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Extra biopic-y at Toronto and other odds.

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09152005_everythingisilluminatedLa Manohla at the New York Times and Patrick Goldstein at the LA Times are victim to the dreaded overview overlap as both point out the biopics are, like, really big this year at Toronto and, therefore, in the soon-to-heat-up Oscar race. Dargis shares some insights into the multi-faceted reportage issues that come up when covering a festival:

With so many movies on tap, festivalgoers are sometimes forced into making difficult choices, deciding, say, between watching Charlize Theron play a mineworker fighting sexual harassment in Niki Caro‘s "North Country," or Gretchen Mol frolic in her birthday suit in Mary Harron‘s "Notorious Bettie Page," a frothy entertainment about the 1950’s pinup.

Given the filmmakers’ résumés – Ms. Caro directed "Whale Rider," Ms. Harron’s last film was "American Psycho" – this particular decision proved easy. The birthday suit won.

She liked "The Notorious Bettie Page" and "Capote," found Johnny Cash biopic "Walk the Line" good, if overly cautious, and has very kind words for "Brokeback Mountain" ("Mr. Gyllenhaal‘s sensitive portrait will be no surprise to his admirers; Mr. Ledger‘s wrenching performance is the stuff of Hollywood history."). Goldstein, who focuses more on the different approaches various filmmakers have when it comes to telling a "true story," did make it to "North Country," and liked it, is less forthcoming about "The World’s Fastest Indian," and seems to have liked "Capote."

There’s a new issue of Film Comment up: David Strathairn in "Good Night, and Good Luck" makes the cover. On the site are Chuck Stevens on 110 years of Shochiku Studios and "online exclusives" that include Harlan Jacobson‘s interview with Grant Heslov and a sidebar to Stevens’ piece picking out highlights from the New York Film Festival’s Shochiku program. More will probably come.

And our review of "Everything is Illuminated" is up here — someday we’ll write a gushy review, promise.

+ 50’s Pinup Lives Again at Toronto Film Festival (NY Times)
+ Cinéma vérité, with touch-ups (LA Times)
+ September/October 2005 (Film Comment)
+ Touching Up Your Roots: "Everything is Illuminated" (IFC News)

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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