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Melissa Leo, an Oscar nominee for 2008's Frozen River, won a new York Film Critics Circle award for her role in the boxing drama The Fighter. JoJo Whilden/2010 Fighter, LLC. hide caption

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JoJo Whilden/2010 Fighter, LLC.

Movie Interviews

Melissa Leo: Playing Alice Ward In 'The Fighter'

Melissa Leo isn't that much older than actors Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale. But the acclaimed character actress plays their mother in David O. Russell's boxing drama The Fighter. She discusses her role, which has earned her an Academy Award nomination.

Melissa Leo: Playing Alice Ward In 'The Fighter'

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Jackie Weaver (right, with Sullivan Stapleton) plays the matriarch of a Melbourne-based crime family who has an inappropriate relationship with her sons. John Tsiavis/Sony Pictures Classics hide caption

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John Tsiavis/Sony Pictures Classics

Movie Interviews

Weaver And Michod Go Inside 'Animal Kingdom'

In the film Animal Kingdom, Australian actress Jackie Weaver plays the matriarch of a criminal family who has a twisted relationship with her sons. Weaver and Animal Kingdom's director Michael Michod discuss their unglamorous portrayal of a crime syndicate.

Weaver And Michod Go Inside 'Animal Kingdom'

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Natalie Portman plays Nina, a ballerina dancing the roles of both the White Swan and the Black Swan, in Darren Aronofsky's psychological horror film Black Swan. Niko Tavernise via Fox Searchlight hide caption

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Niko Tavernise via Fox Searchlight

Movie Interviews

Natalie Portman: Going Dark For Thriller 'Black Swan'

The Black Swan star describes what it was like to train with members of the New York City Ballet in preparation for her role as a mentally unstable ballet dancer in Darren Aronofsky's psychological thriller.

Natalie Portman: Going Dark For Thriller 'Black Swan'

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When Jason Sudeikis (left) and Owen Wilson get a free pass to cheat, they start by going to Applebee's — not exactly known as a watering hole for singles. Peter Iovino/Warner Bros. Pictures hide caption

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Peter Iovino/Warner Bros. Pictures
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Thursday

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Walker and Company

Author Interviews

The Supreme Court's Failure To Protect Blacks' Rights

After the Civil War, the United States seemed poised to grant equal rights to blacks. But the Supreme Court's rulings in the late 19th century kept blacks segregated for decades, says constitutional scholar Lawrence Goldstone.

The Supreme Court's Failure To Protect Blacks' Rights

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Partisan Records

Music Articles

Dolorean: 'Unfazed' By Life's Challenges

Dolorean is an Oregon-based band that started out playing country-rock but then slowly moved into pop-music territory. Rock critic Ken Tucker says the group's new album Unfazed is deliberate, but not maudlin.

Dolorean: 'Unfazed' By Life's Challenges

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Wednesday

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Singer and teen idol David Cassidy captivated the hearts and minds of many teenage girls, writer Allison Pearson included. AP hide caption

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AP

On Bird Songs, Joe Lovano looks for new ways into Charlie Parker's material. Courtesy of Jimmy Katz hide caption

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Courtesy of Jimmy Katz
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Tuesday

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"It is mad to stay, like it is mad to become a monk," says Brother Christian (Lambert Wilson) in Xavier Beauvois' Of Gods and Men. Marie-Julie Maille/Sony Pictures Classics hide caption

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Marie-Julie Maille/Sony Pictures Classics

Movie Interviews

Lambert Wilson: 'Of Gods And Men' (And James Bond)

You may know him from The Matrix, but the French actor portrays a Trappist monk in his latest film — inspired by the true story of seven monks who were kidnapped during the Algerian Civil War.

Lambert Wilson: 'Of Gods And Men' (And James Bond)

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Teddy Thompson. Raphael Sagher/Verve hide caption

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Raphael Sagher/Verve
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Monday

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Ella Mae Morse. courtesy of Bear Family Records hide caption

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courtesy of Bear Family Records

Music Articles

Ella Mae Morse: The Voice Of Capitol's First Hits

In 1942, the founders of Capitol Records were in urgent need of a hit. It came from a most unlikely place: a young woman named Ella Mae Morse, whose place in pop-music history has never really been given its due. Rock historian Ed Ward shares her story.

