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The Playlist

The 5 Best Heath Ledger Performances

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 4, 2012 10:15 AM
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  • 17 Comments
In an ideal world, Australian actor Heath Ledger would have been celebrating his thirty-third birthday today. Heartbreakingly, he isn't here for it: the actor passed away from an accidental prescription drugs overdose just over four years ago, on January 22, 2008. At the time, the actor was shooting Terry Gilliam's "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus," and the director managed to finish the film with Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law paying tribute to the late actor by joining the production.

5 Things You Might Not Know About Woody Allen's Classic 'Annie Hall'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 3, 2012 10:00 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Despite fierce competition from sci-fi blockbuster "Star Wars" and fellow romantic comedy "The Goodbye Girl," Woody Allen's masterpiece "Annie Hall" walked away with Best Picture at the 50th Academy Awards, which were held on this day thirty-four years ago. Indeed, Allen's film nearly swept the board, despite only taking five nominations: Allen won Best Director and, alongside co-writer Marshall Brickman, Original Screenplay (although he lost Best Actor to Richard Dreyfuss), while Diane Keaton picked up Best Actress for the title role.

5 Summer Box-Office Head-To-Head Showdowns That Could Leave Blood On The Floor

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 2, 2012 12:19 PM
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  • 10 Comments
This past weekend, two pricey fantasy epics hit movie screens in the form of Warner Bros.' swords-and-sandal sequel "Wrath Of The Titans" and Relativity's comic fairy tale "Mirror Mirror." And while their audiences were, in theory, different (with Tarsem's Snow White picture skewing much younger), neither fared as well as hoped, "Wrath of the Titans" ending up with barely half of the original film's opening weekend, around $35 million, while "Mirror Mirror" failed to clear the $20 million mark, despite the presence of Julia Roberts.

'2001: A Space Odyssey': 5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Film

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 2, 2012 11:38 AM
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  • 17 Comments
Forty-four years ago today, "2001: A Space Odyssey," Stanley Kubrick's classic science-fiction movie, premiered at the Uptown Theater in Washington D.C. While neither commercially or critically successful to begin with (the legendary Pauline Kael called it a "monumentally unimaginative movie"), but it soon took off with audiences, in part thanks to its psychedelic closing sequence, and is now rightfully regarded as perhaps the greatest, and most prophetic science-fiction movie ever made.

On The Rise 2012: 10 Actresses Poised For The Big Time

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 30, 2012 4:48 PM
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  • 27 Comments
While there are still not enough good roles for women out there, particularly in mainstream Hollywood, that hasn't stopped a batch of young female stars from exploding from out of nowhere in recent years. Head-turning performances have helped launch faces like Carey Mulligan, Mia Wasikowska, Emma Stone, Jennifer Lawrence, Felicity Jones and many others into the stratosphere, and the success last weekend of "The Hunger Games" has hopefully put to rest the fallacy that huge audiences won't turn up to big movies carried by a woman.

On The Rise 2012: 10 Actors We're Tipping For Stardom In The Future

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 29, 2012 3:30 PM
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  • 38 Comments
Last week, we took a look at the relative dearth of leading men in Hollywood: why Tom Cruise, Will Smith et al remain at the top of the tree, and why so few serious competitors have emerged since. But one of the most exciting things about our job is getting to watch the new names that emerge, breakouts who have the potential to join the A-listers, or at the very least, deliver a host of hugely exciting performances for decades to come.

'On The Road,' 'Cosmopolis' & 'Cogan's Trade' Appear Headed To Cannes, So Who Else Will Walk The Red Carpet?

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 28, 2012 4:44 PM
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  • 13 Comments
If you've kept up with us since we dropped our intial Cannes Film Festival piece back in February, a lot has changed and the field is becoming narrower and more clear in terms of what films and filmmakers are headed to the south of France. It requires a bit of moving puzzle pieces, and putting together bits and bobs of information, but the writing on the wall is beginning to appear, and today, the one moving the pen is The Hollywood Reporter. The trade has likely made a few phone calls of their own and been watching the landscape and today they reveal that "On The Road" and "Cosmopolis" -- two movies already widely expected to hit the fest -- are pretty much locks, while The Weinstein Company's "Cogan's Trade" (aka "Killing Me Softly") is "expected to be on hand." So what else can we expect? 

High Fidelity: Why Fans Demanding Faithfulness To Their Favorite Source Material Is Damaging Movies

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 28, 2012 3:56 PM
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  • 22 Comments
Let's face it, we see more adaptations than original material in movie theaters. And that's not something new: adapting from plays or novels (and now, other movies and TV shows and video games and board games and action figures) is as old as cinema itself. But what has changed, or at least become more organized and noticeable in the age of the internet, is the way these adaptations are approached even before they hit theaters. Something which quite often, leads to what HitFix's Drew McWeeney terms "fantrums."

Discuss: Is Allowing Cell Phone Use At The Movies The Way Of The Future?

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 28, 2012 2:03 PM
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  • 19 Comments
We've all had that experience. Sitting down in a theater, and realizing, 30 seconds into the movie, that the person sitting next to you is not going to turn their phone off. They could be texting, tweeting, updating their Facebook status or, worst case scenario, even making a phone call. They may not even be the only ones in the theater. Sometimes, you'll put up with it for the duration of the movie, quietly seething. Sometimes you'll ask, politely, and they might even stop. Sometimes they won't, and things will get aggressive, confrontational even. And it's possible that it's not going to be going away.
More: Features

The Films Of Billy Wilder: A Retrospective

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 27, 2012 4:44 PM
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  • 12 Comments
"I want to thank three persons,” said Michel Hazanavicius, accepting the 2012 Best Picture Oscar for “The Artist.” “I want to thank Billy Wilder, I want to thank Billy Wilder and I want to thank Billy Wilder.” He wasn’t the first director to namecheck Wilder in an acceptance speech. A few years prior, Fernando Trueba, accepting the Foreign Language Film Oscar for "Belle Epoque" quipped atheistically "I would like to believe in God in order to thank him. But I just believe in Billy Wilder... so, thank you Mr. Wilder." Wilder reportedly called the next day "Fernando? It's God."

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