Tue, 17 September 2019
It's crazy but this is our first Oscar podcast of the 2019/2020 awards season!
With Berlin, Cannes, Venice, Telluride and Toronto behind us the Oscar season prospects are coming into view. Some things that looked strong in spring and now wilting in the fall, while others have emerged as frontrunners.
I am joined (for the first time) by AwardsWatch's own Mina Takla. Mina hit Cannes and TIFF for AW this year, knocking out over two dozen fantastic reviews and providing a much-needed looking at the non-English language selections that 2019 has to offer.
In this podcast, we begin discussing Mina's experience at TIFF and the films and performances he liked the best. We end that section talking about the Grolsch People's Choice winner Jojo Rabbit and its runners-up Marriage Story and Parasite, which propels us into the Oscar conversation.
We cover Best Picture, Best Actor (with a focus on Joaquin Phoenix and Adam Driver), Best Actress (with a focus on Renée Zellweger and Cynthia Erivo), Documentary Feature and dabble in the supporting categories, as well as the historical potential of the Best Director category having more than woman director and/or two Asian directors with Bong Joon-ho (Parasite) and Lulu Wang (The Farewell) both in contention, on our way to closing out with the huge success and awards potential of Hustlers and the potential for Jennifer Lopez.
My apologies in advance for some of the audio. Something's a bit buggy with my side of the recording (and yes, that clickety-clack is me) lately and I'm still working it out. Thank you for your patience!
This podcast is 1h 17m with music.
Opening: "Over the Rainbow," from Roadside Attractions' Judy, sung by Renée Zellweger
Closing: "New York City By Day," by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan
Mon, 25 February 2019
The 2018-2019 awards season pulled itself across the finish line last night with the 91st Academy Awards giving Best Picture to Green Book.
The night gave us the widest spectrum of wins where Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book sit beside BlacKkKlansman, Black Panther and If Beale Street Could Talk as Oscar winners in the same year, from the same voting body.
On this 74th podcast, the Oscar post-mortem, I am joined by New York film critic Tomris Laffly of Time Out and RogerEbert.com to work our way through this bizarre season of over the top controversy and scandal, of show producers' tone deaf ideas and how it ultimately fed into a telecast that gave us inspired wins, unique moments and tearful speeches.
Tomris and I also dig into the how the producers listened to the backlash (albeit seemingly oblivious to it), what we thought of the show having no host, our favorite wins and moments and what we hope and want for next year's show.
This podcast runs 1h 30m with opening 2019 Oscar moments and closes with, as usual, "New York City By Day," by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to Desperately Seeking Susan.
Tue, 22 January 2019
The 2019 Oscar nominations happened less than 12 hours ago and on this 72nd podcast I am joined by the awesome Valerie Complex to talk about the nominations we liked, what we didn't like and where we think the Academy is heading with these choices.
We dig in on the good (Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, LGBTQ character inclusion) but also talk about how a group that makes impressive and inclusive choices like nominating Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira (ROMA) can continue to fall back on safe, easy 'traditional Oscar bait.'
Does the Academy hold back on 'too many' black or female or LGBTQ stories and need to coalesce around one or two? Why wasn't there room for If Beale Street Could Talk or Disobedience? Where's Crazy Rich Asians or genre films Hereditary and performances likes Toni Collette's?
All of this and more is covered.
This podcast runs 51m 45s with music.
Opening: Theme for 2019 Oscar nominations announcement
Closing: "New York City By Day" by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan
Thu, 17 January 2019
Here it is. The FINAL Oscar nominations predictions podcast and, as usual, it's a big one.
I am joined by Next Best Picture's Will Mavity for this 71st Oscar Podcast and we dig in on how wild this season has been so far, with films being hit with controversy, the continuing chasm between critics and audiences and where we think the Academy is going to lean as a result.
Predictions start off with Visual Effects and build up through the techs into the top 8 of Original Screenplay, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and finally Best Picture. Regrettably, we didn't hit Animated Feature, Documentary Feature or Foreign Language Film but you can find those predictions at each of our respective sites.
We spent time on the hows and whys of films like A Star Is Born, Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody hitting the guilds and audiences whereas If Beale Street Could Talk not finding that same love. We also ask: will First Man become the most nominated film in the expansion era to not hit Best Picture? Can Barry Jenkins be a lone director nominee a la Bennett Miller?
These details, utilizing guild nominations, box office, branch history and more help guide us through our predictions, with both Will and I making changes on the fly during our conversation.
This podcast runs 2h 23m with opening and closing music.
Closing music: "New York City By Day" by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan.
Thu, 29 November 2018
This 70th AwardsWatch Oscar podcast I am joined by someone I've followed and enjoyed listening to for a long time, Isabel Custodio. You may know her better as be kind rewind from her fantastic YouTube videos that deconstruct the Best Actress Oscar races over the last 90 years. Always succinct and thoughtful; thorough and completely engaging, Isabel's passion for the Oscars, and especially, the history of actresses, is a natural fit for the AW podcast and I am so happy she was able to come aboard in a year with such a bandwidth of roles, performances and women heading up female-fronted films and controlling the narrative in them.
The podcast opens with Isabel talking a bit about why she loves the Oscars and actresses so much and how it got her into creating her wonderful videos.
As we start to dig into this year's race we quickly settle on the prevailing belief that the top 3 of Glenn Close (The Wife), Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born) and Olivia Colman (The Favourite) are as closed to locked in as can be and that it's nearly a dozen others fighting for the 4-5 spots.
While we both think those two spots look the most likely for Viola Davis (Widows), Yalitza Aparicio (ROMA) and Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), each also comes with enough drawbacks that make room for a Felicity Jones (On the Basis of Sex), Nicole Kidman (Destroyer), Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins Returns) or KiKi Layne (If Beale Street Could Talk), just to name a few.
We also dive into actress wins of the past and and offer some thoughts on the concept of a musical biopic vs a musical with regards to the Golden Globes.
Isabel and I offer our predictions as well as our hopefuls to get in in such a competitive year.
This podcast runs 1h 49m 30s.
Opening: "Look at me" clip from The Favourite, The Wife clip, "One Reason" clip from A Star Is Born
Closing: "New York City By Day" by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan
Wed, 24 October 2018
In this titillating 69th Oscar podcast, I am joined once again by returning guest Kyle Buchanan, newly of The New York Times where he has his own column called The Carpetbagger.
Kyle and I kick the tires on all four acting categories, taking a closer look at co-leads running in Supporting (like Best Supporting Actor frontrunner Mahershala Ali for Green Book) to a seemingly barren Best Actor season (with only two 'locks' in the form of Bradley Cooper for A Star Is Born and Christian Bale for Vice) and the overflow of great contenders in this year's Best Actress race that includes locked and loaded Glenn Close in The Wife, Lady Gaga in A Star Is Born. and Olivia Colman in The Favourite.
Category placement has been a jumble this last week with two studios walking back previously announced pushes: Paramount with Emily Blunt for A Quiet Place (going from Lead last week to Supporting this week) and Sony Classics, doing the same with Jonathan Pryce for The Wife.
We also take some time to talk about Black Panther as an across the board contender (including Michael B. Jordan in Supporting Actor) and why some pundits shouldn't dismiss it and Widows (from Viola Davis to Daniel Kaluuya to the film' technical mastery) as major Oscar player.
With music Oscar Podcast #69 runs an 1h 19m.
Opening: Trailer clips from If Beale Street Could Talk and A Star Is Born.
Closing: "New York City By Day" by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to Desperately Seeking Susan
Sun, 14 October 2018
On the 68th AwardsWatch Oscar podcast I am joined by Kristy Puchko, Managing Editor of Pajiba and we dig into what we saw at the fall festivals, what we liked and didn't like with Kristy talking a bit about her recent trip to Fantastic Fest.
We land on a long conversation about A Star Is Born, talking about elements both good and bad and the differences between festival audiences and audiences at large.
Then we move into talk about the year of 'skater' movies including Skate Kitchen, Mid90s and how much we both love Minding the Gap, how great Hereditary is (and what it's like to sit next to Kristy at a movie) and that Toni Collette should be a real Oscar contender.
We also talk at length about stories with female and queer perspective including Eighth Grade and the upcoming Can You Ever Forgive Me? and the fantastic performances from Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant.
Kristy gets super excited to talk about The Favourite, most especially the costumes (which makes sense comes from a fashion maven such as herself).
