The AwardsWatch Podcast
Podcasts from AwardsWatch on the Oscars, Emmys, Golden Globes, SAG and more.

On episode 153 of The AwardsWatch Podcast, AwardsWatch Executive Editor Ryan McQuade is joined by Editor-In-Chief Erik Anderson and AwardsWatch contributors Nicole Ackman, Dan Bayer, and Kevin Lee to talk about the best films from the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival, as well as give out their predictions for the TIFF Audience Award.

Over the past week, the Toronto International Film Festival has been shaping out the Oscar season with plenty of World premieres and North American premieres. Some of the big titles included Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans, Rian Johnson’s Glass Onion, the Viola Davis led The Woman King, and the Billy Eichner-led Bros. Other notable films included My Policeman, The Menu, The Inspection, Pearl, All Quiet on the Western Front, The Whale, The Son, Broker. These films and more were discussed by our panel, who were more than eager to discuss why many of these titles were some of the best and worst films of 2022 so far. They also gave out their predictions from the TIFF audience awards, which hadn’t been announced yet at the time of recording. Listen to see if any of them got the top three correct.

You can listen to The AwardsWatch Podcast wherever you stream podcasts, from iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Spotify and more.

This podcast runs 1h59m. A little on the longer side this week about there was a lot of great cinema to cover. So without further ado, let’s get into it.

Direct download: AwardsWatch_Ep153.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:40am PDT

On episode 152 of The AwardsWatch Podcast, AwardsWatch Executive Editor Ryan McQuade is joined by Editor-In-Chief Erik Anderson and TV Editor Tyler Doster to give their instant reactions to the winners and losers of the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards.

The 2022 Emmys have come to a close, with a three-hour telecast that left audiences mixed, though there were plenty of shocking moments, repeat winners, and a ton of history being made. Ryan, Erik, and Tyler break down the biggest winners of the night as well as the shows that underperformed, and what worked during the telecast and what didn’t. They also talk briefly about what could be in the running for next year’s Emmys, as well as their favorite moments and speeches of the show. Overall, a short conversation that put a bow on an Emmy season for the ages.

You can listen to The AwardsWatch Podcast wherever you stream podcasts, from iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Spotify and more.

This podcast runs 39m. We will be back next week to discuss everything going on at TIFF and how things are looking for the upcoming Oscar race. Till then, let’s get into it.

Music: “Modern Fashion” from AShamaleuvmusic (intro) and “B-3” from BoxCat Games Nameless: The Hackers RPG Soundtrack (outro) used by permission

 

Direct download: AwardsWatch_Ep_152.mp3
Category:Emmys -- posted at: 9:46am PDT

On episode 151 of The AwardsWatch Podcast, AwardsWatch Executive Editor Ryan McQuade is joined by Editor in Chief Erik Anderson for a special in-person episode over their reactions to the films they saw at the Telluride Film Festival.

The 2022 awards season has begun. Last week marked the start of the Venice International Film Festival, and this past Labor Day weekend was the annual Telluride Film Festival. Celebrating its 49th year, Telluride has been the launching pad for many Oscar campaigns, and this year was no exception with movies like Women Talking, Empire of Light having their World Premieres at the festival, as well as the North American debuts of films like Bardo, TÁR, Bones and All, Broker, and more. Ryan and Erik covered the festival and had plenty of positive things to say about the titles they saw, as well as where they can see some of them playing out during the awards season.

You can listen to The AwardsWatch Podcast wherever you stream podcasts, from iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Spotify and more.

This podcast runs 1h07m. We will be back next week with our Emmys reaction episode. Till then, let’s get into it.

Direct download: AwardsWatch_Ep_151-_Telluride.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:44pm PDT

On episode 150 of The AwardsWatch Podcast, AwardsWatch Executive Editor Ryan McQuade is joined by Editor-In-Chief Erik Anderson and TV Editor Tyler Doster as they give out their final predictions for the 2022 Emmy Awards.

Time has flown by quickly this summer, leading us to the final weeks before the Creative Arts Emmys on Saturday, September 3 and Sunday, September 4, then the Primetime Emmy Awards live on NBC on Monday, September 12, 2022. In previous episodes, Ryan, Erik, and Tyler have discussed all the possibilities of how things will play out within the Drama, Comedy, and Limited Series categories, and now it is the time to see who they think will take home the gold. With many shows never competing against one other, this is shaping to be a wild, unpredictable Emmys for many categories. Our hosts seemed to agree on most of the categories, but there were some disagreements that could very well lead to some shocking upsets if they come true.

