Fri, 3 December 2021
On today's Oscar podcast, recorded November 30, I'm joined by Ryan McQuade where we talk about the Gotham Awards and their potential impact on the awards race with The Lost Daughter sweep and Steven Spielberg's adaptation of West Side Story, which both of us had just seen the night before.
This takes us to a conversation about 'crowdpleasers' as potential Best Picture frontrunners with contenders like Belfast and King Richard winning festival audience awards and how West Side Story could factor into that as well. That opens the door for how the several late-breakers and non-festival films this season - WSS, Licorice Pizza, House of Gucci, Nightmare Alley and Don't Look Up - could win or lose the race with other films already establishing buzz and momentum.
Today's podcast is supported by Amazon Studios presenting A HERO, from Asghar Farhadi, writer/director of the Academy Award®-winning films A Separation and The Salesman, and winner of the Grand Prix at Cannes Film Festival. A HERO is Iran’s selection for Best International Feature Film. The Hollywood Reporter calls it "one of the best films of the year." For your consideration in all categories including Best International Feature Film. A HERO is in theaters January 7th, and streaming January 21st on Prime Video.
Today's podcast is also supported by Amazon Studios presenting MY NAME IS PAULI MURRAY, from the directors of RBG. A documentary chronicling both the personal path and tireless advocacy of the social justice warrior whose work foreshadowed some of the most politically consequential issues of our time. The San Francisco Chronicle calls the film "Jaw-dropping...an extraordinary documentary.” For your consideration in all categories including Best Documentary Feature. MY NAME IS PAULI MURRAY is streaming now on Prime Video.
And finally, today's podcast is also supported by Amazon Studios presenting VAL. For over 40 years, Val Kilmer documented his own life and craft through thousands of hours of footage, from 16mm home movies to time spent in iconic roles for blockbuster movies. Winner of 3 Critics’ Choice Documentary Association Awards and praised by the Associated Press as "a remarkably intimate film a lifetime in the making." For your consideration in all categories including Best Documentary Feature. VAL is streaming now on Prime Video.
This podcast runs 55m 50s with intros, music and sponsored content.
Fri, 29 October 2021
After six long months, the AwardsWatch Oscar Podcast is back with the first of the 2021/2022 season with very special guest Ryan McQuade from InSession Film and, as of today, a new staff writer for AwardsWatch.
In this podcast, recorded October 28, Ryan and I talk about the fall film festivals we attended - Telluride, Middleburg and Mill Valley - and how our conversations with fellow pundits, directors, actors, Academy voters and general attendees help shape the race and give us some of the puzzle pieces we use for predicting. We go into detail of Oscar predictions in most top categories, discuss who we think are the frontrunners and make our cases as to why. Can anything stop Will Smith and Kristen Stewart or is it too early to call? Will the Telluride 'rule' hold this year once again or will there be a Green Book surprise?
Then, of course, we had to talk about the sheer pageantry and camp of the new House of Gucci trailer (the hair, the dialogue, those accents!) and where that stands in the race.
Let's get into it.
This podcast runs 1h 24m including the opening and closing House of Gucci trailer.
Mon, 25 October 2021
When you go to a film festival, you never know who you are going to meet. At the opening night after party of the Middleburg Film Festival, I was introduced to one of the most talented, hardest working people of their or any craft, the great make-up artist Donald Mowat. What started as a meet and greet turned into multiple conversations over the span of four days, talking about not just his work and the festival, but every other topic in between. Thus was the case when we sat down for a conversation at the Salamander Resort and discussed his extraordinary work.
In a career spanning over 35 years, Mowat has created some of the most iconic looks for some of the most celebrated films in that time span. His highlighted work as a department head includes 8 Mile, The Fighter, Skyfall, Nightcrawler, First Man. He’s worked closely as a personal artist for actors such as Mark Wahlberg, Daniel Craig, and Jake Gyllenhaal. But his biggest collaborations of late have been his work with director Denis Villeneuve on Prisoners, Sicario, Blade Runner 2049, and their latest project, Dune. When talking with Mowat, there is an infectious glee that comes out of him when he talks about working with Villeneuve because of how proud he is of not just his work, but the work of all involved to make these movies successful.
Though his stellar work has been celebrated by many over the decade, Mowat has yet to receive an Oscar nomination. With Dune however, that is bound to change at it is not only some of the bes make-up and hairstyling of the year, but it is some of Mowat’s best work of his career. In the conversation below, we talked about his relationship with Villeneuve, how he came up with the looks of the different character groups in Dune, and what it would mean to Mowat, an Academy member since 1999, to be celebrated by his peers.
The interview might contain some mild spoilers, so if you want to go in blind, see the film before listening to the conversation.
Warner Brothers released Dune in theaters and on HBO MAX on Friday, October 22.
Wed, 7 July 2021
The last in our 2021 Emmy predictions video podcasts ends with the Drama categories, covering writing, directing, guest acting, supporting and lead acting.
With the Emmy sliding scale of number of nominees based on submissions in full swing, that effect is made clear in the drama categories which see some with six, some with seven and supporting acting getting a whopping eight each (due to the parity rule). Even more fascinating is that my TV Awards Editor Tyler Doster and I did not consult each other on our predictions before the podcast and found ourselves eerily closely aligned in some categories we thought we would see huge differences.
There are three shows that seem poised to really dominate the Emmy nominations when they're announced on Tuesday, July 13 and they are: Netflix's The Crown, Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale and The Mandalorian from Disney+. Both Tyler and I are expecting huge numbers from these shows in writing, directing and acting, with the first two possibly set to utterly dominated supporting actress.