Making sure we get some Oscar talk in there, we talk about the now defunct Popular Oscar category and why it was a bad idea.
This podcast runs 1h 50m with music.
Opening music: "Sulk" by TR/ST
Closing music: "New York City By Day" by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan
Thu, 9 August 2018
Oscar Podcast #67: Academy Drops Bombshell New Category; Shortens Telecast, Moves Some Awards to Commercial Breaks with guest Daniel Joyaux
There are some major changes coming to the very next Oscars ceremony...and they're not good.
Yesterday, the Academy, in a bombshell announcement, revealed that they would be creating a new category: Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film.
After yet another year of dropping ratings, this attempt to secure viewership from audiences that have shelled out their money to the year’s blockbusters like Black Panther, Mission: Impossible Fallout and Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, can be assured that ‘popular’ will now equal ‘best.’
The Board of Governors have also committed to a 3-hour telecast. Even though ad rates for the Oscars are still among the highest in television, the length of the Academy Awards has always been the butt of jokes, often by the host themselves. One of the ways the show intends to shorten the running time won’t be asking winners to make quicker speeches but to move some categories to commercial breaks. Other awards shows implement this already, like the Tonys or the the MTV Movie Awards, and it’s likely that categories such as Live Action Short (and its kind) will be moved there.
The third big change won’t involve next year’s Oscars but the 92nd Academy Awards. They’re moving up from their previously announced date of February 23rd to February 9th. That is going to result in a seismic shift in every other awards show, nomination date and give pause for every studio in how they dole out their fall and winter releases.
In this podcast, I am joined by returning guest Daniel Joyaux, freelance film writer (The Verge, Vanity Fair, Moviemaker magazine and more) and publications editor for the Sundance Film Festival.
We discuss in enraged detail each of these changes (and the real reason behind them), whether they'll be able to withstand the barrage of hate they received on social media and I posit a way that maybe, just maybe this new category nonsense might actually work the way they want it to.
This podcast runs 1h 29m
Wed, 28 February 2018
It's all down to this.
Oscar voting is now over and the big show is on Sunday. In this 65th podcast I am thrilled to be joined by Vanity Fair's Joanna Robinson.
This podcast focuses quite a bit on the race itself, how this season has gotten us to three possible Best Picture winners, the obstacles it took to get there and how our predictions were led by passion and gut versus simple statistics.
Will it be Three Billboards? The Shape of Water? Get Out? Or possibly something else?
With the acting categories seemingly locked up, we talk about the divergence of early critics wins versus the televised awards, the possible importance of Original Screenplay telling us something early in the show and close with the categories that always end up making or breaking your Oscar pool predictions: the shorts.
Take a peek at the Gold Rush Gang's Final Oscar predictions here before tomorrow's publication.
This podcast runs 1h 13m with music
Intro: "And the Oscar goes to..."
Outro: "New York City by Day," by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to Desperately Seeking Susan
Mon, 19 February 2018
In this 64th Oscar podcast, I am joined by Gold Rush Gang member Matt Dinn the day after the BAFTA awards where Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri won Best Film and the four acting frontrunners - Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour), Frances McDormand (Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri), Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri) and Allison Janney (I, Tonya) all repeated their wins from the Critics' Choice, Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild awards in an historic sweep.
But, is Three Billboards actually the frontrunner to win the Best Picture Oscar? Over the course of just over an hour, Matt and I make the cases for why it can and why it won't. Same for The Shape of Water. The Critics' Choice, DGA and PGA winner seems like a good bet. Or is it? Digging deeper, we discuss the path for a Get Out win in the face of seemingly insurmountable statistical odds. How much will the preferential ballot impact these three films and which stands the best odds with it? Will Original Screenplay be a deciding factor?
With every Best Picture nominee facing one obstacle or another, stats and history start to fall by the wayside and let gut feeling and instinct and the impact of social relevance to take over.
This podcast runs 1h 16m with music.
Outro music: "New York City By Day" by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan.
Tue, 23 January 2018
It's Oscar nomination day and I have Awardsdaily's first lady of Oscar talk Sasha Stone with me to discuss and break down this morning's Oscar nominations and what the state of the race looks like now.
Sasha and I dig deep into where Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and The Shape of Water are after their SAG and PGA wins, what that Martin McDonagh director snub means and how the current brewing backlash of his film could stop it dead in Oscar's tracks.
Get Out and Lady Bird feature heavily as contenders that could find themselves with less baggage than the two guild beasts and the Academy showed this morning that they're diverging on a different path than those guilds with over-performers like Darkest Hour and Phantom Thread and under-performers like I, Tonya and Molly's Game.
This podcast runs 1h 9m with music.
Intro: Andy Serkis and Tiffany Haddish announce the 2018 Best Picture Oscar nominees (via the Oscars' YouTube page)
Outro: "New York City By Day," by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan
Wed, 17 January 2018
It's Wednesday, January 17th and this is the FINAL Oscar nomination predictions podcast of the 2017-2018 awards season.
Through the roller-coaster of this awards season we found ourselves without a true frontrunner until really just this month in Three Billboards but, is it? Can Get Out, Lady Bird or The Shape of Water turn the tide? How did critical frontrunners like Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project) and Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird) stumble once the televised awards started?
Gold Rush Gang member Bryan Bonafede and I explore this season's Oscar race in great detail: from missed opportunities, to why studios keep putting prestige releases at the end of December (and when it sometimes works like I, Tonya) and the possible look of this year's nominees through the optics of a new Academy.
There's a handful of Producers Guild (PGA) and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) talk as both groups announce their winners this weekend, just days before Oscar nominations.
We break down top categories and analyze chances of outliers, discuss if Netflix will finally break through this year with Mudbound and where and finally, reveal our one nomination wish for Tuesday.
Sit back, this podcast runs 2h 10m with music.
Intro: Oscar nominations introduction
Outro: “New York City By Day, ” from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan
Thu, 4 January 2018
This 61st podcast is focused on the Golden Globe Awards this Sunday, January 7th and our winner predictions.
I am joined by Gold Rush Gang member Matt Dinn and we break down what is one of the most competitive, up in the air awards seasons in years, in almost every category.
Will there be a sweep like La La Land last year or will the HFPA want to stay away from that backlash? Will that Globes-only screening pay off in more than just nominations?
Is is Ronan or Robbie? Metcalf or Janney? McDormand, Streep or Hawkins? Can Timothée Chalamet upset Gary Oldman?
With nearly every category having two and sometimes three viable contenders it's going to make for a very fun show. We think we have some good ideas on who will actually triumph in the end.
This podcast runs 1h 11m 45s with music
Note: Between 26:20-26:30 Matt's mic dropped out
Intro: "Waiting for the Globes," from the 59th Golden Globe Awards
Outro: "New York City By Day, " from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan
Fri, 8 December 2017
Oscar Podcast #60: Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Predictions with Kayleigh Donaldson of Pajiba
Oscar Podcast #60, the second in a week, welcomes the fantastic Kayleigh Donaldson of Pajiba to talk about Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nomination predictions.
A healthy portion of the first part of the Golden Globe conversation centers around Get Out, both in its quality as a film and its likelihood as a Golden Globe Best Picture nominee. Talk about Call Me By Your Name, Dunkirk and the Darkest Hour are abound.
The Screen Actors Guild conversation details the nature of nominees being dependent on the SAG nom comm getting screeners and how odd nominees can find their way here. Kayleigh and I both agree that the main category here, Cast in a Motion Picture is chock full of likely and worthy contenders and that it's going to be a bloodbath.
Mudbound is a point of contention as to whether is lives or dies on SAG nominations or not.
It's at this point that we take a sojourn into the wonder that is The Florida Project, which happens to be among both of our favorites of the year.
We wrap with a few nominees we feel we might only see here at SAG (hint: mine if from Logan and it's not Hugh Jackman).
You can see my official Golden Globe predictions here, and my Screen Actors Guild predictions will be revealed this weekend.
This podcast runs 1h 9min with music.
Intro: Get Out TV spot #3
Outro: "New York City By Day" by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to Desperately Seeking Susan
Tue, 5 December 2017
Oscar Podcast #59: Critics' Award Season Begins; Talking Call Me By Your Name, Three Billboards, Get Out and more with guest Kyle Buchanan
In this 59th Oscar Podcast I am joined by Kyle Buchanan, senior editor of New York Magazine and Vulture.com.
