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Review: Absorbing, Deeply Intelligent 'Olive Kitteridge' Starring Frances McDormand, Richard Jenkins, Bill Murray & More

10 hours ago

This is a reprint of our review from the 2014 Venice Film Festival. "Olive Kitteridge" debuts on HBO on November 2nd.  So that’s that then—the best film at the Venice Film Festival, in terms of providing a great central female role (which have been in shocking short supply, at least in the selection we’ve seen so far), is not a film at all. It’s the subtle, sublime, Lisa Cholodenko-directed, 4-hour HBO miniseries “Olive Kitteridge,” and the performance in question come from Frances McDormand, who achieves such a perfect, uncompromised synthesis with the title character that it’s difficult to imagine anyone else ever answering to the name. Quite apart from the show itself, which is sensitively directed by Cholodenko, cleverly written by Jane Anderson, beautifully shot by Dp Frederick Elmes, and immaculately performed by its large ensemble, especially the incredible Richard Jenkins, the meta narrative of »

- Jessica Kiang

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Watch: Explore The Science And Romance Of 'The Theory Of Everything' With New Clip, Featurette & More

10 hours ago

It might be advisable for Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones to stock up on a dozen or suits and dresses, because the way things are going with "The Theory of Everything," they're going to have a lot of awards season dinners and parties to attend. Today we have some good peeks at the movie that will be making a serious run at the Oscars. Directed by James Marsh ("Man On Wire"), the biopic tells the story of renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, and his deep romance with fellow Cambridge student Jane Wilde. Their love is complicated by his life changing diagnosis of motor neuron disease at 21 years of age. But working with Jane by his side, Stephen defied the odds, and made breakthroughs in science and medicine that resonate to this day. In the clip below, you can see his genius on display early on. A featurette (via Entertain This!) goes behind, »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Review: Amnesia Thriller 'Before I Go to Sleep' Starring Colin Firth & Nicole Kidman

11 hours ago

Apparently "Before I Go to Sleep," a disastrous amnesia thriller starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman, was based on an internationally best-selling novel. It has been translated into 40 languages and racked up blockbuster numbers in France, Canada, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, and the United States. (And this was writer S.J. Watson's debut novel.) Released in 2011, it was one of those word-of-mouth smashes that never quite captured the zeitgeist the way a crossover phenomenon like "Gone Girl" or "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" did, yet still permeated the culture to a noticeable degree. After seeing the adaptation (and, assuming that said adaptation was fairly faithful), the question arises: How? And also: Why? The story is so poorly-plotted, nonsensical, and misogynist that it's hard to imagine one person liking this material, much less millions of literate book lovers. "Before I Go to Sleep" starts off promisingly enough. Kidman plays a woman »

- Drew Taylor

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Casting: Nicole Kidman Is A 'Lion,' Naomi Watts, Susan Sarandon & Elle Fanning Span 'Three Generations' & More

12 hours ago

Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel will come together for an adaptation of Saroo Brierley's "A Long From Home." Titled "Lion," the movie follows "a street kid from Calcutta (Patel) who is taken in and adopted by a couple in Australia." So, "Slumdog Suburban-aire"? Garth Davis ("Top Of The Lake") will direct, with Luke Davies (Anton Corbijn's "Life") penning the script. [THR] "A Better Life" star and Oscar nominee Demian Bichir will star in "Low Riders." Ricardo de Montreuil will direct this "inspirational youth culture movie" about "a teen caught between his traditional father, to be played by Bichir, and the teen’s estranged gangbanger brother, who are both competing in the annual lowrider 'Supershow.' " Bonding. [Variety] Once set to star Anton Yelchin and Megalyn Echikunwoke, "Vincent & Roxxy" will now be led by Emile Hirsch and »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Interview: Jake Gyllenhaal Talks ‘Nightcrawler,’ Robert Elswit As One Of The Movie's Stars & Rooting For Unlikable Characters

12 hours ago

Rising to greet you with firm eye contact and a hearty handshake, Jake Gyllenhaal temporarily shows all the courtesy and intensity his "Nightcrawler" character Lou Bloom burns with for the duration of the film. Unlike Lou, though, the formalities, once accomplished, fade into the background as the actor talks, with his enthusiasm about writer-director Dan Gilroy's journey through nocturnal L.A. interrupted only by easy laughter. He's put back on some of the weight he lost to portray Lou's feral stare, but when he talks about his character's nature and needs, his eyes flash with recollected intensity. We spoke with Gyllenhaal in Los Angeles. Where does Lou come from in you? Is it something you reach for, is it something you build up out of prior experience ... The word was the guide, you know? The word was definitely the guide here, at the beginning; I had an initial response »