With so few other returning shows due to COVID-related delays, we're also going to see an influx of new shows like Amazon Prime Video's The Boys, HBO's (now canceled) Lovecraft Country and Netflix's Bridgerton all staking claims are major Emmy nominations. We'll also see the farewell of FX's Pose (can they finally get an acting nomination outside of Billy Porter?) and several Apple TV+ hopefuls searching for a spots.
This podcast runs 48m 19s.
Thu, 24 June 2021
We hope you enjoyed our first Emmy podcast of the season, The Limited Series Categories, because now it's time for comedy.
Comedy is a section that feels both packed with competition yet also surprisingly slim. We know the latter part of that because of the Emmys' new sliding scale of nomination slots based on submissions by category. While it seemed like we all did nothing but consume massive amounts of television during 2020, we ended up with fewer slots this year than last, with some back down to just five, including Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.
Much of the conversation revolves around just three shows: Ted Lasso from Apple TV+ and Hacks and The Flight Attendant, both from HBO Max. Each are expected to rack up a boatload of nominations and in the case of Ted Lasso, two or three in the supporting categories.
But several shows could also find themselves with strong numbers on nomination morning including Hulu's PEN15, Netflix's The Kominsky Method and even a bit of a comeback for network television with ABC's black-ish, plus Kenan and Mr. Mayor from NBC.
In just 45 minutes, AwardsWatch TV Awards Editor Tyler Doster and I manage to take on Comedy Series, all acting categories (including guest) plus writing and directing.
Fri, 11 June 2021
In this first in a series of 2021 Emmy podcasts, AwardsWatch TV Awards Editor Tyler Doster and Erik Anderson, AwardsWatch Editor-in-Chief, break down the contenders in the Limited Series, Anthology Series or Movie categories. For now, we're just sticking with the series and acting categories until the official Emmy nominating ballots are revealed on June 17 (the first day of Emmy nomination voting) that will tell us who's competing for directing and writing slots. That said, many of this season's limited series' are singular visions, meaning one director took on the entire show. Whether it's The Queen's Gambit, Small Axe, The Underground Railroad or Mare of Easttown, this season has been about sole showrunner vision.
We started with Limited Series simply because it's the most competitive and by far the most interesting section of the Emmys this year. While the Television Academy expanded the Drama and Comedy series and acting categories, Limited Series stayed the same with just five nominee slots.
Fri, 16 April 2021
It's hard to believe but this is the first, and only, Oscar podcast I've done for this extended and wild Oscar season. I've guested on quite a few in recents months but had opted out of doing my own during this period. That ends today as I am joined by two young upstarts in the Oscar prediction community who've really blown up in the last couple of years: The Oscar Expert (Cole) and Brother Bro (Justin). I've had the pleasure of being a guest on their show twice and it was time I returned the favor.
In this podcast, which was also recorded as a video (see below), the three of us go over what an exceptional year its been and we finally near the big finale of the 93rd Academy Awards. We address the last-minute frontrunner hit pieces that fell at Nomadland's feet, take on every single category in depth and make our cases in some of the tough categories like Best Actress, which I saved until just before Best Picture.
You can find The Oscar Expert on his popular YouTube channel (here) where he and Brother Bro have dropped their final Oscar predictions, which were recorded before this podcast. You can also find them on Twitter @expert_oscar and @withbrotherbro.
This podcast is sponsored by the Apple Original Film Wolfwalkers, Academy Award Nominee for Best Animated Feature. A girl goes to Ireland with her father to track the last pack of wolves and undergoes a magical transformation. Go to fyc.appletvplus.com for more.
This is the breakdown of categories and time stamps for this Final Oscar Predictions podcast.
*One correction: in the discussion of Production Design I mention a stat about the last film to be Best Picture-nominated and then only win Production Design was 1953's Julius Caesar. I was wrong, it's 1978's Heaven Can Wait.
With intro and exit, this podcast runs 1h 53m 30s
Mon, 22 March 2021
If you're here on AwardsWatch then it's probably safe to say that you're obsessed with the Oscars and have been for a very long time (to date, there is no known cure). Well, have I got something for you.
If you don't already listen, I have your newest podcast obsession about your favorite subject: the Best Actress Oscar. The Just To Be Nominated: An Awards Season Murder Mystery podcast isn't simply a chat about the Academy Awards, it's a murder mystery at the Academy Awards with a delicious meta twist. Think Clue meets Serial meets Little Gold Men. Here's the set up:
Riley Audrey won the Academy Award for Best Actress after a long and arduous campaign. Later that night, she was found dead in a hotel room. Someone was not happy with her win.
Leo Gold and Terri McPherson are the hosts of the popular award prediction podcast "Just to Be Nominated." And they believe they hold the key to solve Riley's death. Week by week, they'll go back to listen to interviews they did with the major players and contenders of a controversial award season, and try to put the pieces together of who killed Riley Audrey.
Just To Be Nominated is a Kingdom of Pavement production and available on Spotify, Apple or wherever you listen to podcasts. New episodes land bi-monthly on Thursday and the first two are out and ready for listening and stars Anouk Samuel as Riley Audrey, Drew Droege, Adam Faison, Gabriela Ortega, Sid Phoenix plus Brendan Scannell and Zach Noe Towers as Leo Gold & Terri McPherson and many more.
I interviewed Jorge Molina, the creator, writer and director of the Just To Be Nominated podcast about what inspired his love of the Oscars, the incredible cast he's assembled, some of his favorite Oscar campaign seasons and everything you'll want to know about his passion project. I have provided an audio version as well as a written one over at awardswatch.com for your needs and/or pleasure.