You can listen to The AwardsWatch Podcast wherever you stream podcasts, from iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Spotify and more.

This podcast runs 1h40m. We will be back next week with Ryan and Erik doing a live recording of the buzz from the Telluride Film Festival. Till then, let’s get into it.

Direct download: AwardsWatch_EP_150.mp3
Category:Emmys -- posted at: 8:11am PDT

On episode 149 of The AwardsWatch Podcast, AwardsWatch Executive Editor Ryan McQuade is joined by Editor-In-Chief Erik Anderson, as well as AwardsWatch contributor Sophia Ciminello to talk about their pre-fall festival Best Picture predictions and answer some listener questions.

The fall movie season is upon us, as the Venice Film Festival and the Telluride Film Festival are in less than two weeks and will kick off the new Oscar season. With this, Ryan, Erik, and Sophia dive deep into what they think the race for Best Picture will look like, and which films they think will make the line-up. This is a fun exercise in an evolving race that we will look back on and see if our group were right about their predictions, or if just how far off they were. Again, it is just August and most of these films haven’t been screened just yet, but it is also a good time to overview what will most likely be in competition for Hollywood’s biggest prize.

Before they leave, the trio answers some listener’s questions. They talk about the films that might end up on their Top Ten of the year list that have a zero percent, what films they are looking forward to at the Toronto International Film Festival, and name their favorite Oscar nominees that didn’t win or weren’t nominated for their best work.

You can listen to The AwardsWatch Podcast wherever you stream podcasts, from iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Spotify and more.

This podcast runs 1h9m. We will be back next week with our final Emmy predictions. Without further ado, let’s get into it.

Music: “Modern Fashion” from AShamaleuvmusic (intro) and “B-3” from BoxCat Games Nameless: The Hackers RPG Soundtrack (outro) used by permission

Direct download: AwardsWatch_Ep_149.mp3
Category:Oscars -- posted at: 8:38am PDT

On episode 148 of The AwardsWatch Podcast, AwardsWatch Executive Editor Ryan McQuade is joined by Editor-In-Chief Erik Anderson, and AwardsWatch contributors Nicole Ackman and Josh Parham, who gather to talk about film festival news, answer listener questions, and discuss their thoughts on the HBO Max/Discovery + and the ongoing struggles within the streaming service landscape.

Before the main topic this week, the group talk about some positive news stories that were announced this week, like the Academy naming producer Janet Yang at the new President of the Academy, our first look of Colman Domingo as Bayard Rustin in Rustin, TIFF announcing more films to their slate including WEIRD: The Al Yankovic Story, and NYFF will screen James Gray’s Armageddon Time and Noah Baumbach’s White Noise.

But all of that news was overshadowed by the drama with the merger of HBO and Discovery and the cancellation of the Batgirl movie that was about to wrap and head to post production with a premiere on HBO Max. This promoted the gang to talk about the good, the bad, extreme discomforts, and even confusion of this topic of the moment and what it means for the streaming services and their competitors in the business going forward.  

Next up our weekly listener questions, where they are asked if they think Babylon will play at the fall festivals or just release in theaters, as well as The Fabelmans Oscar chances going in based on how West Side Story did for Steve Spielberg last year. They also talked about if Amsterdam will be a contender this award season, if this year’s acting nominations will be more diverse given the film landscape and choices become more diverse for consideration, and what their dream cast would be for a film.

Lastly, the AW podcast team played a new game simple titled ‘The Percentages Game,’ in which Ryan throws out a prompt and the group give him their percent chance that the prompt will happen. Topics include if Top Gun: Maverick will still be the highest grossing film of the year, if the Golden Globes will happen, if a female director will win Best Director for the third year in a row, and many more. It was a fun game and we would love if you sent in your own prompts for the next round by tweeting at either Ryan (@ryanmcquade77) or Erik (@awards_watch), and they will be answered on the next show.

You can listen to The AwardsWatch Podcast wherever you stream podcasts, from iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Spotify and more.

This podcast runs 1h52m. Without further ado, let’s get into it.

Music: “Modern Fashion” from AShamaleuvmusic (intro) and “B-3” from BoxCat Games Nameless: The Hackers RPG Soundtrack (outro) used by permission

Direct download: AwardsWatch_Ep148.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:56am PDT

On episode 147 of The AwardsWatch Podcast, AwardsWatch Executive Editor Ryan McQuade is joined by Editor and Chief Erik Anderson, TV Editor Tyler Doster and AwardsWatch contributor Dan Bayer talk about their Top 5 favorite films in the Criterion Collection, Beyoncé’s new album, and the latest fall film festival announcements.

