The Playlist

Alexander Payne Calls 'Downsizing' His "Epic Masterpiece"; Says 'Nebraska' Could Be In Color For TV

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 18, 2011 7:26 AM
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But Says 'Downsizing' May Have To Wait Two More FilmsNot only is Alexander Payne back with his first feature film in seven years, "The Descendants," he's once again going to be one of the major players of the awards season. Moreover, he doesn't intend for there be another lengthy gap between pictures. He's already putting the pieces together for his low budget, father/son road trip drama "Nebraska." Granted, his aim to deliver the film to theaters in black-and-white means that Paramount is only giving him $10 million to play with, and greenlighting the film will be contingent upon getting a major star to sign on (Gene Hackman, Robert Forster, Jack Nicholson and Robert Duvall are some of the candidates being tossed around). However, as he begins to navigate the press gauntlet in the run up to "The Descendants," Payne spoke with Thompson On Hollywood and revealed that his long absence from movie screens was due to the "time suck" of his long gestating project "Downsizing" -- something he still hopes to make -- and that he's willing to play ball with the studio and deliver a color cut of "Nebraska," if required, for television.

LFF '11 Review: Nasty Nordic Thriller 'Headhunters' Doesn't Have The Courage Of Its Convictions

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 18, 2011 7:07 AM
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  • 1 Comment
For fans of the crime genre, both on the page and on the screen, Scandinavia has been the hottest source of new material in recent years (although obviously not literally). Steig Larsson's Millennium trilogy was a huge bestseller worldwide, and has already provided three Swedish films and David Fincher's upcoming remake "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo," while Kenneth Branagh has had great success on TV as Henning Mankell's "Wallander," and Danish series "The Killing" proved a huge hit at home and in the U.K, and was remade on AMC under the same name.

LFF '11: 'The Queen' Scribe Peter Morgan Says He's Not Necessarily Done With Tony Blair Yet

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 18, 2011 7:03 AM
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  • 1 Comment
'360' Writer Tells Us Freddie Mercury Biopic Is Waiting For Sacha Baron Cohen, Motor Racing Won't Be Focus Of Ron Howard's 'Rush'Exclusive: Getting two Oscar nominations in two years tends to make your inbox a little fuller than it was before, so it's no surprise that picking up nods in 2007 for "The Queen" and 2009 for "Frost/Nixon" has made Peter Morgan one of the busiest screenwriters around. The British director has since worked with Tom Hooper and Clint Eastwood, as well as penning Fernando Meirelles' latest, "360," which opened the BFI London Film Festival last week.

Watch: Not Everyone In Hawaii Is Relaxed In New Trailer For 'The Descendants'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 18, 2011 6:01 AM
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For anyone who has been to Hawaii, you know that the laid back attitude of the locals, while at first disarming, quickly becomes infectious. Falling into the rhythms of the island is pretty easy, but for Matt King, our hero of Alexander Payne's "The Descendants," that Hawaiian charm doesn't come easy.

VIFF '11: Paddy Considine's Directorial Debut 'Tyrannosaur' An Uneven Portrait Of A Damaged Man

  • By Erik McClanahan
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  • October 18, 2011 5:59 AM
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  • 3 Comments
The opening scene of “Tyrannosaur” is a real belter. Through near whiplash-inducing cross cuts, we are introduced to a night in the life of Joseph (Peter Mullan) as he drinks heavily and stews with unfettered rage on a barstool (and back at home with a sawed-off wood baseball bat that looks like a leftover from the “Gangs of New York” props department). Then he does something really awful: he kills his dog. He doesn’t necessarily try to do this; it’s more the product of his excessive drinking, nasty temper and hateful, cynical outlook on the world. But he still did it, and the audience will never forget this for the remainder of the film.

Michael Moore & 'The Dark Knight Rises' Inspired By The Occupy Wall Street Protests

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 18, 2011 5:25 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Despite (some of) the mainstream media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street protests painting the participants as a bunch of unemployed, left wing socialists who hate America, for anyone who has actually been down to Zuccotti Park (or to the various places where demonstrations have been taking place worldwide), they know that it's a remarkably wide ranging group of people. From teenagers to the elderly, with parents bringing their young children to see free speech in action, it's pretty inspiring stuff to witness first hand and it seems Hollywood is taking notice, albeit in some completely different ways.

Review: 'Miss Representation' Exposes An Ugly Truth That Needs To Be Seen

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • October 18, 2011 5:01 AM
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  • 11 Comments
It’s no shock to anyone who has turned on the TV, read a magazine, spied a billboard or surfed the internet that media representations of women are problematic at best. At worst, they are a both a symptom and cause of a troubled society reaching a tipping point in its relationship with sex and violence onscreen. This is the thesis set out by “Miss Representation,” a searing documentary directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, an actress, activist, and wife of California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom. This film, born out of anxiety about the world she was bringing a little girl into, and inspired by her past struggles in life, configures itself as a sort of “An Inconvenient Truth” of sexism in the media. Cutting together talking heads interviews with media experts, professors, actresses, and heads of state with truly shocking statistics, and a barrage of rapid fire images culled from advertising, film and TV, the amount of information and sheer scope of this project is almost too much to bear.
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Anne Hathaway Joins ‘Les Miserables’ As Fantine

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 18, 2011 4:12 AM
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  • 8 Comments
Rumored since the end of the summer, we can now say it's official: Anne Hathaway has joined the star-studded cast of Tom Hooper's "Les Miserables."

Sean Durkin And Elizabeth Olsen Discuss The Optimism At The Heart Of 'Martha Marcy May Marlene'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • October 18, 2011 4:06 AM
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  • 1 Comment
From the mind of Sean Durkin, “Martha Marcy May Marlene” is an unsettling and stunning experience (check out our Sundance review). The film follows the dual narrative of Martha (Elizabeth Olsen), a young girl who becomes absorbed into a small cult community, only to escape to the confines of her sister’s lake house. As we see both parts of this story run parallel, we discover that Martha may not be ready to assimilate back into society, as she quarrels with her sister and her sister's husband, unable to understand what could be considered a “right” way to behave. Meanwhile, we also are given a window into her life on the cult commune led by the creepily magnetic Patrick played by John Hawkes.

James Cameron Tours Future Site of 'Avatar' Land In Disney's Animal Kingdom

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • October 18, 2011 3:59 AM
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  • 6 Comments
When it was announced almost a month ago today that Disney would partner with James Cameron to bring the seventies prog-rock album cover world of "Avatar" to its various international theme parks, beginning with Florida's Animal Kingdom park in 2014, the news was met with some confusion and a healthy dose of skepticism. Why would Disney, which has a whole host of franchises and properties that could easily be outfitted for the parks, seek an outside partner? And would the appeal of "Avatar," even with two sequels in the pipeline, continue for decades to come (a necessity given the expense and expansiveness of the project)?

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