Rapper J.cole has paid tribute to a black teenager killed by a police officer in Missouri by releasing a new song dedicated to him. Darren Wilson shot unarmed Michael Brown, who was suspected of stealing a box of cigars from a suburban St. Louis store, on 9 August (14), and the incident has sparked a series of tense protests between African-Americans and civil rights leaders and officials in the state.
As Governor Jay Nixon, President Barack Obama and Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson join forces in a bid to end days of violence, hip-hop star Cole has released Be Free to voice his frustrations with the deaths of African-American men in the U.S.
In a post on his website, Dreamvillain.com, he writes, "That coulda (sic) been me, easily. It could have been my best friend. I'm tired of being desensitized to the murder of black men. I don't give a f**k if it's by police or peers. This s**t is not normal. I made a song. This is how we feel."
Cole is not the only celebrity to speak out about the incident in Missouri - John Legend, Kerry Washington and Mark Ruffalo have voiced concerns over the treatment of protesters by police following the shooting.
Legend took to Twitter.com to voice his opinion, writing, "I believe these cops are intentionally trying to inflame the situation. They want an excuse. Recall the local cop telling those 'animals' to 'bring it' on (news channel) CNN... He wants a fight.
"Calling us 'animals' has been the language to justify slavery... Dehumanization and racism go together."
Meanwhile, R&B star Frank Ocean took to Tumblr.com to comment on an image of Governor Nixon standing in front of a black woman as he addressed the slaying of Brown and wrote, "You see that black woman standing up there? I wonder if she was called to stand behind the governor because she’s black. I wonder if i’m supposed to think Missouri’s gov’t is pro-black because of her being stood up there with those other black men being all black and everything. I wonder if she was off the clock while she stood up there... then i wonder if she was getting paid for her time off like the guy who shot Michael 8 times."
Actress Jill Whelan has filed for divorce to end her 10-year marriage. The Airplane! star, 47, has cited irreconcilable differences for the split from Michael Chaykowsky.
She is seeking spousal support and full legal and physical custody of their son Grant, who turns eight on 1 July (14), reports TMZ.com.
Whelan has another son, named Harrison, from her first marriage to Brad St. John.
Picturehouse via Everett Collection
If you've ever seen Marion Cotillard in a film and asked yourself, "Is that the same actress from ____?" we are here to help. As the French film star-turned-American film star is preparing for the upcoming release of The Immigrant — her highly-anticipated film with Joaquin Phoenix and Jeremy Renner — we look back at 10 of her many amazing performances and attempt to rank them. This is a near-impossible task when they're all so brilliant, and Cotillard has taken on a myriad unforgettable characters over the years. For those not entirely familiar with the name, here are 10 reasons to get to know her, and for her biggest fans, feel free to disagree and share your own ranking in the comments.
10. Public Enemies
In the 2009 film from director Michael Mann, Cotillard played John Dillinger's lover, Billie Frechette. She beat out a slew of American actresses to play the singer/waitress who stole the outlaw's heart.
9. Little White Lies
In the fantastic French comedy directed by her partner Guillaume Canet, Cotillard delivers a memorable performance as Marie. After a good friend is critically injured, she and a group of pals have a complicated and drama-filled vacation during which Marie smokes pot, takes a lover, and offers true support to the ones who need it most. It's a rebellious sort of character that we often see Cotillard playing, but it never gets old.
8. A Very Long Engagement
Another beloved French film star takes the lead in this one, but even alongside Audrey Tautou's standout performance, Cotillard holds her own as Tina Lombardi. She gives a thrilling performance as a vengeful prostitute, taking down the men responsible for her lover's death. Her story functions as a great parallel to Audrey's character Mathilde, who is also searching for answers about her missing lover, but goes about it in a far less violent way.
7. Midnight in Paris
"You have just about one of the best faces ever" — truer words were never spoken. Cotillard as Picasso's lover and muse (Adriana) is probably one of the most perfectly cast roles. She embodied all of the nostalgia and Parisian enchantment we associate with this amazing film.
As the wife of Italian filmmaker Guido Contini, Cotillard slays all in this epic revenge, burlesque scene that took her out of her housewife role and brought her back to the stage. The film adaptation of Maury Yeston's musical centered around a host of talented actresses as Guido's women — Penélope Cruz, Kate Hudson, and Nicole Kidman all delivered strong performances. But it's Cotillard as Mrs. Contini who manages to cut her husband down and bring the director to his knees.
