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The Playlist

Telluride Review: Jean-Marc Vallée’s ‘Wild’ Starring Reese Witherspoon

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • August 30, 2014 12:51 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Wild Reese Witherspoon
In the summer of 1995, 26-year-old Cheryl Strayed decided to walk the entire length of the Pacific Crest Trail by herself without having ever having attempted a serious hike in her life before. Following the death of her mother and after years of dissolute self-destructive behavior, Strayed found herself divorced, alone, lost and on a frayed edge of personal despair. Desperately trying to find here humanity and reclaim an ideal self, she impulsively set out, ill-equipped and inexperienced, to find herself on an unpredictable and gruelling odyssey from the Mojave desert through California to Oregon over the course of over 150 days.

Telluride Review: 'The Imitation Game' Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley And More

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • August 30, 2014 11:58 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Imitation Game
In 1941, brilliant Cambridge mathematician Alan Turing was hired by the British military to break an infamous and seemingly unbreakable Nazi code called Enigma. Leading a group of misfit cryptanalysts, logicians and wunderkind minds, Turing directed the operation of code breakers to crack Enigma and win the war. But for Turing, this victory came at a terrible expense.

Telluride Review: Jon Stewart's 'Rosewater' Starring Gael Garcia Bernal

  • By Chris Willman
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  • August 30, 2014 11:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Rosewater
The category of Iranian prison movies with feel-good endings is a small subgenre, and one that "Rosewater" is likely to have all to itself for the near future. With his feature film writing and directing debut, "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart clearly wanted to make a people-have-the-power message picture that would resonate at least as much with American youths as longtime students of political repression in the Middle East. That transparent desire to make the material as accessible as possible to U.S. moviegoers — starting with the old-fashioned notion of having all the Iranians speaking to each other exclusively in English — results in a sometimes overly slick take on potentially tough subject matter. For better or worse, torture-themed films don’t get too much easier to take than this one.

Venice Review: David Gordon Green's 'Manglehorn' Starring Al Pacino, Harmony Korine, Chris Messina And Holly Hunter

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • August 30, 2014 8:43 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Manglehorn
A bees nest beneath a mailbox. A boat bedecked in copies of a photograph. A cat who’s swallowed a key. A mime, a buffet, an earthquake, a multi-vehicle car accident inexplicably strewn with smashed watermelons. David Gordon Green’s slow, indulged but fathomless “Manglehorn” contains all of these motifs and more, sometimes playing out in double exposure, sometimes woozy slow motion, often counterpointed by Al Pacino’s husky gravelly narration. It should all be a terrible mess, and certainly it’s a less accessible film than the genre-tinged “Joe” or the sweetly straightforward “Prince Avalanche.” But it’s also fascinating, to those of us willing to let its meditative currents take us, a mosaic of moods, mysteries, magic and melancholy. And all anchored by a quietly assured central performance that may be among the most atypical of Pacino’s career, but is also one of his best.

Venice Review: Barry Levinson’s ‘The Humbling’ With Al Pacino And Greta Gerwig

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • August 29, 2014 7:17 PM
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  • 1 Comment
The Humbling
"Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything" is a line from Shakespeare's description of the final stage of life made famous in the "All the world's a stage" monologue from "As You Like It." It is quoted early on in Barry Levinson’s incoherent adaptation of what is by most accounts a substandard Philip Roth novel, “The Humbling,” clearly marking the film's themes of aging and the diminishment that comes with it. But "toothless, sightless, bland and empty" could also serve as a harsh but pretty accurate description of the film itself: a missed opportunity that squanders the talents of a pretty stacked cast and jeopardizes the audience’s patience and care for its spoiled characters for too long.

Watch: 3-Minute Supercut Retrospective Commemorating Best Picture Oscar Winners Of 1980s

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 29, 2014 5:05 PM
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  • 0 Comments
1980s Best Picture Winners
Over the next weeks, on screens in Venice, Telluride, Toronto and New York, dozens of film will starting the journey that they will hope will end with the top prize: a Best Picture Oscar win. There can only be one, which means the race will be fierce, and few will survive, so before the madness begins (though some would argue it already has), let's take a look back a few decades to see the movies that captured the imagination of awards voters and audiences.

'Underworld' Will Rise Up Again With A Reboot

  • By Cain Rodriguez
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  • August 29, 2014 4:04 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Each successive Spider-Man movie has earned less at the box office than the previous entry, calling into question the theory that audiences want more of the same. Despite this, THR reports that Lakeshore Entertainment has decided to go down a similar path and reboot the “Underworld” series.
More: Underworld

Watch: First 2 Clips From Venice/TIFF Drama 'Far From Men' Starring Viggo Mortensen

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 29, 2014 3:33 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Far From Men, Viggo Mortensen
There is no shortage of serious movies hitting the festival circuit this fall, but only one of them boasts the distinction of being based on the short story "L'Hôte" by Albert Camus. That's right, the philosopher's work is behind the latest from writer/director David Oelhoeffen, and with "Far From Men" hitting both Venice and TIFF in the next couple of weeks, two new clips are here to go with the trailer that landed a week ago.

Watch: Take A Dip With A New Clip From 'The Humbling' With Greta Gerwig And Al Pacino

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 29, 2014 2:33 PM
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  • 4 Comments
The Humbling
What are you doing this long, Labor Day weekend? Having a BBQ, marathoning some of Bill Hader's 200 movies every comedy writer should see, or perhaps you're putting your feet up and taking a breather before school kicks in. Well, if you happen to be by a pool, perhaps you'll relate to his new clip from "The Humbling," premiering at the Venice Film Festival this week.

How Many Have You Seen? Read Bill Hader's List Of 200 Movies Every Comedy Writer Should See

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 29, 2014 2:09 PM
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  • 14 Comments
Naked Gun Annie Hall Big Lebowski
Here's a fun fact about Bill Hader you might not know: he's a major film buff. Yep, the "Saturday Night Live" veteran likes his Criterion Collection movies as much as the next cinephile. His knowledge rolls pretty deep, and now he's sharing his love of cinema in a unique way.

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