When Angelina Jolie made her directorial debut in 2011 with the Bosnian War romance "In the Land of Blood and Honey," reviews were middling to respectable, though the film was still dismissed by many critics as a sort of noble vanity project. (The Golden Globe voters didn't help it much by handing it a shamelessly celebrity-courting Best Foreign Language Film nod.) But Jolie -- as in pretty much all her ventures -- is proving herself to be pretty serious about her directing career.
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Welcome back to Cannes Check, In Contention's annual preview of the films in Competition at next month's Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off on May 14. Taking on different selections every day, we'll be examining what they're about, who's involved and what their chances are of snagging an award from Jane Campion's jury. Next up, the third Canadian director in the lineup: Atom Egoyan's "The Captive."
Fast National ratings for Friday, May 2, 2014.
Posting a big 22 percent week-to-week gain among young viewers, "Shark Tank" led ABC to an easy Friday win among young viewers, while "Blue Bloods" was up over last week and led CBS to an overall rout.
In short: Business as usual.
There was some Friday variation, though. NBC's "Hannibal" was up for the third straight week, though once again basketball preemptions in the Portland market mean that these numbers are inflated.
On the negative side, "Hart of Dixie" was low for The CW, as was "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" FOX's "Kitchen Nightmares" was also on the low side.
On to the numbers...
And then the Beauty Tribe was gone.
Had the Beauty Tribe been functional, perhaps they could have made a go of things after the Merge. They made the Merge with four players, same as the Brawn tribe, one more than the Brain tribe. And when Sarah was blindsided post-Merge, Beauty had a plurality and theoretically could have bonded with anybody to take power.
With no particular unity, though, the Beauty tribe failed to mount any sort of strategy. First, Morgan went out without a whimper. Then L.J. was blindsided. Then Jeremiah knew he was doomed.
Finally, on this week's "Survivor: Cagayan," Jefra Band became the last Beauty castaway sent packing, blindsided by Tony, who feared that a gender-based alliance might be the only thing that could halt his paranoid scurry to the million.
Jefra, who previously expected elimination and then was spared after Kass flipped, faced her torch-snuffing with a smile.
In her exit interview, the two-time Miss Kentucky runner-up discusses her tribe's early demise and what it says about "beauty" as a "Survivor" attribute. She explains her end-game strategy and why she stuck with Tony, rather than trying to blindside him. And she remembers the flood of emotions on the night Kass' flip spared her.
Click through for the full Q&A...
A review of tonight's "Hannibal" coming up just as soon as I build a pig maze...
Embattled L.A. Clippers owner is talking to Barbara Walters and Anderson Cooper
Donald Sterling has set up interviews with both news stars this evening, according to TMZ. UPDATE: Sterling bailed on the interviews, but Walters did speak with his girlfriend, V. Stiviano.
“Green Acres” is getting the movie and possible Broadway treatment
The classic ‘60s sitcom starring Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor is being made into a feature film and is being shopped as a potential stage play on Broadway.
What will the White House Correspondents’ Dinner do to Joel McHale’s career?
Will it lead to his own late-night show or more “Community”?
HBO’s “Vice” renewed for a 3rd season
The CEO of Vice revealed the renewal, saying: ""HBO is going to give me sh*t” for announcing it.
“Everybody Loves Raymond” stars reunite
Ray Romano’s CBS sitcom is being inducted into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame.
Don Rickles: I can’t go on Jimmy Fallon because I don’t play ping-pong
Watch Rickles joke with Letterman about the late-night wars.
Why are TV’s strongest women living in and around Washington, D.C.?
From Olivia Pope to Selina Meyer to Claire Underwood, "there is apparently nothing sexist or old school about painting women as venal, self-serving and manipulative” in the nation’s capital, says Alessandra Stanley.
Showtime's posting of the unedited “Penny Dreadful” pilot online was unusual
Usually, Showtime posts an edited version of season/series premieres on YouTube. But the show wouldn’t work with edits, so YouTube users have had to confirm they are over age 18 to watch the series premiere.
