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Premature Oscar Predictions: The 2015 Best Actor Contenders

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 10, 2014 2:49 PM
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  • 95 Comments
Premature Oscar Predictions: Actors
In an effort to cut off the head and put a stake in the heart of the awards season for a few months, last week saw us running down a few of the Best Picture possibilities for the 2014/2015 Oscars. Namely, the movies that are likely to dominate discussions in the back six of the next twelve months.

The 25 Best Breakthrough Performances Of 2013

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • December 3, 2013 2:20 PM
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  • 43 Comments
25 Breakthrough Artists of 2013
One of the great pleasures of being a movie fan is the discovery of new performers. Faces that, months earlier, you'd have passed by in the street, suddenly gifted the role of a lifetime, and whose lives will never be the same again. It feels to us that 2013 was an especially strong year for new faces: festivals like Sundance, SXSW and Cannes, not to mention films that went straight to wide release, unleashed a veritable hurricane of talent that we'll be seeing for years to come.

For Your Consideration: 10 Overlooked Actors Who Deserve Some Awards Season Attention

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • November 26, 2013 4:17 PM
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  • 35 Comments
Oscars: 10 Overlooked Actors
In the few weeks since we put a spotlight on the Best Actor race, a competitive field has only tightened further. Robert Redford, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Matthew McConaughey and Tom Hanks have only firmed up their status as near-certain nominees, and if there was any doubt that Bruce Dern would pick up a nod, the actor's fierce campaigning makes it more and more likely that it'll come to pass. Short of a real shock, or a swell of momentum for late entrants Christian Bale ("American Hustle") or Leonardo DiCaprio ("The Wolf Of Wall Street"), those will likely be your five nominees come January.

Oscar Isaac Drops Out Of 'The Ballad Of Pablo Escobar', But John Leguizamo Might Replace Him

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 12, 2013 11:05 AM
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  • 5 Comments
One thing we're really excited to see over the next year or so is the blooming of Oscar Isaac into a full-blown movie star. The actor's been stealing the show for a few years now in films like "Body Of Lies," "Robin Hood," "Drive" and "The Bourne Legacy," but looks ready to move to the next stage up; he's tipped for awards for his lead role in the Coen Brothers' "Inside Llewyn Davis" (read our review from Cannes here), and he's got a number of other lead roles on the way, including "Therese," "The Two Faces Of January" and "Ex Machina."

Oscar Isaac Scores The Lead In The Coen Brothers Folk Music Movie 'Inside Llewyn Davis’

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 14, 2011 2:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments
If you've been paying attention, you probably already know that Oscar Isaac is poised to be a major star. The actor has already logged time with folks like Steven Soderbergh ("Che"), Ridley Scott ("Body Of Lies," "Robin Hood") and Alejandro Amenábar ("Agora") but 2011 is proving to be banner year. Of course, we don't need to tell you that even in his small role in "Drive" his presence impressed, and he even managed to come out smelling like roses as one of the few pleasures in the otherwise dreadful "Sucker Punch." And later this year, he'll be seen in Madonna's awards season baiter "W.E." Tony Gilroy wanted him to take the lead role in "The Bourne Legacy," but when that went to Jeremy Renner, he found the actor a meaty co-starring role instead. But now, Isaac is lining up what may just be the biggest role of his career.

TIFF '11 Review: 'Ten Year' Brings Together A Strong Cast For A Mixed Bag Of Comedy & Drama

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 13, 2011 1:00 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Births, funerals, marriage, anniversaries and even annual vacations have all served as plot devices in the reunion film, a genre that usually finds middle-aged or older characters dealing with a crisis that is exacerbated by seeing old family and friends. And while "Ten Year" certainly isn't breaking new territory, producer and star Channing Tatum, along with writer/director Jamie Linden ("Dear John"), do take an interesting approach. Wisely not going far beyond their own age bracket, this film brings together a pretty solid ensemble cast of some of the best up-and-coming actors working right now for a tale that catches up with a gaggle of friends for a reunion -- you guessed it -- ten years after their graduation from high school. Taking on a bunch of characters as they leave their twenties is definitely a smart concept but instead of offering what could have been an honest look at contemporary soon-to-be thirtysomethings and the challenges, fears and triumphs they have endured, "Ten Year" delivers a mixed bag of CW plots that at worst are cliché and predictable, with a very few that do stand out.

