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The Playlist

Awards 2014: If The Oscar Nominations Were Today, Who Would The Academy Vote For?

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 2, 2014 1:18 PM
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  • 18 Comments
Oscars, If They Were Held Now
Recently we ran our Fall Festival 50, a wishlist and prediction piece about the films we expect to see popping up in the fall. Many of them will be on their way to an Oscar campaign, because, as the accepted wisdom goes, if you want your film to have a fighting chance at Academy Awards glory, you secure in a nice cosy October/November/December release date, maybe on the back of a festival premiere, and bombard the trades with For Your Consideration ads. This indeed has been the route taken by five of the six most recent Best Picture winners ("12 Years a Slave," "Argo," "The Artist," "The King's Speech," "Slumdog Millionaire") with only Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker” proving that it’s possible to play in summer and still pick up the big one.

The Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of 2014 So Far

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 1, 2014 2:52 PM
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  • 52 Comments
Worst/Disappointing So Far... 2014
We’ve said it before, notably as a lead-in to our recent Best Films Of The Year So Far feature, but 2014 is looking to be a pretty good year for the movies, with a lot more to celebrate than commiserate being unveiled this past six months. And if we can say that the week that “Transformers: Age of Extinction” is the big release, you know we must really mean it. However, as the song goes, along with all the sunshine, there’s gotta be a little rain sometimes, and how would we even know how great some of our high points were if we didn’t periodically experience the lows? Even in the best years, there’ll be a few films that stick in our various craws, and so in our bi-annual attempt to exorcize those demons, here’s a rundown of the films our staff members most disliked this year, thus far.

Review: Conventional, Flawed 'The Railway Man' Starring Colin Firth And Nicole Kidman

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 9, 2014 6:13 PM
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  • 1 Comment
The Railway Man
"The Railway Man" tells the true story of a World War II veteran mentally broken by his experiences in the war, living a lonely, isolated life, and trying to come to grips as best he can with the terror and memories that still haunt his mind. But you'd be forgiven after watching the opening portion of the film for mistaking it with a Colin Firth romantic comedy, set against the backdrop of England's lovely countryside. Going full adorkable, complete with mussed hair and oversized glasses (which we suppose would make him a hipster now), Eric (Firth) is at first glance a lovable, mild-mannered eccentric. He keeps to himself, but he's obsessed with trains—souvenirs, schedules, model numbers—he knows it all. But when Patti, played by Nicole Kidman, crosses into his single-minded field of vision, it's understandable that he finds something new worth paying attention to.

A24 Dates 'The Rover' With Robert Pattinson For June 13, Keira Knightley's 'Laggies' For September 26

  • By Edward Davis
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  • February 28, 2014 6:45 PM
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  • 6 Comments
Robert Pattinson’s clout-building continues in 2014 though it technically has barely begun. Pattinson’s post-“Twilight” career rehab started with David Cronenberg’s “Cosmopolis” and the film world took notice. Auteurs, perhaps needing a viable start to greenlight their projects, took notice too. Werner Herzog came knocking (“Queen Of The Desert”), James Gray (“The Lost City of Z”), Cronenberg again (“Maps to the Stars”), Anton Corbijn ("Life") and many others. One of the earliest adopters was Aussie filmmaker David Michôd who quickly cast him in “The Rover” opposite Guy Pearce.

Watch: U.S. Trailer For Colin Firth/Nicole Kidman Drama ‘The Railway Man’ Plus New Clip

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • January 10, 2014 9:37 AM
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  • 0 Comments
The Railway Man
We’ve seen Colin Firth overcome a stutter, win an Oscar, and launch England’s involvement in WWII with “The Kings Speech," but in the actor’s first historical drama since, we witness the other side—the severe emotional trauma present in many soldiers afterwards. “The Railway Man” pairs Firth in that situation with the possibility of revenge, and after several international trailers we’ve got the first stateside look at the Jonathan Teplitzky-directed drama’s treatment of such.

Watch: Nicole Kidman & Colin Firth Meet Cute In Clip From 'The Railway Man' Plus New Images From The Film

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 5, 2013 5:32 PM
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  • 1 Comment
In an era when Richard Branson is ready to shoot people into space, we will say this about the old fashioned railroad: it's still pretty romantic. The countryside whipping by, the sound of the tracks, the recycled air....okay, maybe not everything about the experience will make hearts flutter but it's easy to see why Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth share an instant bond in "The Railway Man."

Watch: U.K. Trailer For ‘The Railway Man’ Starring Colin Firth & Nicole Kidman Plus New Pics From The Film

  • By Edward Davis
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  • November 6, 2013 2:10 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Railway man, UK poster
"It was 1984 and I saw [Jim Jarmusch's] 'Stranger Than Paradise' and [Andrei Tarkovsky's] 'The Sacrifice' in 24 hours, and they both left such an impression on me," Jonathan Teplitzky, the director of "The Railway Man" starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman, recently said in an indie directors round-table chat with THR. " 'Stranger Than Paradise' showed how [feasible] it was to make a film, so simply and so distinctively. And with 'The Sacrifice,' it can be about anything. It can be about what you dream, what you think." For interested cinephiles, those are some choice films to reference, which makes "The Railway Man" potentially an intriguing film beyond just the star-studded cast that also includes Jeremy Irvine, Stellan Skarsgård and Hiroyuki Sanada.

Eli Roth's 'The Green Inferno' Gets Picked Up, Sequel In The Works & More TIFF Acquistions

  • By Ben Brock
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  • September 12, 2013 10:58 AM
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  • 0 Comments
The feeding frenzy that is the backstage wheeling-and-dealing at a major film festival has come to Toronto, and bobbing up from the churning waters are a number of intriguing bodies... We hear from our friends at Hitfix that CBS Films has nabbed “The F Word,” not (sadly?) the feature-length Gordon Ramsay movie we've all been waiting for, but rather a “(500) Days of Summer”-esque rom-com, starring Zoe Kazan and Daniel Radcliffe, and word around the fest has been pretty positive by those who've seen it. It's directed by Michael Dowse ("Fubar," "Take Me Home Tonight") and also features Rafe Spall and “Girls” star Adam Driver.

Watch: First Trailer For 'The Railway Man' Starring Colin Firth & Nicole Kidman

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • September 10, 2013 9:57 AM
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  • 9 Comments
The Railway Man
For a movie starring Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman and Stellan Skarsgard, and based on a harrowing true story, "The Railway Man" hasn't been garnering all that much buzz out of the Toronto International Film Festival (you can read our review here). Still, it's a movie that is definitely going to be reaching theaters outside of the festival and as proof Lionsgate has released a new trailer for the film, full of gorgeous cinematography, emotionally manipulative music cues, and Firth writhing around on the floor. Can you say "blockbuster?"

It's Like You're There! Watch TIFF Press Conferences For 'Gravity,' '12 Years A Slave,' 'Prisoners,' 'Labor Day' And More

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • September 9, 2013 12:32 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Press Conference TIFF 2013
If you are stuck having to watch all the Toronto International Film Festival action from the sidelines, fret not—another aspect of the festival will now come straight to your computer screen. The overlong, occasionally awkward press conferences that accompany each of the big films at TIFF have been uploaded to YouTube, so you can squirm in your seat while pretending to not play Candy Crush like the rest of the journalists in the room. This is literally hours of material, from big marquee titles like "Gravity," "12 Years a Slave," "Prisoners," "Labor Day," "Enough Said" and more. It's like you're there! Only not.

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