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A Better Life

  • Caryn James
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    Clooney vs. Dujardin: Can Subtlety Ever Win The Best Actor Oscar?

    The Oscar for best Actor doesn't usually reward subtlety. Look at the past two years: Colin Firth won last time around for his stuttery role in The King’s Speech, while the year before his infinitely more nuanced and better performance in A Single Man lost to Jeff Bridges’ roaring dr...

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  • Caryn James
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    Top Oscar Surprises: Gary Oldman and Demian Who?

    The awards season zooms ahead now that the Oscar nominations have been announced. What didn’t we see coming? And what were those voters thinking? Never mind; a pointless question. Here’s a look at the biggest surprises and how they change the race.

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  • The Playlist
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    'The Help' & 'The Artist' Lead The Field At Screen Actors Guild Awards Nominations

    In the seventeen years that they've been running for, the annual Screen Actors' Guild Awards have proven to be a pretty reliable precursor for the acting categories at the Academy Awards. And why shouldn't they? With the actors who nominate their peers for the Oscars overwhelmingly being...

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  • The Playlist
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  • The Playlist
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    Weekend Box Office: 'Cars 2' Continues Pixar Formula, 'Green Lantern' Plummets

    The numbers on “Cars 2” don’t actually matter, except for the stat-hounds regularly following the weekly box office noise (us!). “Cars 2” exists to facilitate Disney’s biggest merchandising cash cow, a multi-billion (annually!) property that needs no further justification. As Pixar seems like a stud...

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  • The Playlist
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    In Theaters: 'Cars 2' Races 'Bad Teacher' To The Finish Line

    The box office arms race of 2011 continues this weekend, as we all recover from the sight of Ryan Reynolds' green CGI suit. This weekend, two contenders enter the ring. In one corner, we have the tried-and-true bread and butter, the consistent money maker, loaded with high end talent and a brand to back it up, not to mention merchandising out the wazoo-- yes, it's Pixar's "Cars 2." And in the other corner, we have the underdog, the newcomer with a loud-ass bark and still questionable bite, the promising but not yet proven genre, the raunchy lady comedy, "Bad Teacher." Two will enter, and one will exit with its tail between its legs, the shatt...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'A Better Life' Is Uneven, But A Well-Intentioned & Modest Human Story

    Sincerely rendered, modest and at times, a little too simplistic, Chris Weitz's "A Better Life," is neverthless a labor of love and a quiet, well-intentioned examination of family, father-son relationships and immigration issues in the U.S. Chalk it up to guilt. No, not white guilt, franchise guilt. After delivering two back-to-back rather bankrupt genre tentpoles (the polar bear coke commercial, anti-religion campaign "The Golden Compass" and the vacuous "Twilight: New Moon") director Weitz pulls a full 180 with his small-scale humanist drama, and he's a better man (and filmmaker) for it. If only every empty and tentpole obsessed director fe...

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  • The Playlist
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  • The Playlist
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    'Green Lantern,' 'Drive,' 'A Better Life' Lead New Los Angeles Film Festival Additions

    Guillermo Del Toro Announced As Guest Director, Will Premiere "Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark'Considering it's the world center of the movie industry, it's surprising that historically speaking, Los Angeles never really had a film festival to rival the likes of Cannes, Venice and Berlin. But a quarter ...

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  • The Playlist
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    Watch: Moving Trailer For Chris Weitz's Low-Key Indie Drama 'A Better Life'

    After spending some time in the tentpole world directing "The Golden Compass" and "Twilight: New Moon," director Chris Weitz has shifted gears for his next film, turning in a low-key drama that, from the first trailer debuted by 24 Frames, looks to be a winner.

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