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The Playlist

Retrospective: The Films Of Martin Scorsese

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • December 17, 2013 2:05 PM
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  • 34 Comments
Retrospective: Martin Scorsese
As a director Martin Scorsese ranks at the forefront of the all-time top tier of American filmmakers, but even as a presence in the film world in general he is pre-eminent. It is merely the just desserts of a life which, more than any we can think of, has been entirely dedicated, saturated and invigorated by cinema. For any of us who spend any portion of our days thinking about movies, Scorsese is, as much as we have one, a patron saint, perhaps the figure to whom the less Godly among us might whisper our evening prayers. Yet Scorsese also belies the directorial cliché of egotism, a Welles or a De Mille striding around with a bullhorn booming out orders to scuttling minions, because he has always been dinstictively softly if rapidly spoken, and thoughtful, especially when talking about cinema. Just to hear him talk about cinema is one of the great joys of the man. He is erudite, passionate and opinionated, with a film knowledge so vast that it’s hard to imagine where he ever found the time to make a single movie himself.

The 10 Best Child Performances Of 2013

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • December 16, 2013 2:48 PM
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  • 19 Comments
The 10 Best "Child" Performances Of 2013
The legendary W.C. Fields once said "never work with animals or children," but that advice thankfully has been broken time and time again, and especially in 2013, when younger thespians were able to truly show their chops (not to mention the cat performances from "Inside Llewyn Davis”). We wanted to highlight their contributions in a stand-alone feature, since so many of our favorite movies this year were enhanced and made real by younger performers.

Cocaine, Sex & 10 Things Learned About The Making Of 'The Wolf Of Wall Street'

  • By Alex Suskind
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  • December 16, 2013 1:11 PM
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  • 1 Comment
The Wolf Of Wall Street
When you make a film about the debaucherous activities of Wall Street traders, you’re guaranteed to have some entertaining stories on how it got made––which is exactly what we heard this past weekend when the cast and crew of "The Wolf of Wall Street" spoke about the movie at a press conference in New York City.

R.I.P. - The Essentials: 5 Of Peter O'Toole's Best Performances

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 15, 2013 2:04 PM
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  • 9 Comments
We have a story about Peter O'Toole. We can't remember where we first heard it, and like many such stories, it could well be apocryphal. Supposedly, O'Toole, at the height of his 1970s drinking, met a few friends for lunch at a restaurant in London's Soho. As was his custom, a bottle of wine was ordered, then another, then several more. After the food, they then reconvened to various pubs throughout the afternoon. As evening rolled around, the group got the idea to go and see a play. The drunken crew stumbled into a theatre, bought tickets, and took their seats. It was a good few minutes into it that O'Toole froze, then turned to his companion and whispered "Bloody hell, I'm in this fucking play," before dashing backstage, donning his costume and taking the stage.

Oscars: How Did The Golden Globe And SAG Nominations Affect The Acting Races?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 13, 2013 11:47 AM
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  • 10 Comments
Oscars: How Did The Golden Globe And SAG Nominations Effect The Acting Races?
Given that we looked at some of the acting categories right at the start of the season, a lot's changed since then. Many of the initial predictions were on the money, of course, but plenty weren't (*cough* Cameron Diaz in "The Counselor"). If anything, though, the races have only got tighter, adding up to one of the toughest and most competitive years we can remember for awards-contending performances. In the last few weeks, things have started to crystalize a little, thanks to the beginning of awards season proper with the critics' groups last week, and the SAG and Golden Globe nominations in the last couple of days. So, with it being so long since we cast a light on these races, we thought we'd go back and see how they're shaping up. Which categories are locking up, and which remain very much in play?

The 15 Best TV Episodes Of 2013

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • December 12, 2013 4:06 PM
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  • 18 Comments
The Best Television Episodes of 2013
Without wishing to engage in the tiresome “TV shows or movies, which are better?” debate (not better, just different, plenty of toys for everyone) we have noticed a distinct uptick in our TV consumption over 2013, reflected in the increased number of shows we’ve been reviewing or recapping for your pleasure, including: “American Horror Story: Coven” “Boardwalk Empire” “Veep,” “Hello Ladies,” “Breaking Bad,” “Game of Thrones,” “The Newsroom,” “Family Tree,” “Girls” and “House of Cards,” along with miniseries “Top of the Lake” and “Parade’s End.”

5 Favorite Disney Memories From 'Saving Mr. Banks' Star Jason Schwartzman

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • December 12, 2013 1:08 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Saving Mr. Banks Jason Schwartzman
John Lee Hancock's "Saving Mr. Banks" dramatizes the creative struggle to get "Mary Poppins" adapted for the big screen. And while much of film is devoted to the contentious relationship between Walt Disney (played by Tom Hanks) and 'Poppins' author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson), there were people at the periphery who were just as important to the process. Chief amongst these people were the Sherman brothers, the crack songwriting duo behind the movie's unforgettable songs. Jason Schwartzman plays Richard Sherman while B. J. Novak plays Robert Sherman.

The 20 Worst Films Of 2013

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • December 12, 2013 12:08 PM
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  • 87 Comments
2013: Worst Fillms Of The Year
You know us, dear reader, we’re on the side of the angels. Most days of the year will find us, Pollyanna-like, looking on the bright side of the movie world, championing the weak, giving succour to the neglected and finding the silver lining to every cinematic cloud. But not today. Today, screw that, we’re giving vent to the bile that has built up over a twelvemonth of diligent moviegoing and letting it rip on those movies that just fucking suck. And while we still believe in reasoned argument and persuasive rhetoric to get our points across, forgive us if we occasionally lapse into hyperbole here, and remember that these are films that take two-odd hours of our (and your) lives and brainspace, that could be given to something much more deserving,, rewarding and wondrous, and serve us mulch instead. I mean, Bergman’s “Autumn Sonata” is roughly the same length as Sandler’s “Grown Ups 2.”

The 15 Best Documentaries Of 2013

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • December 11, 2013 2:40 PM
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  • 18 Comments
2013: The Best Documentaries of The Year
To devotees of the medium like us, cinema has an unparalleled ability to give form and shape to previously unimagined worlds. But not all unimagined worlds are unreal, an infinite number, in fact, lurk all around us: the astounding personal history of a passerby; the human cost that the news headline crawling across our TV screen cannot capture; the treasure and trash and unclaimed bodies buried beneath our local shopping mall. But despite the unbelievable wealth of material available for it to mine, the documentary format (and we’ve been guilty of this too) has historically often been sweepingly generalized as narrative film’s less glamorous, workhorse sister.

The 15 Best Soundtracks Of 2013

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • December 11, 2013 12:00 PM
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  • 17 Comments
2013: The Best Soundtracks
Some people—a convenient straw man, for instance—might argue that the days of the movie soundtrack are numbered. “From & Inspired By The Motion Picture” releases are less and less common, it's hard to find music videos for specially written singles that feature footage from the movie in the way that was so common in the 1990s (thank God), and in the iTunes and YouTube era, you can find the one song that you love from a movie without needing to pick up a whole CD of stuff you don't care about.

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