The Playlist

The 15 "Edgiest" Oscar Best Picture Nominees

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 19, 2014 3:39 PM
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  • 29 Comments
Edgy Best Picture oscar nominees
“Ugh, the Academy, so conservative” goes the cliché, as bloggers and pundits the movie world over take a moment to roll their eyes and sigh before diving back in to beaver away on one of a million pieces about this year’s nominations, the pros and cons, the good picks, the bad picks, the odds, the ends (hey, we’ve done a few ourselves with more on the way!) But while that knee-jerk stance is an easy one to adopt (and also comfortable—setting the speaker above the choices in question by virtue of the fact that they’re not challenging enough, not cinephile-y enough, too MOR, too bland), it doesn’t take account of those times when we’ve been surprised by the august body. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which does absolutely skew older-white-male in its demographics (as does the film industry, folks) has, on occasion given us pause—nominating a film which, in content or execution, might seem to be light years away from its wheelhouse: explicit in its treatment of sexuality, or extreme in its violence or just wholly different to our idea of an “Oscar movie.”

You're On The Clock, Mister: 20 Great Workplace Comedies

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • June 6, 2013 3:10 PM
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  • 12 Comments
This weekend's broad new studio comedy "The Internship" (our review) concerns a couple of schlubs (former wedding crashers Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson) who, finding themselves out of work and hopelessly outdated when it comes to modern technology, apply to become interns at Google. While there, the movie becomes something of a workplace comedy – one in which all of their coworkers are way younger, cuter, and more brilliant.

10 Movies Booed At Cannes

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • May 15, 2013 2:35 PM
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  • 37 Comments
If the Cannes Film Festival is known for one thing, it's the festival's close proximity to topless beaches. But if it's known for two things, it's the emotional, emphatic responses that usually greet the films. These reactions come from audiences that are unafraid to tell the film (and the filmmakers, who are often sitting in the theater, squirming inside their rented tuxedoes and sequined ball gowns) how much they love or (just as often) hate, these movies. Not that these audiences are always right – far from it. Some of the movies that have been audibly shouted down are the ones (in the same festival) that take home the top prizes or garner widespread critical and commercial approval outside of Cannes. The Brooklyn Academy of Music is currently having a Booed at Cannes mini-festival, celebrating some of the best movies with the worst reputations. We wanted to also look at ten movies that got hissed at in Cannes and what happened afterwards.

From Best To Worst: Elmore Leonard Movie Adaptations

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 14, 2013 11:57 AM
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  • 17 Comments
Elmore Leonard feature
Today sees the release of a sparkling new Criterion version of "3:10 To Yuma," the perpetually-underrated 1957 Western that's somewhat overshadowed by the more recent 2007 remake. Even those who have seen the earlier version may not be entirely aware that it's based on a short story by a man that we consider not just one of America's finest crime novelists, but one of our finest writers full stop: Elmore Leonard.

The Lost, Unmade & Possible Future Films Of Quentin Tarantino

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • March 27, 2013 3:33 PM
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  • 25 Comments
Quentin Tarantino
Today marks the 50th birthday of one of the most famous and followed film directors working today. He's a man who a little over twenty years ago, gave a shot of adrenaline to the American independent film scene, and today, is an awards favorite and reliable box-office name, with his most recent film having won two Oscars, earning Best Picture nomination as well, taking in over $400 million at the box office worldwide, making it by some distance his most successful film to date. And if you're his age or younger, he's probably had a significant an affect on your cinematic education. Yes, Quentin Tarantino is a half-century old today, having been born on March 27th, 1963.

Watch: Video For "The Payback" Featuring James Brown & Tupac From Oscar Winning 'Django Unchained'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 25, 2013 10:42 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Here's one last victory lap for "Django Unchained." Last night, the film took home two awards which were both a bit of a surprise -- Best Supporting Actor for Christoph Waltz and Best Original Screenplay for Quentin Tarantino. But just before the festivities got underway in California, over the weekend a new video for the hit slavery/vegeance/western/comedy/action movie arrived, mixing up all those familiar ingredients into one musically charged whole.

Watch: Oscar Acceptance Speeches From Ben Affleck, Ang Lee, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Haneke & More

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 25, 2013 9:16 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Despite what whoever was pressing the "Jaws" theme button last night believes, the highlights of the annual Academy Awards tend not to be the montages and dance numbers, but the speeches. It's the moment where an actor or artist is rewarded by their peers, and thanks the Academy with wit, graciousness, charm, enormous egotism, or perhaps a bit of all the above.

The H Is Silent: Watch Christoph Waltz In SNL's Quentin Tarantino Parody 'Djesus Uncrossed'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 17, 2013 9:45 AM
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  • 4 Comments
"Saturday Night Live" is in something of a transitional period, one of many in its 30-odd-year history. Last season saw the show's two biggest stars, Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg depart, with Jason Sudeikis likely to follow at the end of the current season (and Bill Hader and Fred Armisen surely not far behind). At the same time, there's been a hugely promising new intake; Taran Killam is coming into his own, and this season's newcomers Cecily Strong, Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant have proven to be goddamn rock stars straight out of the gate.

Quentin Tarantino Says He Could Release An Expanded Edition Of 'Django Unchained'; Says Harvey Weinstein Suggested Breaking The Movie Into 2 Parts

  • By Edward Davis
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  • December 16, 2012 1:54 PM
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  • 12 Comments
They were all there this morning. Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, Quentin Tarantino, Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, Walton Goggins, Samuel L. Jackson, Don Johnson and even Jonah Hill, who only has a brief cameo in the film. The eclectic, A-list cast of Tarantino's "Django Unchained" all made it out for the press day which is impressive considering at some press days it's even difficult to get the star to appear (see Tom Cruise's latest). "I've always wanted to deal with America's horrific past with slavery. But I didn't want to do a straight historical movie with a capital H. I wanted to wrap it up in genre," Tarantino explained this a.m. about why he wanted to deal with the brutal and horrific subject matter of his latest film.

"I Don't Want A 3-Hour 'Django Unchained' Either": Highlights Of Quentin Tarantino's Directors' Roundtable Chat

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • November 29, 2012 1:50 PM
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  • 3 Comments
One thing that we're really, really looking forward to in the Christmas movie season is the return of Quentin Tarantino to the press circuit. Now that he's finished his eighth movie, "Django Unchained," (which starts screening for press over the weekend), the filmmaker can get on with the busy business of selling the movie. And love him or hate him, one can't deny Tarantino knows how to talk, and his colorful appearances on the press tour always make for interesting reading/viewing. He is, as you might expect, like a character from one of his movies come to life.

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