The Five Spot: Our five faves of the moment

  • Article by: STAR TRIBUNE STAFF
  • Updated: December 22, 2012 - 2:40 PM

We're liking "Rust and Bone," "The Servant of Two Masters," "Minnesota Funk," some funny women and Geek & Sundry.

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Matthias Schoenaerts as Ali and Marion Cotillard as Stephanie in "Rust and Bone."

Photo: Roger Arpajou, Why Not Productions/Sony Pictures Classics

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1 A moving drama about the strength of the human spirit, "Rust and Bone" is elevated by a pair of beautiful tragicomic performances. Marion Cotillard plays Stephanie, a killer-whale trainer left mangled and isolated by a work accident, and bull-necked Belgian star Matthias Schoenaerts is Ali, a bare-knuckle street fighter who provides her with a 110-volt connection to the life force. They fight for every step forward and you'll find yourself cheering them on.

2 Yale Repertory Theatre injects a wild, modern sensibility into its adaptation of "The Servant of Two Masters" on the Guthrie's proscenium stage. Twin Cities actor Steven Epp leads a cast eager to go a little crazy with asides, shtick and all manner of goofing around. Christopher Bayes' direction gives the zaniness free rein to enliven a musty old comedy by 18th-century Venetian playwright Carlo Goldoni.

3 An eccentric assortment of paintings, collages, prints, drawings, sculpture and video -- plus some sofa pillows and a vintage motor scooter -- "Minnesota Funk" is a tribute to the notion that there is something inherently funny, twisted or psychologically warped about this place. The 13 upbeat crazies whose art fills Katherine E. Nash Gallery at the University of Minnesota's Regis Center for Art are a pretty amusing bunch. Anyone who can get through "Funk" without chuckling aloud must be from some humorless place, like Iowa. www.art.umn.edu

4 Few assertions are easier to disprove, says author Yael Kohen, than the notion that women aren't funny. From pioneers Phyllis Diller, Joan Rivers and Carol Burnett to the thoroughly modern Margaret Cho, Sarah Silverman and Amy Poehler, Kohen has collected stories that show how far women comedians have come. "We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy" is packed with anecdotes and insights from dozens of funny femmes and the men who laughed with them.

5 Felicia Day has come a long way since "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." The writer/actress/video-game fangirl's hit YouTube channel Geek & Sundry now features seven online series, including the comedy "The Guild," a show about a group of online gamers that's won multiple awards and made several best-of-2012 lists. Day plays Codex, who is a priestess, natch. Another quirky-fun series on the channel is "Tabletop," for which supreme nerd idol Wil Wheaton plays board games with various guests.

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