In "Reno County Girl," Chuck Mead serenades us with a tale about a young woman with whom his narrator fell in love. It's a loping country song, Mead's version of cowboy music, but as its pretty melody unfurls, you realize that its scenario is bleak: Mead's character urged her to leave home despite the objections of her father, and it turns out Daddy was right — this guy leaves her all by her lonesome much of the time.
As we mentioned, "12 Years a Slave" had a major impact at last night's Academy Awards. The film walked away with three awards - best picture, best supporting actress for Lupita Nyong'o and best adapted screenplay for John Ridley. The film was packed with star power, including a small but provocative role for Alfre Woodard as Harriet Shaw, the slave mistress of a nearby plantation owner.
Good morning, I'm David Greene. The YMCA in Quincy, Massachusetts has a new food offering. Honey Dew Donuts has been cleared to open one of their stores there. Just one restriction: No donuts, because the Y is focused on health and fitness. A spokeswoman says the donut shop's signature item is banned. Salads, fruit cups, smoothies are allowed, so are Honey Dew's low-fat muffins, which actually have more sugar and calories than the donuts. So take that to the treadmill.
Seems bad boy Danny Zuko still doesn't do his homework. The star of "Grease" had a walk-on last night in the Oscars. John Travolta introduced Idina Menzel, calling her wickedly talented. She starred in "Wicked" on Broadway. But it quickly became clear he'd never heard of her. He introduced her as Adele Dazim. The song Ms. Menzel sang, from "Frozen," won the Oscar, anyway.
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The prolific French filmmaker Alain Resnais died over the weekend, at the age of 91. Resnais' films captured international awards for over seven decades. And as NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports, he was making movies up until the very end.
ELEANOR BEARDSLEY, BYLINE: Alain Resnais cemented his reputation as a filmmaker with the 1959 classic, "Hiroshima, Mon Amour," made with author Marguerite Duras as scriptwriter.
Standardized tests: a good or bad thing? Some argue the tests remain a useful tool in the college admissions process. Others contend tests do not predict future success or failure for college students. Elizabeth Kolbert recently took the test as a grownup and wrote about the experience for The New Yorker.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.
Picture this, a group of writers - quiet, bookish, solitary - duking it out in a fight to the death. That's the idea behind Literary Death Match, a performance series that pits authors against each other - not physically but through readings from their own books. The show travels all over the country. Reporter Alex Schmidt was at a recent performance in Los Angeles and has the story.