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  • The Playlist
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    Jessica Chastain Reportedly To Star In 'Incendies' Director Denis Villeneuve's Adaptation Of Russell Banks' 'The Darling'

    2011 certainly seems to be actress Jessica Chastain’s lucky year, as she had a series of fine performances in parts both big and small in acclaimed films ranging from “The Help” to Terrence Malick’s “The Tree Life.” Throw in turns in the apocalyptic “Take Shelter” and director John Madden’s thriller “The Debt,” and it certainly feels like it’s been the breakthrough year for Chastain’s up-and-coming career.

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  • The Playlist
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    Watch: Michel Gondry Swedes 'Taxi Driver'

    Remember sweding? The trend that was hot for all of five minutes in the wake of Michel Gondry's underrated "Be Kind Rewind" found folks doing lovely, lo-fi remakes and sequels to their favorite movies, and that spirit also informs his upcoming, mysterious sci-fi movie (of sorts) "The We And The I." But Gondry has found time in his schedule to knock out another sweded movie, and it's pretty great.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    James Earl Jones To Receive Oscar Micheaux Awards from Chicago Film Critics Assoc (..and some trivia as well)

    When the Chicago Film Critics Assocation present their 2011 CFCA Film Awards for their choices for the best in films and performances this year on January 9th, they will also present actor James Earl Jones with their inaugural Oscar Michaeux Award in tribute for his decades long body of work.

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  • Hope for Film
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    Auteurs vs Collaborators

    When I talk to filmmakers and industry people alike this year, there has been a new emphasis on collaboration. People are trying to find new ways to work together. With this collaboration comes a new way of looking at ownership and authorship. It is no longer always "my film" but is evolving into "our project". I even hear it in how filmmakers speak of those who watch their films -- in some cases "audiences" are expanding into "community". Yet for all that speak, I don't encounter all that action.

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  • Press Play
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    SLIDE SHOW: The best TV shows of the year

    We’re living in some kind of new Golden Age of scripted TV, and this year’s best offerings were amazing. I decided to be rigorous and restrict myself to just 10 entries. It wasn’t easy. These 10 picks represent what I think were the most creative and consistently satisfying scripted comedies and dramas that aired on American TV during 2011. If I’d expanded the list to account for shows that were somewhat more erratic but that produced terrific individual episodes, this list would have had 30 or maybe even 40 titles on it. If anybody’s curious, I may post the expanded list in the comments section.

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows—movie review

    As one who couldn’t stand the first Guy Ritchie-Robert Downey, Jr. 'Sherlock Holmes' movie, I didn’t mind this one so much. For one thing, I knew what I was in for: more rapid-fire Downey wisecracks and meaningless disguises, more attention-getting, gimmicky action scenes. But at least it doesn’t look as if every major background has been painted on a computer screen. Better yet, Holmes is pitted against a worthy foe,

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol—movie review

    Unlike most movie series, this one has actually improved with each new installment since its debut in 1996; the last one, directed by J.J. Abrams, reinvigorated the concept, while this fourth entry—which the studio seems to want to downplay as a 'Mission: Impossible' film, given the tiny typeface they’re using in its ads—is the best yet, a breathtaking, globe-trotting action yarn that pulls out all the stops.

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Carnage—movie review

    Carnage seems to be a pretty good movie, but I have no way of evaluating it without comparing it to the play on which it’s based, 'God of Carnage', which I saw on Broadway with a perfect cast (James Gandolfini, Marcia Gay Harden, Jeff Daniels, and Hope Davis). This isn’t fair to the picture—or to viewers who come to it with a clean slate—but I simply couldn’t erase the memory of that theatrical experience as I watched the film,

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  • The Playlist
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    Robert Redford Teams With 'Margin Call' Director J.C. Chandor For Man Vs. Nature Tale 'All Is Lost'

    The story of J.C. Chandor in 2011 can be described in two words: slow burn. He hit Sundance in January to unspool his financial crisis drama "Margin Call" where it received very good, but not quite ecstatic reviews. But something curious happened. This fall, that very good word out of Park City started to turn into serious awards season buzz, and while the major awards have eluded him, Chandor and his film earned a handful of nods from various guilds, with "Margin Call" striking a chord in more than one critic. Well, he's caught the eye of the Sundance Kid himself and together they're going to embark on an adventure.

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  • The Playlist
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    Watch: Bryan Singer Plants Some Beans, Grows Trailer For 'Jack The Giant Killer'

    Well, you can't say that Bryan Singer's "Jack the Giant Killer" isn't delivering what the title implies. Yes, it's a movie based on the classic fairy tale, for better or worse, and this first trailer promises a movie somewhere between the ridiculounsness of "Mirror Mirror" and the awesomeness of "Snow White and the Huntsmen."

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