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The Playlist

NYFF Review: Steve Coogan Brings His Beloved 'Alan Partridge' To The Big Screen With Mixed Results

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • September 30, 2013 10:07 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Alan Partridge
Back in 1994, a movie called “Airheads,” about a trio of bumbling stooges (played by Brendan Fraser, Adam Sandler and a goateed Steve Buscemi) who take over a radio station in order for their demo to get played over the airwaves, was released to, more or less, a critical and commercial shrug. In the years since, however, the film, richly stockpiled with ‘90s nostalgia (including an appearance by White Zombie and a vocal cameo by Mike Judge as Beavis & Butthead), has earned a loyal cult following. It’s hard not to imagine the same fate for “Alan Partridge” (entitled “Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa” in its native U.K.), at least in the United States. It’s a movie with a strikingly similar premise but based on a beloved British radio and television character (played, with relish, by Steve Coogan), who is all but unknown here. That stateside obscurity could change after “Alan Partridge,” but we kind of doubt it.

Watch: New Trailer For TIFF People's Choice Award Runner-Up 'Philomena' Starring Judi Dench & Steve Coogan

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 28, 2013 11:20 AM
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  • 0 Comments
When Steve McQueen's "12 Years A Slave" won the Toronto International Film Festival People's Choice Award, we were slightly surprised—given that the prize generally tends to lean toward more crowd-pleasing movies—but we weren't surprised to see Stephen Frears' "Philomena" take one of the runner-up slots. The film has been warmly received at Venice, Telluride and Toronto, and now it's headed to theaters, where The Weinstein Company are surely hoping it can turn out some hardware for them during the awards season.

Casting: Emma Watson Rejoins 'Voice,' Daniel Bruhl Replaces Colin Firth, Ellen Page Goes 'Queen & Country'

  • By Cain Rodriguez
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  • September 9, 2013 2:48 PM
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  • 0 Comments
As the Toronto International Film Festival chugs along, there's a huge volume of news that comes along with it, mostly casting and project announcements. Today is no different, with word coming down regarding new projects and a handful of resurrected ones as well. Read on for news on projects from Emma Watson, Jennifer Lopez, Christopher Nolan and Michael Winterbottom. Exciting stuff, indeed.

Watch: First Clip From Oscar-Contender 'Philomena' Starring Judi Dench & Steven Coogan, Weinsteins Set Xmas Release

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 3, 2013 10:42 AM
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  • 3 Comments
So just how hot a ticket is Stephen Frears' "Philomena"? Well, after earning rave reviews out the Venice Film Festival (including a strong one from us), word was that The Weinstein Company were ready to sneak the film into Telluride this past weekend. But apparently TIFF organizers weren't pleased at the prospect of another hot premiere being yanked out from under them (following the surprise additions of "12 Years A Slave" and "Prisoners" to Telluride), so Harvey and co. switched gears and showing "Salinger" instead. But no matter where this lands first, it's one that's going to be talked about all season long

Venice Review: Stephen Frears' 'Philomena' Starring Judi Dench & Steve Coogan

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 31, 2013 1:09 PM
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  • 1 Comment
The term "Oscar bait" is one that, unfortunately, gets bandied about a lot this time of year. At worst, it's used to refer to every faintly serious-minded film released between July and December. At best, it describes a very particular kind of middlebrow drama that seems to have been created from the ground up with the sole purpose of appealing to the Academy—think "The Iron Lady" or "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close," to name two recent examples. Stephen Frears' "Philomena" appears on the surface to fit into the latter category.

First Poster & New Pics For Stephen Frears' Venice & TIFF Entry 'Philomena' Starring Judi Dench & Steve Coogan

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 30, 2013 10:36 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Philomena
When the awards season rolls around, you can't count out Judi Dench. She's a seven time Oscar nominee (winning in 1999 for "Shakespeare In Love"), a beloved legend and simply a damn good actress. So even though this new poster for her upcoming "Philomena" has caused our blood sugar level to rise, again, she's not one to dismiss no matter how treacly the material might look like.

Watch: Trailer For Stephen Frears' Awards Hopeful 'Philomena,' With Judi Dench & Steve Coogan

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 9, 2013 10:29 AM
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  • 1 Comment
He's been behind some greatness over the years ("The Grifters," "High Fidelity"), but since his award-winning success with "The Queen" in 2006, Stephen Frears has had a rotten run—no one's been particularly keen on "Cheri," "Tamara Drewe" or "Lay The Favorite," while HBO movie "Muhammed Ali's Greatest Fight" won few over at Cannes. But in a few weeks, he's returning to the scene of one of his greatest triumphs, and going back to the Venice Film Festival, where "The Queen" was unveiled, for new film "Philomena."

New TIFF Photos: Keanu Reeves' 'Man of Tai Chi,' Stephen Frears' 'Philomena' & 'Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom'

  • By Edward Davis
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  • July 25, 2013 5:08 PM
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  • 5 Comments
The Man of Tai Chi
It's been over 10 years since Keanu Reeves was kung-fu fighting and fast as lightning in the "The Matrix Revolutions" (makes you wish they woulda quit after the first film), but while Reeves has been taking it kind of easy ever since (probably the two biggest films he's starred in since then have been the utterly forgettable "Constantine," and "The Day The Earth Stood Still"). But Keanu seems to be slowly coming out of his hiatus. His big-budget samurai/kung-fu spectacle, "Ronin 47," is finally scheduled for a December release after almost two years of delays (see the trailer here) and he also has a directorial debut on the way. Scheduled to debut at the Toronto International Film Festival, we've already seen an international trailer and a few photos from Reeves debut, "The Man From Tai Chi," and now courtesy of TIFF we have a few more.

'Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa' Soundtrack Features Philip Glass, Human League, The Police, Chicago & Much More

  • By Kristen Lopez
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  • July 19, 2013 11:59 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Steve Coogan has been in countless films throughout his career, but devout fans of the actor have been clambering for a feature-length film of his iconic character, Alan Partridge. The story of a talk-show host turned regional radio DJ will be seeing big screens in August (in the U.K.) when “Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa” comes to theaters.

Review: Michael Winterbottom's 'The Look Of Love' Starring Steve Coogan

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • July 2, 2013 6:57 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Anna Friel and Steve Coogan in THE LOOK OF LOVE
While stylishly capturing the verve, exotica, and free-spirited mojo of swinging '60s London, uber-prolific English director Michael Winterbottom's portrait of legendary U.K. smut impresario Paul Raymond is otherwise a shallow misfire.

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