We start by discussing the first round of critics' awards: the National Board of Review, New York Film Critics Circle and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and what their wins for Call Me By Your Name and The Shape of Water could have on the upcoming (ongoing?) road to the Oscars.
Throughout, Kyle peppers the conversation with his insight on voters, the importance of being the 'movie for right now' and we dip a bit into Screen Actors Guild talk, especially regarding Get Out (watch out for a new podcast for that this weekend).
We wrap up addressing some of the controversies surrounding contender Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and reactions to Call Me By Your Name.
This podcast runs 1h 5m 25s with music.
Intro: Call Me By Your Name TV spot
Outro: "New York City By Day," by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan
Sun, 12 November 2017
It's been quite a while since our last Oscar Podcast but we're back with #58 talking about the downfalls of Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and the avalanche of accusations and allegations that have rocked Hollywood this last month. The first section of the podcast my guest, Gold Rush Gang member Matt Dinn, and I talk about the impact of this on the current landscape of the Oscar race, specifically to The Weinstein Company's awards efforts and the surprising news last week that Ridley Scott would cut Kevin Spacey out of his Getty kidnapping drama All the Money in the World, replace him with Christopher Plummer (the actor he originally wanted for the role of Getty) and the race to do this and keep the film's December 22nd release date.
Then we examine the exciting and complicated Supporting Actor race with its multiple dual contenders from the same films this year, including Call Me By Your Name, The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. We make our cases for the top 3: Sam Rockwell, Willem Dafoe and Michael Stuhlbarg as potential winners and if Armie Hammer can break the 26-year curse in this category.
Next is Supporting Actress which focuses on frontrunners Allison Janney (I, Tonya) and Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird) and the mother-daughter theme of this category and the contenders at large. I make my case for Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip) to get in if Universal pushes hard and gets her out there and that this acting category could be the only that will have a POC represented (most notably, Octavia Spencer in The Shape of Water and Mary J. Blige in Mudbound).
Lead Actress gets a ton of talk time (of course) with Meryl Streep (The Post) and Frances McDormand (Three Billboards) dominating that as well as looking at our existing top 5 and wondering how or who could break through that solid-looking lineup that includes Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water), Margot Robbie (I, Tonya) and Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird).
Lead Actor also finds itself with three solid contenders but open doors for spots 4 and 5. Will Tom Hanks go supporting for The Post like Jason Robards did for All the President's Men? Will Jake Gyllenhaal see another year where he hits precursors only to be snubbed at Oscar? What about how very white this category is? It seems only Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out) and Denzel Washington (Roman J. Israel, Esq.) could make that not happen but it's going to take some heavy lifting by their studios to do it.
With intro and outro this podcast runs 2h 7m.
Intro: The Post trailer via 20th Century Fox
Outro: "New York City by Day" by Thomas Newman from the Desperately Seeking Susan Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Fri, 10 November 2017
"I like your shoes."
Those were the first words that Luca Guadagnino, the director of Call Me By Your Name, one of this year's biggest critical hits and Oscar favorites, said to me as I sat down to interview him. Truth be told, I did wear my red sequined Converse so I might have been fishing for that. Guadagnino himself was sporting fabulous red suede shoes so, of course, I returned the compliment.
Both Luca and one of his film's stars, Michael Stuhlbarg, were in town for the Napa Valley Film Festival. Stuhlbarg was receiving a Spotlight award and had two films at the festival - The Shape of Water and Call Me By Your Name. A fascinating duo, as Guadagnino was verbose and gave detailed and long responses to questions and Stuhlbarg with a more methodical approach to answers.
Throughout the interview we talk about the journey for the book to get to film, getting Sufjan Stevens aboard and even a casting scoop the upcoming sequel (hint: it's someone from The Big Splash).
This interview runs 36m 10s with intro and outro.
Intro: Call Me By Your Name trailer featuring "Mystery of Love" by Sufjan Stevens
Outro: "Visions of Gideon" by Sufjan Stevens from the Call Me By Your Name Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (copyright - The Orchard Enterprises and ℗ 2017 Sufjan Stevens)
Direct download: Call_Me_By_Your_Name-Luca_Guadagnino-Michael_Stuhlbarg_Interview.mp3
Category:Oscars -- posted at: 2:22pm PDT
Mon, 25 September 2017
It's the first Oscar podcast after the big summer film festivals - Venice, Telluride and Toronto - and usually by now we have a frontrunner. But not this year.
Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water won the Golden Lion at Venice and Martin McDonagh's Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri won the People's Choice Award at Toronto. Both are from Fox Searchlight, but who will they favor in this fall and winter's awards race?
I am joined on Oscar Podcast #57 by Gold Rush Gang member Jason Osiason and Matt Dinn, who both attended Toronto this year and give their thoughts on personal favorites like I, Tonya, Lady Bird and The Florida Project.
Next up is the New York Film Festival which will give us our first looks at Last Flag Flying and Wonder Wheel.
This podcast runs 1h53m
Intro: "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" official trailer B
Outro: "New York City By Day" by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan
Wed, 9 August 2017
Oscar Podcast #56: Fall Festivals, Pre-Festival Release Contenders and Oscar Predictions Take Shape (of Water)
With the Venice, Toronto and New York Film Festivals all having announced their slates for this year it was the perfect time to podcast. I am joined by Gold Rush Gang member Bryan Bonafede and we drill deep into who is playing where and even Telluride, which doesn't announce until the weekend of the fest. Based on the type of premiere a film gets at one those other three gives us information on who is going to Colorado.
We dig into Best Actress after it became official this week that Sony Pictures Classics has picked up FILM STARS DON'T DIE IN LIVERPOOL, giving Annette Bening the best shot of her career at an Oscar win. This unfolds to Supporting Actress where Melissa Leo dominates with NOVITIATE but we recognize that the category is pretty open in terms of nominations.
We discuss four films outside the scope of the fall festivals that are (or, in one case, were) potential Oscar contenders: DUNKIRK, GET OUT, DETROIT and THE BIG SICK.
We have a lot to say about Fox Searchlight's THE SHAPE OF WATER from Guillermo del Toro, which we think could be the real Best Picture contender this year and certainly has the best chance at the highest nomination total come January.
We close mentioning the new president of the Academy, John Bailey, and his predecessor Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who leaves behind a legacy unlike any president before her.
This podcast runs 1h 45m with music.
Intro music: Going Green
Outro music: "New York City By Day," by Thomas Newman from the film Desperately Seeking Susan
Tue, 11 July 2017
This 55th Oscar podcast I'm joined by no less than three esteemed Gold Rush Gang members - Jason Osiason, Richard Anthony and Matt Dinn.
We open on a discussion of the 774 Academy invitees announced two weeks ago and some of the backlash against names some felt were diluting the membership. We talk about how last year's new group impacted Moonlight's Best Picture win this year and how this new group will shape future nominees and winners.
Then it's onto the Venice and New York Film Festivals and who we think will show up. Between previous director and studio relationships there's a wealth of opportunities for films to make their big awards breakthroughs here. Films like The Shape of Water, Suburbicon, Wonderstruck and mother! are all aiming for prime time spots in world's bests fests.
Throughout we discuss Oscar potential for films but we close on some more specific categories and films. Detroit, Blade Runner 2049 and Dunkirk get a lot podcast play, as does Supporting Actor and the Screenplay categories, where Original is overstuffed with contenders and Adapted is struggling for five that make sense.
With music this podcast runs 2h 7m.
Tue, 30 May 2017
After two months of no podcasts, I return for #54 with special guests Júlia Guimaraes and David Acacia. David is an AW member as well as a member of the International Cinephile Society. He guested on last year's post-Cannes podcast and he's back to spill some tea on his faves, what he didn't like and the general 'meh' feeling of this year's festival.
Bear with this podcast, folks, as David's connection goes in and out so much he sounds like he's reporting from the Black Lodge in Twin Peaks. Júlia, however, comes up with a clever tactic to overcome this.
The podcast covers the Cannes prize winners and their possibility as awards contenders as we move through the season. With The Beguiled, The Killing of a Sacred Deer and Wonderstruck there are certainly some that could find themselves with Oscar attention. We also talk about the foreign language film contenders from the festival, including Palme d'Or winner The Square, Grand Prize winner 120 Battements par minute and Jury Prize winner Loveless. We dig into the female representation of the in competition films, which jury member Jessica Chastain found disturbingly lacking (her press conference convo started a viral firestorm).
