The Playlist

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.

Coen Brothers Say Their Adaptation Of 'To The White Sea' Is Probably Not Coming Back

  • By The Playlist
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  • January 23, 2011 10:10 AM
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  • 6 Comments
The Coen brothers are riding high these days. Their latest, “True Grit,” is already the highest-grossing film of their careers, it continues to rake it in at the box-office and come Tuesday, they'll probably (hopefully) have a few more Oscar nominations to add to their tally (ten so far). On their never-ending press tour for the film, the Coens recently stopped by the Creative Screenwriting podcast to discuss their latest and some of their other projects including their now famous adaptation of “Deliverance” author James Dickeys' novel “To The White Sea.” A WWII adventure pic starring Brad Pitt as an American pilot stranded in China and unable to communicate, the project is infamous among longtime Coen fans for the script's minimal dialogue but was shelved by the studios because of its $80 million budget. We featured the project as one of Ten Dead Projects We’d Like To See Resurrected but, as you've probably already guessed, its future is not looking any brighter.

Director's Roundtable: Aronofsky Played "Therapist" For Rourke, Coen Brothers Won't Direct Actors

  • By The Playlist
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  • January 22, 2011 7:16 AM
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  • 11 Comments
L.A. Times Directors Roundtable With Fincher, Affleck, Cholodenko, Aronofsky, Hooper & Ethan Coen Give Fascinating (& Candid) Insight To ProcessSix directors recently sat down with The Envelope, the Oscars blog for the L.A. Times, for a roundtable chat about the pressures and joys of directing. Of the prestigious few were Ben Affleck (“The Town”), Darren Aronofsky (“Black Swan”), Lisa Cholodenko ("The Kids Are All Right”), Ethan Coen (“True Grit” with brother Joel Coen), David Fincher (“The SocialNetwork”) and Tom Hooper (“The King’s Speech"). Though not all are expected to get an Oscar nod for Achievement in Directing when the announcements are made this Tuesday -- of the six, only Aronofsky, Fincher and Hooper are probably locks -- all of their names have been brought up as worthy of a nomination. Though a lot of the discussion is pretty standard fare -- what’s worse about being a director, how they get great performances -- there's still quite are a few golden tidbits of candid talk, insight and knowledge.

Oscarbation: How 'True Grit' Is Vanishing From The Oscar Picture

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • December 17, 2010 11:38 AM
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  • 6 Comments
Momentum momentum moment. “True Grit” has none. Or at least, not enough.

Review: 'True Grit' An Old-Fashioned Oater Only The Coens Could Make

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 15, 2010 3:04 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Judging by some of the early reviews of "True Grit" you would think that the Coens had left their bag of tricks at home when making the film, delivering a respectful if overly formal western. However, it seems those reviewers who got an early look forgot that the Coens are often found at the height of their creative powers when operating with a genre milieu. Take "Miller's Crossing," "The Hudsucker Proxy" or "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" -- all films with giant nods to filmmakers of yore, yet each imbued with the Coens' own distinctive thematic obsessions: this all continues with "True Grit." Wickedly funny, undeniably compelling and yes, touched with a less cynical heart than some of their most recent efforts (though hardly "sentimental" as some critics have suggested) the picture finds the Coens pushing all their usual techniques to the fore, while at the same time keeping them constrained by the genre they're working within and for most part, it works wonderfully.

Snubs, Stupidities, Surprises & A Few Delights From The 2010 Golden Globe Nominations

  • By Edward Davis
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  • December 14, 2010 3:32 AM
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  • 12 Comments
'True Grit' & 'Another Year' Totally Shut Out, '127 Hours' Fails To Score Directing Or Best Drama NodsOnly in the bizarro world of the Hollywood Foreign Press does "The Tourist" earn a Best Picture nomination and Danny Boyle's "127 Hours" go empty-handed. Granted, the Depp/Jolie pic scored a nod in the Best Comedy or Musical section and Boyle's mountain climbing drama was shut out of the five noms-only Best Dramatic picture category, but still, doesn't that seem odd?

Colin Firth In Talks To Star In Coen Brothers Penned 'Gambit'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 13, 2010 7:22 AM
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  • 0 Comments
After securing a director in Michael Hoffman ("The Last Station," "Game 6"), the long-gestating Coen brothers script "Gambit" (not the superhero, kids) now has a lead actor circling the project.

Can't Wait To See 'True Grit'? Here's Four Clips From The Film

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 10, 2010 11:14 AM
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  • 6 Comments
While all the Oscar prognosticators are spit shining "The Fighter" this week and trumpeting it as the Best Picture winner, that sentiment will pretty much change next week when "True Grit" starts screening en masse and every crystal ball awards season genie will switch up their tune.

Ten Dead Projects We'd Like To See Resurrected

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • December 10, 2010 8:00 AM
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  • 10 Comments
With John Hillcoat's 'The Promised Land' Back From The Dead, We Look At Other Films Currently In The Studio GravesLast year, pre-production was halted immediately on “The Wettest Country” -- aka John Hillcoat's "The Promised Land" starring Amy Adams, Shia LaBeouf, Ryan Gosling, Paul Dano, possibly Scarlett Johansson, Michael Shannon, etc. -- potentially killing a film we were all very excited to see. But, stunningly, the film has found a new lease on life with the involvement of Tom Hardy (Hillcoat and LaBeouf are the only other principal talent that's back so far), warming our hearts considering since we were ready to cast it onto the pile of would-be movies dead and buried.

First Reviews For 'True Grit' Reveal The Coens At Their Most Traditional & Sentimental

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 1, 2010 7:05 AM
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  • 6 Comments
"True Grit," the last potential Oscar player in the mix, has finally screened for critics and with the embargo breaking this afternoon, first reviews are beginning to trickle out. And scanning through them, there seems to be a big leeway being given to the directing duo for a film that apparently bears very little of the usual imprint or flourishes and plays strictly as an homage to westerns of yore. While most are pleased with the film, it seems the picture's tone and deliberate old school feel may be a dealbreaker for some Coen brothers fans, and it remains to be seen if it has the right stuff to hoof it into the awards season race.

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