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  • The Playlist
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    The Essentials: The 5 Best Tilda Swinton Performances

    Tilda Swinton is a pretty unconventional kind of movie star. The daughter of a Scottish Major-General, and one-time classmate of Princess Diana, she got her start in acting in experimental theater and the Royal Shakespeare Company, before going on to become a muse of British iconoclast Derek Jarman. Over time, she's featured in performance art (including sleeping in a glass box in the Serpentine Gallery in London for a week), worked with fashion designers, founded a traveling film festival in the Scottish Highlands, and even appeared on an album by pop eccentric Patrick Wolf. She's even become tabloid fodder in recent years, thanks to her unusual home life; she's married to painter John Byrne, but simultaneously maintains a relationship with a German artist named Sandro Kopp. Not exactly Julia Roberts, right?

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Watch: Viola Davis & Adepero Oduye Are "Nefarious Icons" In New Awards Season Performance Promos

    "A video gallery of cinematic villainy, inspired by nefarious icons and featuring the best performers from the year in film."

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    More: Watch Now
  • The Playlist
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    Review: Forget About Your Heart, 'New Year's Eve' Just Wants Your Money

    If you've managed to make it through two hours of "New Year's Eve" with the idea that it's about anything more than box office returns and home entertainment bank, Warner Bros., New Line and director Garry Marshall are more than happy to set you straight. In a largely unfunny series of credits bloopers, Jessica Biel's character gives birth to twins, and she couldn't be happier to have "Valentine's Day" pop out of her vagina in both DVD and Blu-ray formats (on sale now!). We're not naive enough to imagine that studio films are purely about artistry (and not cynical enough to think that it's never present), but we wish those behind "New Year's Eve" had at least pretended they were trying to entertain us while they rummage through our pockets for loose change.

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  • Caryn James
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    Emma Roberts Spoofs "Dragon Tattoo" on Funny or Die

    Whether you can’t wait to see Girl With the Dragon Tattoo or are really tired of all those teasing Rooney Mara photos (just release the film already) here’s a great temporary substitute: Emma Roberts and Joe Manganiello (Alcide the werewolf from True Blood) in Girl With the Tramp Stamp Tattoo.

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  • Press Play
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    Press Play video series MAGIC AND LIGHT: THE FILMS OF STEVEN SPIELBERG to debut Dec. 15, 2011

    Press Play is proud to announce our first video essay series in direct partnership with IndieWire: "Magic and Light: The Films of Steven Spielberg." Set to premiere Dec. 15, 2011 on this blog, this series will examine facets of Spielberg's movie career, including his stylistic evolution as a director, his depiction of violence, his interest in communication and language, his portrayal of authority and evil, and the importance of father figures -- both present and absent -- through

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  • Shadow and Act
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    African Diaspora International Film Fest 2012 - Review Of Psychodrama "David is Dying"

    When I think of a character being diagnosed with a terminal illness in a movie, especially HIV/AIDS, I think of sorrow. I expect to see the illness take center stage, to spend the rest of the film rooting for the victim to overcome whatever physical and personal obstacles lie ahead, and to weep when he or she finally passes (think Philadelphia, And the Band Played On, Rent, even Precious). Maybe it’s because HIV/AIDS has become such an epidemic within the black community, or because of the way it’s typically portrayed on film. But when I recently attended the NYADIFF screening of David is Dying, the second feature film by UK director Stephen Lloyd Jackson, it quickly became clear that this wasn’t going to be a typical HIV-themed film, and that David was definitely not a typical patient.

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  • The Playlist
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    Rest Easy, People Of Earth, Director Tom Hooper Says ‘Les Miserables’ Won’t Be In 3D

    For those of you who have been greatly concerned that Tom Hooper's upcoming big screen version of "Les Miserables" will be filmed with an extra dimension, you can breathe a sigh of relief. The BBC is reporting (because, really, who else would care?) that while director Hooper, who we've all been trying to forget beat David Fincher for the Best Director Oscar last year, was "very tempted" to use the new technology, his 'Les Mis' will be incredibly flat. Yes, that was a joke.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Meryl Streep & Phyllida Lloyd Talk The Iron Lady

    Watch Meryl Streep and director Phyllida Lloyd talk "The Iron Lady" at this post-screening Q & A, held December 6 at NYC's Director's Guild. THR's Scott Feinberg moderated the conversation. Streep says "to capture how someone speaks is to capture them." Asked what she wants people to get from this film, Streep says she wishes that everybody that got on the subway and sees an old lady would realize that "a whole huge life lay beind all those wrinkles and those seemingly non-descript, forgettable [women]. There is nothing less exciting in our consumer society than an old lady, [but] the whole panoply of human experience is in there, to just imagine that--that's what I would hope [when people watch this film]."

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Awards Circuit: Octavia Spencer Gets PSIFF Breakthrough Performance Award; Dujardin and Bejo Share SBIFF Cinema Vanguard Award

    Film festivals play a key role in highlighting Oscar contenders during this crowded and noisy awards season. The Santa Barbara International Film Festival will honor "The Artist" actors Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo with their Cinema Vanguard Award on February 4. The award recognizes "an actor who has forged his/her own path - taking artistic risks and making a significant and unique contribution to film." Past winners include Christoph Waltz, Vera Farmiga and Ryan Gosling. SBIFF's exec director Roger Durling states: "In an age of sight and sound spectacle, there is great risk in a silent film. Jean and Bérénice's acting is an amazing pas des deux both physically and emotionally - recalling classic Hollywood pairings like Hepburn and Tracy, and of course indelibly Ginger and Fred." Dujardin notes the rest of the film's ensemble -- James Cromwell, John Goodman, Penelope Ann Miller, Missi Pyle and Malcolm McDowell --and adds, "This award is just as much for them as it is for us.”

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  • The Playlist
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    Daniel Craig Says Writer's Strike "Fucked" 'Quantum Of Solace' & He Rewrote Scenes With Marc Forster

    There's no doubt about it, Daniel Craig is one of the best actors to have ever worn the 007 mantle. And as the lead in the "Casino Royale," an entry which in many ways revitalized the franchise and brought it kicking and screaming into the 21st century, Craig gave us the grittiest take we'd seen on the world famous spy yet. That was followed up quickly with "Quantum of Solace" two years later, and to put it kindly, it was a much lesser effort.

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