The Playlist

10 Pleasant Surprises From The 2011 Oscar Nominations

  • By Edward Davis
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  • January 25, 2011 5:44 AM
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  • 7 Comments
Alright, the 83rd Annual Academy Award nominations are in. Now it's time to analyze, bitch and moan, celebrate, postulate and what have you, depending on your subjective opinion of the way the noms turned out (it's honestly amusing watching the Oscar "expert" bloggers quiver in their boots about the diminishing shine on "The Social Network" even though it still has a great shot at Best Picture; worlds have been accordingly rocked.).

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.

My Favorite Films Of 2010: Gabe Toro

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • January 3, 2011 5:53 AM
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  • 6 Comments
I was pleased to find that, as Playlist writers, we were encouraged to publish our own 10 best lists for 2010. We often have differing opinions, and how could we not? More importantly, we change with the times, particularly through the prism of a year at the movies -- a challenging, cerebral independent film that haunted us one afternoon in June could just be an afterthought as winter approaches, the time spent allowing us to emotionally gravitate in different directions. The themes and ideas behind the films we consume have the power to assist us in recontextualizing, rebuilding our lives and understanding something more about ourselves. The best films of the year, in other words, should be films that made us better people, and what’s good for one Playlist scribe may not be good for another

Exclusive: 'Illusionist' Director Sylvain Chomet Talks Jacques Tati, & Why His Next Film Will Be 3D

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • December 29, 2010 7:15 AM
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  • 4 Comments
'Triplets Of Belleville' Animator Also Chimes In On Where Pixar Should Be Headed & What Happened With His Venture Into Hollywood"The Illusionist," which opened over the weekend, is French filmmaker Sylvain Chomet's first animated film since his breakthrough "Triplets of Belleville" (you're probably already humming the Oscar-nominated song right now). It's the tender and touching tale of an aging magician (modeled after French comedy master Jacques Tati whose Mr. Hulot character is beloved and legendary), whose abandoned script the film is based on) who befriends a young Scottish girl. Virtually wordless, the movie will take your breath away, not just because of the luscious hand-drawn animation but also because of the movie's raw emotionality. One of the reasons Tati never directed the film himself was because the material was too touchy, since it was his way of dealing with his abandonment of a daughter at a young age.

In Theaters: 'Little Fockers,' 'True Grit,' 'Gulliver's Travels'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 24, 2010 3:01 AM
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  • 2 Comments
There are plenty of options for those of you seeking refuge in a dark movie theater from family fights, creepy uncles and the increasingly annoying and endless loop of Christmas carols in every mall across America. But a word of advice? If it has a big budget, stay the hell away. A number of options are hitting multiplexes this week, a couple boasting A-list names as mistletoe to get into your wallet, but they probably aren't worth your time. Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro return for "Little Fockers" which, if the trailers have been anything to go by, is a penis-stabbing comedy of some kind. Meanwhile, Jack Black gets supersized in "Gulliver's Travels" and comes out of it all wet. Much more promising, Paramount serves the Coen Brothers' oater "True Grit," while over at the arthouse, Sofia Coppola goes "Somewhere" while animation fans get a nice stocking stuffer with Sylvain Chomet's "The Illusionist."

Review: 'The Illusionist' Is A Moving, Magical Animated Feast

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • December 24, 2010 2:06 AM
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  • 1 Comment
"The Illusionist" has an interesting history, and it seems downright magical that it made it to the cinemas at all. The project originated as a script by French comedy master Jacques Tati, completed with his writing partner Henri Marquet shortly before Tati would tackle his large-scale comedy masterpiece "Trafic." A small tale, about an aging magician and the young girl he befriends, the script was deemed "too painful" for the director, since the script was an exorcism of sorts, as it dealt with the daughter he abandoned many years before.

Watch: New Trailer For Sylvain Chomet's 'The Illusionist'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 4, 2010 9:44 AM
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  • 0 Comments
A new trailer has arrived for the sophomore feature effort from "The Triplets Of Belleville" director Sylvain Chomet.

VIFF '10 Reviews: 'Incendies' Maybe Not All It's Cracked Up To Be, 'The Illusionist' & More

  • By Erik McClanahan
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  • October 26, 2010 6:47 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Vancouver Film Fest Capsule Reviews of 'Heartbeats,' 'I Wish I Knew,' 'Nostalgia For The Light' & MoreEven though the 2010 Vancouver International Film Festival came to a close more than a week ago, we still have plenty of films to report on, and hopefully more reviews to come after this writer catches up on screeners. The closing night film, "The Illusionist," is included in this rundown, as well as many other titles worth looking for, and some, well, not so much. So, please forgive us for the delay. After all, it's been a busy past week and change here at The Playlist, what with our new home and all. First, a rundown of stuff this writer saw at the excellent fest, which mostly agrees with other writers who wrote about them already here.

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