The Playlist

For Your Consideration: 5 Lead Performances That Deserve Oscar Recognition

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 20, 2012 12:05 PM
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  • 8 Comments
Oscar voting got underway this week with a January 3rd deadline that, between Christmas and New Year, will be on us before we know it. And so, with only a few weeks left to catch up in theaters and work through screeners, we wanted to pick out a few names who've been otherwise overlooked by prognosticators and experts in the conversation to date.

For Your Consideration: 5 Supporting Performances That Deserve Oscar Nods

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 19, 2012 1:01 PM
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  • 25 Comments
As of Monday, Oscar ballots have been sent out, online voting (for the first time ever) is underway, and the endgame of the 2012 awards season approaches. And thanks to the cottage industry of awards predictions and precursors, the narrative is already in place. If you've been talked up as an Oscar contender for the last several months, if you've already been anointed by critics groups or the Golden Globes, then you're seriously in the race. If not, then you should probably make other plans for that Sunday in February.

Oscars: Where Do The Best Picture Contenders Stand After The SAG & Golden Globe Nominations?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 13, 2012 2:24 PM
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  • 6 Comments
It's the end of a busy-ass awards week, and a pretty crucial one as far as the Oscar season goes. Within the space of a few days, we've had the LA Film Critics Circle announcements, the Critics Choice Award nods, the SAG nominations and, this morning, the Golden Globe nominees being revealed.

Petition For Rick Ross' 'Django Unchained' Track Starts Here: 75 Original Songs Eligible For 2012 Oscars

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 12, 2012 11:45 AM
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  • 7 Comments
Let's face it, as much as the Academy tries to retool the show each year, the Best Song category is always a lowlight of the show. It doesn't help that the songs themselves are generally not so hot, and whether performed in a giant medley or individually, it tends to bring the telecast to a grinding halt. But listen to us, Oscar voters, you can change all that in 2012.
More: Awards, Oscars

Oscars: In A Field Of Epics Who Has The Best Chance To Win Best Editing?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • November 30, 2012 12:29 PM
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  • 2 Comments
This week's "Killing Them Softly" is something of an outlier this season, in that it runs at a brisk 97 minutes. As has been noted by many -- not least a seemingly ADD-afflicted senior Variety staffer -- many of the big movies in awards contention have come with epic running times.

Oscars: Taking The Temperature Of The Race As 'Les Miserables' & 'Zero Dark Thirty' Screen

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • November 26, 2012 10:57 AM
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  • 13 Comments
With Thanksgiving over and done with, we've arguably reached the mid-point of the awards season. Things will be kicking off with the Independent Spirit nominations arriving tomorrow, and the New York Film Critics Circle and National Board of Review following next week. And with Oscar ballots going out not long after, almost every film has been screened, with "Les Miserables" and "Zero Dark Thirty" making their debuts over the weekend to press and industry types, leaving "Django Unchained" the last major contender to be seen by critics. And many of the big movies, including "Silver Linings Playbook" and "Life Of Pi" most recently, have now been seen by audiences too.

Oscars: Will 'Life Of Pi' Sail Away With The Visual Effects Award?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • November 20, 2012 1:59 PM
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  • 8 Comments
It's taken Yann Martel's best-selling novel "Life Of Pi" close to a decade to come to the screen. Directors including Jean-Pierre Jeunet, M. Night Shyamalan and Alfonso Cuaron all flirted with the project, but for various reasons, elected not to shoot it. And it's fair enough, really, because it's difficult material, driven by a single character, mostly set in a single location at sea, and crucially, with the second lead is a wordless, enormous Bengal tiger.

'Hitchcock' Star Anthony Hopkins Calls Awards Season Schmoozing "Disgusting"

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 19, 2012 2:51 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Did Anthony Hopkins just pull a Joaquin Phoenix? The legendary actor and four-time Oscar nominee (who won Best Actor for "Silence Of The Lambs") is out on the stump for "Hitchcock," but he's making it plainly clear he's not a fan of having to charm all the various critics groups and voters as part of the awards season rush.

Oscars: Dancing With 'Anna Karenina' As The Costume & Production Design Awards Come Into Play

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • November 15, 2012 12:58 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Friday sees the release of Joe Wright's version of "Anna Karenina," a film which, over the last few months, has become something of a Playlist favorite. A bold, non-naturalistic take on Tolstoy's classic, it's proven to be hugely divisive -- some have mocked it as near-disastrous, some (including this writer, and several other senior Playlist staff members) consider it among the finest films of the year. As such, this divisiveness has likely, and sadly, put paid to the film's chances in most of the big ticket Oscar races. Best Picture, Director and Screenplay are very long shots at this stage, and even Keira Knightley, a presumptive frontrunner for Best Actress before the film was seen, may find herself outside the final five when all is said and done.

Benghazi, The Fiscal Cliff & The Election: How Important Is It For A Best Picture Contender To Capture The Zeitgeist?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • November 14, 2012 3:58 PM
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  • 3 Comments
When President Barack Obama won re-election a week ago, more than one tweet popped up saying something along the lines of "Well, that makes 'Lincoln' the Best Picture front-runner now." You could certainly make that argument for Steven Spielberg's film. It had plenty of adoring reviews, a titanic performance by Daniel Day-Lewis, and a enormously healthy box office-average in limited release, taking around $75000 on each of its eleven screens.

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