The Playlist

Steven Spielberg And His Cast On John Ford, Their Equine Co-Stars And Whether 'War Horse' Is A War Movie

  • By Jen Vineyard
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  • December 19, 2011 11:45 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Steven Spielberg shot "War Horse" during a break while his team of animators were working on "The Adventures of Tintin," but it's not a rush job -- the director took his time searching for cast members, sending his actors to boot camp to learn to ride, and waiting for the English weather to cooperate. At the press day and the film's premiere, Spielberg, screenwriter Richard Curtis, and the cast of "War Horse" revealed how they transformed the children's book and award-winning play into a film that has already garnered Golden Globe nominations for Best Drama and Best Score.

Marrakech Film Festival '11: Jessica Chastain On Cannes, Overcoming Shyness And Wanting Isabelle Huppert's Career

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • December 18, 2011 2:25 PM
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  • 7 Comments
Jessica Chastain has not had a normal year. Not so much breaking through as invading and colonizing multiplexes and arthouse theaters alike (we’ll have more on this in a special end-of-year piece coming soon), when we spoke to her during the Marrakech International Film Festival, she was nonetheless able to identify one defining experience amidst it all: the Cannes red carpet.

Effects Supremo Joe Letteri Says Zack Snyder Is Placing Emphasis On In-Camera Effects In 'Man of Steel'

  • By Todd Gilchrist
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  • December 17, 2011 10:45 AM
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  • 6 Comments
There are few people in Hollywood who know more about special effects than Joe Letteri – which is probably why he’s earned five Oscars in the past eight years, and worked in some capacity on almost every major blockbuster released in Hollywood.

The God Of Carnage: The Complete Films Of Roman Polanski

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 16, 2011 2:54 PM
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  • 13 Comments
With a career marked by controversy and tragedy, triumphs and disasters, that Roman Polanski has shaken off personal obstacles and professional setbacks is a feat in itself.

Bright Shining Stars: The Breakthrough Performances Of 2011

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 16, 2011 12:51 PM
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  • 21 Comments
One of the many reasons that film never, ever gets dull is the constant changing of the guard. Every year sees a new heap of talent emerging, thanks to film festivals and canny casting directors, often coming from seemingly nowhere to fly off the screen, whether in a microbudget indie or a blockbuster, proving that talent can come out at any level.

Marrakech Film Festival '11: Terry Gilliam Talks 3D, 'Harry Potter,' 'Watchmen' & The Inoffensiveness Of Modern Comedy

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 15, 2011 12:58 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Hope You Like Synths: The Best Scores & Soundtracks Of 2011

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 14, 2011 2:29 PM
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  • 30 Comments
Way back in the day, The Playlist started as a site focused principally on the places where movies and music met, and in particular, on scores and soundtracks. We've widened our net in the intervening years simply because that sole focus felt too small and we're movie lovers just as much as music lovers, but that interest has never gone away. And how could it? In many ways, we've reached the most interesting time in film scoring in years, with 2011 in particular seeing a number of electronic artists bringing the synth back into fashion in a big way. Between these and last year's Daft Punk-abled "Tron: Legacy" score, has there ever been a time when movie music has been so, well, danceable?

From Bloody Murders To Bridesmaid Speeches: The 25 Best Movie Moments Of 2011

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 13, 2011 1:59 PM
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  • 49 Comments
The great Howard Hawks once famously said that what makes a good film is "three great scenes, and no bad ones." While we'd argue that that's not an absolute hard-and-fast rule, he wasn't far off. With 2011 providing a number of above-average films, there've been plenty of memorable moments to go around, even if we couldn't attest to them all following Hawks Law.

Christoph Waltz Talks Working With Roman Polanski & Playing The "Smuggest Character Ever" In 'Carnage'

  • By Jeff Otto
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  • December 12, 2011 2:35 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Although Christoph Waltz has been working as an actor since the early 1980’s, he was relatively unknown to American audiences before his Academy Award-winning performance as Hans Landa in Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglorious Basterds.” Waltz’s elevated status catapulted him into a string of Hollywood releases in 2011 that including “The Green Hornet,” “Water for Elephants” and “The Three Musketeers.” But it is Waltz’s smallest role, as Alan Cowan in Roman Polanski’s “Carnage,” for which the actor is drawing his greatest acclaim since ‘Basterds.’

The Alternate 2011: Who Nearly Directed Or Starred In The Most Notable Movies Of The Year?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 12, 2011 2:05 PM
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  • 12 Comments
2011 hasn't been too shabby for the movies. But even in a year such as this, there's that niggling feeling of what could have been. With the process of picking a director and casting a film seemingly more public than ever, thanks to rumors leaking and trades running short-list stories, it's possible to imagine any number of alternate outcomes for many of the biggest, and best, films of the year.

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