Oscar Isaac, Elijah Wood, Adam Brody, Ryan Phillippe, Kristen Wiig Will Be 'Revenge For Jolly!'

  • By Edward Davis
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  • September 7, 2011 5:53 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Actors Oscar Isaac, Elijah Wood, Adam Brody, Ryan Phillippe, Kristen Wiig, David Rasche, Kevin Corrigan, Garret Dillahunt, Bobby Moynihan, and Gillian Jacobs are all part of the recently wrapped “Revenge For Jolly!” directed by short filmmaker Chadd Harbold and starring Brian Petsos. How does a project with this many big names go unannounced and under the radar? Well, it's a indie and the the debut film of Atlas Independent, the newly-formed affiliate company of Charles Roven’s Atlas Entertainmenta company that focuses on development and production of films budgeted under $10 million (Roven known by fans as one of the producers of Christopher Nolan's Batman series).

Empire Big Screen '11 Review: Nicolas Winding Refn's 'Drive' Reminds Us Why We Love The Movies

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 16, 2011 4:02 AM
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  • 7 Comments
Good god, it's been a bad year at the cinema. It's not so much that there've been a lot of awful films, although of course there have. It's more that there have been a lot of deeply average ones, and very little greatness to share around. Even the better end of the scale, it's not quite scratched the right itch for us: as good as, say, "Beginners" or "Win Win" or "Midnight in Paris" are, they don't quite get the synapses firing in the way that truly great cinema does. It's the kind of thing that the crime flick has always done well -- there's a reason that the Cahiers du Cinema crowd worshiped early American genre pictures, for example, but there's been little to be excited about even in that department. So it's lucky that Nicolas Winding Refn's "Drive" has come along: it's a shot of pure cinema straight to the eyeball, and one that's stopped us from losing the faith just as we were about to start looking for gigs at What Yacht Magazine.

Oscar Isaac Joins 'The Bourne Legacy'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 22, 2011 3:26 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Let's get away from the heat wave for a moment and rewind the clock back to the cooler temperatures of February. Back then, writer/director Tony Gilroy was beginning to look at actors for the lead role of "The Bourne Legacy" and basically every young, eligible male was in contention with Joel Edgerton, Josh Hartnett, Paul Dano, Michael Pitt, Oscar Isaac, Michael Fassbender, Luke Evans, Alex Pettyfer, Benjamin Walker, Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire, Garrett Hedlund, Taylor Kitsch and Kellan Lutz all in the mix. Well, as you know, the part eventually landed with Jeremy Renner but in a rare stroke of Hollywood good fortune, one of those contenders has been asked back.

Cannes Review: Nicolas Winding Refn's Low-Slung '80s Crime Drama 'Drive' Has A Dark Majesty

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 19, 2011 12:22 PM
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  • 14 Comments
Why is "Drive" -- a seemingly trivial affair about a stuntman and part-time getaway driver, played by Ryan Gosling, pulled into deep and bloody waters on the neon-and-streetlight lit streets of L.A. -- even at Cannes, let alone in competition? It's not merely because of the bloody-but-brilliant background of director Nicolas Winding Refn, whose films (the "Pusher" trilogy, "Bronson," "Valhalla Rising") have demonstrated both an eye for composition and a taste for the jugular. It's not merely because of the film's cinematic roots, with the production seemingly crafted as a clear tribute to '80s-era Michael Mann and other synthesizer-and-faux-leather action-crime stories. Rather, you can make a case that "Drive" is here because action cinema and genre cinema are too important -- and too exciting, enthralling and, yes, artful when well made -- to be merely dismissed as suitable only for hacks to make and dolts to watch. French enthusiasm for American crime cinema from the '40s and '50s gave us the vocabulary and value set to truly appreciate film noir -- and anyone who can truly appreciate film noir will appreciate "Drive."

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