The Playlist

The 15 "Edgiest" Oscar Best Picture Nominees

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 19, 2014 3:39 PM
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  • 28 Comments
Edgy Best Picture oscar nominees
“Ugh, the Academy, so conservative” goes the cliché, as bloggers and pundits the movie world over take a moment to roll their eyes and sigh before diving back in to beaver away on one of a million pieces about this year’s nominations, the pros and cons, the good picks, the bad picks, the odds, the ends (hey, we’ve done a few ourselves with more on the way!) But while that knee-jerk stance is an easy one to adopt (and also comfortable—setting the speaker above the choices in question by virtue of the fact that they’re not challenging enough, not cinephile-y enough, too MOR, too bland), it doesn’t take account of those times when we’ve been surprised by the august body. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which does absolutely skew older-white-male in its demographics (as does the film industry, folks) has, on occasion given us pause—nominating a film which, in content or execution, might seem to be light years away from its wheelhouse: explicit in its treatment of sexuality, or extreme in its violence or just wholly different to our idea of an “Oscar movie.”

'Scary Movie 5' To Mainly Be A Parody Of 'Black Swan,' Anna Faris Not Returning

  • By Benjamin Wright
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  • May 8, 2012 11:22 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Spoof movies have never been particularly well regarded. When they’re good, like the original 1980 “Airplane,” they deftly satirize many tropes of your favorite films while also creating laughs derived from their own comedic situations. When they’re bad, they’re most likely directed by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, the title ends with the word “Movie,” and they spend most their time recreating your favorite scenes from films in an exacting manner infused with Carmen Electra and potty humor. The “Scary Movie” films have always fallen somewhere between the highs and lows of that spectrum, with the franchise's early releases hitting at a time when the horror market was ripe with films containing casts that consisted mostly of The WB alumni, with titles like “Scream” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer” reaching the point of franchise exhaustion. There was plenty of material to work with, and, admittedly, the brothers Damon and Marlon Wayans actually gave audiences a raunchy good time at the movies with the first installment in 2000.

Daft Punk, Zooey Deschanel, Justin Bieber & More Nominated For Film Soundtrack & Score Related Grammys

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 1, 2011 1:41 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Hey, the Oscars aren't the only awards show in town for movie lovers. Granted, it's the biggest and glitziest, but if you're a movie fan looking to keep track of which films are winning what, the Grammys are on the way, and they've announced their nominations for the 54th awards ceremony. Soundtrack/score hounds will be pleased.

David Gordon Green Says He Re-Envisioned 'Suspiria' Remake After Natalie Portman Did 'Black Swan'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • September 8, 2011 4:15 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Eclectic Director Talks Horror Remakes That Got It RightFew horror films are as critically revered and fanatically adored as Italian director Dario Argento’s operatic 1977 shocker “Suspiria.” Centered on the witchy goings-on at a prestigious ballet school, it is largely considered one of the scariest movies of all time and served as the chief inspiration for Darren Aronofsky’s Oscar-nominated (and similarly nightmarish) “Black Swan.” The idea of remaking “Suspiria” is a daunting one, but that hasn’t deterred David Gordon Green -- the versatile director behind such disparate films as “All the Real Girls,” “Pineapple Express” and "Your Highness" -- from doggedly pursuing an updated version.

Time To Put Away Childish Things: Is 2011 The Year Grown-Ups Started Buying Movie Tickets Again?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 5, 2011 3:47 AM
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  • 22 Comments
For some time now, the received wisdom has been that the kind of mid-budget, star-driven serious films that once dominated Hollywood were on their way out. Dan Jinks, the producer of "Milk," told Mark Harris at GQ a couple of months back that, "Everyone has cut back on not just 'Oscar-worthy' movies, but on dramas, period. Caution has made them pull away. It's infected the entire business." Indeed, the new regime at Disney announced their intention back in 2010 to focus entirely on tentpoles, even canceling a proposed sequel to the $200 million-grossing hit "The Proposal," a film that cost a relatively meager $40 million, because it didn't fit with the company's new remit.

Darren Aronofsky & Mila Kunis Defend Natalie Portman In 'Black Swan' Dancing "Controversy"

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 29, 2011 2:46 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Well, this is one of the lamer talking points around a movie to come down the line in the past little while. A "controversy" of sorts has popped up around "Black Swan" regarding just how much of the dancing Natalie Portman did in the film. Earlier this month, Portman’s fiancé and "Black Swan" choreographer Benjamin Millepied told the LA Times that the actress did 85% of the dancing witnessed in the film. But that didn't sit right with Sarah Lane, an American Ballet Theatre soloist who doubled for Portman and in some instances, had the actress' face digitally grafted onto hers Armie Hammer style.

David Gordon Green Says His Horror Remake Of 'Suspiria' Is Hopefully Next

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • March 28, 2011 4:55 AM
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  • 13 Comments
Confirms Natalie Portman Was Once In Talks, But The Filmmaker Is Now Looking To Cast An UnknownExclusive: Filmmaker David Gordon Green is a busy guy. He's got both "Your Highness" and "The Sitter" hitting this year, and he's moving into television, with "Good Vibes" on MTV, and "Black Jack" at Comedy Central. Beyond that, his long-rumored remake of "Suspiria" looks like it will be next on his feature-film horizon. We spoke to Green in regards to "Your Highness" this weekend, which opens a week from Friday (April 8), and got the story on old school horror fans' most anticipated remake.

'Black Swan' Takes Best Feature, Actress, Director & Cinematographer At Indie Spirit Awards

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 27, 2011 1:05 AM
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  • 6 Comments
The second-to-last hurrah of the movie season took place this afternoon, with the Independent Spirit Awards, the looser neighbor to the big Oscar show tomorrow night. And while it's unlikely "Black Swan" will repeat the feat on Sunday, Fox Searchlight must be very pleased to close off their year in such a winning a fashion.

2011 Oscar Nominations: 'The King's Speech' Leads The Pack With 12 Nominations

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 25, 2011 1:50 AM
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  • 34 Comments
"The King's Speech" sits on the throne this morning, earning 12 Oscar nominations and looking like the film to beat at the 83rd Academy Awards, while "True Grit" follows with 10 nods and "The Social Network" with 8. Not much in the way of shockers this year, but some pleasant surprises in the mix as well as few snubs.

ACE Eddies Nominations Round Up The Usual Suspects, 'Scott Pilgrim' & 'Easy A' Get Some Comedy Love

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 14, 2011 3:10 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Yes, we know, it's another guild with more nominations for what seems to be an endless array of industry circle jerking but there is a reason to pay attention to the ACE Eddies awards put together by The American Cinema Editors. It's a very strong augur for the Oscar race with a win here usually indicating a win for the director associated with the film at the Academy Awards. And if the nominations are anything to go by, the sure thing contenders everyone has been talking about for the past few months, remain solidly at the front of pack.

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