- James Rocchi

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First Look At 'Pride And Prejudice And Zombies' Is Big On Bonnets & Swords

12 hours ago

As "Terminator: Genisys" learned yesterday and today, people put a lot of stock into first look photos. And so, if you're going to present the premiere image of your period genre movie, you might want to spice it up a bit. Especially when it's called "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies." Anyway, the first pic from EW simply highlights the quintet from Jane Austen's novel—Elizabeth (Lily James), Lydia (Ellie Bamber), Mary (Millie Brady), Jane (Bella Heathcote), and Kitty (Suki Waterhouse)—though in addition to the expected bonnets, there are some swords. But alas, no undead. And according to James, this kickass take on the novel is in the source material, sort of. “Even in the original story, Elizabeth’s a fighter and beyond her contemporaries in her ambitions and her ideas of women,” the actress said. “She’s a badass warrior. She’s a ninja.” "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Jessica Chastain And Seth Rogen Eyed From Roles In Danny Boyle's 'Jobs' With Christian Bale

12 hours ago

If you're going to star in an Aaron Sorkin written movie, you're going to have to love walking and talking. And talking. And then talking some more. With the screenwriter boasting that his upcoming "Jobs" has "more words to say in this movie than most people have in three movies combined,” cast members will be challenged. But Christian Bale is up for it, taking the lead role of Steve Jobs, and now some more names are in the mix. The Wrap reports that Seth Rogen and Jessica Chastain are being eyed for the movie. The former is under consideration to play Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak, who was portrayed by Josh Gad in that other movie about Steve Jobs that we won't talk about. As for Chastain, no word yet on what her potential role. But we have no argument if either comes onboard, but we have to say, Bale and »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Podcast: The Good, The Bad & The Horror! The Playlist Talks The State Of Scary Movies

13 hours ago

We've nailed the doors and windows shut and searched the Playlist bunker for anything —axes, knives, chainsaws, our laptops— we can use as a weapon. Particularly this time of year, we're under constant threat of bad horror movies. This threat would be almost unbearable were it not for the occasional smart and artfully-made scary flicks that make it onto our screens and then our nightmares (check out the 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far). The invasion began a long time ago, so we've had plenty of time to prepare our best defense: another long-winded, erudite podcast in which we get real and figure out just what it is we're talking about when we talk about the horror genre as it stands right here and now.  Host Erik McClanahan is joined by contributors Cory Everett and Drew Taylor, and we have many concerns. On this episode we discuss: »

- Erik McClanahan

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Joaquin Phoenix Is Soaked In Neon In Movie Tie-In Book Cover For 'Inherent Vice'

13 hours ago

So what should you do while you wait for Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice" to hit theaters? You could check our retrospective feature on his films, or perhaps our ranking of his music videos, or maybe just read our review of his latest film. Or you can catch up with the source material. Penguin Books will release a movie tie-in edition of Thomas Pynchon's "Inherent Vice," and the neon-soaked cover has landed online. And it's fun stuff, with the illustrated design putting elements of the film in Joaquin Phoenix's perfectly unruly expanse of curly '70s hair. We'd reckon there's no such thing as spoilers when it comes to a Pynchon novel, but all the same, this is a noir mystery in its own weird and offbeat way so perhaps know that going in. The book lands on November 26th and the film opens in limited release on December 12th. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Kelly Reilly, Abigail Spencer, And Leven Rambin Headed To ‘True Detective’ Season 2

14 hours ago

With Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, and Taylor Kitsch locking down the dude roles for the second season of "True Detective," it looks it's time for actresses start signing up. Deadline reports that the usually excellent Kelly Reilly ("Calvary," "Flight"), Abigail Spencer ("Suits," "Rectify"), and Leven Rambin ("The Hunger Games," "Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters") are headed to the Nic Pizzolatto created show. Reilly is closing up a deal to join in the role of Morgan, with Spencer and Rambin also pretty much nearing commiting, playing the survivor of a sex attack and someone with a drug problem respectively. Meanwhile, character actor Michael Irby is also landing a role. No official details on their characters, and no confirmation from HBO, but it looks like these rumors are solid. Meanwhile, it seems that Rachel McAdams has taken the lead that was offered, but there's no word from the studio (Irby »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far