Ryan is back in the host chair, and right off the bat, the group discuss their thoughts on Beyoncé’s Renaissance, the long awaited follow up to her 2016 album Lemonade. They talk about their favorite songs on the album, and brief mention if it will have the momentum to get nominated for Album of the Year at next year’s Grammys.

Moving right along, the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival announcing a big chunk of their festival lineups, the table is set for a fun, chaotic fall festival slate. The group mention their observations between the two festivals and what they are looking forward to seeing the most, since Erik and Dan will be at TIFF in a little over a month from now.

On to the main topic of the show, which was supposed to be the main topic two weeks ago before Ryan got sick, which is a deep dive into their Top 5 films with the Criterion Collection. With thousands of films to choose from all around the world, the Criterion Collection has cemented itself as the go to place for film preservation and appreciation of physical media. And with the annual July Barnes and Noble sale ending, the group give out their 5 favorites within the collection, as well as a variety of stories to match each selection. Tons of great cinema was discussed, with even a running theme from Tyler that was absolutely delightful. 

Last up this week are our weekly listener questions, and continuing with the theme of the show, the panel was asked what was their favorite non-Criterion Collection piece of physical media, as well as what films they would like to see added to the collection. They also gave out recommendations for first timers seeking out their entry point into the Criterion Collection, as well as what Best Picture winners they would like to see join the other eleven that are already a part of the famous collection. Finally, they talk about actors they would like to see get a second Oscar nomination.

You can listen to The AwardsWatch Podcast wherever you stream podcasts, from iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Spotify and more.

This podcast runs 1h43m. Without further ado, let’s get into it.

Music: “Modern Fashion” from AShamaleuvmusic (intro) and “B-3” from BoxCat Games Nameless: The Hackers RPG Soundtrack (outro) used by permission

Direct download: AwardsWatch_147.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:02am PDT

The AwardsWatch Podcast returns this week, with episode 146, as executive editor and host Ryan McQuade fell ill but, the trooper that he is, and who called in from the hospital (!), is here on this week's show with me back in the host seat (just this once). We are joined by Nicole Ackman, Dan Bayer and Josh Parham.

After a brief check in with Ryan we dive into this year's Comic-Con, which unveiled Marvel's closure of Phase 4 of their worldwide domination and the entering of Phases 5 and 6. While the con itself was a little light on actual content, the one that stood out was the very first trailer (and look of any kind) of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Stunning visuals, a performance from Angela Bassett that looks immediately memorable and quotable (hello, Keke Palmer!), this epic teaser took San Diego and the world by storm, racking up 15M views on the Marvel YouTube and 32.6M on its Twitter in less than 24 hours.

Up next is fall festivals news about what's going to be playing where, highlighted by the big surprise news last week that Steven Spielberg's semi-autobiographical film The Fabelmans will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, his first-ever appearance there. Could it be the stage for a return to Oscar glory? It certainly won't hurt.

We move into Emmy talk is with the group looking at how the notorious 'vote-splitting' believers could rear their ugly heads in categories were few shows dominated. The White Lotus, Succession, Ted Lasso and Hacks all find themselves with the lion's share of acting nominations in several categories but does that mean they'll cancel each other out? Not so fast, as history has shown that not to be the case, especially when there are built-in frontrunners in more than one.

Opening this weekend with high anticipation and expectation was the latest from Oscar winner Jordan Peele (Get Out) with his sci-fi/horror and homage to directing greats, Nope, starring Oscar winner Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer. Thoughts are wildly mixed among the panel (Nicole sits this one out as she hasn't seen it yet) with Josh (who reviewed the film for the site) liking it better on his second viewing, Ryan being a full-fledged superfan of the film, and Dan and I, who both liked it but with reservations about its screenplay hobbling it from being great. This conversation, which runs from the 52:00 mark to 1:22:50, is spoiler-heavy so if you haven't seen the film, skip on over.

Listener questions are next from Bryan Sudfield, S2S Movie Reviews, JacobK2022 and TV Fontaine who want to know our thoughts our favorite Emmy nominations and biggest snub, what's to be done about shows dominating Emmy categories, career comebacks like Cameron Diaz and why certain Oscar narratives fail and others succeed.