Lego episode shows that “The Simpsons” still has it, at least sometimes
"Brick Like Me,” says James Poniewozik, "shows that 'The Simpsons' can still be inspired, weird, and sincere, when all the pieces fall into place.” PLUS: How “The Simpsons” predicted the Ukraine crisis in 1998.
How to explain Mister Rogers to kids
Are tech-savvy modern kids missing out on Mister Rogers?
Here are 15 women who could replace Craig Ferguson
From Amy Sedaris to Samantha Bee to Aisha Tyler. PLUS: 5 authors relive their fave Ferguson moments.
Marc Maron: I should take over “The Late Late Show” spot
Here’s Maron’s proposed pitch to Les Moonves: "Let's not focus on broad comedy bits and see if we can engage performers and celebrities in intimate and resonant conversation. There wouldn't be a premium on laughs per minute or ridiculous sketches but more on naturally funny moments that can occur in real conversation. And Les would say, 'So wait -- no comedy?’"
Louis CK: “I don’t have a trailer, I just sit in my car”
"I change in my car and I sit in my car,” he says of filming “Louie." "It just seems so absurd to me, living in New York, to have a trailer with a chair and a TV. It’s ridiculous.”
Cristina Yang deserves a better “Grey’s Anatomy” ending
Such a complicated character shouldn’t get an arbitrary fairy-tale ending. PLUS: “Grey’s” stars say goodbye to Cristina Yang.
Maya Rudolph wants her variety show to capture the spirit of “The Muppet Show”
She’s hoping to capture The Muppets’ playful quality on her own variety show.
Here are 5 web series that could become the next “Broad City”
From “Little Horribles” to “Ghost Ghirls.”
Adam West recalls how “Batman” was good for color TV sales, but DC Comics wasn’t initially sold on the show
"At first, DC Comics didn't much like the fact that we were not serious enough for adults,”
West writes in a column about his “Batman” experience. "However, when they saw their book sales dramatically increase, they began to love us, as did the Japanese color TV manufacturers. They became big fans, of course.”
“Vikings” creator talks Season 3
How many changes will the History series see next season?
Watch the official 50 Cent “Power” trailer
The Starz series follows a nightclub owner who’s also a drug dealer.
Presenting the 40 best cult TV comedies
From “Portlandia” to “Upright Citizens Brigade” to “Not Necessarily the News.”
Now we have some better idea what that was for.
"The Amazing Spider-Man 2" actor -- whose movie opened in theaters today -- appears in the first teaser for Arcade Fire's video for "We Exist." Flashes of Garfield shearing his hair and gripping his head in front of a mirror weave between footage of him nervously walking down the barricaded path that leads to the main stage at the music festival. In the latter scenes, he's wearing a white dress, with a face full of makeup.
Win Butler has said that the song "We Exist," the next single from Arcade Fire's latest album "Reflektor," is about a son telling his father that he's gay. At Coachella, the band sprung into the song with Butler intro'ing: "The right to marry anyone you want is a human rights issue."
We don't know if Garfield's character is trans, or prefers crossdressing, or if he's even the "son" in the song. But it looks like some strong messaging is on it's way.
Arcade Fire's tour and festival dates are below. Garfield hosts "Saturday Night Live" tomorrow night (May 3).
