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  • Spout
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    For Your Consideration: "The Lady" Trailer

    Luc Besson's "The Lady," which I caught in Toronto last month, is an okay biopic about Aung San Suu Kyi, a Burmese political leader and winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize (which she couldn't accept in person given she was imprisoned, under house arrest, in Burma at the time). It's Oscar bait, for sure, but I don't see the Academy taking too much notice, unfortunately. I was really, really hopeful for Michelle Yeoh's portrayal, especially given that no Asian woman has been nominated for Best Actress since 1935, when Indian-born Merle Oberon was recognized for "The Dark Angel." Yeoh is good in the role, though she isn't given enough to do that could be considered Oscar-worthy. She has very few powerful moments.

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  • The Playlist
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    Contest Giveaway: 'Submarine' DVD & Book The Movie Is Based On

    Coming hot off TIFF in 2010 and continuing that buzz right through to Sundance earlier this year, "Submarine" is one of the most talked about independent films of the 2011. Taking its cues from Lindsay Anderson, the French New Wave and even a tiny bit of Hal Ashby for good measure, the energetic, endearing and charming film about a fifteen-year-old-boy who wishes to lose his virginity and prevent his parents from divorcing, is a confident feature debut from director Richard Ayoade and is powered by strong turns from Craig Roberts and Yasmin Paige.

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Treasures Of The West—dvd review

    Preserving rare old films is crucial, but the National Film Preservation Foundation believes it’s just as important to bring them to the widest possible audience. That’s why its Treasures from American Film Archives series is so valuable. Treasures 5: The West gathers an exceptionally wide range of films from 1898 to 1938, including early documentaries, promotional shorts, home movies, newsreels, cowboy yarns, and Hollywood feature films. Together they give us a compelling look at how the real West was depicted in the early 20th century, and how the mythicized West captured the public’s imagination.

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  • The Playlist
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    Hugh Jackman Trained With Sugar Ray Leonard & More You Need To Know About 'Real Steel'

    When “Real Steel” trailers first surfaced earlier in the year, it was difficult to know what to make of the robot boxing film. With Michael Bay’s triple feature letdown of the “The Transformers” trilogy and the unavoidable similarities between "Real Steel” and the kitschy Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em robots of yesteryear, how could this be anything more than another piece of disposable pop entertainment?

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  • The Playlist
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    Helen Hunt & Maggie Grace Join Samantha Morton & Christina Hendricks In 'Decoding Annie Parker'

    Here's a fairly strong cast conjured up for a small indie we've heard nothing about until now. Veteran Helen Hunt, Emmy-winning "Breaking Bad" star Aaron Paul and former 'Lost' star Maggie Grace will all star alongside Samantha Morton and Christina Hendricks in the feature directorial debut of producer Steven Bernstein, the indie-dramedy "Decoding Annie Parker."

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Johnny Depp Will Take The Stupid Money, Thanks--And Will Promo Rum Diary at Columbia, LACMA

    Johnny Depp will take the money, thank you very much. “Basically, if they’re going to pay me the stupid money right now, I’m going to take it,” he tells Vanity Fair in their November issue. He's more flattered by compliments from Keith Richards on his singing in Sweeney Todd, and enjoys the "stimulation to the brain," but his paychecks (his Pirates franchise tally is in the $350 million range) are "for the kids" at this point. "It's ridiculous, yeah, yeah. But ultimately is it for me? No."

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  • The Playlist
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    Little-Known Ambyr Childers Books PTA's 'The Master' & Ruben Fleischer's 'Gangster Squad'

    It's an early sign of talent to watch out for when little-known actors manage to score roles in major, highly anticipated films. Going by that theory then, Ambyr Childers -- best known for her stint as Colby Chandler on "All My Children" -- is definitely someone to keep an eye on after nabbing a part in Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" and now joining Ruben Fleischer's "Gangster Squad."

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  • The Playlist
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    Elisabeth Shue & Abigail Spencer Join Curtis Hanson's Newly Named 'Of Men And Mavericks'

    "Of Men And Mavericks"? Really? We're not sure we dig the title change given to Curtis Hanson's surfing pic formally known simply as "Mavericks" -- it makes it sound like an English lit movie -- but there is no denying the talent on board.

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  • The Playlist
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    Toby Kebbell Joins Brit Marling, Ellen Page & Alexander Skarsgard In 'The East'

    There may be no sign of their first collaboration, "The Sound of My Voice," appearing in theaters yet -- the disappointing box office take of "Another Earth" probably means a rethink in marketing -- but that hasn't stopped Fox Searchlight, writer/star Brit Marling and director Zal Batmanglij from planning another venture. Marling and Batmanglij, who have been riding high since their cult thriller dropped at Sundance, sold a new script to the indie label earlier in the year, and they've been busy filling it with all kinds of rising stars in the last few weeks.

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  • The Lost Boys
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    On December 2, 2011...

    The two greatest performances of the year (of course only as far as I'm concerned) will be released in theaters. Fox Searchlight has announced that Steve McQueen's "Shame" will begin its limited release on December 2, 2011, the same day that Oscilloscope gives Lynne Ramsay's "We Need To Talk About Kevin" its Oscar qualifying run. These two films - both of which I saw at TIFF a few weeks ago - totally blew me away in large part due to their epic lead performances in Michael Fassbender and Tilda Swinton. Both are clearly being situated for Oscar nominations, but that's truly besides the point. Whether the Academy rewards them or not, these are inarguably two of the greatest actors working and they are both at the top of their game here. They share this incredible knack for choosing role after role that continues to show seemingly endless versatility. And there's also considerable parallels between the films themselves. Both take on serious, often overlooked topics in contemporary U.S. culture: teen violence and the idea that a bond between mother and child are not always inherent in "Kevin," and sex addiction and the hypersexuality of the internet era in "Shame." Oddly enough, these fine cinematic examinations of America today are almost entirely thanks to a bunch of folks from the U.K. Both films are U.K. productions, and Ramsay, McQueen, Fassbender and Swinton - two Scots, a Brit and an Irishman - make up their directors and stars. Hopefully December 2nd leaves enough room for both to find audiences, but either way the audiences that do find them are in for a treat...

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