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HBO’s The Third Day Is a Riveting Psychological Thriller and a Stunning Showcase for Jude Law

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Jude Law paces on a bucolic road, shouting into his phone about money and police. He hikes through sun-dappled woods, cues up “Dog Days Are Over” by Florence + the Machine, sits down next to a waterfall, sobs operatically for a while, then gently places a child-sized striped T-shirt in the bubbling river and watches it float away. On the way back to his car, he stumbles upon a teenage girl and a younger boy, arriving just in time to see her hang herself from a tree branch and her companion run off into the forest. He saves the girl’s life and drives her home, to Osea Island, whose eccentric residents are preparing for a festival. If you’ve seen The Wicker Man, you can probably guess that things only get weirder once they arrive.

Yet for all its familiarity, The Third Day, an eerily beautiful psychological thriller co-produced by HBO and Sky UK that will premiere Sept. 14 on HBO, rarely comes across as derivative. Creators Felix Barrett (who founded Punchdrunk, the immersive theater company best known for their long-running Macbeth riff Sleep No More) and Dennis Kelly (who created the cult-hit British thriller Utopia) seem keenly aware of the mysterious-island trope. More than a pastiche, their story accesses layers of emotional resonance in centuries’ worth of lore, encompassing The Tempest and The Island of Doctor Moreau as well as more contemporary tales like Lost and Shutter Island.

Law, a classically handsome movie star who’s been one of the most fascinating actors alive since coming to TV for the title role in Paolo Sorrentino’s deeply bizarre HBO drama The Young Pope, is the perfect choice to play a character that contains multitudes. The protagonist of the first half of the six-episode series, subtitled “Summer,” Law’s Sam finds himself stuck on Osea, a real island off the coast of England whose causeway is submerged at high tide. The couple that operates the local pub (a creepily folksy Paddy Considine and his prickly wife, played by Emily Watson—a veteran of Lars von Trier’s mysterious-island masterpiece Breaking the Waves) insists he stay overnight, but Sam discovers the room he’s been assigned is already occupied by a woman (the always-great, perennially under-appreciated Katherine Waterston). Reality, dreams, substance-induced delirium and possible psychosis start to blur together. The third day of this adventure—as chronicled in an episode for which Law’s disoriented, often solo and silent performance, deserves an Emmy nomination—truly is a doozy.

L-R: Nico Parker, Charlotte Gairdner-Mihell and Naomie Harris in ‘The Third Day’

Liam Daniel/HBO

To say much more about the plot would detract from the sense of confusion the show creates—one grounded enough in the characters’ consciousnesses to build suspense rather than cause frustration. “Summer” director Marc Munden (another Utopia alum and a British TV stalwart) renders Sam’s journey in startlingly bright, overexposed color, fixating on details that mingle natural beauty with death and decay: a metallic-orange dragonfly whose exoskeleton bursts to reveal swarming ants; a cute rodent with its gut slit open, surrounded by its own slick, neatly extracted, ruby-red organs. Filmed from above, luxuriant shots of the winding causeway flooded with pale turquoise water are like National Geographic photos.

The second half of the miniseries, “Winter,” is also set amid the inscrutable community on Osea. Along with a new main cast, led by Moonlight Academy Award nominee Naomie Harris, this story has a different director, Philippa Lowthorpe (The Crown, Call the Midwife)—although the frosty, gray seasonal backdrop might deserve more blame than the cast and crew for its initial tedium. In any case, the action picks up toward the end of the first hour. My take on “Winter” may also be lacking some crucial narrative context; its airing will be preceded by “Fall,” billed as a “live theatrical event” broadcast on the Internet that will follow Law and his cast mates through a day on the island in real time. This, ostensibly, is where Barrett’s expertise comes in.

Much of the project’s success is riding on “Fall”—in terms of its artistic execution as well as the number of viewers it attracts, and for how long. (Then again, has there ever been a better year to catch millions of us at home all day in search of entertainment? I’ll certainly be watching, and especially with theaters closed, fans of live performance are sure to be intrigued.) And after five episodes I’m worried the show’s finale, which wasn’t sent to critics, won’t have room to adequately resolve its most ambitious themes: grief, parenthood, spirituality, the darkness lying dormant within the human soul. A Lost-level disappointment seems at least as likely as a bonkers Wicker Man show-stopper. Still, on the strength of “Summer” and in anticipation of the experiment in hybrid storytelling that is “Fall,” The Third Day more than earns the benefit of the doubt.

Contact us at letters@time.com.

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RHOBH Star Garcelle Beauvais Says Jamie Foxx Is ‘Hung Like A Horse’ As Their Podcast Interview Gets HOT!

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Jamie Foxx is a whole lotta man — too much for Garcelle Beauvais, apparently!

On the most recent episode of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star’s podcast, Going to Bed with Garcelle, the actress reunited with her former co-star for a chat that got VERY intimate.

As fans know, Foxx and Beauvais played love interests Jamie and Fancy on The Jamie Foxx Show on the WB network from 1996 to 2001. While their on-screen chemistry was undeniable, the pair made a pact that they wouldn’t date until after they stopped filming — but Beauvais was in another relationship by the time production wrapped. Now they’re each other’s one that got away… Awww!

