Reality TV star Judge Judy has won a substantial financial settlement after taking a Connecticut attorney to court over the unauthorised use of her name and likeness to promote his company. The 71-year-old TV judge launched legal action, the first suit she had ever filed on her own behalf, against Hartford-based John Haymond in March (14), amid allegations he had used images of the star from Judge Judy's hit show to suggest she endorsed his personal injury firm.
Judy, real name Judith Sheindlin, demanded more than $75,000 (£44,117) in damages, but she has since reached "an amicable resolution" with Haymond, according to TMZ.com.
The exact settlement figure has not been released, but Sheindlin, a retired Family Court judge, previously promised to donate any winnings to her charity, Her Honor Mentoring Programme, which provides college scholarships for young women in Westchester County, New York.
Reality TV star Judge Judy has filed her very first lawsuit against an attorney in Connecticut who used her image to promote his personal injury firm. The TV judge, real name Judith Sheindlin, filed suit in federal court against Hartford attorney John Haymond on Wednesday (12Mar14), alleging he used her name and likeness in unauthorised advertisements and commercials, suggesting she had endorsed him and his firm.
Sheindlin, who is a retired Family Court judge and the star of her own U.S. TV series for 18 years, is seeking more than $75,000 (£45,145) in damages.
She scolds the attorney in a statement which reads: "Mr. Haymond is a lawyer and should know better."
The lawsuit states that Haymond created commercials combining clips from her show, along with shots of him and his daughters, and the ads ran during broadcasts of Judge Judy in Connecticut and Massachusetts.
The lawsuit reads: "By trading, without consent or authorization, on Sheindlin's well-known persona, the Haymond Defendants have irreparably harmed and damaged Sheindlin's hard-earned professional and artistic reputation, dignity, and prestige."
Sheindlin states in the legal documents that any money received from the lawsuit will go towards the Her Honor Mentoring Programme, which provides college scholarships to young women.
Reality TV star Judge Judy has branded Justin Bieber a "fool" for risking his career with his bad boy behaviour and run-ins with the law. The Baby hitmaker has been mired in numerous legal troubles in recent months, and the television judge, real name Judith Sheindlin, has now warned the pop star he is abusing his celebrity status.
She tells CBS Los Angeles, "Being a celebrity is a gift. You could either treat it reverently or you could make a fool out of yourself. And he's doing a very good job of making a fool out of himself... I think it's sad. And nobody's going to remember that he was a marginal singer. But they're going to remember a young kid who had a chance to have it all and who is blowing it by acting like a fool."
Bieber was arrested in Florida in January (14) on suspicion of driving under the influence, while he is also facing an assault charge in Canada over an alleged attack on a chauffeur. Police also raided the singer's California mansion last month (Jan14) over allegations the singer pelted a neighbour's home with eggs.
Well, there goes the neighborhood.
For the past year or so, we've nestled to the warm, damp, blood-soaked concrete of the prison walls as The Walking Dead's central troupe maintained hospice inside the relatively zombie-proof grounds. Things weren't good, but they were as good as they might be for this band of humanoid toxins — everywhere they go, be it farm or suburban dystopia, winds up worse off for it. It was only a matter of time before this sour fate befell the prison. And that's where Season 4 leaves us upon entry into winter hiatus: homeless, scattered, the beneficiary of numerous casualties. Things went bad in this week's episode. And we're wondering now, in light of the biggest stroke of chaos we've yet to see on The Walking Dead, where they'll go from here.
The best we can do to predict is to recap just what went down in the last 10 minutes of "Too Far Gone," named for the season's running theme:
-The first to go this week was young Meghan, prior entirely to the climactic fight scene.
-The Governor killed Hershel in a maniacal act of nihilistic ambition.
Of COURSE Hershel was going to die at the end of this league of episodes. He got his own standalone episode, complete with dramatic music, devoted to his heroism.
-Shortly after this, Michonne drove her sword through the Governor's chest, leaving him for dead. He was ultimately shot and killed by Lily, who finally saw the man for the monster he is.
It is curious that The Walking Dead would off the Governor after giving him SO much new, interesting material and evolution just two weeks back. But them's the breaks for zombie dramas.
... are scattered.