Next week's show will revisit the listener questions that went unanswered from two weeks prior, plus the group reveals their favorite Criterion releases ever.

This podcast runs 1h47m. Without further ado, let’s get into it.

Music: “Modern Fashion” from AShamaleuvmusic (intro) and "B-3" from BoxCat Games Nameless: The Hackers RPG Soundtrack (outro) used by permission

Direct download: podcast_146.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:50pm PDT

On episode 145 of The AwardsWatch Podcast, AwardsWatch Executive Editor Ryan McQuade is joined by Editor and Chief Erik Anderson, as well as AwardsWatch contributors Dan Bayer, Josh Parham and Kevin Lee to give their takes on Thor: Love and Thunder, answer some listener questions, and play a brand new game.

Before they get into their thoughts on the latest film in the MCU, there have been a lot of recent classic film anniversaries this year, and with Ryan seeing The Godfather on the big screen this past weekend, the group got to talk about some of their favorite moments of seeing classic films at their local art house theaters. This was a fun, informative discussion on how important these films and theaters can be in the landscape of modern cinema.

Getting into their review of Thor: Love and Thunder, the crew talk about the film overall, the performances, and the general look of the film from director Taika Waititi. Within this conversation, they talk about the vision of the MCU going forward, as well as the grand plan for this franchise, since many of the complaints by members on the podcast, and fans of the MCU, have been that these movies aren’t being executed to the level of care and consistency as a couple of years ago. It is a fascinating conversation that goes many places, even leading into a little more praise for Top Gun: Maverick by the end.

Next up were the weekly listener questions, and continuing with the theme of talking about the MCU, they discuss if the franchise is becoming over-saturated and is becoming too much. They then talk about their feelings on the Penny Marshall film A League of their Own, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year (check out our retrospective here). Then they reveal which fictional movie restaurant they would want to eat at, what movie they would like to see a documentary made about, and which superhero they would want Taron Egerton to play in the MCU.

Lastly, the group play a new game title, How to Name a Franchise and Get Away with It. The basic rules of the game are Ryan reads a name of a subtitle of a film and the other hosts name the franchise it is a part of. They play of round competitively till a winner is name, then a free for all with the final titles leads to some pretty hilarious, crazy film title reveals from the history of cinema.

You can listen to The AwardsWatch Podcast wherever you stream podcasts, from iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Spotify and more.

This podcast runs 1h37m. Without further ado, let’s get into it.

Music: “Modern Fashion” used by permission from AShamaleuvmusic

Direct download: AWPod145.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am PDT

On episode 144 of The AwardsWatch Podcast, AwardsWatch Executive Editor Ryan McQuade is joined by Editor in Chief Erik Anderson and TV Editor Tyler Doster as they give out their final Emmy nomination predictions before they are announced next week.

Over the course of the last three weeks, Ryan, Erik, and Tyler have discussed the 2022 Emmy landscape, talking about what they think is going to be nominated when it is all said and done. Well, this is the moment of truth, where all their prognosticating and lineup shifting of potential nominees in their respected categories comes to a halt. They break down who they think will be nominated in the Limited Series, Drama, and Comedy categories. While they do agree on a lot on this show, there are moments where they break from the group, which could lead to some fascinating surprised come nomination morning. They also give an update on who they think is the front runner still in the categories at this stage of the Emmy race. For a full rundown of Erik and Tyler’s Emmy nomination predictions, you can check them out on the website.

You can listen to The AwardsWatch Podcast wherever you stream podcasts, from iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Spotify and more.

This podcast runs 1h17m. We will have a new podcast next Monday, as the AwardsWatch podcast team talks about Thor: Love and Thunder, answer some listener questions and plays some games. Till then, let’s get into it.

Music: “Modern Fashion” used by permission from AShamaleuvmusic

Direct download: AWPod144.mp3
Category:Emmys -- posted at: 9:18am PDT

On episode 143 of The AwardsWatch Podcast, AwardsWatch Executive Editor Ryan McQuade is joined by AwardsWatch contributors Nicole Ackman and Kevin Lee to give out their Top 5 most anticipated films remaining for 2022, answer some listener questions, and play a quick game.

A few weeks ago, the podcast crew talked about their favorite films of the year so far. As we cross over into July, we are starting the second half of 2022, where bigger budget spectacles release alongside all the films that will play apart within the awards season conversation. With this, Ryan, Nicole, and Kevin give out their top 5 most anticipated films remaining within the calendar year. From films like Blonde, Women Talking, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Decision to Leave, Nope, Avatar: The Way of Water and many more are mentioned in this discussion, which shows a bountiful slate of films for all audiences to enjoy as well as provoke fascinating discussions.

