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Drama

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    Now and Then: In Two 'Steel Magnolias,' the Times Are Not A-Changin'

    The first thing one notices about "Steel Magnolias" (Herbert Ross, 1989) is the hair. Truvy's Beauty Shop overflows with tight-rolled pastel curlers and foot-high teases, held in place by enough hairspray to commit arson -- a style so far out of fashion it seems historical, as rococo as Marie Antoin...

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    Now and Then: Olivier and the Bard

    "I can smile, and murder while I smile," confides that notorious noble, Richard, Duke of Gloucester (Laurence Olivier), "and frame my face to all occasions." For Olivier, pronouncing "frame" like "feign," it's an auspicious beginning. In Shakespeare's words, he finds his performer's credo.

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    Now and Then: Hitchcock's Bad-Ass '40s Brunettes Were the Lead-Up to Those '50s Icy Blondes

    My favorite words in the movies come from the dusky, sultry opening minutes of "Rear Window" (1954), as Grace Kelly's New York socialite glides through L.B. Jefferies' (James Stewart) dim apartment, switching on the lights. "From top to bottom," she announces herself. "Lisa." Flick. "Carol." Flick. ...

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    Trailer Watch: Phillip Noyce's Malaria Drama 'Mary and Martha,' Starring Hilary Swank and Brenda Blethyn UPDATE

    UPDATE: A new teaser trailer has landed for Australian director Phillip Noyce's "Mary and Martha," starring Hilary Swank and Brenda Blethyn as mothers who form a bond over the loss of their sons to malaria. Watch below.

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    Now and Then: In 'For Ellen,' the Many Faces of Paul Dano

    Put a quarter in the jukebox and the rocker Joby Taylor (Paul Dano) transforms. His loping gait diffuses into trance, a manic, writhing riff on his stage persona. It's a conversion experience of sorts, fittingly enough: "For Ellen" is a tale of many metamorphoses.

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    Now and Then: The Dardenne Brothers' Lost Boys

    From the first minutes of "The Kid with a Bike," marked by an energetic shot of its young protagonist, Cyril, careening through a field and climbing over a fence, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne's latest is an exercise in kinesis. It's not just that Cyril's always running: he's running away.

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    Now and Then: The Soul of Netflix's New Series? The BBC's 'House of Cards'

    "Lilyhammer," Netflix's first foray into original programming, failed to generate sustained attention when it premiered last year. One suspects this won't be true of its star-studded second attempt, "House of Cards," debuting Friday. Except Netflix's latest isn't so novel after all: its animating fo...

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    WikiLeaks Drama 'The Fifth Estate' Kicks off with Director Bill Condon and Benedict Cumberbatch

    Production of "The Fifth Estate" has kicked off with director Bill Condon at the helm. The material is certainly heavier than Condon's "Twilight" films, as it stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange and Daniel Brühl as Daniel Domscheit-Berg in the controversial story of Wikileaks' early days...

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    Now and Then: A 'Zero Dark Thirty' Piece That's (Mostly) Not About Torture

    We are Maya. That's the first thought that comes to mind about Jessica Chastain's tireless, obsessed CIA analyst in "Zero Dark Thirty," a "motherfucker" who's been chasing Osama bin Laden for twelve years — nearly the same length of time as this country's impossible war.

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    Now and Then: 'Justified' and the Anti-Antihero

    Tony Soprano. Dexter Morgan. Walter White. Television's latest "Golden Age," on cable and in the ancillary afterlife, is full of men who break bad. Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), the U.S. Marshall at the heart of "Justified," may not be squeaky clean, but he's a saint by comparison — and the key ...

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