-Rick and Carl found one another following the blitzkreig, and began hobbling heartbroken through the woods as the credits rolled.
-A bus of inmates took off for better locale, with an ailing Glenn on board... but not Maggie or Beth.
-Carol's troupe of preteen kids is AWOL after shooting some Tara's girlfriend dead. Damn.
-Daryl used a zombie as a shield and blew up a tank with a grenade. Nothing to do with his fate, but it was pretty cool.
-Tyreese, also busless, has no idea that Carol killed Karen. That seems important.
UNEXPECTED MOMENT OF COMEDY
Maybe it's just me, but I found the following instance (mid-warfare) to be quite laughable.
-Tara, shaken to the core, assesses how far beyond reason her team has come: "He [the Governor] just killed some guy... with a sword!"
We'll pick up in 2014, meeting up with Rick and Carl (on their lonesome), Glenn separated from the newly orphaned Maggie and Beth, and the children fending for themselves... that last bit might make for some interesting (or potentially cloying) television. But are we going to see more of Lily and Tara? Hopefully; I've warmed to them.
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After last season offered us a taste of the high life inside the walls of Woodbury, we're right back in the trenches for Season 4. Maybe it's the logical psychological progression of a zombie apocalypse, the artistic complement to our time spent in the dystopian village, or an effort to top the nihilism in the powerhouse that was Breaking Bad, but The Walking Dead is really upping the ante on the bleak this year. It says a lot for a show about people watching their loved ones die in the most gruesome ways possible that these past two episodes have emanated a new degree of dismal.
A week after Rick's inability to kill a suffering woman who represented his own descent into monstrosity, we find the prison infiltrated by walkers — the gang astutely figures out with Gregory House-like precision that the bespectacled young Patrick contracted some type of flu that killed him overnight, transforming him into his ultimate zombie identity and wreaking havoc upon his fellow inmates. After the demise of the good-natured, cheeky teen, we're treated to a slew of increasingly spirit-killing sideshows.The episode's stories, in ascending order of bleakness:
1. A herd of zombies threaten to take down the prison's outer fence, chomping off the heads of rats (which seemed to have been placed around the perimeter as bait for the dead heads).2. The bodies of two prison residents are burned, by an anonymous party, presumably in an effort to keep the flu from spreading3. Two pre-adolescent girls watch their father die and incur the wrath of an increasingly cold Carol for being "weak" through the ordeal.4. Rick slashes the stomachs of pig after pig after pig (the pigs are really cute, too) in order to lure the zombies from No. 1 away from the fence.5. And worst of all, Michonne cradles coughing baby Judith — who she recognizes to have contracted the flu that killed Patrick and Carl's pig — sobbing over the imminent demise of this baby and her own inability to resist comforting her despite knowing that she, in the process of doing so, is exposing herself to the same fatal disease.
Yes, this show is getting really grim. But... there are a few small victories this week, too. Kind of.
1. While Carl and Rick are mending fences, Carl tells Rick about Carol's secret weapons tutelage and Rick gives Carl back his gun. Sweet-ish?2. Carol refers to the late Patrick as a "practicing atheist," which is very much in step with the way that character, who we barely got to meet, would have defined himself.3. Hershel has a leg.
So... not all bad. Right?
Anyway, the big questions we're left with: Who is leaving rats for the walkers? Who burned the bodies of the flu-ridden residents? What will happen to baby Judith and our beloved Michonne? And, mostly, has this show really never had an episode named "Infected" before this week? That doesn't seem possible.
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Minor spoilers to follow.
Tyler Perry's Temptation is the kind of over-the-top drama that leaves you speechless as the credits abruptly begin to roll. Perry doesn't bother trying to cloak his morality tale with details like fully developed characters or insightful dialogue or logic. The heartbreaking story of Judith (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) is introduced by her marriage counselor sister as a warning to all young married woman who have their eyes on someone else. Judith was once a happily married woman who was led into temptation by an intense, rich man who promised to appreciate her in all the ways her husband didn't. Sounds fairly standard, right? Well… no.
