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.
Fri, 15 July 2016
The 2016 Emmy Nominations were yesterday and on this 16th Emmy Podcast, Chris and I break down the good, the bad and the ugly in what was, overall, a pretty good set of nominees. We talk about the breakthrough for The Americans and Mr. Robot, why Horace and Pete failed and how the Television Academy treated the final seasons of The Good Wife and Downton Abbey. We also talk about the diversity of nominees in terms of people of color, a bit of trivia and what our favorite nominations of the day were.
Don't worry, this isn't a 2 hour listen, it's only about 45 minutes.
Sat, 9 July 2016
As promised, part two of our final Emmy predictions find their way into Emmy Podcast #15 (check out Emmy Podcast #14 here) where we talk exclusively about the incredibly competitive Limited Series acting categories, most especially just how many acting nominations can The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story get and will Fargo and/or American Crime be left in its wake? Plus, will Hotel be the nail in American Horror Story's nomination coffin or will Lady Gaga nudge her way in? American Crime, which earned 10 nominations last year, could find itself on the outside of the behemoth of The People v. O.J. Simpson this year, or we could see it reap nominations in multiple acting categories. Same with Fargo; a strong second season could see a good fight and it appears Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie is going to be ground zero for that battle.
Next we tackle the Guest categories in Drama and Comedy and wonder if The Good Wife's final salvo will see a boatload of nominations here. It seems like these categories could see a lot of previous winner name-checking (Allison Janney, Margo Martindale) but there's also a lot of room for some surprises (like Octavia Spencer or Vanessa Williams).
Finally, Chris, Jonathan and myself all give up our Emmy wishes for nomination morning that include BoJack Horseman, Rectify, You're the Worst, Allison Wright (The Americans), Constance Zimmer and Shiri Appleby (UnREAL), T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley), Connor Jessup and Joey Pollari (American Crime) and more.
Wed, 6 July 2016
In part one of two final Emmy prediction podcasts before the nominations are announced on July 14th, I am joined by AwardsWatch Emmy Experts Chris and Jonathan to go over Drama and Comedy Series and their respective Lead and Supporting categories as well as Limited Series, TV Movie, Variety Talk, Variety Sketch, Variety Special and Special Class Program. With so many categories and Limited Series alone being one of the best and most competitive in decades, we're going to save that (and the Writing, Directing and Guest predictions) for the next one.
We delve deep into why I think The Americans will break big this year with multiple acting nominations as well as the big one, Drama Series. Also, is Homeland still back on track and can anything upset Game of Thrones from repeating?
In Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Jonathan offers his reasons for predicting Rachel Bloom from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend to score the CW's first major nomination, while I think Ilana Glazer has a good shot for Broad City and Chris makes the case for the return of Lena Dunham (Girls).
We discuss the 3rd season of Orange is the New Black being lighter in tone and can it still make it into Drama Series or will it just be Uzo Aduba repeating? Horace and Pete, Billions, Better Call Saul and Mr. Robot all find their way into the discussion and Jonathan and I defend dropping Modern Family in Comedy Series in favor of Mom. We wonder if black-ish will be the breakout we think it's going to be (hint, it totally is) hope that Samantha Bee can break the boys club of Variety Talk Series with Full Frontal.
This podcast runs 2h 15m (without intro/outro music) so get a snack. Or maybe a drink.
Sun, 19 June 2016
The submission ballots for the 2016 Emmys are in and voting has begun. This podcast I have brought back Vox.com culture editor Todd VanDerWerff and AwardsWatch Emmy Experts Jonathan Boehle to break down some of the submission list, concentrating on the Guest, Writing and Directing categories since those give us actual episodes before the nominations are announced.
We also talk a bit about how/if the new rules enacted this (and last) year will affect the upcoming batch of nominees and dig a bit deeper into categories like Lead Actor in a Drama Series as well as venture into the issue of race and awards. After two years of #OscarsSoWhite, are the Emmys much farther ahead on this? Will the Emmy success of black-ish, Roots and The People vs O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story be the story of the day come nominations next month?
All this and much more on this issue of the AwardsWatch Emmy Podcast.
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.
Sat, 21 May 2016
In our last Emmy Podcast, Vox.com's Todd VanDerWerff and I broke down the TV Movie and Limited Series predictions and got a little bit into the Drama and Comedy but here, on this 12th Emmy Podcast I am joined by fellow Emmy Expert Federico Artico for a deeper dive.
We discuss how open the Lead Actress in a Comedy Series category is with three of last year's nominees out of the running, the rise of black-ish and possibly Mom in Comedy Series and if Silicon Valley can break through in the acting categories. Plus, can anyone possibly beat Veep's Julia Louis-Dreyfus?
In drama we talk about if Mr. Robot can really get nominated or if it will end up like Orphan Black and we discuss who we think is winning Drama Series this year. Will Game of Thrones continue to reign or will this election year see one (or possibly two) White House-based shows win the top prize.
Plus, The Americans. Always, The Americans.
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.
Fri, 25 March 2016
In our first Emmy podcast for the 2015/2016 television season, I am joined by Vox.com's Culture Editor Todd VanDerWerff for a deep dive into this year's Emmy predictions.
With TV Movies, Miniseries and Limited Series dominating the attention and airwaves for the last couple of years (this year in particular) the majority of our conversation circulates around these categories. American Crime, American Horror Story Hotel, The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, Fargo, Roots, Show Me a Hero...all worthy contenders vying for spots.
We end with the state of Drama and Comedy Series and how streaming has become the norm for nominations and could it keep going? Will Hulu join Netflix and Amazon to continue pushing out network and cable?
Will the Emmys FINALLY embrace The Americans outside of Margo Martindale? The Leftovers? What about Better Call Saul - was the first season nom haul just Breaking Bad runoff or will its second season earn them on its own?
Find out, on the AwardsWatch Emmy Podcast.