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Breaking the Silence, Sort Of: Whit Stillman's DAMSELS IN DISTRESS

Wherefore art thou, O Whit Stillman? Though never exactly a blur in motion, the minor auteur managed to generate three hyper-stylized, hyper-talky meditations on manners, morality and money throughout the ‘90s—the last of which, "Last Days of Disco," proved his best known and arguably finest.
  • By Lisa Rosman
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  • April 4, 2012 8:40 AM
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  • 1 Comment

'SHOULD WIN' VIDEO ESSAY SERIES: PRESS PLAY picks the Oscars

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Press Play presents "Should Win," a series of video essays advocating winners in seven Academy Awards categories: supporting actor and actress, best actor and actress, best director and best picture. These are consensus choices hashed out by a pool of Press Play contributors.]  
  • By Press Play Staff
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  • February 7, 2012 6:21 AM
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  • 1 Comment

'SHOULD WIN' VIDEO ESSAY SERIES: Best Supporting Actress Janet McTeer, ALBERT NOBBS

Pretty much all of this year's Best Supporting Actress nominees are great, although a puking, pooping Melissa McCarthy in "Bridesmaids "may not exactly be the stuff of Oscar dreams. Bérénice Bejo offers a charming modern take on a silent film ingenue-turned-star. Jessica Chastain especially can do no wrong as "The Help"'s Marilyn Monroe-style damsel in distress. And in that same film, Octavia Spencer offers a terrific steadying subversion as a maid who won't tow the line. But it is Janet McTeer who should take this award.
  • By Lisa Rosman and Kevin B. Lee
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  • February 7, 2012 5:38 AM
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  • 8 Comments

'SHOULD WIN' VIDEO ESSAY SERIES: Best Supporting Actor Christopher Plummer, BEGINNERS

Almost all the nominees for Best Supporting Actor do terrific work in roles that feel tailor-made to highlight their strengths. Kenneth Branagh's early work as director/star on stage and screen earned him comparisons to Laurence Olivier; he fulfills his destiny by actually playing Olivier in "My Week with Marilyn." Nick Nolte reminds us why he's one of the last great tough guys as the hard-ass recovering alcoholic father in Warrior. Jonah Hill gets the MVP award as a baseball-loving numbers cruncher in "Moneyball." And in "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close," Max von Sydow gives a master class in "less is more." But Christopher Plummer does something extra in "Beginners."
  • By Aaron Aradillas & Kevin B. Lee
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  • February 7, 2012 5:33 AM
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  • 3 Comments

OSCARS 2012: PRESS PLAY contributors argue for their favorites

After last week’s announcement of this year’s Oscar nominees, a handful of Press Play contributors gathered together via email to discuss the highs and lows in some of the major award categories. Below are some of the highlights of the conversation, and as always, we encourage you to keep the discussion going.
  • By Press Play Staff
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  • February 1, 2012 7:27 AM
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  • 21 Comments

OSCARS REVISITED, 1981: REDS

It’s not shocking that a film like Reds was never made again. It’s shocking that at some point in American history, such a film was made at all.
  • By Lisa Rosman
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  • January 30, 2012 2:28 PM
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  • 0 Comments

LISA ROSMAN: MY WEEK WITH MARILYN pleases while it lasts

These days, you can scarcely hit a Cineplex without tripping over at least one biopic, a phenomenon I chalk up to the same one that makes reality TV so proliferate: people tend to thrill over the idea that anything really happened, like, ever. But as thrilling as some human lives may be conceptually, rarely do any produce a satisfying narrative arc.
  • By Lisa Rosman
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  • November 23, 2011 3:58 AM
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  • 1 Comment

LISA ROSMAN: Lars von Trier's MELANCHOLIA is a masterpiece

Lars von Trier is not a brother who provokes a neutral response: there are those who feel he can do no wrong, and then there are naysayers like me. Although I consider Dancer in the Dark one of the best movies of the last decade, I swore I’d never sit through another of his films after suffering through the school-play machinations of Dogville. A guy who so unilaterally criticizes America without ever having stepped foot on its soil deserves a similar boycott, I declared.
  • By Lisa Rosman
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  • November 16, 2011 3:40 AM
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  • 3 Comments

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