Judith works as a therapist for a matchmaking service owned by Janice (Vanessa Williams), a glamorous older woman with a French accent who may or may not be running escorts on the side. Her coworker Ava is played by Kim Kardashian, a true feat of stunt casting that's only made all the more impressive by her inability to inject the slightest bit of emotion into her steady stream of insults. Judith has designs on starting her own practice as a marriage counselor but her husband Brice (Lance Gross) wants to wait until they get more settled. Her frustration comes into full flower soon after a young social media exec comes in to the office to strike up a deal with Janice. Harley (Robbie Jones) begins coming on to Judith almost immediately. At first, she finds it easy to resist. Brice is the only man she's ever been with — a detail that Harley finds amazing — and he's a good man, a sensible guy, and it probably doesn't hurt that he looks like a finely chiseled Greek god. But those perfect oblique muscles will only get him so far: after Brice forgets her birthday for the second year in a row and rejects her advances one night when she wants to get frisky in the kitchen, Harley starts looking a whole lot better.
A large chunk of the movie is spent on a somewhat boring back-and-forth between Harley and Judith, with some extraordinarily strange asides tossed in. For instance, singer and actress Brandy plays Brice's coworker Karen, a haunted young woman who's on the run from an abusive ex. (Did I mention Brice is an incredibly handsome pharmacist?) Their other coworker is an older woman who can be counted on to say something crazy about Valium or lesbians at any given time. You could get whiplash from how quickly the tone goes from comedy to high drama, but at some point the drama transmogrifies into sheer absurdity with a very nasty undertone.
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As you'd guess from the title, religion is a strong theme here, which is par for the course in Perry's films. It's very much a tale of good versus evil, and Perry is an Old Testament-style deity raining hellfire and brimstone down on his characters. It's not enough that they might be unhappy or heartbroken or full of regret, but they must pay dearly and cruelly. At the same time, religion is subject to the movie's tonal whims as well. Judith's mother Sarah (Ella Joyce) is a religious woman who raised her daughter in the church, but by the end of the movie, I wouldn't have been totally surprised to see her try to perform a full-on exorcism.
Besides the rather sadistic treatment of its characters, Temptation has an incredibly troubling scene that kicks off the last third of the movie, when things get really dark and mean. Judith and Harley are returning from a business trip to New Orleans on Harley's private jet. Judith got a makeover before she left (with help from Ava, naturally) and has been partaking of the many adult beverages NOLA has to offer. The flirting gets pretty steamy between them, but when Harley goes to touch and kiss her, she tries to stop him. She tells him no repeatedly and loudly and physically tries to defend herself. "Now you can say you resisted," he tells her, and the scene fades into some sort of embrace. Later, Judith is shell-shocked and tells Harley she never wants to see him again. She goes to take a shower but stops to stare into the foggy mirror. She reflects back on the scene on the plane, but it's… a love scene? Really? I don't even know how to untangle this. There are so many ways to interpret this chain of events, and none of them are acceptable. Any sort of goodwill or patience I'd had for Temptation and its bizarro world disappeared with a poof.
Temptation is worth watching in the same way a movie like Nicholas Sparks' Safe Haven is worth watching: it's such an audaciously ridiculous movie that you have to see it for yourself.
[Photo Credit: KC Bailey/Lionsgate]
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Hollywood's obsession with weight is no secret. The belief that stars forgo food has become so intrinsic it's laughable. "What are you going to eat once this whole thing is over?" equally thin red carpet correspondents joke, their microphones shoved in the faces of Hollywood's biggest and skinniest A-list stars.
But, in this very public world, we're now starting to get even more access into celebrities' struggles with the pressure to keep thin. Demi Lovato, Nicole Scherzinger, Katie Couric, Lady Gaga: In the past year alone, these beautiful, thin women have announced and renounced their past struggles with food. And these pronouncements are largely met with applause. Fans and media throw out words like "brave" and "powerful," "inspiring" and "hopeful." And while those adjectives certainly do ring true, talking openly about disordered eating might just do more harm than good. "Our culture needs to think of thinness as a potential sign of disease," says Dr. Marcia Herrin, the founder of the Dartmouth College Eating Disorders Prevention, Education and Treatment Program, who now runs a private practice in New Hampshire. "And we don't, we marvel about it."
Herrin continues, "It's interesting. It's such a mixed message that they give: I used to have an eating disorder. And usually the person who is saying it is very thin. My sense is that we just assume they all have eating disorders."
