CELEBRITY EX­TRA

The Oakdale Leader - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Cindy Elavsky

Q: I’ve seen pre­views for a new, live-ac­tion “The Lit­tle Mer­maid.” Is there any­thing you can tell me about it? It looks re­ally good! -Jeanette F. in Florida

A: You can catch the fan­tasy drama -- which stars Wil­liam Mose­ley, Poppy Dray­ton, Shirley MacLaine and Gina Ger­shon -- in the­aters now. I spoke with Poppy, who plays Elizabeth, the mer­maid, and she told me all about it: “It fol­lows the story of a young man called Cam and his lit­tle niece Elle. He’s an in­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist, and he goes to a town in Mis­sis­sippi to find out more about this heal­ing wa­ter. In the process, he dis­cov­ers a circus where a mer­maid, Elizabeth, is be­ing held cap­tive -- an evil lord has caged her soul and her spirit. It’s all about their at­tempt to res­cue her and set her free.

“It’s a re­ally beau­ti­ful, beau­ti­ful story, and Blake Har­ris, who’s the writer and direc­tor, wrote a beau­ti­ful script that im­me­di­ately cap­tured the hearts of all of us in­volved. The power of be­lief is in­cred­i­ble, and if you can try to not al­low your mind to get con­fused or bogged down by things and keep a child­like won­der for the world, hope­fully mag­i­cal things will hap­pen.

“There’s a lovely quote by Ron Wild that says, ‘Seek the wis­dom of the ages, but look at the world through the eyes of a child.’ That quote re­ally cap­tures what the movie’s about.”

*** Q: Is there any news about an­other sea­son of “Doc­u­men­tary Now!”? -Scott H., via email

A: The hi­lar­i­ous Fred Ar­misen/Bill Hader mock­u­men­tary series pre­mieres its seven-episode third sea­son on Feb. 20 at 10/9c on IFC. One in­stall­ment I am par­tic­u­larly look­ing for­ward to is the seg­ment that stars Os­car-win­ning ac­tress Cate Blanchett. She stars in a take­off of the much-lauded 2012 doc­u­men­tary “Ma­rina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present.”

The episode, which is ti­tled “Wait­ing for the Artist,” fol­lows Iz­abella Barta (played by Cate) as she “pre­pares for a ma­jor ca­reer ret­ro­spec­tive.” Iz­abella also is rec­on­cil­ing with her for­mer lover Dimo Van Omen (played by Fred Ar­misen), who is an in­fa­mous fig­ure in the art world. Other guest stars this sea­son in­clude Taran Kil­lam, John Mu­laney, James Ur­ba­niak, Richard Kind, Paula Pell and Re­nee Elise Golds­berry.

*** Q: Are Matt Da­mon and Ben Af­fleck go­ing to col­lab­o­rate on any­thing soon? It’s been a while. -Jack F., via email

A: Yes, they are. Fox re­cently bought the story rights to the McDon­ald’s Monopoly game scan­dal that hit the news a few months back, wherein an ex-cop rigged the game and al­legedly stole more than $24 mil­lion, which was shared among him­self and fel­low co-con­spir­a­tors. Ben is at­tached to di­rect and Matt will star in the big-screen adap­ta­tion of “How an Ex-cop Rigged McDon­ald’s Monopoly Game and Stole Mil­lions” by Jeff Maysh, de­tail­ing the years­long heist that sur­prised the na­tion when the news was first pub­lished in July in “The Daily Beast.”

Write to Cindy at King Fea­tures Weekly Ser­vice, 628 Vir­ginia Drive, Or­lando, FL 32803; or e-mail her at let­ters@cindyelavsky.com.

Photo credit: Photo cour­tesy Poppy Dray­ton

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