May 02 Atlanta, GA
May 04 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival New Orleans, LA
May 29 Primavera Sound Festival Barcelona, Spain
May 31 Rock In Rio Lisbon, Portugal
Jun 03 Paris, France
Jun 04 Paris, France
Jun 06 London, United Kingdom
Jun 07 London, United Kingdom
Jun 09 Landgraaf, Netherlands
Jun 10 Merksem, Belgium
Jun 12 Norwegian Wood Festival Oslo, Norway
Jun 15 Northside Festival Aarhus, Denmark
Jun 17 Dresden, Germany
Jun 18 Berlin, Germany
Jun 20 Hurricane Festival Scheessel, Germany
Jun 20 Southside Festival Tuttlingen, Germany
Jun 23 Rock In Roma Rome Rm, Italy
Jun 24 Verona Verona, Italy
Jun 29 Dublin Dublin, Ireland
Jul 25 Fuji Rock Niigata, Japan
Jul 30 Mountain View, CA
Aug 01 Los Angeles, CA
Aug 02 Los Angeles, CA
Aug 05 San Diego, CA
Aug 08 Seattle, WA
Aug 09 Squamish Valley Festival Squamish, Canada
Aug 11 Edmonton, Canada
Aug 12 Calgary, Canada
Aug 14 Winnipeg, Canada
Aug 17 Washington, DC
Aug 19 Mansfield, MA
Aug 20 Bangor, ME
Aug 22 Brooklyn, NY
Aug 23 Brooklyn, NY
Aug 24 Brooklyn, NY
Aug 26 Chicago, IL
Aug 27 Chicago, IL
Aug 29 Toronto, Canada
Aug 30 Montreal, Canada
“Grey’s Anatomy” extends 4 longtime cast members
Sara Ramirez, Chandra Wilson, Justin Chambers and James Pickens Jr. have all signed on for Seasons 11 and 12.
Xbox is exploring a possible "Halo" drama series partnership with Showtime
The Steven Spielberg-produced series could end up airing on both Showtime and Xbox, with enhanced interactivity built into the latter platform.
Nat Geo plans a special tribute to fallen “Alaska State Troopers” stars
Next week’s season premiere will feature a tribute to Trooper Gabriel “Gabe” Rich and Sgt. Patrick “Scott” Johnson. "Trooper Gabriel “Gabe” Rich and Sgt. Patrick “Scott” Johnson. "“We are definitely going to do something in our premiere next Thursday to honor their memory,” said a network spokesperson.
Watch the trailer for Starz’s “Outlander”
The time-traveling drama is from "Battlestar Galactica’s" Ronald D. Moore.
Twitter campaign urges CBS to hire Norm Macdonald to replace Craig Ferguson
Macdonald’s Weekend Update successor Colin Quinn is among those tweeting on behalf of Norm: "@cbs If u hire @normmacdonald I promise to be regular guest! #latelatenormnorm.”
After January's Television Critics Association press tour panel for Starz's adaptation of "Outlander," I lamented that we hadn't been given copies of Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling novel for background.
I arrived home a day later and a copy of "Outlander" had arrived at my door, appearing from nowhere as if it had made contact with a mysterious standing stone circle after and even more mysterious pagan ritual.
Marc Webb's "Amazing Spider-Man 2" kicks off the summer movie season today, and I have to say I'm in league with the majority of critics on this one. It's an over-stuffed, seemingly visionless piece of cotton candy that defeats itself every step of the way.
The Weinstein Company has a pretty tight slate of prestige titles this year, a number of them likely set for the upcoming Oscar circuit. And indeed, today we're getting word that three of them are all lined up for prime awards season real estate on the release calendar, setting the stage for another slew of months in the trenches for Harvey and his team.
Kerry Washington welcomes a daughter
The “Scandal” star and her husband, former NFL cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, gave birth to Isabelle Amarachi Asomugha on April 21, just four days after the season finale.
George R.R. Martin: How do you define a spoiler?
"If something happens on the show before it happens in the book, I suppose one could call that a spoiler,” the “Game of Thrones” honcho wrote on his blog. "If something happens on the show, but happens very differently in the books, is that still a spoiler? If something happens on the show, but never happens in books, what precisely was spoiled?"
Every “Louie” episode, ranked
Season 2’s “Niece” was the worst. Which was the best?
“Drop Dead Diva” bringing back Ben Feldman
The “Mad Men” star will make a cameo in the final season.