We assume these stars have eating disorders — the thought itself is terrifying. We, as a society, have arrived at a place where our idols and role models on the screen are impossibly thin. (As much as the world loves Adele, stars who exemplify real-life beauty are few and far between — Dior recently felt the need to Photoshop even Jennifer Lawrence down to an unrealistic size.) And we accept, and obsess over, the fact that they're very likely physical ill.
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For decades, we've discussed the media's affect on body image without fully realizing how severe the implications are. In 2002, Dr. Anne E. Becker published a revolutionary study in the British Journal of Psychiatry that states, almost unequivocally, that the portrayal of women in Western television is linked to disordered eating. For her study, Becker observed the eating habits of native Fijian adolescent girls — who statistially were less inclined to have eating disorders — before and after Western television was introduced to their society. Becker reported the eating habits and self-reported body image of 63 girls in 1995, three months after Western television became widely available in Fiji, and then another 65 three years later, in 1998. The results were astonishing.
"I think all those actors and actresses that they show on TV, they have a good figure and so I, I would like to be like them... since the characters [on Beverly Hills 90210] are slimbuilt, [my friends] come and tell me that they would also like to look like that. So they change their mood, their hairstyles, so that they can be like those characters... so in order to be like them, I have to work on myself, exercising and my eating habits should change," one participant in the study reported to Becker's team. Another put it bluntly, "[TV viewing] affects me because sometimes I feel fat." And this in a society where curvy, fuller-figured women have traditionally been viewed as more beautiful.
The most unnerving part of Becker's study is that these adolescent girls come to decide that in order to be successful they must be thin. In fact, a whopping 40 percent of subjects stated their desire to lose weight in order to get better career prospects. And this is where public eating disorder confessions become problematic. You can't help but feel conflicted when Couric, a woman who has not only had an incredibly successful career in front of the camera but also appears no bigger than a size 8, says on her own talk show, "I wrestled with bulimia all through college and for two years after that. And I know this rigidity, this feeling that if you eat one thing that’s wrong, you’re full of self-loathing and then you punish yourself, whether it’s one cookie or a stick of gum that isn’t sugarless, that I would sometimes beat myself up for that." After all, it was during this time of turmoil that Couric began to move ahead in her career. Similarly, Lady Gaga, who admittedly has struggled with "bulimia and anorexia since [she] was 15," not only skyrocketed to fame at her smallest size, but still claims to have a complicated relationship with food.
We look up to these women for their strength in dealing with these issues, and yet Gaga — along with the previously mentioned Scherzinger and Lovato (who claims to have developed her first weight issues when she was just three years old) — still weighs less than the average healthy American woman. (Admittedly, Couric is a fit, healthy size.) "The part I'm a little worried about with everyone coming out like this is the idea of, 'So, if I do it for a while it's okay,'" says Dr. Judith Brisman, Director and Founder of the Eating Disorder Resource Center in Manhattan. "And I think that's the concern I have, they may go, 'Look how thin it made her.'"
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For every young girl who might be inspired to seek help after hearing celebrity confessions (no doubt, the reason why stars like Couric and Gaga admit to their struggles in the first place), another could use their words as a guidebook to develop their own eating disorder. "For the person who has the temperament, the kind of genetic predisposition, when they hear that story they say, 'I knew it took an eating disorder to get there, and I'm not going to believe that you can be okay and love yourself without being that thin,'" says Keesha Broome, licensed marriage and family therapist and Clinical Director at the Monte Nido center for eating disorders and exercise addiction. "So we have to look at each person and see that some people have a strong enough sense of self or whatnot to not take it to that place, but many people don't. And they don't have any other voice that is kind of counteracting that for them."
So it falls to not only the parents and counselors, but also to the public figures to be this "other voice" — to not only dissuade girls from developing an eating disorder in the first place, but to show them the path to recovery if that becomes necessary. And the way to do this, Herrin, Broome, and Brisman all agree, is to shift the conversation from the disorder to the recovery process. "My hope would be that these celebrities can come out and talk about it and inspire people to get help, rather than perhaps portray it as something that's a phase or something that is, you wake up one day and you've grown out of it, or that type of thing," Broome says. "So my hope is that that is what people will take from it: that you can get better."