14 hours ago

By the pricking of my thumbs, a holiday-themed list feature this way comes. Yep, All Hallow's Eve is almost upon us, and while the temptation to do some kind of "Before I Go To Sleep"-themed feature was a great one, we thought we should put together something appropriately spooky to get you in the mood for tomorrow night's festivities. So, during a break from making our costumes for the annual Playlist Halloween party (popular choices this year: the Babadook, Kevin Feige, Alexander from "Alexander and The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day," box-office receipts for "Sin City 2," a GamerGater), we've been considering the state of recent horror. We're now fifteen years into the new millennium, and while the horror genre is as ever responsible for more dross than most, it's also been an exciting time for scary movie fans, with a new wave of filmmakers emerging from »

- The Playlist Staff

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Interview: Cinematographer Christopher Doyle Talks 'Life Of Pi,' 'Narnia,' Dancing With Nuns And Much, Much More

15 hours ago

Incorrigible rogue Christopher Doyle (who would almost certainly dig that descriptor) is a famously/notoriously brilliant/terrible interviewee, depending on how wedded you are to the idea that interviews should yield even semi-coherent answers or at least stay roughly on the topic of the profession for which the interviewee is well-known. On one hand, as we discovered during our Tokyo International Film Festival interview, refreshingly few are the shits the man gives about pissing off potential employers by questioning the integrity of some of their sacred cows (his prior disses on Oscar wins for "Life of Pi"'s cinematography and "The Departed"'s screenplay are more fully explained below). On the other, his quote machine tendencies can be difficult to corral, and just occasionally one gets the impression, with non-sequiturs about nuns giving him hard-ons and repeated assertions of his non-platonic adoration of womankind (well, the kind who are "tall with. »

- Jessica Kiang

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Stephen Merchant's 'Hello Ladies' Returns To Wrap Things Up With 'Hello Ladies: The Movie' On HBO In November

15 hours ago

Huh. When HBO didn't renew Stephen Merchant's "Hello Ladies" for a second season, we weren't that surprised. The ratings weren't great, and the show itself was a bit one note, diverting enough, but not particularly fresh or original (read our review). But it looks like the comedic saga of a Brit expat making his way in Los Angeles will get a closing chapter. HBO has announced that "Hello Ladies: The Movie" will air on the network on November 22nd at 10 Pm. And once again, it will find Stuart's lack of self-esteem and desire to impress sending him down another misguided path, this time when an ex-girlfriend comes to visit. HBO's press release is below. ----------- Hello Ladies: The Movie, Wrapping Up The Comedy Series From Stephen Merchant, Debuts Nov. 22, Exclusively On HBO              When Stuart learns that his British ex-girlfriend is planning to visit Los Angeles with her husband, he sets. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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TV: 'Game Of Thrones' Cast Signs For Season 7, 'American Gigolo' Series In The Works And More

15 hours ago

The fifth season has yet to air, but it's not a surprise that HBO wants to keep their most popular and lucrative show, "Game Of Thrones," running. The network has just renegotiated their contracts with the cast to include an option for a seventh season (the show is currently confirmed to run at least through season six), with a pay bump for all involved, though with a clear line in the sand between A-tier and B-tier actors. Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau will be the highest paid thesps on the show, with Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), and Maisie Williams on the second rung. A seventh season hasn't been officially given a go-ahead, but barring some kind of disaster, it's likely to happen. [THR] Netflix isn't just making new shows for adults. The streaming »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Jason Reitman Will Produce & Direct TV Series ‘Casual’ At Hulu

16 hours ago

And the exodus continues. Another top-shelf filmmaker, Jason Reitman, is headed to TV. And not to network television or premium cable, but instead to a streaming service, though it’s easy to argue these days that it’s all becoming the same beast: narrative. But one can be excused if it feels like a bit of a retreat. “I just love making movies and I guess there's a part of me that wants to make movies while they still make movies,” Reitman said in a Playlist interview earlier this month when asked why he works at such a quick clip, diving into movie after movie with little break in between. But clearly the filmmaker understands the game is changing and the narrative ground is shifting in exciting new directions. However, Reitman’s latest movie, Paramount’s “Men, Women And Children,” has been a total bomb, even bigger than 2013’s much-maligned »

