Today's news you might've missed:
Director Liza Johnson's debut film, "Return" hits theaters in a limited release Friday.
The story of a woman who comes back to her Rust Belt Ohio hometown following a military tour of duty stars Linda Cardellini ("Freaks and Geeks" and "ER"), Michael Shannon ("Boardwalk Empire") and John Slattery ("Mad Men"). "Return" premiered in the Directors' Fortnight at last year's Cannes Film Festival.
In the film, Cardellini's character, Kelli, is having a hard time readjusting to civilian life. While she relishes being able to once again enjoy simple things, like pushing her baby in a store shopping cart, relaxing in the backyard and sipping a beer, she's simultaneously detached herself from her loved ones in many ways.
The factory job she held for 12 years is suddenly meaningless. She has trouble concentrating. When her friends prod her for details about her deployment, she non-descriptively tells them there are others who had it worse. And, in an immense credit to the director, the film contains no flashbacks. There is no political agenda.
Here's what Vieira and Cardellini told CNN about the film, produced in part by Meredith Vieira Productions:
Patton Oswalt and Daniel Radcliffe weren't the only ones feeling the burn of being overlooked by the Academy: R&B star Mary J. Blige says she too was disappointed that her song, "The Living Proof" from "The Help," wasn't nominated in the best original song category.
The artist tweeted about it when the nominations were announced, and tells CNN that the snub "hurt because we put our heart and soul into it and we worked really hard."
"You know, I wrote that song from [the] heart," she went on, adding that she's chalking it up to a learning experience. "I believe that God has something better. When something like that happens you just got to look at the bright side and say, 'Something better will come along.'”
With the Oscars just two weeks away, predictions and buzz continue to surround “The Artist,” “The Descendants,” and the feature-film categories. By the time the stars line up at the red carpet on February 26, names like Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo will have become household names.
But what of the often ignored, yet just as important, two short film categories (live action and animated)? On Friday, ShortsHD and Magnolia Pictures will be releasing all the nominated short films across the United States and Canada.
This year, the live action nominees include “Pentecost”; “Raju”; “The Shore”; “Time Freak”; and “Tuba Atlantic,” with the animated shorts including “Dimanche”; “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore”; “La Luna”; “A Morning Stroll”; and “Wild Life.”
CNN spoke with the directors of “The Shore” (Terry George) and “Wild Life” (Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby) about their shorts and the artistic freedom the medium provides.
You knew it was going to be bad news when Sheldon was forced to go on vacation from the university on Thursday night's "Big Bang Theory."
Of course, Sheldon couldn't bear to be away for a whole week, so he snuck into the back of Leonard's car. Leonard promptly turned the car around, once he found out (in the midst of singing along with the Black Eyed Peas, something Sheldon couldn't stand to hear).
Then Sheldon decided he could spend his vacation helping Amy out in the lab. He just loved the sound and smells of a lab as part of his vacation (a vacation which is pretty much from his other lab).
Madge stayed mum when her co-performer, M.I.A., flipped off America during the Super Bowl, but the singer is now speaking out.
In an interview with Ryan Seacrest on his radio show Friday, Madonna said she honestly had no idea M.I.A. had even done it.
"I was really surprised," Madonna tells Seacrest. "I didn't know anything about it."
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