We finish up, of course, talking about Nicole Kidman's 70th anniversary prize, bestowed on her for her body of work in this year's festival (The Beguiled, The Killing of a Sacred Deer - both in competition - plus How to Talk to Girls at Parties and Top of the Lake: China Girl.
This podcast runs about 1h 45m and if you make it all the way to the end despite David's dropping in and out I heartily salute you.
Intro music: “Going Green”
Outro music: Thomas Newman’s “New York City By Day” from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan
Mon, 3 April 2017
This 53rd Oscar Podcast, the first of the 2017-2018 season, breaks down the main contenders right now and who could be in the future.
With CinemaCon last week, we got some insight on a few high-profile Oscar contenders like The Greatest Showman, Suburbicon, Downsizing, Wonderstruck and Darkest Hour. On the flip side, we are still very much in the dark about other films like Kathryn Bigelow's Untitled Detroit Riots Project, The Current War, The Post, and mother!
We talk about the impact, if any, the buzz for CinemaCon films will have on this month's predictions and also dig deep into where things stand in a post-Moonlight Oscar world. Will the pendulum swing back to an OscarsSoWhite year?
Intro music: "Going Green"
Outro music: Thomas Newman’s “New York City By Day” from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan
Mon, 27 February 2017
After last night's historic win for Moonlight in Best Picture and an announcement fiasco unlike anything the Academy Awards have ever seen before, there is a lot for Stone, Adams and myself to talk about.
Between our personal appreciation for Moonlight (and La La Land, for that matter) the conversation traverses politics and emotions as we analyze the academic reasons for the film's success and why it was so important that it won.
We cover the perceived backlash and controversy that arrived late for La La Land, what streaks and records were broken last night and which ones held true, including that Best Actor SAG stat where we saw Denzel Washington lose to Casey Affleck.
This podcast runs 1h 36m with music.
Intro: A24's 'Moonlight' trailer featuring music from Nicholas Britell's Oscar-nominated score
Outro: Thomas Newman's "New York City By Day" from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan
Thu, 23 February 2017
Well, here we are. The last prediction podcast of the 2016-2017 Oscar season.
I am joined by Gold Rush Gang members Kenneth and Evan for a deep dive into all 24 categories, starting off with the last batch of guilds that announced and using them as the jumping-off points for those Oscar categories.
That carries us into a conversation about Hidden Figures in this race, a film that's done very well with the guilds even though it has only three Oscar nominations, none of which it's a frontrunner for.
Then we hit a pair of highly competitive races, Best Actor between Denzel Washington (Fences) and Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea) and Best Supporting Actor between Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) and Dev Patel (Lion).
Here is the itinerary/agenda of the podcast.
Last week of guilds:
MPSE – Sound
This podcast runs 3h 4m with music.
Intro music: ‘Going Green’
Thu, 16 February 2017
In our 50th Oscar podcast, I am joined by Gold Rush Gang member Bryan Bonafede.
With BAFTA behind us, Bryan and I dig deep into that Dev Patel win and how much it and Lion's recent surge will impact the Oscar race. We also cover most of the tech categories, their history and correlation with Oscar and where BAFTA might have convinced us to change our Oscar rankings. La La Land lost Costumes, Production Design, Film Editing, and Sound so we look closely at the films that won these, compare them with recent guild announcements from the Art Directors and ACE Eddies as well as upcoming ones like Costume Designers and both Sound guilds.
The battle for Best Actor is next and it's a battle between the overwhelming critics' winner Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea) and two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington (Fences). Between personality, awards history and checkered pasts, this is a category ripe for surprise and we detail the reasons we've chosen who we've predicted to win.
We also look at the Visual Effects category where, while we both agree that The Jungle Book is the undisputed frontrunner, we each make a case for a possible spoiler in Deepwater Horizon and Kubo and the Two Strings.
With the Writers Guild of America this weekend we look at how, or if, the winners there will have much impact on possible Oscar results since category placement and eligibility between the two bodies don't match up very well. That said, Bryan and I both agree that at WGA the race for Original is between La La Land and Manchester by the Sea (where Moonlight is nominated) while the Adapted category (where Moonlight is Oscar-nominated) looks like a fight between Arrival and Hidden Figures. WGA predictions will be up tomorrow.
Don't fret, we end with talking about Best Actress and just how far ahead Emma Stone and if a chance for an Isabelle Huppert spoiler is in the cards.
This podcast runs 1h 36m.
Intro music: 'Going Green'
Tue, 31 January 2017
From the surprise wins for Hidden Figures and Denzel Washington (Fences) at the Screen Actors Guild to La La Land's march to an easy win at PGA, there's actually a lot to talk about.
We start with the PGA and its correlation to Oscar's Best Picture and where we now see Hidden Figures in that race. Then it's on to Supporting Actor where we wax poetic on Mahershala Ali's speech (lots of swooning here) and Viola Davis (Fences) as she steamrolls through the season and her competition. Best Actress is next, where Emma Stone (La La Land) stands alone as the frontrunner but who is next - Portman or Huppert? I detail why Portman might not be the #2 people think she is and why I think she lost. Next is Best Actor, which threw us a big left turn. Is Denzel Washington the new frontrunner or was he all along? Finally, we talk at length about the win for Hidden Figures for SAG's top award.
We close with predictions for next weekend's Directors Guild of America (DGA) awards and the impact on the Foreign Language Film race from the Trump administration's devastating anti-Muslim ban in regards to Iran's The Salesman and its director, Asghar Farhadi.
This podcast runs just over one hour.
Sat, 21 January 2017
Ok folks, get comfortable. This 48th Oscar podcast, our final Oscar predictions podcast before the nominations are announced on Tuesday the 24th is epic. 3h 25m epic. But don't be afraid; Chris, Bryan and I tackle all categories (except the shorts, sorry shorts) with laser precision and detail, offering up potential spoilers, justifications for crazy predictions as well as wondering if too much agreement within the group means we could be dead wrong.
We know La La Land will dominate on Tuesday but who will surprise? Is Nocturnal Animals the contender that BAFTA and the Golden Globes think it is? Is Isabelle Huppert safe? What about Best Picture - will we see all nominees come from the PGA top 10 or is something lurking in the dark? Will there be eight or nine nominees? What's the weakest link? The answer might surprise you.
After all, it's the Oscars, anything's possible.
Sun, 15 January 2017
In this 47th Oscar podcast, Gold Rush Gang member Júlia and I have a lot to discuss. The Golden Globes were last week and brought with them the deluge of La La Land's history-making wins, the shocks of Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Isabelle Huppert and the triumph of Moonlight in the 11th hour.
Then, BAFTA nominations showered Nocturnal Animals with love and held back on Moonlight.
All this and more on a supremely succinct podcast that runs less than an hour.
Sun, 11 December 2016
This 46th Oscar podcast finds Gold Rush Gang member Júlia Albuquerque and myself talking about the first huge batch of critics awards to roll in: National Board of Review, New York Film Critics, Los Angeles Film Critics and more.
Then we head over to our Golden Globe nomination predictions for tomorrow and our thoughts on the Screen Actors Guild nominations (Dec. 14).
These two award bodies have us bewildered and flummoxed with so many potential nominees in the mix.
Will it be Arrival? Fences? Hacksaw Ridge? Hell or High Water? Hidden Figures? La La Land? Lion? Manchester by the Sea? Moonlight? Sully? Silence?
Fri, 25 November 2016
Oscar Podcast #45: Jackie, Independent Spirit Nominations, the Silence trailer and the return of Joey Nolfi
In this 45th AwardsWatch Oscar podcast, I welcome the return of Joey Nolfi from Serving Cinema. After a record-breaking podcast last month, we go at it again - this time talking a lot about Fox Searchlight's Jackie, both our love of the film and its Oscar chances. We mull over the Independent Spirit Award nominations that were announced this week and wonder how Rebecca Hall missed out on a nomination for Christine and if there is a path for her at SAG a la Sarah Silverman last year. Then there's the release this week (finally!) of the trailer for Paramount Pictures's Silence.
We end on the release of the Gilmore Girls - A Year in the Life, which was released by Netflix today and bit about NBC's This Is Us. Let's just say I was surprised by Joey's response to it and leave it at that.
In between all of this movie and TV talk you'll find copious amounts of shade so get your wig glue ready, you'll need it.
Fri, 28 October 2016
Oscar Podcast #44: Viola Davis, Moonlight, Billy Lynn and Oscar Predictions with special guest Joey Nolfi
On this 44th podcast, I am joined by a special guest, Entertainment Weekly's Joey Nolfi.
