The Playlist

'The Descendants' & 'Midnight In Paris' Win Top Prizes At WGA Awards, 'Caesar Must Die' Takes Golden Bear At Berlin

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 20, 2012 9:02 AM
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A week from now, the Oscars will be done and dusted for another year, and the movie conversation will drift away from prestige pictures to the "John Carter" and "Wrath of the Titans" of the world. And as of this weekend, the last of the major precursor awards have wrapped up. Did we see, as has been the overwhelming trend of the season, more success for the juggernaut that is "The Artist?"

Alexander Payne Says He Has An Actor In Mind For 'Nebraska,' But He Still Needs To Read The Script

  • By Simon Dang
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  • January 11, 2012 9:18 AM
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  • 3 Comments
It's been known for a little while now that Alexander Payne will follow up "The Descendants" with a black-and-white road-trip film tentatively titled "Nebraska." At one stage, it was reported that a number of veterans, including the retired Gene Hackman, Robert Duvall, his "About Schmidt" star Jack Nicholson and 'Descendants' co-star Robert Forster were being eyed for the the lead of the film, an aging alcholic father. It now appears that Payne is zeroing in on a lead (though no word if its any of the aforementioned actors).

DGA Nomination For David Fincher Continues 'Dragon Tattoo' Awards Season Run

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 9, 2012 1:35 PM
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While it may not have seemed like it right away, it turns out the sleeper Oscar contender this year might just be "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo." Initially regarded as a pulp thriller and a bit of holiday season counterprogramming, the film has quietly been building steam, with some strong critical buzz, a steady pace at the box office which will likely see it take $100 million domestically, and Sony is already eyeing getting the sequels underway by the end of the year (though, Fincher will likely be moving on).

Steve Zaillian Earns 2 WGA Nominations; Woody Allen, Diablo Cody & Alexander Payne Also In The Race

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 5, 2012 1:45 PM
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Scorecards will be adjusted and awards prognosticator types will have to adjust their bets, as the WGA have revealed their nominees for their annual awards. Why do we care? The guilds have traditionally been the best augurs for how the Oscar nominees will take shape, mostly because these are the same folks who will be sending in ballots to the Academy. Let's start with the surprises.

David Cronenberg Opts Out Of Adaptation Of Dennis Lehane's 'Animal Rescue'; Alexander Payne & George Clooney Sought To Direct

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 12, 2011 2:35 PM
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  • 1 Comment
As far as book-to-movie adaptations go, Dennis Lehane has had an enviable track record. While he's only had three novels brought to the big screen, they've resulted in both critical acclaim and box office success, with "Mystic River," "Gone Baby Gone" and "Shutter Island" all originating from the pages of his books. You might remember way back at the beginning of 2010, it was reported that Lehane was set to adapt this own short story (until then, he had let other writers to do the job) "Animal Rescue" featured in the anthology book he edited, "Boston Noir." That was the last we heard of it, and over the summer, David Cronenberg quietly became attached to direct, but it appears that didn't last very long.

2011's Potential Oscar Nominees For Acting, Directing & Writing Get Together To Talk At THR's Awards Roundtable

  • By Ryan Sartor
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  • December 9, 2011 2:33 PM
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  • 9 Comments
One of the necessities for any Oscar candidate is to do a lot of smiling, gladhanding interviews where they answer the same questions over and over again. An antidote to this madness is the annual Hollywood Reporter Roundtable Interviews. They’re awesome. You take six leading Oscar potentials in the categories of writers, directors, actresses and actors, put them in a room for an hour and see how they interact.

National Board Of Review Gives Best Picture & Director To 'Hugo'; Tilda Swinton & George Clooney Take Acting Awards

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 1, 2011 4:14 PM
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  • 8 Comments

16 New Images From Alexander Payne's 'The Descendants' Starring George Clooney; Plus Roll-Out Expansion Plan Schedule

  • By Edward Davis
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  • November 16, 2011 4:08 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Everyone seems to be talking to director Alexander Payne these days thanks to the festival success of his latest feature, "The Descendants." That is, except for The Playlist (*bitter tears*). Such is life. The director recently sat down with both the New York Times and L.A. Times for in-depth profiles, and while Payne hasn't made a feature-length film since 2004 ("Sideways"), both outlets remind us he's still been busy.

Review: ‘The Descendants’ Starring George Clooney Is A Mature & Soulful Look At Forgiveness

  • By The Playlist
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  • November 15, 2011 1:48 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Marked by a strong, soulful performance by George Clooney, simple and economic direction, and a slow and patient gait, “The Descendants” finds filmmaker Alexander Payne working in the familiar, but not derivative, milieu of the adult drama. The film doesn’t reinvent the wheel, and while firmly within Payne’s wheelhouse, we can see the filmmaker inching towards pure drama without dramedy or resorting to the James L. Brooks method of punctuating pain with disarming laughter. That’s not to say “The Descendants” isn’t a dramedy or isn’t funny, as it certainly has its instances of comedic flair that do defuse some painful moments, but overall, one can argue that it’s Payne’s most somber and serious work outside of maybe “About Schmidt.” "The Descendants" is not without some problems either, though most aren't major dealbreakers aside from familiarity and that's purely subjective.

Alexander Payne Says 'Nebraska' Likely To Be Retitled, 'Wilson' Keeps Moving

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 9, 2011 1:36 PM
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  • 0 Comments
With "The Descendants" in the bag, having done its festival tour of duty and likely headed right into some awards season recognition, Alexander Payne -- who hasn't helmed a feature length film since "Sideways" seven years ago -- isn't wasting anymore time and is quickly moving into his next feature.

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