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The Playlist

'Take Shelter' Director Jeff Nichols Talks 'Mud,' Hopes To Have Michael Shannon In Supporting Role

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • September 13, 2011 7:55 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Shannon Studying Ulysses S. Grant And Other Generals For His Zod Role In 'Superman'Things are looking pretty good for Arkansas filmmaker Jeff Nichols. A quick summer shoot for his sophomore offering "Take Shelter" (starring Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain) lead to it being sold to Sony Picture Classics before even playing the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. The quiet, occasionally startling meditation on marriage and fatherhood received rave reviews during its time at both the former festival and Cannes, picking up two prizes from the Croisette on its way out. But Nichols didn't bask in the glory for too long, as he was already busy setting up his third feature, the Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon-lead "Mud."

TIFF '11 Review: 'Friends With Kids' Is, Sadly, A Conventional Look At Unconventional Relationships

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 13, 2011 7:25 AM
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  • 2 Comments
The concept of the nuclear family is now something of an outdated notion. With children now found in a wide array of living situations -- single parents, gay parents, adoptions, etc. -- the "ideal" of a child being raised by a mommy and a daddy is shifting, with a newer idea of just two good parents -- whomever they may be -- being of utmost importance. The film world is slowly beginning to recognize and write stories that reflect the changing times. Of course, "The Kids Are All Right" is one of the best movies to present an unconventional family, while "The Switch" represents what happens when you try to approach this kind of thematic material without anything to say. Jennifer Westfeldt's ("Kissing Jessica Stein") latest effort behind the camera, "Friends With Kids," finds the actress/writer/director oscillating between an intelligent look at modern relationships and a conventional rom-com, to mixed results.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Could Have Played Max Schmeling In Spike Lee's Unproduced Joe Louis Biopic

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • September 13, 2011 6:24 AM
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  • 3 Comments
And More We Learned From Lee & The Commemorative Screening Of '25th Hour' At New York's Film Society of Lincoln CenterOn September 11th, the Walter Reade Theater in New York City hosted a special screening of “25th Hour.” Still as alive and vital as it was upon its release nine years ago, the film serves as a historical landmark as the first picture to shoot in New York City following the 9/11 attacks (we ranked it very high on our list of best films of 2002 when we did our decade wrap-up in 2010).

'The Descent' Director Neil Marshall To Helm Season Two Episode Of HBO's 'Game of Thrones'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 13, 2011 6:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
You may have noticed that we're big fans of HBO's "Game of Thrones." It might have looked like some kind of swords and sorcery geekfest, but in fact, it turned out to be a rich, complex drama worthy of the best of the cable network's output, with an impeccable cast (including the Emmy-nominated Peter Dinklage, and some of the best child performances in recent memory). It's also been a solid-gold hit, and shows every sign of its cult growing as it moves into its currently-filming second season.

Megan Fox Says She Wants To Work With People Who "Provide A Really Happy, Healthy, Work Environment"

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 13, 2011 5:30 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Now Who Could She Possibly Be Referring To? 5 Things Learned From The 'Friends With Kids' Actress Megan Fox’s last two appearances at the Toronto International Film Festival were for projects where the eventual response was, shall we say, mixed. “Jennifer’s Body” came and went from theaters weeks after its TIFF premiere in 2009, while the Mickey Rourke-Bill Murray-costarring “Passion Play” was not just the most derided film of the 2010 festival, but one of the year’s most loudly panned releases, period.

Albert Brooks Talks Dad Role In New Judd Apatow Film, Says Jonah Hill And Vince Vaughn May Appear

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • September 13, 2011 4:59 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Star Also Turned Down A Role In Nicolas Winding Refn's 'Only God Forgives,' But Wants To Be In 'Logan's Run'Now that Terrence Malick has evolved into a workhorse, much to the pleasure of every cinemaniac, if there's another guy we'd like to see working more frequently, it would be Albert Brooks. He by no means has a small body of work, but for 40+ years in the business, there are surprisingly few credits to his name. Despite this, however, he has managed to craft several memorable movies and characters: his Oscar-nominated turn in James L. Brooks's "Broadcast News" was unquestionably affecting, he was a perfect ingredient in the moving Pixar flick "Finding Nemo," and as a director he never made anything less-than-enjoyable (in fact, "Real Life," "Modern Romance," and "Lost in America" are pretty incredible).

Juliette Lewis Makes A Documentary About Herself, Plans To Bring It To Sundance

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 13, 2011 4:30 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Everyone has a bugbear. One actor or actress who, for no easily explainable reason, they find phenomenally irritating. For this writer, that person is Juliette Lewis. It's not that she's a bad actress -- she's given performances that are, objectively, good, in films from "Cape Fear" to "Conviction" -- it's that there's something about her that irritates us down to the very marrow of our bones, to the extent that we had to be physically restrained from fleeing the screening room after seeing her name in the credits for Drew Barrymore's "Whip It."

Stanley Tucci & Chris Cooper Join Robert Redford's 'The Company You Keep'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 13, 2011 4:00 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Say what you like about Robert Redford's directorial efforts (like, for instance, that "Quiz Show" aside, they very closely replicate the experience of watching paint dry. Underwater), but he knows how to stack a film with a cast of ringers. Even a film as dull as his recent "The Conspirator" was able to attract names like James McAvoy, Robin Wright, Kevin Kline, Tom Wilkinson and many more, mainly drawn by the opportunity to work with one of the all-time great movie stars.

Eddie Marsan Plans Shakespearean Directorial Debut ‘Pell Mell’

  • By Sam Price
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  • September 13, 2011 3:30 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Roland Emmerich might be dementedly banging his apocalyptic drum of despair trying to disprove that William Shakespeare ever put pen to paper, but the playwright’s work has never been more popular, despite him popping his clogs almost four centuries ago. Ralph Fiennes already has his revisionist version of “Coriolanus” on the horizon, and just yesterday a more ethnically diverse version of “Romeo and Juliet” was announced, to co-star Vera Farmiga, Alan Arkin and Shirley MacLaine.

TIFF '11 Review: Fernando Meirelles' International Love Story '360' May Leave His Fans Heartbroken

  • By Cory Everett
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  • September 13, 2011 3:00 AM
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  • 15 Comments
In a photo studio in Vienna, a sleazy photographer (Johannes Krisch) is coaxing a young Slovakian woman Mirkha (Lucia Siposová) into posing for her first nude pictures. We soon find out this man is also a pimp and the pictures are for luring clients on the internet. Her younger sister Anna (Gabriela Marcinkova) tries to persuade her to reconsider but she has her mind made up. She needs the money and wants to change her life. Her sister intones through darkly humorous voiceover “If there’s a fork in the road, take it.” It’s a highly provocative opening for what ends up being just a so-so anthology of interweaving tales, even though director Fernando Meirelles ("City Of God," “The Constant Gardener”) assembles an international cast with interwoven stories spanning Vienna, Paris, London, Bratislava, Rio, Denver and Phoenix.

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