We cover a lot of ground in this podcast (which hits the 2-hour mark): from Viola Davis's submission in Supporting for Fences and what that means for the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories now to Moonlight and if its critical impact will equal Oscar nominations. Best Actress, as usual, gets heavy rotation as we talk about our likely nominees; Emma Stone in La La Land, Natalie Portman in Jackie and Annette Bening in 20th Century Women but also those who round out a very rich category this year - Isabelle Huppert (Elle), Ruth Negga (Loving), Amy Adams (Arrival), Jessica Chastain (Miss Sloane) and of course, Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins).
UPDATE: There is a spoiler regarding Manchester by the Sea at around the 1hr 20m mark that I forgot to edit out. I recommend that you skip forward to about 1h23m to keep from being spoiled on a specific plot aspect of the movie. I apologize to anyone who listened to the podcast and is upset by hearing the spoiler.
We dig into Best Picture and its frontrunners and wonder if there's something on the outside that we're missing. With former heavy hitters like The Birth of a Nation and Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (which Joey talks extensively about) falling by the wayside, it means other contenders like Arrival and Hidden Figures become stronger while 'steak eater' films like Sully or Hell or High Water must be considered.
The podcast closes with an 'original' piece by Joey featuring Beyoncé and Diane Ladd.
Wed, 19 October 2016
Most of the conversation centers around the Best Actress category as it is a wealth of possibility this year. Natalie Portman (Jackie), Viola Davis (Fences) and Emma Stone (La La Land) land in the in 'sure thing' positions (although Kyle has some thoughts about Davis...) but what then? Annette Bening (20th Century Women), Isabelle Huppert (Elle), Amy Adams (Arrival and Nocturnal Animals), Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins), Ruth Negga (Loving), Taraji P. Henson (Hidden Figures) and Jessica Chastain (Miss Sloane) all seem to have paths to the final five. We talk about what role an Oscar pundit has in advocacy for a film in the race
We also talk about what role an Oscar pundit has in advocacy for a film in the race and chat about how 'Oscar Bait' has become quite the pejorative in pundit talk, using Kyle and Mark Harris' fantastic piece on it as a jumping off point. We also discuss how early major contender Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk was cut short by awful reviews at the New York Film Festival.
Check out the most up to the minute predictions from the Gold Rush Gang starting right here.
Sun, 4 September 2016
Oscar Podcast #42: Fall Festivals Kick Off Oscar Season with La La Land, Moonlight, Arrival, Nocturnal Animals
The Venice and Telluride Film Festivals have kicked off the beginning of Oscar season (even though we've been at it for months!), giving us a first look at some major fall players like La La Land, Moonlight, Arrival and Nocturnal Animals.
With my guest, Gold Rush Gang member Bryan Bonefede, we discuss how these films and their mostly stellar reviews have boosted their Oscar profiles among the Gold Rush Gang and how mixed to bad responses of Bleed for This and Wakefield have basically sunk theirs. We also talk about Sully and if this 'meat & potatoes' film will be a Best Picture contender or not.
The second half of the podcast we cover the impact of Nate Parker's rape controversy on his film, The Birth of a Nation, and how the GRG responded in terms of Oscar predictions.
Finally, I had to get out a beef from this week of the rumor going around that Paramount is planning on running Viola Davis in supporting for Fences. I don't agree and think that floating the 'rumor' as fact or information isn't the best way to have an Oscar conversation. Although the role in the original version of the Broadway play won the Tony for a Featured Actress for Mary Alice, Davis won the Tony in 2010 in LEAD and has spoken up about her role being even bigger in the film than in the revival of the play.
Tell me what you think about that and all of these subjects in the comments section or in the AwardsWatch forums.
The opening music is "City of Stars" from La La Land (Summit/Lionsgate) and the closing music is "New York City by Day" by Thomas Newman from the film Desperately Seeking Susan.
This podcast runs about 1h 45m.
Sun, 21 August 2016
On this 41st podcast our commentary is restricted to a single issue - the explosive week information regarding Nate Parker, the writer, star and director of Fox Searchlight's The Birth of a Nation, and the 1999 rape case he and his Birth co-writer, Jean Celestin, were involved in.
There have been think pieces upon think pieces this week that began with a very careful and concerted effort by Parker and Fox Searchlight to get ahead of the controversy by having him interview for Deadline. With that followed Fox Searchlight's immediate statement of support for Parker but very soon after came the revelation that the acquitted Parker and convicted Celestin's victim had committed suicide in 2012.
On the podcast we try and examine the case as honestly and as factually as possible and hopefully did so with respect and integrity. We cover the media's response, the nature of Hollywood to turn the other cheek, our personal opinions and what it now means for the film's financial and awards success. I encourage this to be an ongoing conversation and you can comment here on the story as well as our podcast and in the forums of AwardsWatch.
This podcast runs just over one hour with intro and outro.
Fri, 29 July 2016
In our 40th Oscar podcast, I am joined by Gold Rush Gang members Richard Anthony and, new this season, Bryan Bonafede.
With the announcements this week of the Toronto and Venice film festival lineups, that gives us lots to talk about in terms of who rises (La La Land, Arrival) and who falls (Loving, Moonlight) in our Oscar predictions. The upcoming Telluride announcement will be even more telling and we talk about some of the films expected there as well.
We detail updated predictions in Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress and wonder is Ruth Negga (Loving) is as locked as some of us (meaning I) think she is and how we build our predictions. How many performances from a single film will get Oscar nominated? Is Best Actor skewing too young and is there room for a newcomer in Best Actress? Why are Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress so bleak right now and are Liam Neeson (Silence) and Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea) going to be runaway winners?
All this and much more on this podcast that runs just about two hours.
Mon, 23 May 2016
In this 39th Oscar podcast, Gold Rush Gang member Júlia Albuquerque and I break down the winners and losers at this year's Cannes Film Festival awards ceremony where sometimes it was hard to tell the two apart.
We talk extensively about the role of "armchair" criticism of the festival and the jury's awards choices and how Cannes l'enfant terrible Xavier Dolan was able to walk away with his biggest prize yet for his worst reviewed film. Júlia also reminds us how before the festival started, jury member Arnaud Desplechin remarked that he wants to find this year's Mad Max and Son of Saul yet ended up picking Ken Loach's I, Daniel Blake for the top prize. To that effect, we talk about the post-ceremony jury press conference where they defend their choices, with Donald Sutherland and jury president George Miller doing most of the heavy lifting.
Obviously we look at what films are the most likely to make it through the year to Oscar season success (hint: there's really only one).
Of course, actress talk dominates much of the podcast with Sonia Braga and Isabelle Huppert holding court there as the two biggest predicted Actress potentials that both lost to Jaclyn Jose.
We end with what, if any, of the foreign language films might end up being Oscar submissions for individual countries.
Sun, 10 April 2016
In our 38th podcast, I am joined by three Gold Rush Gang members - Júlia, Evan and Kenneth - to first discuss the name change of the Amy Adams space drama and if the film needs more or less Jeremy Renner (hint: it's the latter).
Then, onto predictions for the Cannes Film Festival announcement next week. Everything from what's confirmed, what's definitely not showing up to what we have a good idea will be. Much conversation revolves around the Jeff Nichols film Loving starring Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton and how Focus Features is positioning the film early (it doesn't do Cannes that often) and will likely hit all of the major festivals before its theatrical release. This leads to a lengthy Best Actress conversation (no, really?) that focuses mainly on Negga and Viola Davis in Fences but also on the challenge of a studio to decide which of its films to push the most, when to release it and when it's good to be seen early.
Much debate about if the Academy will take Amazon Studios and Netflix seriously this year after no nominations for a feature film happened at this year's nominations takes place, including thoughts on how the old indies (Sony Pictures Classics, Focus Features, Fox Searchlight) fell to the new indies this year (A24, Open Road Films) and where Amazon and Netflix fit, if they do at all and how those two streaming services are becoming the new home for old school indie directors. I also give a plea and shoutout to director Karyn Kusama whose film The Invitation debuted this weekend to rave reviews and deserves a major career redemption. Evan and Kenneth discuss a wealth of films they've recently seen that could end up being awards contenders come fall (as Spring movies often do) including the ever-awarded Helen Mirren in Eye in the Sky and Sally Field in Hello, My Name is Doris. Júlia shares her thoughts on the upcoming film Moonlight, starring Mahershala Ali, Andre Holland and Naomie Harris.
