machado — whose first book, Her Body and Other Parties, was nominated for the National Book Award — met the woman at the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

The year 2019 has been a busy one for Elton John — and a revelatory one for his fans, who have been graced with a biopic, Rocketman; a tour, "Elton John: Farewell Yellow Brick Road"; and now a memoir, simply titled Me.

In an interview with Weekend Edition, Sir John shared that at 72 years old, he's finally ready to look back.

Each summer for the last two decades, Jim Parker has readied his small whale watch boat, and made a business out of ferrying tourists out into the cool blue waters of the Gulf of Maine.

For years, it was steady work. The basin brimmed with species that whales commonly feed on, making it a natural foraging ground for the aquatic giants. Whales would cluster at certain spots in the gulf, providing a reliable display for enchanted visitors to the coastal community of Milbridge, Maine.

Natalie Portman has played lots of different royalty, so to speak, from a galactic queen in the Star Wars prequels to a first lady in Jackie. But in the new movie Lucy in the Sky, Portman plays a member of an even more rarified club: an astronaut.

What do you want to ask the 2020 presidential candidates?

Off Script, a new NPR series about presidential hopefuls, gives voters the chance to sit down with candidates and get answers to their questions.

In the near future, resources on Earth are limited, space pirates fight for control of the moon, and travel into deep space is possible.

At least that's the future in Ad Astra, directed by James Gray and starring Brad Pitt. In the new sci-fi movie, Pitt plays astronaut Roy McBride, the son of space hero Clifford McBride, who commanded a mission called the Lima Project.

That mission disappeared somewhere in the outer reaches of the solar system many years ago. But when he learns that his father may still be alive, the younger McBride sets out to find him.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

When we meet Constance Wu's character Destiny in the new movie Hustlers, she's the new dancer at a gentlemen's club. She's there because of economic circumstance, but we come to learn there's more to her character.

Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney are literally the couple that met at the copy machine. They attended business events, went out to lunch, and from there, "we started sharing about our lives," Brian says. He was an illustrator, she was a writer, and "We thought, wow, we could really do some amazing things together."

Last Tuesday, viewers around the country gathered around their screens, eager to watch the drama unfold: Some were watching the Democratic presidential debates, some were tuned in to the season finale of ABC's The Bachelorette.

Bernadette Fox is a successful architect who's in a rut. She hasn't designed anything in 20 years. Now she's a mother with insomnia who claims to hate everyone except her daughter, Bee.

Then, one day, she disappears — after her husband calls for an intervention on her behalf. Where'd You Go, Bernadette has been adapted from Maria Semple's 2012 novel into a movie, starring Cate Blanchett and directed by Richard Linklater.

On a hot Maryland summer day, two toddlers play in the wading area of a community pool. Their glee is uncontainable as they dump water-filled plastic pails over each other's heads. A few weeks earlier, these little ones would not come close to the water.

The kids are grown. The house is empty. Otherhood is what comes after motherhood.

The new Netflix film stars Angela Bassett, Patricia Arquette and Felicity Huffman as three best friends whose sons have grown up — all the way up — together. As the three moms celebrate Mother's Day with each other rather than with their kids, they decide that they've had enough.

"Their sons are not connecting with them," Angela Bassett tells NPR. "They're not sending flowers; they're not giving them a call."

These burglars came prepared. They cut a hole through the concrete roof and shimmied down into the warehouse. They disabled the alarms. They escaped with $2 million worth of goods.

The stolen booty: 34,000 pairs of high-end fajas, a Spanx-like undergarment popular in Miami's Hispanic community.

The robbery took place last year and was only made public recently. David Ovalle, a Miami Herald journalist, has been reporting the story from South Florida.

In Family Reunion, the new Netflix series, Tia Mowry-Hardrict plays Cocoa McKellan, a free-spirited mother of four and wife of a retired football player, Moz (Anthony Alabi, himself a former NFL player). The McKellans packed their bags in Seattle, Wash., and have moved to Columbus, Ga. to live with Moz's parents — including his old-fashioned mother M'Dear (Loretta Devine).

Farai Chideya wanted to become a mother. Five years and $50,000 after she began this quest, Chideya is still childless but has gained a harsh lesson about the ills of America's adoption system.

Three times, Chideya was matched with a child and three times the mother changed her mind.

When Bethany Hamilton was 13 years old she lost her arm to a shark while surfing in Hawaii. That event catapulted her into the public spotlight, from talk shows to a Hollywood movie based on her life.