5. The Dark Knight Rises
Moviegoers everywhere got the shock of their cinematic lives back in 2012 when Cotillard, initially thought to be the sweet and lovely philanthropist Miranda Tate, revealed herself as the daughter of Ra's al Guhl. That slow knife, and the story of her childhood escape from hell on earth made her one of the most excellent villains we'd ever met.
After her role in Christopher Nolan's Oscar-winning film, Cotillard finally started to become more of a household name for American audiences. She shocked, swayed, and frightened us as Mal -- a woman, a dream, a projection of the subconscious of her husband, protagonist Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio). Stuck between reality and limbo, her haunting and violent presence brought much of the tragic beauty to this powerful narrative.
3. Love Me If You Dare
Over 10 years ago Cotillard found love on the film set of Love Me If You Dare. She and Guilluame Canet now have a little boy together, but they started out in a brilliantly dark story about young love and a game of dare gone terribly wrong (or terribly right, depending on how you like your film endings).
2. Rust and Bone
A troubled boxer and an orca trainer who suffers a terrible accident develop an intense bond in this dark and brilliant tale based on the short stories of Craig Davidson. In one of her finest hours, Cotillard plays Stéphanie and her onscreen transformation from one type of woman, to another, to another is thrilling to witness. Her powerful chemistry with Matthias Schoenhaerts (who also delivers a knockout performance) makes the film a heartbreaking, spectacular experience in love, pain, and family.
1. La Vie En Rose
As amazing as she has been in all of these other performances, nothing compares to Cotillard's turn as beloved French singer and performer Édith Piaf in the 2007 biopic La Vie en Rose. The actress became the first to win a Best Actress Academy Award for a French-language role, as the powerhouse performance simply could not be compared to anything else that came out that year. Cotillard was unrecognizable as Piaf, and brought to life one of the most compelling true stories of our time.
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An overzealous Jodie Foster fan who attempted to assassinate former U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1981 has been given conditional release from a mental institution.
John Hinckley, Jr. was confined to St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, D.C. in 1982 after he was found not guilty by reason of insanity for the shooting, which left Reagan with bullet wounds to the chest and arm. Three others were also injured, including the leader's press secretary James Brady, who has been paralysed ever since.
The 58 year old had been undergoing psychiatric treatment at the facility for more than three decades, but his attorneys recently told a judge he is in "full remission" from his depression and psychotic disorder, and he has since been allowed to leave the medical centre for 17 days each month to spend time with his mother Jo Ann in Williamsburg, Virginia unsupervised, according to the National Enquirer.
Hinckley, Jr. was motivated to carry out the attack by his obsession with Foster and her 1976 movie Taxi Driver, in which lead character Travis Bickle, portrayed by Robert De Niro, attempts to rescue a 12-year-old prostitute, played by the former child actress. He claimed he wanted to emulate Bickle, who, in the movie, tries to shoot a U.S. senator who is running for president.
Hinckley, Jr. also had a history of trailing Foster around the U.S. and even bombarded her with letters and phone calls in 1980, when she was a student at Yale University in Connecticut.
Pope Francis made papal history on Sunday (27Apr14) as he declared late pontiffs John Paul Ii and John Xxiii saints at a ceremony in Italy's Vatican City. An estimated 800,000 people gathered in St. Peter's Square for the unprecedented double canonisation, which was also attended by Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, who retired last year (13) due to ailing health.
The special occasion marked the first time in the history of the Catholic Church that two living pontiffs had celebrated Mass together in public and presided over the canonisation of two of their predecessors.
Standing on an altar in front of St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis said, "John XXIII and John Paul II cooperated with the Holy Spirit in renewing and updating the church in keeping with her pristine features, those features which the saints have given her throughout the centuries.
"They were priests, bishops and popes of the 20th century. They lived through the tragic events of that century, but they were not overwhelmed by them."
Closing his speech, he added, "We declare and define as saints the blessed John XXIII and John Paul II."
John XXIII passed away in 1963, while John Paul II died in 2005. They were both cleared for sainthood last year (13).
The surviving members of Nirvana played a surprise gig in New York City following their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction on Thursday night (10Apr14), with an all-star roster of rockers filling in for late frontman Kurt Cobain on lead vocals. The iconic grunge band was feted during a ceremony at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic were joined on stage by Joan Jett, St. Vincent, Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon and Lorde for their live performances.
After the show, the band headed to the nearby 350-capacity Saint Vitus venue to pay a surprise gig, performing a 19-song set of Nirvana classics until 4am.
Gordon, Jett and St. Vincent reprised their alternating roles as singer, with Dinosaur Jr. frontman J Mascis and Deer Tick rocker John McCauley also joining the band on stage to stand-in for Cobain, who died in 1994.
