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CANNES - Telenovela has never seemed more inviting than it does in a brief scene midway through "Heli," which plants our gormless title character in front of an unseen television set blaring the busy hubbub of Spanish soap opera, its shrill dramatics amplifying the violent silence that courses through Mexican director Amat Escalante's third feature. This kind of deadpan reference to more conservative forms of Latin culture is a note often played in new Mexican cinema, ascribing authenticity to a film's worldview by way of absurd contrast -- though reality is as flattened in "Heli" as it is heightened in telenovela.
Detroit! Otherwise known as "Audition City #2," as stated in the episode title. Was that considered too big of a reveal? Did Fox think people would tune in, then see "Detroit" in the title and switch channels? I guess that will remain a mystery, but the good new is that TWitch is in the house! With Nigel and Mary. The producers had better not wear out poor Mary. She had cancer. Be nice, for crying out loud. But I guess the "nice" part of Detroit was giving Mary some time with the male exotic dancers. Good thing she didn't have heart problems.
It's been a rocky couple of weeks for Reese Witherspoon. Everything looked nice and peachy as the wonderful "Mud" starring the actress was set for release. Then on April 19, she was arrested in Atlanta following a dispute with a police officer. Soon enough the infamous "do you know who I am" video made its way out and everyone naturally took their shots.
Well, while it may have been a rocky couple of months, nothing turns it around like booking a gig on a Paul Thomas Anderson movie. And according to Deadline, Witherspoon has done just that, landing a role in the director's upcoming "Inherent Vice," adapted from the Thomas Pynchon novel set in 60s/70s Los Angeles.
CANNES - The first press screening of the Cannes Film Festival is traditionally, in not-particularly-French parlance, a bit of a bunfight: always in the Salle Debussy, the smaller of the festival's two showcase screens, it tends to fill up fast with fevered, not-yet-red-eyed journalists scrambling for the last available seats with a workable sightline, while outside, the snaking queue of lowly yellow and blue badgeholders nervously hopes there'll be any seat at all for them. (Lest you think I'm sneering, I'm one of them: for me, at Cannes, blue clearly is the warmest color.)
"American Idol" is not a show known for restraint so let us, as we do every year, give thanks that FOX is not attempt to wring two hours out of the finale's performance night. Yes, tomorrow night's finale will be two-plus hours of excruciating largess, but on Wednesday (May 15), we should be treated to an hour of performances from two reasonably good singers. That should be pleasant, right?
Bring on Candice Glover and Kree Harrison!
Kelly Rowland is releasing a new solo effort, and "Dirty Laundry" is airing a lot of source material. The former Destiny's Child singer makes two revelations in this new track: one is her feelings on the success of Beyonce as she, comparitively, lived "in her shadow." The other is that she was physically abused by an ex-lover.
To the former, she sings, backed by a melancholy piano: "While my sister was on stage, killin’ it like a motherf*cker / I was enraged, feeling it like a motherfucker / Bird in a cage, you would never know what I was dealing with / Went out separate ways, but I was happy she was killin' it... Bittersweet, she was up, I was down."
Beyonce makes another flashback cameo, as Rowland was surviving post-"Survivor," as a survivor of abuse.
"Started to call them people on him / I was battered / He hittin the window like it was me, until it shattered / He pulled me out, he said, “Don’t nobody love you but me / Not your mama, not your daddy and especially not Bey,” she continues. The ending of this particular verse hurts my heart. "He turned me against my sister / I missed ya."
Hell if I and many other critics haven't lobbed jokes about how Kelly or Michelle would never make it bigger than Beyonce. Rowland -- who's always had a sharp voice and knows how to tell a story -- hasn't had the chance for a superstar trek since Destiny's Child days. Her song here, though, isn't about to turn that negativity into more negativity, but into something positive by cleaning up her own feelings on the matter.
Saying that she was conflicted and angry during a time of DC post-breakup blues is actually very self-award and gutsy. But disclosure that she'd gone through a dark and misguided period through abuse is no easy feat either, even on a simple confession produced by The-Dream. R&B singers' bread and butter is emotional climaxes of relationships, from the chase, the bedding, the wedding or the breakup (and of course all tensions in-between). While many scorned lovers' songs make enemies of their exes or insinuate their own indiscretions, there are extreme few that outline actual terror of physical, emotional or sexual abuse in the legal sense. Rowland's dirty laundry here isn't only that she was abused in secret, but that those abuses led to her hurting others. It's a meta-narrative on an R&B trope and the record-making industry, and a sensationally true story, which makes it totally fascinating as a piece of art.
And entertainment. Rowland's voice her is top-notch, don't you think?
Rowland's album "Talk a Good Game" is due on June 18.
Divorce can be funny! At least, that's the angle "The Millers" takes. Will Arnett plays Nathan Miller, a recently divorced new reporter who finds his parents' marital problems are now his to solve.
You know what's like a dorm for old guys? A short-term apartment complex full of recently divorced men! Isn't that fun. "We Are Men" is about four newly-single guys who live in the same complex and find camaraderie as they look for love. And pick up chicks in bars. It's heartwarming! And not sad or depressing at all. Unless there are some scenes like that.
Have you ever wished you had a super duper microchip in your head that gave you access to, like, all information ever? You'd never lose your keys! Josh Holloway ("Lost") plays a guy who has that microchip, but he has to do spy stuff. Darn it. We know he's a very serious smart guy, because Holloway cut off that long, luxurious blond hair he had on "Lost."
It's a feel good comedy from Chuck Lorre! And after all the "Two and A Half Men" drama, he probably needs a feel good comedy. While Lorre may not be a selling point for everyone, the stars of this show might be: Anna Faris and Allison Janney.
I've always had a soft spot for Mork, but Robin Williams can be a small doses kind of personality. The good news is that in CBS' new sitcom "The Crazy Ones," he has the acerbic sensibility of Sarah Michelle Gellar to keep him in line. The two play a father-daughter team in the world of advertising.