Not only did Hamilton return to the water, but she went on to ride some of the world's biggest waves. Her story is told in the new documentary Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable.

Coffee poured. Pillow fluffed. E-book loaded. You're ready to begin a delightful afternoon on your e-reader when, poof, the book disappears.

Starting in July, Microsoft will be closing its e-book library and erasing all content purchased through the Microsoft e-bookstore from devices. Consumers will receive a refund for every e-book bought.

Today, you can pull out your phone and know the weather a week in advance.

That's pretty neat. And it's all because weather forecasting — specifically, the supercomputer-driven modelling which crunches huge amounts of data and predicts future outcomes — has gotten really good. A six-day weather forecast today is as good as a two-day forecast was in the 1970s.

Douriean Fletcher is Marvel Comics' first licensed jewelry maker. She's behind the powerful adornments worn by the women of Wakanda in Black Panther, which helped pull audiences into an imagined world where power and societal roles are based on expertise and ability. On Sunday, she's giving a talk at the National Museum of Women in the Arts about the aesthetics of gender equity in Wakandan society.

There are two sets of reptiles in Sadie Jones' new novel The Snakes — the slithering kind, and the human kind. Bea is a newly married psychologist and the daughter of a ruthless billionaire. She wants nothing to do with her dad's money.

"There are very few people who could have that much wealth and not be corrupted by it — and Bea is one of them," Jones says.

Arturo Castro moved to the U.S. from Guatemala just before he turned 20 but — before you make any assumptions — he doesn't like spicy food and he isn't good at salsa dancing. "I just have a weak stomach and weak ankles," he explains. He's never tried Ayahuasca. He's never met a shaman. ("I feel really left out — most white women in Beverly Hills have met way more shamans than I have," he says.)

Castro says he's "sort of an alternative version of a Latino," which brings us to the title of his Comedy Central series Alternatino — a play on the Spanish word for "alternate."

The advice columnist who says President Trump sexually assaulted her in a department store dressing room in the mid-1990s says she is "very glad" she published her accusation, even as the president denied her story on Saturday and claimed he had "no idea who she is."

E. Jean Carroll spoke to NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro on Weekend Edition. She reiterated that Trump assaulted her in the '90s.

"It hurt. And it was against my will," she said.

Trump on Saturday doubled down on his denial and claimed that women have been paid to accuse him of wrongdoing.

In the new romantic comedy Always Be My Maybe, the romantic male lead is a dorky dude living with his dad. His love interest is a famous woman who is not too busy for men.

Here's another rom-com trope this movie breaks: they're both Asian Americans, and have steamy love scenes.

The glitter. The piano-playing. That voice. Based on a true fantasy, the story of Sir Elton John is being encapsulated with Rocketman, the larger-than-life biopic in theaters now. The film stars Taron Egerton in the lead role and was directed by Dexter Fletcher, the same director who finished the Oscar-winning Bohemian Rhapsody after its original director, Bryan Singer, was fired.

A new generation of migrants is arriving in Mexico: young adults who were born in Mexico, raised in the United States and are now returning — some voluntarily, some by force — to the country of their birth. They've been dubbed "Generation 1.5."

With only limited support available from the Mexican government for these often well-educated returnees, several nongovernmental organizations and at least one private company are looking to help them out and take advantage of their skills.

When 29-year-old Gilberto Olivas-Bejarano first returned to his birth country of Mexico, he didn't speak the native language.

"I barely speak Spanish now," he says.

He arrived in León alone, and today, nearly two years since his deportation, Olivas-Bejarano has still not seen his parents or siblings in person.

If you've had a manicure lately, chances are you probably had it done at a nail salon run by people of Vietnamese heritage.

The salons are everywhere — in nearly every city, state and strip mall across the United States. So how did Vietnamese entrepreneurs come to dominate the multibillion-dollar nail economy?

Filmmaker Adele Free Pham set out to answer that question in a documentary called Nailed It. Growing up in Portland, Ore., she says, she observed that all the nail salons around her were Vietnamese run.

Already a bold trendsetter on the pop stage, Rihanna is also breaking barriers in the makeup and fashion industries.

The 31-year-old Barbadian singer has partnered with the historic LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton fashion house, becoming the first woman of color to have a label under LVMH and the first woman to start an original brand for the world's largest luxury group.

The new label is named Fenty, after the last name of the singer (born Robyn Rihanna Fenty). It's an expansion of her cosmetics empire of the same name, launched in a 2017 partnership with LVMH.

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