Moving on from their top 5 lists, the group answers some wonderful listener questions, starting with if they would give Natalie Portman or Christian Bale a second Oscar from the work in their career (a question brought up because of the release of the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder). Next, they talk about which non-English language performance from the last ten years they would give an Oscar nomination to. They also give out their top 3 Madonna songs, give an update on if The Whale will be released this year, and the Oscar chances for Nope. As things wrapped this segment up, they also talked about which actors they think will win a second acting Oscar, and what they think of the fourth season of Stranger Things.

Lastly, the three host play a quick round of Cinephile Filmography, competing over the films of the legendary Meryl Streep. It was a great reminder of just how many movies the three-time Oscar-winning actress has been in, including a lot of dramas and, more recently, musicals that provide a long, fascinating round. After they finish the game for the week, they each give a recommendation for readers and listeners to go watch right now

You can listen to The AwardsWatch Podcast wherever you stream podcasts, from iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Spotify and more.

This podcast runs 2h06m. So, without further ado, let’s get into it.

Music: "Modern Fashion" used by permission from AShamaleuvmusic

Direct download: AwardsWatchPodcast143.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:57am PDT

On episode 142 of The AwardsWatch Podcast, AwardsWatch Executive Editor Ryan McQuade is joined by Editor in Chief Erik Anderson, as well as AwardsWatch contributors Dan Bayer and Josh Parham to give deep with their thoughts about Elvis, give out their Top 3 music biopics, answer some listener questions and play a game.

Before they dive into Baz Luhrmann’s latest film, Ryan and Erik give a shout out to the AwardsWatch team, who have been working hard this entire Emmy season with reviews and interviews you can find on the website daily. Please continue to read everyone’s fantastic work weekly, as we will have more coming within the next couple of weeks.

Transitioning over to the conversation about Elvis, Erik and Dan speak to what work for them about in this film about the king of rock ‘n’ roll, while Ryan and Josh have some reservations about this film. Each host gave detailed, respectable opinions on a film that has divided some film critics and audiences, but has become a box office success this past weekend. After they speak on their thoughts about Elvis, the group breakdown their Top 3 music biopics and what makes them their favorites. Some of the films included were I’m Not There, Sid & Nancy, Coal Miner’s Daughter, Get On Up, Amadeus, and many more. Considering this is a bountiful sub-genre with plenty of films to select from, this was a conversation that covered a lot of ground.

In this week’s listener question segment, the hosts discuss Austin Butler’s Oscar chances for Elvis, as well as give out there ranking of Baz Luhrmann’s filmography. They then give their selections of which comedians they would like to see take their talents to the director’s chair, as well as which established they think will win an Oscar within the next ten years. Next, they answer which actors or actresses they think has way too many Oscar nominations, as well as which actor or actress they think is in need of getting there first Oscar. Lastly, in honor of TV Editor Tyler Doster, they choose which of Amy Adams nominated performances they would give her the Oscar for.

Then to wrap up the episode, they gang play another round of Part of the Ensemble, aka the SAG Ensemble game. While it is Dan and Josh’s first time playing the game, they picked up quickly, leaving to some good competition amongst the host, with even a couple of ensembles stumping them.

You can listen to The AwardsWatch Podcast wherever you stream podcasts, from iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Spotify and more.

This podcast runs 2h01m. A little on the long side but another fun episode. So, without further ado, let’s get into it.

Direct download: AwardsWatchPod142.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:05am PDT

You know what’s better than two podcasts in one week…three! On episode 141 of The AwardsWatch Podcast, AwardsWatch Executive Editor Ryan McQuade is joined by Editor in Chief Erik Anderson and TV Editor Tyler Doster as they breakdown the Drama Series categories for the 2022 Emmys.

Unlike the comedy series categories, which were discussed on episode 140,  the majority of the winners from last year’s categories are not in the race this year, given that The Crown has taken this year off to fill its final two seasons with a brand new cast. Many assume that this is the time for previous Best Drama Series winner Succession to come back and dominant the Emmy categories like it did two years ago. But a lot of great television has come out in that time, leaving a lot of uncertainty as to if the HBO drama has what it takes to take back its crown.

