The Playlist

Michael Shannon Moves Into '99 Homes'; Nicole Kidman & Colin Firth Hug 'Paddington' & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 13, 2013 3:33 PM
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  • 2 Comments
While Ramin Bahrani's leap to the slightly-bigger-time earlier this year with "At Any Price" didn't quite work, we still admired the hell out of the movie. Putting the plot aside, which is perhaps too overstuffed for its own good, with some genre elements that don't quite work, Bahrani's study of middle American values coming up against corporate ethics (among other things) was fascinating, as was his look at the divergent dreams between a father and his son. So, that's why we're very excited for his next effort "99 Homes," and after lining up Andrew Garfield to star, things have gotten even more interesting...

Watch: First Trailer For 'The Railway Man' Starring Colin Firth & Nicole Kidman

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • September 10, 2013 9:57 AM
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  • 9 Comments
The Railway Man
For a movie starring Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman and Stellan Skarsgard, and based on a harrowing true story, "The Railway Man" hasn't been garnering all that much buzz out of the Toronto International Film Festival (you can read our review here). Still, it's a movie that is definitely going to be reaching theaters outside of the festival and as proof Lionsgate has released a new trailer for the film, full of gorgeous cinematography, emotionally manipulative music cues, and Firth writhing around on the floor. Can you say "blockbuster?"

It's Like You're There! Watch TIFF Press Conferences For 'Gravity,' '12 Years A Slave,' 'Prisoners,' 'Labor Day' And More

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • September 9, 2013 12:32 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Press Conference TIFF 2013
If you are stuck having to watch all the Toronto International Film Festival action from the sidelines, fret not—another aspect of the festival will now come straight to your computer screen. The overlong, occasionally awkward press conferences that accompany each of the big films at TIFF have been uploaded to YouTube, so you can squirm in your seat while pretending to not play Candy Crush like the rest of the journalists in the room. This is literally hours of material, from big marquee titles like "Gravity," "12 Years a Slave," "Prisoners," "Labor Day," "Enough Said" and more. It's like you're there! Only not.

Naomi Watts Out, Nicole Kidman In For Werner Herzog’s Sweeping ‘Queen of the Desert’

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • September 8, 2013 12:53 PM
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  • 22 Comments
Like a mirage that seems to vanish in the arid air, Naomi Watts has departed Werner Herzog’s new film, “Queen of the Desert,” but been replaced by someone of equally impressive star magnitude in Nicole Kidman. The news comes out of the Toronto International Film Festival, which is where all news should be coming out of this week. The film co-stars James Franco and Robert Pattinson and tells the story of real-life 20th century explorer Gertrude Bell. Expect lots of sand and those old timey explorer helmets.

TIFF Review: 'The Railway Man' Starring Colin Firth & Nicole Kidman

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 8, 2013 9:14 AM
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  • 21 Comments
"The Railway Man" tells the true story of a World War II veteran mentally broken by his experiences in the war, living a lonely, isolated life, and trying to come to grips as best he can with the terror and memories that still haunt his mind. But you'd be forgiven after watching the opening portion of the film for mistaking it with a Colin Firth romantic comedy, set against the backdrop of England's lovely countryside.

Nicole Kidman's 5 Bravest Roles

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • June 20, 2013 3:03 PM
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  • 15 Comments
While in everyday life it may conjure images of people charging into burning houses or diving into choppy oceans to save drowning dogs, “bravery” has a rather different connotation when applied to Hollywood actors and their choice of roles. Threatening to simply become a byword for “gets his/her kit off” or “plays a gay character,” the word "bravery" as critical currency has perhaps been a little undermined by reductive overuse. But there is still value in separating the kinds of performances that are calculated simply to rake in dollars, raise profiles or cement a star persona from those that seem chosen to test an actor's limits and challenge the audience’s expectations. For the sake of argument, the latter roles are the ones we’re labelling “brave” here, which comes in handy when discussing the varied and thriving career of Nicole Kidman, who turns 46 today. This time last year we talked about her 5 Essential Performances, and while there's obviously some overlap, this year we thought instead about which we might consider her bravest.

Nicole Kidman Returns To HBO For 'Reconstructing Amelia'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 10, 2013 9:00 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Yet again more proof that working with HBO pays off for its talent, even if the project isn't necessarily the most well received. While you may have already forgotten about it, last year's "Hemingway & Gellhorn" (which was better than most folks gave it credit for) was another display for Nicole Kidman's acting chops. Nominations came in from Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG voters for her turn as a war reporter caught in a torrid affair with the author, and the actress hasn't forgotten about it. She's returning to the network with a project she's shepherding that touches upon a hot button issue.

Nicole Kidman, Lynne Ramsay, Ang Lee, Christoph Waltz & More Join Steven Spielberg's Cannes Jury

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 24, 2013 7:48 AM
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  • 8 Comments
In past years, the jury for the main slate at the Cannes Film Festival has tended to mix in a few bigger names -- Alexander Payne, Tim Burton, Robert De Niro, Jude Law -- with smaller filmmakers, producers and more. But it looks like the 2013 jury is going to be the starriest in years, and you might be forgiven for thinking you bumped into a table at the Oscars.

Nicole Kidman Loves Lamp, Making Cameo Appearance In 'Anchorman: The Legend Continues'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 4, 2013 11:52 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Nicole Kidman doesn't do comedies very often (besides "Stoker" ZING!), but maybe she should, because she can be quite funny. Say what you will about the otherwise horrid "Just Go With It," but Kidman is pretty spot on beside a surprisingly hilarious Dave Matthews. Really. But all of this is just preamble, because it looks like the reach of Ron Burgundy knows no bounds.

Park Chan-wook Talks Differences Between Korean & American Films, How 'Stoker' Fits In With His Filmography & More

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • March 19, 2013 7:00 PM
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  • 0 Comments
If there is one movie that has caused unending debate around The Playlist water-cooler, it's Park Chan-wook's English-language debut "Stoker." First screened at Sundance and making its slow creep across the country now, it's a twisty, unerringly perverse riff on Alfred Hitchcock's "Shadow of a Doubt," wherein a mysterious Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode) comes to visit his long lost family following his brother's equally mysterious demise. Mia Wasikowska plays the young daughter of the deceased, and an admirably batty Nicole Kidman is the new widow. We got to sit down with director Park and discuss what made "Stoker" so appealing as his first English language movie, how he decided on the composers for the film, and where the film fits in with his filmography.

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