During the podcast episode, however, it became clear there was another reason Garcelle decided to never shoot her shot with the Oscar winner: she was apparently intimidated by his humongous d**k!

Related: Lisa Vanderpump Shades Teddi Mellencamp After Her RHOBH Firing!

The conversation got steamy after the pair talked about how the Ray star used to shade the men that the Bravolebrity chose to date — including her short-lived relationship on the most recent season of RHOBH. Foxx shared as Beauvais laughed:

“I seen you with the dude, you introduced me — ‘This is my man,’ and it was all uncomfortable.”

Garcelle then noted that Jamie “never really [gave] any guy that I’m with any real attention,” to which the 52-year-old actor replied:

“Ever. I hate them all. I think me and you should have been together. So every time I see them, I’m always like, ‘Damn. I f**ked up.’ So every dude, I be like — I give them a really s**tty look.”

Garcelle quipped:

“I feel it, and they feel it.”

The conversation got even hotter from there, with Jamie joking that he and Garcelle “are in a relationship forever,” which prompted the actress to say:

“Forever, no matter what. You know what I always say? Kandi Burruss was on the podcast and she goes, ‘You know, I don’t get it. Why aren’t you and Jamie together?’ And I said, ‘Well, you know, we have a really great relationship now.’ And then I said, ‘He’s also hung like a horse. What would I do with all of that?!‘”

Ha! We’re sure Katie Holmes could give you some pointers, gurl!

Jamie then replied jokingly:

“You take it one step at a time. What you can’t eat, just put in a doggie bag and save it for later.”

Genius!

He continued on a serious note:

“I don’t know, it’s a tough thing when it comes to relationships, because you’ve got to find something, I think, that’s someone that you can really understand and be yourself with, especially in our business because it’s an up and down thing… And there’s a lot of emotions that people don’t understand. Somehow, being a celebrity, they feel like you’re not human, and we do have things that are afforded to us or rewarded to us because we are [celebrities]. But on the inside, we’re still the same people from Texas or from Haiti. We’re still the same people. And that’s so hard, but it has to be a person that really understands. And that’s been tough.”

Aw, now we wish they would get together! But it does sound like they’ll always have a place in one another’s… well, heart anyway! Ha!

[Image via WENN]

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Cannes Critics’ Week Winner Laura Ferrés Sets Up Feature Debut at Fasten Films, Le Bureau (EXCLUSIVE)

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Director of 2017 Cannes Critics’ Week short film winner “The Disinherited,” Laura Ferrés will direct her awaited feature debut “The Permanent Picture,” which is a co-production between Barcelona-based Fasten Films and Le Bureau, based out of Paris and London.

International sales will be handled by The Bureau Sales, the sales arm of the French-British label.

A sort of “depressing comedy” – according to Ferrés – “The Permanent Picture” follows middle-aged Carmen, a casting director whose world collapses when her boss retires and the production company she works for takes a dramatic turn. Carmen will be forced to participate in a campaign for a corrupted party.

Selected by Variety as a Spanish talent to track, Ferrés studied at Barcelona’s prestigious Escac film school. She developed her feature debut script at the Next Step Program, a workshop created by Cannes’ Critics’ Week, The TorinoFilmLab and the Moulin d’Ande screenwriting support program.

“The feature will question the promises of personal fulfillment through work, as well as the construction of our present through politics and its images,” said Ferrés, who found inspiration for her feature debut in her years working as a casting director in the advertising sector.

Aki Kaurismäki, Jacques Tati, Karen Ade’s “Toni Erdmann” and Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll’s  “Whisky” were inspirations for the film’s deadpan comedic tone, she added.

“What’s amazing in ‘The Disinherited’ is how Laura explored deep issues in a very simple way, and also with humor and affection and string visual concepts which may define her idea of cinema,” said Adrià Monés at Fasten Films the company behind David Ilundain’s “One for All” and Justin Webster’s “The Prosecutor, the President and the Spy.”

Le Bureau productions include Jessica Hausner’s “Little Joe” and Andrew Haigh’s “45 Years.” The Bureau Sales handles more than 600 titles including Celluloid Dreams’ and Rezo Films’ libraries.

Agnés Piqué,  the cinematographer of “The Disinherited,” will re-team with Ferrés on her feature debut.

Cast is still to be determined. Shooting is scheduled to begin next year.

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Michelle Obama & Jennifer Lopez Bond Over Virtual Learning

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Michelle Obama and Jennifer Lopez may be two of the most famous women in the world, but at home, the powerhouse women are known simply as “mom.”

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, they’re able to do a lot more hands-on parenting than their normally busy schedules would allow. In a new Instagram video about the importance of getting out and voting in the upcoming election, the two women discussed the upside to having their kids at home while attending school virtually. 

“Things are confusing, not quite safe,” Michelle admitted about how her two daughters – Malia, 22, and Sasha, 19 – cannot return to their college campus. “I’m just glad they’re staying put, even if they’re sick of me!”

Malia is currently studying at Harvard University, while Sasha attends the University of Michigan. 

Jennifer, whose children Emme and Maximilian, 12, are in 7th grade, said that she also feels lucky she can keep her kids close. 

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