Adds Herrin, "Often when people in the limelight talk about the recovery they don't talk about being in treatment. Some have, but many are just, 'I'm recovered.' Well, if it was a real eating disorder, it is extremely rare for anyone to recover without treatment. So, what did they do to get better? That's the important thing. And how are they protecting themselves from relapsing?"
The celebrities, who are subject to the effects of the media's editing machine even more than magazine subscribers are — they are the ones, after all, who must watch themselves on screen and see the effects of Photoshop on their bodies in magazines — are not the ones at blame here. Especially beacuse, as Brisman points out, eating disorders and food issues in general are often entangled with ideas of shame and guilt. And this, she says, is the real difficulty in speaking openly about the recovery process, which is much more embarrassing and difficult than stars make it out to be. "My concern is that no one is talking in depth about the real struggle of recovery," she says. "And the most interesting psychological issue regarding eating disorders is it's all about really messy, dirty, uncomfortable feelings and finding a way to just sit with things that feel really uncomfortable. Somehow the second these things get talked about, they get glamorized. And even recovery gets cleaned up. It's very hard to talk about shame and failure without cleaning it up, again, as soon as the media comes in."
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While Couric did discuss feeling self-loathing while struggling with bulimia, she neglected to discuss how she took the big step to recovery, or how if felt when she did. And while Gaga's "Body Revolution" — a trend she started on her website, LittleMonsters.com, to encourage fans to share their body insecurities and find acceptance through the group's support and encouragement — is commendable and empowering for many young girls, it's disheartening to hear that thus far she still hasn't come to fully accept her own body. That said, she at least seems to be aware of her struggles, and is taking steps to overcome them. And if Gaga is willing to seek help for her admitted disorder and share the recovery process with her fans, it could be enough to start a real body revolution, off of the web and in the real world. It could, like Brisman states, show what the road to recovery is really like: emotional, embarrassing, difficult, and real. And what could be more inspiring than that?
Today may mark the final day of 2013's National Eating Disorder Awareness week, but the name may be a bit of a misnomer. We seek awareness of the disorder, sure, but it may be more important to become aware of the recovery process. Should we start marking a National Eating Disorder Recovery Awareness week on our calendars? "Something that we talk about in treatment is we don't let the clients just sit around together and reminisce about what they did in their eating disorder and swap stories about how horrible it was, because that serves to perpetuate that idea that this is how we connect, about how bad life is, and we want to compete on that level," Broome says. "Everyone with an eating disorder, they get focused on being the sickest, so I always ask them, 'Why don't you want to walk into a room and try to be the healthiest person there?'"
What can we do, as a culture, to make that the central question?
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[Photo Credits: Hollywood.com Illustration; littlemonsters.com; Chris Pizzello/AP Photo]
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She died from a heart attack at her home in Madrid on 3 January (13), according to the New York Daily News.
Born in South Carolina, she moved to Spain when she was 18 to study philosophy, but got swept up in the culture and never returned to America.
She then launched a career in modelling, appearing in several television adverts before landing her big acting break in 1966's La Ciudad No Es Para Mi (The City Is Not For Me).
Shepard went on to star in A Date in Navarra, where she met her future husband Maunel de Blas, while her other film credits include El Monte de las Brujas (The Witches' Mountain) and El Karate, el Colt y el Impostor (The Stranger and the Gunfighter).
Her younger sister, Judith Chapman, is also a notable actress from hit U.S. TV shows The Young And The Restless and Murder, She Wrote.
If there's a cinematic alchemy award to be given this year director Bill Condon deserves to take it home after magically turning the tedious Twilight franchise into entertainment gold. 2011's Part 1 was a horror camp romp that turned the supernatural love triangle — the naval gazing trio of Bella Edward and Jacob — on its head. Breaking Dawn - Part 2 continues the madcap exploration of a world populated by vampires and werewolves mining even more comedy thrills and genuine character moments out of conceit than ever before. The film occasionally sidesteps back into Edward and Bella's meandering romance (an evident hurdle of author Stephenie Meyer's source material) but the duller moments are overshadowed by the movie's nimble pace and playful attitude. Breaking Dawn - Part 2 will elicit laughs aplenty — but thankfully they're all on purpose.