Zach Braff's stage adaptation of Woody Allen's 1994 crime caper Bullets Over Broadway has fallen flat with critics. The comedy film, which starred John Cusack and Dianne Wiest, has been adapted for the Broadway stage with Scrubs star Braff in the lead role, but the show failed to impress reviewers when it opened at the St. James Theatre on Thursday night (10Apr14).
The New York Daily News' Joe Dziemianowicz called the production a "bit of a miss", adding, "Allen's showbiz and gangland eccentrics stiffen into cardboard when they're amplified from two to three dimensions... It doesn't help that key actors shoot blanks... Beyond mediocre acting is the poor choice at the center of this jukebox musical."
Charles McNulty of the Los Angeles Times criticises the "coarseness of some of the humour" as well as the actors' performances, while Variety's Marilyn Stasio adds, "Everyone hoped Bullets Over Broadway would be the show to get those flickering Broadway lights blazing again... Surprisingly, though... (it) is feeble on laughs, and certain key performers don't seem comfortable... So, let's call it close - but no cigar."
Ben Brantley of The New York Times also criticised the show, adding, "While the movie was a helium-light charmer, this all-talking, all-singing, all-dancing reincarnation is also all but charm-free... The experience of watching the film was like being tickled, gently but steadily, into a state of mounting hysteria... The musical version... feels more like being head-butted by linebackers. Make that linebackers in blinding sequins."
The Hollywood Reporter's David Rooney concludes by urging theatre fans to rent a copy of the movie instead: "Spend five bucks to rent the delightful movie or north of a hundred to watch its buoyancy get trampled in a strained musical? Not a tough choice."
Dancehall star Vybz Kartel has been sentenced to life in prison following his murder conviction last month (Mar14). The Pon De Floor hitmaker, real name Adidja Palmer, was found guilty of killing former associate Clive Williams in August, 2011 and, on Thursday (03Apr14), Jamaican judge Lennox Campbell handed down the sentence.
Palmer is ineligible for parole until he serves 35 years behind bars.
The reggae star's lawyer has vowed to appeal the ruling, accusing prosecutors of presenting fabricated evidence in the case.
The drama is far from over - Palmer still faces charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice relating to the case.
According to a police report, Kartel's protegee, singer Vanessa Saddler, and an associate, Andre Henry, filed a fabricated statement accusing Williams of robbing her at knifepoint five days after Palmer was charged with his murder. Officials claim they have evidence indicating that Palmer instructed Saddler to report the robbery.
His associates Shawn Campbell, Andre St. John and Kahira Jones have also been sentenced to life imprisonment for their part in the murder at the end of Jamaica's longest trial. The fourth co-accused, Shane Williams, who is charged in another murder case, was found not guilty.
Actor Bill Murray treated fans in Florida to a special performance as he took to the stage on Friday (28Mar14) to sing a series of cover songs. The Ghostbusters star had been taking part in his annual Murray Brothers Caddyshack Charity Golf Tournament, in which he is pitted against his siblings and other putters on the golf course to raise funds for good causes.
After the event, he headed to the Caddyshack Restaurant in St. Augustine, which he co-owns with brothers Brian, Joel, John Andy and Ed, and decided to provide the night's entertainment.
Murray belted out classic hits including Gloria by Van Morrison and House of the Rising Sun by The Animals in front of the cheering crowd during a 45-minute performance.
Police in Jamaica have increased security details around the prosecutors involved in the Vybz Kartel murder trial amid fears of revenge attacks. The dancehall star was found guilty in March (14) of the murder of his former associate Clive Williams in August, 2011.
Jamaica's Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Paula Llewellyn now reveals the country's police force has increased the level of protection around her office, with the case's lead prosecutor Jeremy Taylor and his junior Leighton Morris being provided with security.
Llewellyn declined to reveal the details of the protective measures, but said they would remain in place until law enforcement officials decide they are no longer necessary.
The Gleaner newspaper quotes Llewellyn as saying, "They will remain in place until I am advised by the police authorities that they are no longer required... The welfare of my staff is paramount."
The main prosecution witness in the trial, and Williams' sister Stephanie Breakenridge, are already in protective custody.
Pon De Floor hitmaker Kartel, who was found guilty alongside associates Shawn Campbell, Kahira Jones and Andre St. John, is due to be sentenced on 27 March (14). A fourth man, Shane Williams, was acquitted.
In 2013, Kartel was cleared of the murder of a businessman in 2011.