We also highlight something we're very proud of; an AwardsWatch forum member who has a film playing the Cannes Film Festival. Our own Aaron Salazar's film gas_n_go032416 will play the Short Film Corner of the festival. Huge congratulations to him.
Also, Nicole Kidman. Because, of course.
Mon, 7 March 2016
Oscar Podcast #37: Post-Oscar Recap; New Season feat. Silence, Fences, Loving, The Birth of a Nation
It's the first podcast of the 2016/2017 Oscar season!
Last season is barely in the ground but we're up and ready to go onto the next week. But first, since we missed on doing a post-Oscar show podcast earlier last week, brand new Gold Rush Gang member Julia and I spend the first part of the podcast breaking down the show, the wins, the losses and the controversy. It's in this part that Julia reveals something about the SAG screener Netflix sent out of Beasts of No Nation and we have the clip of it right here:
After that post-mortem we dig into the new season, full of new movies and potentially a year overflowing with movies for, by and about people of color that could (and hopefully will) radically alter the last two years of #OscarsSoWhite.
The major players we talk about are Fences, with Viola Davis and Denzel Washington reprising their Tony-winning roles. For a peek at the clip I mention in the podcast, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qt5LLLU_qew. Paramount has said it will be finished and out for an awards run but it hasn't even started shooting yet. Hopefully there isn't a Selma déjà vu in the works. The Birth of a Nation, Loving and Moonlight also get a chunk of the conversation as does the highly anticipated Martin Scorsese film Silence and Ang Lee's Billy Flynn's Long Halftime Walk.
This podcast runs about 1h 45m. Welcome to a new season!
Tue, 23 February 2016
In the final Oscar podcast of the 2015/2016 season, our 36th, I am joined by Gold Rush Gang member Jason, Evan and Kenneth to disseminate, break down and predict all 24 Academy Awards categories in searing, biting detail. A warning, there is some messiness ahead in this 2-hour+ podcast due, possibly, to wine intake. There may or may not be some sidebar shade towards Brooklyn, but you'll have to listen to be sure. I give this podcast to you unedited and raw. Why subvert the truth?
The first 20 minutes we take apart the Shorts so if that's not your thing you can skip it, but any good Oscar predictor knows these are the categories that can make or break your Oscar pool, or even better, your chances of getting into next year's Gold Rush Gang.
The majority of the podcast centers around the 10 separate battles that The Revenant and Mad Max: Fury Road will be on throughout Oscar night. Where will they split? Where do WE split?
Finally, we land on Best Picture which, for some, is still an open race. There are strong arguments to be made for the three main contenders (The Revenant, The Big Short and Spotlight) and we'll detail them right here.
Buckle up, it's going to be a bumpy podcast.
Sun, 14 February 2016
In our 35th podcast, recording just minutes after the 2016 BAFTA awards ceremony, I am joined by three Gold Rush Gang members (James, Evan and Kenneth) to hash over the huge turn in the Oscar game with The Revenant making good on its recent DGA win and taking BAFTA's Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio) and more. Can anyone deny its frontrunner status now?
We also look at the continued strength of Mad Max: Fury Road (which won four awards) and the craziness of the Best Supporting Actress category, including a bit of time devoted to the one and only Diane Ladd on her "greed and corruption" accusations of leading actress performances in "her" suppawting category.
We finish by talking about the three slates of performers and presenters for the 88th Academy Awards, wonder if the chosen presenters are too thinly veiled an answer to the #OscarsSoWhite controversy and try and figure out who will be presenting Best Picture.
Sun, 17 January 2016
In Oscar Podcast #34, recorded Sunday, January 17th I am joined by Gold Rush Gang members Kenneth Polischuk and Evan Kost to comb over what got snubbed (Carol!) and what overperformed (Room, The Revenant).
We run down our predictions in all of the top categories (who's the frontrunner - Spotlight? The Revenant? The Big Short?) and talk about the exhaustive research into categories like Costume Design, a branch of only 20 people in the Academy. But research and analysis is the cornerstone of the AwardsWatch member doing Oscar predictions and it's often what sets us apart from most punditry.
We conclude by addressing the ongoing controversy and conversation of the omission of people of color in the acting nominees as well as gender and sexuality still being issues for a majority of voters.
Sun, 3 January 2016
A crazy day as the National Society of Film Critics announced their winners today, the Producers Guild announce their Best Picture nominees on Tuesday, the BAFTA nominations are Friday and the Golden Globes are Sunday. No rest for the wicked.
Gold Rush Gang member Chris Pepper and James Narvey sat down with me, Erik Anderson, to discuss all of this.
Is Spotlight unbeatable? Can Sylvester Stallone (Creed) and Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight) win Golden Globes and then miss out on Oscar nominations? What if BAFTA puts Rooney Mara (Carol) and Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl) in Lead like the Golden Globes did? What if they do that for Michael Keaton (Spotlight) or Jacob Tremblay (Room)?
This has been a topsy-turvy season and it's only just getting started. Buckle up.
Sat, 12 December 2015
At SAG, Joy and The Martian are snubbed while Trumbo, Beasts of No Nation and Straight Outta Compton show up. What gives? Could it be the power of Helen Mirren and Bryan Cranston and their massive SAG histories? Things often make more sense in retrospect.
The Globes followed suit for Trumbo but then also brought us momentum for Carol, Room and Mad Max: Fury Road. Plus, the return of The Martian and Joy. We also talk about just how bad Warner Brothers is doing this year, both with their awards campaigns and box office.
We discuss all major categories and just how tough Supporting Actor is this year. The emergence of Michael Shannon in 99 Homes in an already packed race just adds another person to an already near-impossible top 5. Also discussed, the precarious position of Rooney Mara and Alicia Vikander's category fraud campaigns.
We finish by digging heavy into Best Director, both the Golden Globe nominations and possible Directors Guild of America (DGA) candidates.
Sun, 29 November 2015
In our 31st podcast, I am joined by Gold Rush Gang members Kenneth Polishchuk and Evan Kost as Hollywood embarks on the beginning of the Oscar race: critics season.
With the National Board of Review and the New York Film Critics Circle revealing their winners on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, we break down who we think is going to win but, more importantly, how and why. We know the NBR has a penchant for rewarding Warner Brothers films (three in their top 10 in both 2013 and 2014) so we're pretty bullish on Black Mass (huge campaign), Mad Max: Fury Road (passion vote) and Creed (surprise late major player) to make it in.
Over at New York, their love of Todd Haynes should see Carol do very well but also room for Room and Spotlight to hit the ground running. Also, will NY consider Rooney Mara a Lead in Carol? The critics could very well buck The Weinstein Company's supporting placement of Mara (as the Golden Globes did) and push her in Best Actress.
We also discuss The Revenant, which I saw last night at an industry screening in San Francisco. It was met with rapturous response and I was moved and shocked by its brilliance and emotional impact. I also assert that there is virtually no way Leonardo DiCaprio isn't winning the Best Actor Oscar. Wrap it up, it's a done deal.
The other major screening was Joy in New York and Los Angeles last night with a Q&A with David O. Russell, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Edgar Ramirez, Isabella Rossellini and Dascha Polanco. Although word is there are still going to be some sound edit tweaks to the film it's all but finished. Word was largely very positive, most especially towards Lawrence. It seems like it could end up being just a Lawrence vehicle in terms of awards but we're going to wait until actual reviews to show up on December 14th to be sure.
Throughout the podcast we talk about the ongoing conversation of this year's batch of 'women's films' and what they mean to the race. Can four female-led movies (Joy, Carol, Room, Brooklyn) all be Best Picture nominees? And how cool is that those four films hold the top four Best Actress contenders this year? Quite a far cry from last year, to be sure.
So, settle in, we break two hours with this podcast. Hit the gym or hit the bottle, either way it's a good listen.
Sun, 8 November 2015
In this, our 30th podcast, I welcome back a couple of Gold Rush Gang members (one current, one former) to talk about the most recent box office flops (Steve Jobs, Our Brand Is Crisis, Freeheld) and the three new Oscar hopefuls that debuted this weekend: Spotlight, Brooklyn and Trumbo.
We also dig into our Screen Actors Guild nomination predictions which finds Long Pham defending his handful of sole predictions (like Joel Edgerton in Black Mass) and Dennis Kelly coming in with some smart stats as he always does.
