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The Playlist

Interview: Wes Anderson On 'The Grand Budapest Hotel,' Elliott Smith, The Beatles, Owen Wilson, Westerns & More

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • March 5, 2014 2:32 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson
“His world had vanished long before he entered it. But he sustained the illusion with a marvelous grace." For all its idiosyncrasies, screwball-like speed, exquisite attention to detail, style and craft and some hilariously vulgar humor, “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Wes Anderson’s eighth feature-length film, might be one of his most soulful in some time. That aforementioned quote might be the heart and soul of the movie too; a beautiful and melancholy adage about a refined character who refused to behave without elegance despite the barbaric age that society was devolving into.

Zoe Kazan Talks Twin Roles Of 'The Pretty One' & How 'In Your Eyes' Is "Like Joss Whedon Does Nicholas Sparks"

  • By Kristin McCracken
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  • February 21, 2014 2:07 PM
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  • 1 Comment
After winning the Best Actress Award at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival for Bradley Rust Gray’s “The Exploding Girl,” Zoe Kazan added a big-budget rom-com (“It’s Complicated”) and more indie dramas (“Meek’s Cutoff”) to her resume, starred on Broadway (“A Behanding in Spokane”) with Christopher Walken, and wrote the charming (and underrated) screenplay for “Ruby Sparks,” in which she starred with her longtime partner Paul Dano.

'The Great Beauty' Director Paolo Sorrentino Talks His Oscar Nominated Film & Desire To Make An L.A. Noir

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • February 20, 2014 3:04 PM
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  • 4 Comments
The Great Beauty, Paolo Sorrentino
There are a number of exceptional films nominated for this year's Foreign Language Oscar, but none swept us up quite like "The Great Beauty." The film, directed by Paolo Sorrentino, follows an aging journalist (played by Sorrentino regular Toni Servillo), as he makes his way through modern day Rome and deals with his own mortality. It's a giant, sumptuous, glittery delight, with party sequences that make the overblown excess of "The Great Gatsby" seem paltry by comparison, and has an unexpectedly melancholic and spiritual core. We were lucky enough to sit down with Sorrentino, on the eve of the Oscars, to talk about the film, how "La Dolce Vita" inspired the production, the music in his movies, why he wants to do an L.A.-set noir at some point and much more.

Interview: Emma Roberts Talks 'Adult World,' Working With John Cusack & More

  • By Kristin McCracken
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  • February 19, 2014 2:54 PM
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  • 2 Comments
At just 22, Emma Roberts (“It's Kind of a Funny Story,” “The Art of Getting By,” “Celeste and Jesse Forever”) is about the same age her aunt Julia was when she shot to stardom with the iconic hit “Pretty Woman.” But times have changed, and in Emma’s latest rom-com — Scott Coffey’s “Adult World,” which premiered this week at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival — she plays not a hooker with a heart of gold, but a virginal Syracuse graduate.

Richard Linklater Discusses His 12-Year Project 'Boyhood,' Chronology, Memory & A Movie That Occurs Offscreen

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • February 18, 2014 1:20 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Richard Linklater is a lot like a Richard Linklater movie. There’s a looseness, and an approachability that is engaging (and made for an enjoyably chatty Berlin Film Festival interview), but it’s also somewhat deceptive of the deeper currents of thoughtfulness and a kind of philosophical curiosity, that run beneath the laid-back, genial exterior. And both these sides of his personality are on full display in the wonderful “Boyhood” (our Sundance review is here) his twelve-years-in-the-making study of a young boy from ages six through eighteen, when he finally leaves home for college. It is both a simple, unpretentious portrait of a certain child coming of age, and a sprawling, ambitious, encompassing exploration of grand universal themes. It’s hard to think of another example where the operatic has been so unassumingly presented.

Interview: Michelle Monaghan Talks 'True Detective' And Why Maggie Shouldn't Be Underestimated

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 18, 2014 12:08 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Michelle Monaghan True Detective
As detectives Rust Cohle and Martin Hart, Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson are the grim, beating heart of HBO’s “True Detective,” and have deservedly earned no shortage of acclaim for their smoldering performances as the wrestle personal demons, while pursuing the monster behind a string of ritual murders. The partnership is one that is professionally solid, but personally fraught, and between them is Martin’s wife Maggie, played by Michelle Monaghan. And the actress’ work is equally deserving of attention as her co-stars in the show.

Interview: Jack O'Connell On '71,' 'Starred Up,' Working With Angelina Jolie & Getting Spray Tanned For '300' Sequel

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • February 12, 2014 1:04 PM
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  • 1 Comment
'71 Jack O'Connell
It’s February 2014 and it’s more than likely that, if you live in America, you’d have a hard time picking Jack O’Connell out of a line-up. But by year’s end we’ll wager that will have changed as by then, if there’s any justice in the world both “Starred Up” the fantastic prison drama that we caught in Goteborg, and “‘71” which has proven one of the biggest hits of the Berlinale will have made it across the Atlantic, to be followed by “Unbroken” the Angelina Jolie-directed bestseller adaptation that has “prestige project” and “potential award magnet” writ large on it already. And that’s not even mentioning an abs-bearing, sword-brandishing role in the “300” sequel. Once all of this exposure hits, O’Connell may feel like an overnight sensation, but as the 23-year-old reminded us during our very enjoyable Berlinale interview, he’s been at this for nearly a decade now.

Wes Anderson Talks Romanticizing Bygone Eras, Nostalgia & The Imaginary World Of ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • February 7, 2014 12:20 PM
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  • 1 Comment
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Berlin: Unless you’re in the genres of fantasy or sci-fi, one can argue no one makes grounded, but idiosyncratic fairy tale-like worlds quite like Wes Anderson. The director’s latest, “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” is set in the imaginary country of Zubrowka, an alpine Eastern European nation, and centers on a spa town whose main highlight is the legendary concierge, M. Gustave H, who works at the Grand Budapest Hotel.

Interview: Michael Mann Talks Making 'Thief,' The Importance Of Authenticity & What's Coming In His Next Film

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 6, 2014 12:01 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Thief Michael Mann
From the opening moments of “Thief”—which features a clockwork heist sequence that would make “Rififi” director Jules Dassin stand up and applaud—it’s clear you’re in the hands of a master storyteller. With some documentary work and TV movie “The Jericho Mile” already under his belt, for his debut feature film, Michael Mann’s command of atmosphere and character arrives fully formed, with “Thief” staking a high bar that the filmmaker would leap from in his films for years to come.

Interview: Director Joanna Hogg On 'Exhibition,' Tom Hiddleston And The Challenges Of Staying “Indie”

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • February 5, 2014 7:07 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Since her debut with 2007’s “Unrelated,” which is also regarded as the breakout for a certain Tom Hiddleston, British director Joanna Hogg has been quietly making a name for herself as a filmmaker of very distinctive and original style. Her third feature, “Exhibition,” which played at the Göteborg International Film Festival last week, sees her break somewhat with the previous two, both of which dealt more overtly with an analysis of the British middle-class family, to tell instead the story of a married, childless artist couple, H and D, who decide to move from their beloved, modernist home of 18 years. We had the pleasure of meeting Hogg in Göteborg, and having her talk us through “Exhibition” (which will be released stateside in March), and her creative outlook and process in general.

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