Part 2 picks up immediately following the events of the first film Bella (Kristen Stewart) having been turned into a vampire by Edward (Robert Pattinson) to save her life after the torturous delivery of her half-human half-vampire child Renesmee. She awakes to discover super senses heightened agility increased strength… and a thirst for blood. One dead cougar later Bella and the gang are able to focus on the real troubles ahead: Renesmee is rapidly growing (think Jack) and vampiric overlords The Volturi perceive her a threat to vampiric secrecy. Knowing the Volturi will travel to Forks WA to kill the young girl (a 10-year-old just a month after being born) The Cullens amass an army of bloodsucking friends to end the oppression once and for all.
Packed with an absurd amount of backstory and mythology-twisting plot points (some vampires can shoot lightning now?) Condon and series screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg mine revel in the beefed up ensemble of Breaking Dawn - Part 2 and thanks to a wildly funny cast it never feels like pointless deviation. Along with the usual suspects Lee Pace adds swagger to the series as a grungy alt-rock vampire Noel Fisher appears as a hilarious over-the-top battle-ready Russian coven member and Michael Sheen returns has Volturi head honcho Aro and steels the show. Flamboyant diabolical and a steady stream of maniacal laughter Sheen owns Condon's high camp vision for Twilight and he lights up the screen. There are a few throw away nations of vampires — the oddly stereotypical Egyptian and Amazonians sects are there mostly there to off-set the extreme whiteness — but the actors involved bring liveliness to a franchise known for being soulless. Even Stewart Pattinson and Taylor Lautner give personal bests in this installment — a scene between Bella and her dad Charlie (Billy Burke) is genuinely heartfelt while Jacob's overprotective hero schtick finally lands.
Whereas Breaking Dawn - Part 1 stuck mostly to the personal story relying on the intimate moments as Bella and Edward took the big plunge into marriage and sex Part 2 paints with broader strokes and Condon has a ball. Delving into the history of the vampires and the vampire world outside Forks is Pandora's Box for the director. One scene where we learn why kids scare the heck of the Volturi captures a scope of medieval epics — along with the bloodshed. Twilight might be known for its sexual moments but Breaking Dawn - Part 2 will go down for its abundance of decapitations. The big set piece in the finale is something to behold both in the craftsmanship of the spectacle and in its bizarre nature.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 had the audience hooting hollering and even gasping as it twisted and turned to the final moments. There's little doubt that even the biggest naysayer of the franchise would do the same. No irony here: the conclusion of Twilight is a blast.
The Help star leads the cast of the stage production as Catherine Sloper, a shy young woman yearning for her wealthy, intimidating father's acceptance, but many theatre critics felt she struggled to make the transformation from a meek girl to a raging woman.
The Hollywood Reporter's David Rooney brands the actress "underpowered" and laments her "inconsistency of characterisation", while the New York Post's Elisabeth Vincantelli was disappointed that Chastain failed to bring more fury to the play's most famous line, when Sloper declares, "Yes, I can be cruel. I have been taught by masters!"
Vincantelli writes, "The words should hit us like a hammer. Here, they barely graze."
Chastain's performance - in the role made famous by Olivia de Havilland in William Wyler's 1949 movie adaptation - wasn't a winning one for The New York Times writer Ben Brantley or Newsday's Linda Winer either.
Comparing the revival to Cherry Jones' Tony Award-winning stint in the same role in a 1995 production, Brantley states, "I never felt the urgency of filial and romantic love festering into vengeful hatred, which should inform any production of The Heiress."
But it wasn't all bad for Chastain - Bloomberg News critic Jeremy Gerard applauds her take on Sloper as "close to perfect", and Entertainment Weekly's reviewer gives The Heiress an A grade, writing, "In her Broadway debut, Chastain conveys social discomfort and awkwardness without veering into caricature."
Director Moises Kaufman also took his fair share of criticism - Winer blasts him for his "emotionally simplistic production", while Rooney blames Chastain's mediocre turn on "questionable directorial choices".
The actress' co-stars David Strathairn and Downton Abbey's Dan Stevens enjoyed better reviews, but it was the "sublimely funny" Judith Ivey who garnered the highest praise from the media, putting on a "great" and "delightful" performance as the amused Aunt Lavinia.
The Heiress runs at New York's Walter Kerr Theater until February (13).