Wed, 14 October 2015
In our 29th podcast I welcome back Todd VanDerWerff, the Culture Editor of Vox.com to talk about the strange year of Oscar punditry and the 'wait and see' type of predictions that have been slowly settling in over the years and is especially evident this year. Is old fashioned predicting gone forever?
We dig deeper into how we think AMPAS looks at films year to year, how with Suffragette, Carol, Room and Joy that this might be an actual 'Year of the Women' in film and what that means for Oscar's Best Picture race.
We also talk about the Joy screening that happened last week. Two AwardsWatch members were there and reported back to me on their findings and the piece I wrote caused quite a stir in the Oscar prognostication community. Will it or The Revenant or The Hateful Eight break the December curse to be an Oscar Best Picture?
And hey, this podcast is under an hour! Perfect for the commute home or to work, on the treadmill or while hate-watching the newest season of American Horror Story: Hotel!
Mon, 28 September 2015
Oscar Podcast #28: After Venice, Telluride & TIFF - Who Fell, Who Rose and Who's in the Lead with special guest Gregory Ellwood
In this podcast I welcome HitFix co-founder and longtime Oscar pundit Gregory Ellwood (currently at the helm of awardscampaign.com) as we talk about the state of the race post fall festivals and right as NYFF kicks off.
The Danish Girl keeps popping up throughout the podcast (you'll have to listen to know where we think it landed) as well as Steve Jobs. Is it an actors showcase or can the film go all the way? We also focus on Spotlight and Room making big moves and wonder if Inside Out will crack Best Picture. Beasts of No Nation gets a lot of play as we examine if Netflix has it in them to make it happen.
Gregory and I spar a bit on what we think the Oscar chances for Joy and The Hateful Eight will be and Gregory pulls out a couple of potential 'surprise' movies that no one is talking about in the race that could hit big with Oscar.
All this and much more.
Mon, 24 August 2015
In this summertime podcast I'm joined by special guest Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood at IndieWire. Anne is a gal in the know and having her on this podcast is a treat. We're talking about the fall festivals, what may or may not be happening with Sony Pictures Classics' Miles Ahead, possible category fraud this season and we look at each of the major studios in the Oscar hunt:
What is Sony Pictures Classics' #1: I Saw the Light or Miles Ahead or Son of Saul?
All this and more in a tight 40 minutes!
Wed, 27 May 2015
In this Cannes post-mortem podcast I'm accompanied by Awardswatch Gold Rush Gang Member Jason Osiason and Awardswatch and International Cinephile Society member David Acacia, both of whom attended the 68th Cannes Film Festival last week and we dish about the movies they saw, the jury and the uninspired prize winners.
We also try and figure out if there is any Oscar hope from this year's slate of Cannes films and although it seems bleak there are a few bright spots.
In what's the highlight for me (duh) is Jason talking with effusive praise for Jake Gyllenhaal in 'Southpaw.' He saw the film as a part of a special screening group at the festival and believes, like Harvey Weinstein, that Gyllenhaal will reap an Oscar nomination for the role.
Be still my beating heart.
Mon, 4 May 2015
Oscar Podcast #25: The Danish Girl, Joy and Sicario with special guest Nathaniel Rogers from The Film Experience
In this podcast, Gold Rush Gang members Chris Pepper, Jason Osiason and myself welcome Nathaniel Rogers from The Film Experience to the show. We start off with Best Picture predictions talking about Carol, Joy, Bridge of Spies and Sicario from Denis Villenueve.
Then we head over to Best Actress to discuss if the lineup will be entirely made up of the last five winners in this category or if there's room for a newcomer like Alicia Vikander. With her category placement still a mystery she could land anywhere. Nathaniel also warns to never discount Meryl Streep even when it seems like you should. We discuss the women's and equal rights films that make up a good deal of contenders in this category and what impact they'll have on the race.
The Best Actor conversation spends a lot of time on Bradley Cooper in Adam Jones and Jake Gyllenhaal in Demolition (and to a lesser extent, Southpaw) with time spent on Tom Hiddleston's chances for his Hank Williams biopic, I See the Light.
Sit back and enjoy!
Sat, 11 April 2015
It's a new Oscar season (yes, in April) and we're back with the Awardswatch Oscar Podcast. This year saw some shakeup in the Gold Rush Gang and I welcome the return of Long Pham and congratulate newcomer Adam Norbury to the group.
In this first podcast we talk about (very) early 'frontrunners' like Carol, Joy and The Danish Girl as well as explore possible nominations for The Revenant's Leonardo DiCaprio, Demolition's Jake Gyllenhaal and Me and Earl and they Dying Girl's Olivia Cooke.
We also look at the recent announcement that AMPAS's Board of Governors might be considering a return to a 5-nominee slate for Best Picture and how we feel that's going to shake down as well as our personal opinions on it.
This is a short podcast (1hr 15m-ish), a record for the Awardswatch Oscar Podcast. But don't get used to it. It's early.
Mon, 16 February 2015
In Oscar podcast #23, Gold Rush Gang member Peter Cioth and myself, Erik Anderson, tear through all 24 Academy Awards categories to find the answer to the single question, "Who Will Win?"
While many categories seem locked and loaded (how could anything beat The Grand Budapest Hotel in Production Design or Julianne Moore in Best Actress?) not only do we have lower-tier categories up in the air, the BIG ones are too. Best Picture and Best Director are a juggling, jockeying back and forth of Boyhood or Birdman, Linklater or Iñárritu. And every combination between them. The problem is...they ALL make sense. What we do know is that no matter which of two wins we'll be looking at a new stat, a new precedent and something to talk about in future races besides Ordinary People or Apollo 13!
So sit back and listen as we discuss the seriousness of this Oscar dilemma and hopefully, enjoy.
Sun, 1 February 2015
Living in a post-SAG, post-PGA world our Oscar race has been turned upside down. In this podcast Gold Rush Gang member Peter Cioth, For Your Speculation's Rachel Schwartz and myself, Erik Anderson, embark on a prediction path of uncertainty and excitement as two industry guilds threw two major categories into a whirlwind of possibilities. Can Birdman overtake Boyhood in Best Picture? Does Eddie Redmayne's SAG win (and likely BAFTA win) make Michael Keaton a runner up? And how does American Sniper fit into all of this? Plus, we reveal that Rachel's dad is actually a secret AMPAS member. Ok, not really, but boy do his predictions and opinions sure sound like one. Sit back and enjoy Oscar Podcast #22 from AwardsWatch.
Wed, 7 January 2015
It's crunch time, just a week away from Oscar nominations and we have a whole slew of guilds to talk about (Writers Guild, Art Directors Guild, Producers Guild!) plus the curious cases of the Selma snubs and the rise of American Sniper, the resurgence of Foxcatcher and if Whiplash and Nightcrawler are really running as neck and neck as they seem and if the former last-minute category change will affect its Oscar chances.
But we're not done there; we have BAFTA nomination predictions and our Golden Globe winner predictions featuring some disturbing possibilities in the form of someone who rhymes with Yennifer Yaniston.
Sat, 13 December 2014
Well, the Screen Actors Guild and the Golden Globes announced their nominations this week and shocked us with noms for both Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler and Jennifer Aniston in Cake, throwing the race a fantastic curve ball as we start to enter the nitty gritty of awards season. Veteran actor Robert Duvall also hit both precursors (for The Judge) and is now a formidable opponent in Best Supporting Actor.
On this podcast, Gold Rush Gang member Peter and myself welcome Awards Circuit founder and editor Clayton Davis as a guest for the first time. He has a lot of insight on the race, how things might play out at the BFCA (of which he's a member) and the three of us discuss how the above-mentioned three will change the game.
We get into the rise of The Grand Budapest Hotel and the likely Oscar coming out party for Wes Anderson, original screenplay gets a lot of talk as does Selma and the Golden Globe snubs of Unbroken and American Sniper.
Sat, 6 December 2014
In this juicy edition of the AwardsWatch Oscar Podcast, Richard and I dive deep into the Los Angeles Film Critics Awards (tomorrow!) and our nomination predictions for the Screen Actors Guild and the Golden Globes happening next week.
At LAFCA we talk about the potential battle for Best Actress between Julianne Moore in Still Alice (and possibly Maps to the Stars) and recent NYFCC winner Marion Cotillard for Two Days, One Night (and possibly The Immigrant). Mr. Turner, Timothy Spall (also the recent NYFCC winner) and Mike Leigh come up as heavy favorites and I push Scarlett Johansson in Under the Skin as a possible alternate in Best Actress.
