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.