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The Playlist

Oscars: The Playlist Guide To The Live-Action, Animated & Documentary Short Nominees

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 18, 2013 2:36 PM
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  • 3 Comments
We don't know about you, but until the last few years, whenever it came time to make our picks for Oscar pools/wagers, there's always one section of the awards that so often comes down to luck -- the short films. In the years since shorts stopped playing widely before features, it became harder and harder for the layman to actually watch nominees, and even harder to predict what would actually win.

The Early Gems: Notable Films From 2013's Best Director Nominees

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 15, 2013 1:08 PM
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  • 9 Comments
To send you into the long weekend, we're gonna take a break from the on-screen talent momentarily, and focus on the early work of the 2013 nominated directors. The five nominees (particularly controversial, thanks to the exclusion of Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow) are a mixed batch; from one of the most beloved (and most nominated) directors in history, to a 70-year-old European veteran with his first nod, to a debut filmmaker less than half their age. But all have something in common -- they showed promise at the beginning of their careers with films that we've highlighted below. Let us know your own thoughts, and who you think will win out in one of the toughest Oscar categories this year.

The Early Gems: Notable Performances From 2013's Best Supporting Actress Nominees

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • February 14, 2013 2:58 PM
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  • 9 Comments
Yesterday, we began our coverage counting down to the 85th Academy Awards next Sunday, by taking a look at some of the best early performances of the Best Supporting Actor nominees. So today, the only natural place to go was across the gender divide, to the Best Supporting Actress contenders. And as with their male counterparts, it's a mostly established bunch of names.

10 Memorable Movie Witches

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • February 14, 2013 2:09 PM
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  • 4 Comments
While witches in the movies have generally been consigned to pictures we'd rather forget, it's actually pretty remarkable how diversely they've been used. From comedies to teen movies to even animated fare, the witch has provided some creative source material for writers willing to go the extra mile. And more than a few of these characters have cast their spell on us.

The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • February 14, 2013 1:12 PM
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  • 45 Comments
Happy Valentine's Day! It's the most romantic day of the year (at least, if you've been listening to the endless advertising), and we hope you've made your plans, movie-related or otherwise (we'd argue that nothing says Valentine's Day like the twists and sexual politics of "Side Effects," but other options are available...). Now, February 14th is about many things: wining, dining, flowers, cards, chocolate, declarations of undying love. But all being well, it's about something else too: knocking boots.
More: Features

The Early Gems: Notable Performances From 2013's Best Supporting Actor Oscar Nominees

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 13, 2013 3:21 PM
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  • 5 Comments
After a long, punishing Oscar season that started about 50 weeks ago (although we suppose it only really kicked in in August or September), we're now about a week-and-a-half out from the 2013 ceremony. And for all our grumbling, it's always a key fixture in the cinephile calendar, and as such, we're going to be commemorating the approaching ceremony in various ways over the next ten days or so.

The Films Of Abbas Kiarostami: A Retrospective

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 13, 2013 2:23 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Considering the near-impossible restrictions and generally repressive atmosphere in Iran, it's extraordinary the degree to which the country's film industry has flourished in the past 30 years. Perhaps the best known of the Iranian filmmakers, internationally, is Abbas Kiarostami, who's become a staple of film festivals and increasingly beloved by film fans across the world.

Survive Hard: All The Times John McClane Should Have Died In The ‘Die Hard’ Series

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • February 13, 2013 12:58 PM
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  • 7 Comments
In 1988, when the first "Die Hard" was released, Bruce Willis' everyday action hero John McClane was something of an anomaly. This was the era of the invincible action superstar – people like Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jean-Claude Van Damme, who would waltz through action movies firing machine guns, surviving explosions with the casualness of someone doing laundry or putting up wallpaper. With "Die Hard," McClane was a new kind of hero -- a New York City cop who is afraid of flying, who's deeply insecure about his marriage and who, once bank-robbing terrorists seize a Los Angeles skyscraper, forgets his shoes, embodied by an actor most knew from a primetime comedy. And while there are plenty of instances where he survives against all odds, he also gets cut, bleeds, and screws up – things that these Reagan-era he-men rarely (if ever) did. As the series progressed, things became more and more cartoon-y for John McClane, until, by the fourth film, he was just as undefeatable as the heroes he was once such a refreshing antithesis to.

5 Things You Might Not Know About 'Groundhog Day' On Its 20th Anniversary

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 12, 2013 1:04 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Twenty years ago today, on February 12th, 1993, Harold Ramis' comedy "Groundhog Day" opened in theaters. Twenty years ago today to the day, on February 12th, 1993, Harold Ramis' comedy "Groundhog Day" opened in theaters. Twenty years ago today to the day, on February 12th, 1993, Harold Ra-- sorry, we're not sure what came over us there. The film stars Bill Murray as crotchety weatherman Phil Connors, forced to go to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to cover the annual Groundhog Day celebrations -- where, as legend has, a groundhog may or may not see its shadow, portending whether an early spring is coming, or if another six weeks of winter lie ahead.

What Worked & What Didn't In Season One Of David Fincher & Kevin Spacey's 'House Of Cards'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 11, 2013 1:57 PM
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  • 25 Comments
Ten days ago, Beau Willimon, David Fincher, Kevin Spacey and Netflix hoped to change the future of television with "House of Cards," the first high-profile series to be produced by, and air exclusively on, the streaming platform. A remake of the late 1980s BBC miniseries (itself based on the book by Michael Dobbs), the 13-part first season of "House Of Cards" was adapted by "The Ides Of March" co-writer Beau Willimon who developed the series for Netflix. Executive-produced by Fincher, who also directed the first two episodes, with Spacey leading a cast that also includes Robin Wright, Corey Stoll, Kate Mara nad many more.

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