With SAG there is a lot of agreement between Richard and myself as well as with the Gold Rush Gang. Selma seems to be the question mark since Paramount didn't get screeners to voters due to the film being locked too late. How much will that affect the film's chances in Cast and Best Actor?
Over at the Golden Globes there is a lot of agreement in many categories but with Angelina Jolie's Unbroken a bit up in the air. Many of the GRG have Jolie in Best Director but I wonder if those predictions aren't as updated as they could (or should be). I have her in, and the film everywhere, in spite of the very mixed reception its gotten since its premiere. But this is the HPFA and they're going to want their star wattage.
All that and more on this podcast.
Fri, 28 November 2014
In this podcast Richard, Matt L. and I discuss the Film Independent Spirit nominations from this week; who got snubbed (The Imitation Game!) and who made a big play in the race (Selma!). We break down the categories to find a 30th Spirits Awards with a bit of a throwback to its early days to truly indie picks like Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter. We talk about the hows and whys of Harvey Weinstein's failure to secure a single nomination for The Imitation Game and will it be a bellwether for the season to come. And what happened in the Best Screenplay category?
Then we dig into the two critics groups announcing next week; the New York Film Critics Circle on Monday the 1st and the National Board of Review on Tuesday the 2nd. Lots of Boyhood predictions, which is to be expected from the best rated film of the year. Also across the board predictions for Michael Keaton (Birdman) for Best Actor, Julianne Moore (Still Alice) for Best Actress, J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) for Best Supporting Actor but a split in Best Supporting Actress that finds a battle between Jessica Chastain for A Most Violent Year and Patricia Arquette in Boyhood but with a fun prediction from Matt L. You'll just have to listen to the podcast to find out who.
Sun, 16 November 2014
Big happenings with some major premieres of Oscar hopefuls at AFI this last week in the form of Selma, American Sniper and A Most Violent Year give the Gold Rush Gang (Richard, Jason and myself, Erik) a lot to talk about in this podcast. We discuss the mixed test screening (attended by a trio of AwardsWatchers) that led to some frantic predictions changes to a complete reversal after its stellar debut at AFI. American Sniper didn't fare as well and might be out the majors as a result and A Most Violent Year gets the reviews it needed to stay in the race.
We also discuss various tech predictions like Cinematography, Film Editing, Visual Effects and the Sound Categories. Is once frontrunner Interstellar out of the running here? Will a Best Picture frontrunner find itself with a few extra tech noms to pad its total? Can Roger Deakins finally win?
We end with some Independent Spirit Awards talk and predictions. Those are announced on Tuesday the 25th (not the 24th as I keep mentioning in the podcast) and we'll have a follow-up podcast post-nominations and before the wealth of critics awards start rolling in during the first week of December.
Wed, 29 October 2014
In this new Oscar podcast, Erik, Kenneth, Matt M and Peter discuss where Selma and Unbroken are in the race. Have they fallen? Are they steady? With a handful of AwardsWatch members having just seen the first and only Selma screening, there's lots to tell and lots to talk about.
We also take a crack at the juicy Best Actor category, overflowing with potential contenders with Michael Keaton in Birdman, Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything, Jack O'Connell in Unbroken and Sony Pictures Classics' dilemma of too many players. Of course, we also talk about Best Actress and just how locked Julianne Moore is for Still Alice.
Later we talk about the resurgence of Into the Woods and its Best Picture chances and ponder some of the documentary and foreign language film contenders.
Thu, 28 August 2014
Oscar Podcast #15: Venice, Telluride and TIFF festivals; Birdman, A Most Violent Year, Wild, The Imitation Game
In this podcast, Peter and Jason (Dirk Diggler!) join Erik to discuss the flurry of fall festivals, including the just opened Venice Film Festival which began with rapturous reviews for Alejandro González Iñárritu's Birdman. We also venture into Telluride and TIFF (which Jason is attending), discuss Harvey Weinstein's track for The Imitation Game and the recent first test screening (attended by AwardWatch members) of A Most Violent Year starring Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain. That breaks into a discussion of Supporting Actress which covers Chastain, Patricia Arquette, Laura Dern, Keira Knightley and Carmen Ejogo (which itself breaks off into a conversation about Selma). And all in under an hour and a half! Bonus!
Tue, 8 July 2014
In this Oscar podcast the gaggle of Gold Rush Gang members (Erik, Matt M, Kenneth and Evan) dish on all things ladies; Lead Actress, Supporting Actress plus the hot Best Director race that could feature, for the first time, two women - Angelina Jolie and Ava DuVernay. We also discuss their films, Unbroken and Selma, respectively.
Tue, 27 May 2014
In this podcast, Erik, Peter and new Gold Rush Gang member Matt L. discuss the Cannes Film Festival and its winners and losers and how it will affect the Oscar race. We also discuss our current Oscar predictions, featuring Foxcatcher, Unbroken, Angelina Jolie, Julianne Moore, Harvey Weinstein and Fox Searchlight.
Sat, 19 April 2014
AwardsWatch Oscar Podcast #12: April 19, 2014 - Cannes Film Festival Announcement and First Oscar Predictions
In this Oscar podcast Erik, Peter and Richard discuss the Cannes Film Festival lineup for 2014 and how it may affect or reflect the Oscar potential for films like Foxcatcher and The Homesman. We also analyze our first predictions of the season and compare them with the forum polls, featuring Gone Girl, Big Eyes, Interstellar and A Most Violent Year. There also might be a little bit of shade directed at Gold Rush Gang member Jason, aka Dirk Diggler. Enjoy!
Wed, 26 February 2014
In this epic Oscar podcast, recorded February 25th, 2014, Erik, Ben, Kenneth and Peter discuss their final Oscar predictions, possibly change their minds in the middle of the conversation. Meanwhile, Erik forgets 12 Years a Slave isn't nominated for Original Score, Cate Blanchett gets unironic love from the group and one of the straight guys throws the biggest shade?
Settle in folks, because this 'cast clocks in at 2h 25m. But it's so worth it.
Wed, 12 February 2014
In this podcast, Erik and Peter discuss their BAFTA predictions plus mull over the recent surge by Captain Phillips in some very important precursors. Oh, and Erik's house catches fire.
Tue, 14 January 2014
In this epic podcast, recorded Monday, January 13, 2014, Erik and Kenneth discuss the recent Golden Globe winners and make our final Oscar nomination predictions. Wigs are flying so sit tight.
Sat, 11 January 2014
On this podcast, recorded Friday, January 10, 2014, Erik, Ben and Long discuss the DGA and BAFTA nominations and their predictions for the Golden Globe winners this Sunday.
Wed, 18 December 2013
On this podcast, recorded Tuesday, December 17, 2013, Erik, Peter and Richard discuss the crazy week of SAG, Golden Globe and BFCA nominations. Who surprised, who stumbled and what happened to Amy Adams??
Sat, 9 November 2013
It's Saturday, November 9, 2013 and the AwardsWatch Oscar podcast has a guest hot in the form of Gold Rush Gang member Richard! Joining him are fellow GRGer Peter and AwardsWatch box office expert, Jonathan. This week the boys talk about the forum predictions, the reality of James Gandolfini and the Oscars, is Robert Redford on the fringe and how much the academy will actually like Blue Jasmine. All that and more!
Sun, 20 October 2013
It's Sunday, October 20th and Richard, Long and Erik talk about the current state of the Oscar race including Cate vs. Sandra, has Oscar passed by Rush and we slap Ruby Dee around a bit.
Tue, 24 September 2013
In this podcast, recorded September 23rd, Erik, Kenneth and Dave talk about TIFF, 12 Years a Slave and Grace of Monaco's screening and move to 2014. There's also a very special AwardsWatch announcement so stick around to the end to hear it!
Sun, 18 August 2013
It's Sunday, August 18th, 2013 and Erik, Peter and Richard discuss The Butler, category placement and Judi Dench's clitoris.
Tue, 30 July 2013
In this podcast, recorded July 29th, Erik, Kenneth and Benjamin discuss their current Oscar predictions in the top 8 categories as well as reveal the July results of the AwardsWatch forums polls. Opening/Closing music by BoxCat Games.
Sat, 6 July 2013
In AwardsWatch's first Oscar podcast, AWers Erik, Hardy, Long and Richard discuss their Oscar predictions in the top 8 categories as well as the forums' collective predictions.