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.
Wed, 19 October 2016
INTERVIEW: Barry Jenkins on being an active ally, who he's influenced by and the ensemble of MOONLIGHT
I recently sat down for a conversation with writer/director Barry Jenkins to talk about his extraordinary new film Moonlight. The film tells the story of a largely under-represented section of society - queer African-American males. In this interview, we discuss the film, what it means to be an active ally, his cinematic influences, and his incredible ensemble cast.
Moonlight played the Telluride, Toronto, New York, BFI London and Mill Valley Film Festivals this fall, earning an Audience Award from MVFF this week. It currently sits at 97 on Metacritic and 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. The film stars Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Andre Holland, Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders and Alex Hibbert and was based on a story by Tarell McCraney.
A24 will open Moonlight in New York and Los Angeles this Friday, October 21st, and then expands in the coming weeks. Check out where the Gold Rush Gang thinks Moonlight is in the Oscar race 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.