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" has been doing rather well for itself this week -- not just commercially, but with critics who have largely welcomed its return to some of the studio's classic formulae. The same degree of goodwill, however, has not been extended to the rather gauche marketing campaign for the film, which strenuously downplays its female leads, fairytale origins and musical elements. In a bang-on piece, Justin Chang understands the commercial strategy behind this, but still thinks it's a mistake: "It’s not unreasonable — especially since truthfulness and transparency are among the movie’s key themes — to wish that it were being presented with less self-loathing and more honesty, as well as more confidence in its considerable artistic virtues." [Variety
David Ehrlich's video montage of his 25 favorite films of 2013 is a beautiful thing. [Film.com
Commercially, "Saving Mr. Banks" has opened softly in the UK, placing behind "Free Birds," with a lower screen average than the "Carrie" remake. Can it still be a holiday hit Stateside? [The Guardian
Steve Coogan talks about getting serious (well, to a point) in "Philomena." [The Credits]
Lost in "Her": Sara Maria Vizcarrondo on the unexpected ways Spike Jonze's latest corresponds with his ex-wife Sofia Coppola's "Lost in Translation." [Fandor]
Writing before yesterday's NYFCC vote, Joe Reid braces himself for the onslaught of critics' honors. [The Wire]
Benedict Cumberbatch and Jennifer Lawrence are Tumblr's most reblogged stars. That J.Law backlash is really kicking in, isn't it? [Vulture]
Alex Pappademas joins the small but passionate band of advocates for Cameron Diaz in "The Counselor," who "boldly went where no other A-list actress would dare to go." [Grantland]
Scott Foundas gets straight to wondering if Paul Walker will make the Academy's In Memoriam montage. [Hollywood Reporter]
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