The Playlist

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.

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

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 4, 2013 3:05 PM
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  • 11 Comments
Received wisdom says that most years, including this one, the Best Actress field of contenders for the Oscars is "weaker" than their male counterparts, with a fairly limited group of possibilities who are plausible nominees. To which we can only say: horseshit. Every year, but this one in particular, we watch scores of fine female performances be overlooked because they're in small indie movies or because they were overshadowed in reviews by male co-stars or because they're not Meryl Streep.

Spike Jonze's 'Her' Wins Best Film & Best Director From National Board Of Review

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 4, 2013 1:42 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Her, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams
So how influential are the National Board Of Review winners? Well, last year "Zero Dark Thirty" won Best Film, Best Director and Best Actress and went on to be shut out in all three categories when the Oscars rolled out. Basically, just remember that there is a gulf between critics and Academy voters (remember the year when "The Social Network" cleaned up in the all early awards?) so just take a breath. That said, it's nice to see the love.

Best Of 2013: The Breakout Directors Of The Year

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • November 27, 2013 5:20 PM
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  • 14 Comments
Best of 2013: The Breakout Directors Of The Year
Every year, film buffs get themselves in a lather over the latest from their favorite experienced directors. The calendar is marked for the next Spielberg, I’ll be there opening day for Scorsese’s latest, I am all about Spike Lee, etc. But the real pleasure in being a film fan is stumbling upon the undiscovered, lifting a rock and uncovering a new talent, a new voice, with a brand new vocabulary for us to learn. The Scorsese films will be there for us to discover and rediscover whenever we want. In 2013, however, there was only one Shaka King picture, there was only one Lake Bell joint.

Oscars: Will Saudi Arabia's 'Wadjda' Win The Best Foreign Language Film Award?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • November 18, 2013 3:18 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Oscars 2013, Foreign Language Best Film
Of all the Academy award categories the Foreign Language one has probably been the most mystifying, arcane and hard to predict. Traditionally, and unlike in most other categories, nominees have been decided by a committee rather than by a wider voting branch and it's often led to controversy, with some of the most acclaimed international films of a given year missing out. Recent years have seen some changes for the better—films like "Dogtooth" or "Bullhead" would never have been nominated a decade ago—but controversy still circulates around this category.

Review: Saudi Arabian Film 'Wadjda' Is A Phenomenal Debut From An Exciting New Talent

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 11, 2013 6:33 PM
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  • 7 Comments
The cinematic revolution in the Middle East over the last few decades, led principally by a generation of Iranian filmmakers who've flourished creatively despite restrictions placed on them by the regime, hasn't necessarily carried over to every region. Saudi Arabia, for instance, is hardly known for its cinema, which isn't especially surprising, given that movie theaters were banned in the country 30 years ago.

10 Films To See In September

  • By Kristen Lopez
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  • September 3, 2013 4:02 PM
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  • 7 Comments
10 Films To See In September
We’ve entered September, the point where the films aren’t bombastic enough for summer (but not outright crap reserved for August), and don’t have the longevity or clout to be remembered come Oscar time. Ten movies made the cut, along with a swath of honorable mentions, so September might be a good time to take a break from school or work and go hit the multiplex!

Watch: U.S. Trailer & Clip For Saudi Arabian Festival Favorite 'Wadjda'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 19, 2013 2:32 PM
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  • 0 Comments
The most rewarding movies are the ones that take you into an unfamiliar world, with rich characters and a unique story. And the upcoming "Wadjda" not only does that, but it brings a big heart to go with it, and at the center of it all, a dynamic lead performance by the young and thoroughly charming Waad Mohammed. So needless to say, this is one we highly endorse, but in case you need more convincing, here's the new U.S. trailer for the film.

Put On Your Must Watch List: Trailer For Saudi Arabia's First Ever Female-Directed Film 'Wadjda'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 3, 2013 12:11 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Feeling beaten down and obliterated by the blitzkrieg of summer movies? Well, just remember it's just a couple of months left and we're back to movies that don't involve toys, brands and franchises. And one you should definitely put on your radar is Haifaa Al-Mansour's "Wadjda." Not only is it the first-ever film from Saudi Arabia, it's from a first-time female filmmaker, in a country where rights for women are still staggeringly archaic. But perhaps most of all, trivia aside, it's just a damn good movie already landing on our 2013 The Best Films Of The Year...So Far list. Well, here's a peek at what it's all about.

NYFF Wrap: The 4 Best Films, Plus Our Complete Coverage Of The Festival

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • October 15, 2012 3:58 PM
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  • 0 Comments
There are many reasons we like the New York Film Festival, held by the Film Society of Lincoln Center annually for the past 50 years, but among them is that, as most of our contributors are based in NYC, the whole thing is pretty much in our back garden. But even beyond that, it's always been one of the most carefully curated festivals around with a line-up that cherry picks the best from Cannes, TIFF, Venice and elsewhere, and brings them all to the Big Apple.

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