Ella Mae Morse: The Voice Of Capitol's First Hits

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Friday

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Aaron Tveit and James Franco star as Peter Orlovsky and Allen Ginsberg JoJo Whilden/Oscilloscope Laboratories hide caption

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JoJo Whilden/Oscilloscope Laboratories

Movie Interviews

James Franco: On Balancing His Many Passions

James Franco doesn't just spend his time acting in the movies. The star of Milk, Howl and 127 Hours is also an accomplished writer and graduate student. He explains how he juggles his many roles — and why he continues to take on new challenges.

James Franco: On Balancing His Many Passions

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In The King's Speech, Colin Firth plays King George VI, who was adored by his subjects for refusing to leave London during World War II bombing raids. He also suffered from a terrible stammer and hated speaking in public. Laurie Sparham via The Weinstein Co. hide caption

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Laurie Sparham via The Weinstein Co.

Movie Interviews

Tom Hooper: On Directing 'The King's Speech'

Tom Hooper's film, The King's Speech, tells the true story of King George VI's stammer and his relationship with an unconventional speech therapist who helped him speak. The movie was recently nominated for 12 Academy Awards, including Best Director.

Tom Hooper: On Directing 'The King's Speech'

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After Martin takes a cab driven by Gina (Diane Kruger), things go awry. Martin wakes up four days later — in a hospital — and finds no one has been looking for him. Jay Maidment/Warner Bros. Pictures hide caption

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Jay Maidment/Warner Bros. Pictures

Movies

'Unknown': A Suspenseful, Action-Filled Mind-Bender

Liam Neeson plays a botanist-turned-action-star in Jaume Collet-Serra's thriller Unknown. Critic David Edelstein says the tricky thriller takes viewers on a hell of a ride while letting Neeson shine as an action star.

'Unknown': A Suspenseful, Action-Filled Mind-Bender

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Thursday

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In this file photo, Egyptians celebrate the news of the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Feb. 11 in Tahrir Square. Tara Todras-Whitehill/AP hide caption

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Tara Todras-Whitehill/AP

Mira (Yun Jeong-hie) learns things about herself that she hadn't seen before after she takes a poetry-writing workshop in Lee Chang-dong's Poetry. Kino International hide caption

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Kino International

Movies

Unexpected Excitement In 'Cold Weather' & 'Poetry'

Aaron Katz's mumblecore flick Cold Weather is set in Portland, Ore.; Lee Chang-dong's Poetry is from South Korea. Critic John Powers says both films are wonderful, in part because the stories they tell are so unpredictable. (Recommended)

Unexpected Excitement In 'Cold Weather' & 'Poetry'

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Wednesday

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Biz Stone is the co-founder of Twitter. He tweets under the name @biz. Dustin Diaz/Twitter hide caption

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Dustin Diaz/Twitter

Digital Life

Twitter's Biz Stone On Starting A Revolution

The co-founder of Twitter talks about how the service was used in Egypt to help organize the protests, and about the rumors that the popular microblogging service could be purchased by Google or Facebook.

Twitter's Biz Stone On Starting A Revolution

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David Cassidy, star of the television show The Partridge Family, walks down a road in London in 1974. Allison Pearson's new novel I Think I Love You tells the story of a teenage girl in love with the American pop singer. Ellidge/Ellidge/ Getty Images hide caption

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Ellidge/Ellidge/ Getty Images

Book Reviews

'I Think I Love You,' David Cassidy

Allison Pearson follows up I Don't Know How She Does It with I Think I Love You, a screwball comic novel about the lengths a girl will go to for her teen idol.

'I Think I Love You,' David Cassidy

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Tuesday

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PJ Harvey Seamus Murphy/Nasty Little Man hide caption

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Seamus Murphy/Nasty Little Man

Music Articles

PJ Harvey: The Fresh Air Interview

British singer-songwriter PJ Harvey watched hours of war footage before writing the songs for her eighth album, Let England Shake. Here, she describes how she translated what she saw into a mournful elegy about the bitter brutality of combat.

PJ Harvey: On War And The New 'England'

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George Shearing, the ebullient jazz pianist who wrote the standard "Lullaby of Birdland," died Monday in Manhattan of congestive heart failure. He was 91. Associated Press hide caption

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Associated Press

Music Articles

Remembering The Composer Of 'Lullaby Of Birdland'

George Shearing, the jazz pianist who wrote the standard "Lullaby of Birdland" and amused audiences for decades on both sides of the Atlantic, died Monday. Fresh Air remembers Shearing with excerpts from a 1986 interview.

Remembering The Composer Of 'Lullaby Of Birdland'

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