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What’s on TV Thursday: Joyce DiDonato and ‘First Wives Club’


From left, Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn and Bette Midler in “First Wives Club.”

Paramount Pictures

In the sleepier days of summer TV, turn to movies: “First Wives Club” and “Titanic” were recently added to streaming platforms, and “Selena” and “Closer” are on cable channels. Classical music fans can also see the mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato perform on medici.tv.

What’s Streaming

FIRST WIVES CLUB (1996) on Amazon. Among this month’s additions to Amazon’s catalog is this ensemble comedy about friendship, empowerment and, above all, getting revenge on boorish ex-husbands. Bette Midler, Diane Keaton and Goldie Hawn play the three schemers. Other cast members include Sarah Jessica Parker, as well as celebrities used as punch lines. “In party scenes, the film’s well-known walk-ons contribute to its general aura of comic glitz,” Janet Maslin wrote in The New York Times. “Donald Trump has become de rigueur as a celebrity cameo in such circumstances, but he isn’t here. ‘The First Wives Club’ gets — and deserves — Ivana.”

JOYCE DiDONATO on medici.tv. Watch a performance from the tour inspired by this star mezzo-soprano’s album “In War & Peace: Harmony Through Music,” which was released last fall. In this taped concert at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, she performs works by Handel, Purcell and other Baroque composers with the early-music ensemble Il Pomo d’Oro and the conductor (and harpsichordist) Maxim Emelyanichev.


Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in “Titanic.”

Paramount Home Entertainment

TITANIC (1997) on Netflix. James Cameron’s enormous (one might say titanic) blockbuster about love, class and the famous tragedy of 1912 has returned to Netflix. Like the hubristic makers of the ship, the movie is “a presumptuous reach for greatness” that “gambles everything on visual splendor and technological accomplishment,” Ms. Maslin wrote in The Times, adding that “its extravagance is fully justified onscreen.” She continued, “If Mr. Cameron’s own brazenness echoes that seen in his story, remember the essential difference. This ‘Titanic’ is too good to sink.”

What’s on TV


Jennifer Lopez

Warner Bros.

SELENA (1997) 8 p.m. on HBO. Jennifer Lopez stars as Selena, the Spanish-to-English-language pop star who was shot dead by her fan club manager at 23. But Stephen Holden of The Times wrote that this biopic is, more than anything, hagiography. “The movie is so insistently nice that it refuses to show the star’s murder,” he wrote. “Maybe that’s appropriate in a movie that treats its central character as a saint, for by the end of the film, Selena has been all but canonized.”

CLOSER (2004) 7:14 p.m. on Starz. Mike Nichols’s film about sex and the city (which exists on a much higher plane than “Sex and the City”) stars Natalie Portman, Julia Roberts, Clive Owen and Jude Law as intertwined, emotive lovers. “In the past, Mr. Nichols has usually addressed sexuality with an elegant mixture of candor and discretion, and his intention in ‘Closer,’ which brings him back to the raw, needy emotions of ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ and ‘Carnal Knowledge,’ seems to be to show very little while saying a great deal,” A. O. Scott wrote in The Times.

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