- Edward Davis

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Watch: 2 Epic TV Spots For 'Exodus: Gods And Kings' Plus Interviews With Ridley Scott, Christian Bale & Joel Edgerton

16 hours ago

Earlier this year, Darren Aronofsky's "Noah" featured an unlikable, zealous lead who saved his family from the flood only to become exiled and drunk for his efforts, while almost managing to murder his daughter in the process. Also: rock monsters. The movie did reasonably well, but we reckon that at least for those who like their Bible stories a bit more familiar, Ridley Scott's "Exodus: Gods And King" looks to tell the tale of Moses with all the notes you know, just with more of a blockbuster flavor. And so today come two new TV spots, and even if they just amount to one minute, they are not lacking in spectacle. The Dead Sea rises, there seem to be various plagues, glossy bronzed dudes yell, and we still have no idea what to make of this movie right now. But it looks like a lot of money was spent, »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Exclusive: Take A Spin With Clip From 'ABCs Of Death 2' Segment 'R For Roulette'

17 hours ago

Just like that, Halloween is upon us. This year, you'll have an entire weekend to get into the ghoulish spirit of things. And among the festivities you have planned, you might want to add "ABCs Of Death 2" to your movie marathon of scare flicks, because the omnibus film, featuring 26 horror shorts, will likely have more than a few segments that will send a chill down your spine. And today, we have an exclusive preview of one of the highlights. "R For Roulette" comes from "Blood Glacier" director Marvin Kren, and it stands out in a few ways. Firstly, it's a period piece, and secondly it's in black-and-white. But perhaps most enticing is the premise, which sees a group of Germans in a basement playing Russian roulette, but as for the exact reason why? Well, we'll let you discover that for yourself, because the twist is pretty great, but in the scene below, »

- Edward Davis

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John Cusack Says L.A. Is Filled With "Vampires," "Desert Crazies, Snake-Oil Salesmen, Carnival Barkers & Fake Spiritualists"

17 hours ago

Yes, that sensation you're feeling is deja vu. It was just last month when John Cusack called Hollywood a "whorehouse" that "eats young actors up and spits them out," and in a new interview with Straight, the "Maps To The Stars" actor once again isn't mincing words about Tinseltown.  "...do you think L.A. gives a shit about people? This town has gotten so vicious. You really have to fend off those vampires,” Cusack stated, going on to add that the scariest thing about the characters in David Cronenberg's movie industry satire, is that they are not so removed from the kinds of folks you're likely to run into in the industry.  “L.A. is a town full of so many desert crazies, snake-oil salesmen, carnival barkers, and fake spiritualists that it’s impossible to spot a real one,” Cusack continued. “The idea is that there’s this need »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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'Terminator: Genisys' Cast Gets Ready For Battle In New Pics

18 hours ago

Yesterday, the first look at "Terminator: Genisys" arrived and fans were not happy. From the smiling Terminator to the generic, glossy blockbuster look, many felt it was a far cry from the more distinct vision James Cameron created in the first two films of the series. And fans were further concerned with the details revealed about the twist being taken with Sarah Connor (though I'd say it's no more or less ridiculous than "X-Men: Days Of Future Past" ret-conning their timeline or any Marvel movie plot, but I digress). And today, here come a couple more images which will surely continue the dismayed chatter. In fairness, most of these images from EW look more like promo images than stills from a finished movie. That being said, Emilia Clarke and Matt Smith armed with guns and yelling isn't exactly the most compelling first look for a movie that is aiming to reinvigorate a diluted blockbuster brand. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Exclusive: Teaser Trailer For Harrowing Prison Doc 'The Life And Mind Of Mark DeFriest'

18 hours ago

The truth is always stranger, and scarier, than fiction, and that's evidenced in the true-life story of Florida prisoner Mark DeFriest. We've got the exclusive teaser for the documentary about him, "The Life and Mind of Mark DeFriest" from director Gabriel London. We caught the film at the L.A. Film Fest this summer, and it's a truly harrowing story, telling the tale of one man inexplicably trapped in the criminal justice system (despite his best escape efforts), confronting those who have kept him there for too long. Our review of the film said, "there’s simply no way to come out of this film feeling that justice exists in any way in this man’s life. It’s a curious, infuriating and haunting tale, and an accomplishment of documentary filmmaking." While it focuses on just one man's odyssey, the film is a damning portrait of the entire misbegotten criminal justice system. »

- Katie Walsh

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