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Awards mutterings.

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"[T]he reaction was mixed."
Pamela McClintock at Variety confirms what’s been rumored for a few weeks:

Warner Bros. is moving up the release date of Clint Eastwood‘s Japanese-language "Letters From Iwo Jima" — the companion pic to "Flags of Our Fathers" — from Feb. 9 to Dec. 20.

This puts the film in contention for an Oscar for this year, which seems to be the point:

Eastwood made the date change for "Letters" after a screening in Japan earlier this week led to an enthusiastic response and after consulting with Steven Spielberg, who brought in Eastwood to direct "Flags" for DreamWorks. Spielberg is a producer on both pics.

It’s been a pretty flabby year for film, at least from where we’re standing (either that or we’ve been unbelievable grumpy for months), and there aren’t many award contenders left. Aside from "Iwo Jima," good Germans and shepherds, the only titles left that’s built up advance buzz is Bill Condon‘s "Dreamgirls," which David Poland continues to breathlessly hype at Movie City News:

Dreamgirls landed in Beverly Hills (and across the country) last night… and left a giant crater in the Oscar season.

The film was everything promised and more.

More measured is Eugene Hernandez, who at his blog writes:

Bill Condon’s "Dreamgirls" is a bright, toe-tapping, entertaining big screen musical. A lot of fun, its light on story but full of heart (with lots of music). Its family friendly and seems well-suited to its upcoming holiday release. But, is it a best picture contender? Perhaps, as an alternative to the heavier fall films out there. Whatever the case, it sure was a lot of fun. However, will its prospects whither under over analysis and high expectations? No matter, Paramount is already pushing it hard (with "for your consideration" ads even running this week on indieWIRE).

Over at the Risky Biz blog, Anne Thompson makes us wonder if "The Good German" is too arty for mainstream consumption (and makes us really want to see the film):

To his credit, Soderbergh convinced everyone to shoot the film for no money. That’s because The Good German is as experimental in its way as Soderbergh’s Schizopolis, Kafka, Solaris, Full Frontal or The Limey. It will keep cinephiles like Dave Kehr and David Bordwell in clover for years as they deconstruct Soderbergh’s exploration of the language of cinema. What’s real? What’s fake? What’s genre? (This is film noir. Or is it?) What’s point-of-view? What’s a movie star? What do audiences want from a movie?

Over at All These Wonderful Things, AJ Schnack has a detailed breakdown and analysis of the doc shortlist.

+ Clint’s ‘Letters’ coming early (Variety)
+ Dreamgirls Wake (MCN)
+ dreamgirls (Eugene Hernandez’ Blog)
+ Soderbergh’s Good German Recalls Casablanca (Risky Biz blog)
+ The Doc Shortlist At Length (All These Wonderful Things)

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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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