Ryan, Erik, and Tyler break down the directing, writing, acting, and series categories, and the various challengers like Ozark, Squid Game, Severance, Yellowjackets, Better Call Saul, Stranger Things, Yellowstone, and more that plan on taking on the Roy family come Emmy nomination morning and the night of the ceremony. While these predictions, like the previous Emmy episodes, aren’t set in stone, it was a fascinating conversation to see where the race is currently at, and what potential spoilers and dark horses lie in the weeds waiting to make their presence known.

You can listen to The AwardsWatch Podcast wherever you stream podcasts, from iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Spotify and more.

This podcast runs 1h34m. The final predictions episode will land around a week ahead of the Emmy nominations announcing on July 12. Till then, let’s get into it.

"Modern Fashion" by AShamaluevMusic used with permission.

Direct download: AWPod141-EmmyDrama.mp3
Category:Emmys -- posted at: 8:05am PDT

Two podcasts in one week, what a treat. On episode 140 of The AwardsWatch Podcast, AwardsWatch Executive Editor Ryan McQuade is joined by Editor in Chief Erik Anderson, TV Editor Tyler Doster, as well as AwardsWatch contributor, host of the And The Runner Up Is podcast, and the new Content Update Editor for Entertainment Weekly Kevin Jacobsen, as they break down the Comedy categories at this year’s Emmys.

On episode 137, it was alluded to how the Limited or Anthology Series or Movie portion of the Emmy race seemed to be a little lacking in competition. Well, have no fear because the Comedy Series races are chock full of recent winners, old favorites that are looking to come back strong, and new series looking to capitalize on their freshmen season success. Last year saw the Apple TV+ darling Ted Lasso and the HBO Max smash hit Hacks take home the majority of the awards, and with very strong second seasons, they look to continue their winning streaks.

But not so fast, as Barry season three has just wrapped up with one of the best season of television of the year, leading many to think it could be the one to beat when it comes to Emmy night. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Atlanta also returned with stellar efforts and have been previous winners in multiple categories. And there are newcomers in Only Murders in the Building, that led by a spectacular comedic trio, and Abbott Elementary, which could be stealing Lasso’s title as the most charming show on television, and showing one of the best ensembles of the year.

With also shows like What We Do in the Shadows, Russian Doll, The Flight Attendant, Reservation Dogs, Insecure, Julia, Curb Your Enthusiasm, black-ish, Our Flag Means Death, Peacemaker, and many more trying to compete for limited nomination spots, this is the most stacked Comedy Series categories we’ve had in years. Thus, Ryan, Erik, Tyler, and Kevin have tons to break down, with plenty of fantastic insight into how they see each category and show shaping out, and a lot of painful omissions from their new wave of predictions.

You can listen to The AwardsWatch Podcast wherever you stream podcasts, from iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Spotify and more.

This podcast runs 1h40m. The Drama Series Categories episode will be released sometime soon, but in the meantime, please check out all of our Emmy nomination predictions and interviews on the website. Now, let’s get into it.

"Modern Fashion" courtesy of AShamaluevMusic and used by permission

Direct download: AWEP140-Comedy_Emmys_2022.mp3
Category:Emmys -- posted at: 7:59am PDT

On episode 139 of The AwardsWatch Podcast, AwardsWatch Executive Editor Ryan McQuade is joined by Editor in Chief Erik Anderson, TV Editor Tyler Doster, and AwardsWatch contributors Sophia Ciminello to discuss what they have been recently watching their Top 5 Pixar Movies, as well as some listener questions and a brand new game.

First up is an update within the 2022 AwardsWatch Summer Movie Draft. While it is early in the game, Ryan’s team has a wide margin ahead of Erik’s team, who still have plenty of time to catch up. Winner of this competition will be announced at the end of August. Since it has been a couple of episodes since everyone talked about movies, Ryan, Erik, Tyler and Sophia each give out some thoughts on some recent releases, including Jurassic World Dominion, Cha Cha Real Smooth, Lightyear, and so much more.

Speaking of Lightyear, it was a good transition for everyone to talk about their Top 5 Pixar Movies. Pixar is a staple not just within the world of animation but for each of our hosts, thus as they talk about their favorite films from the studio, they not only talk about their moments of joy in seeing these films, but they also talk about the moments that moved them to their core. It is a beautiful conversation you aren’t going to want to miss.

For this week’s listener questions, the crew talked about the Oscar chances for Dakota Johnson and her latest film, Cha Cha Real Smooth, as well as the Oscar prospects for international smash hit, RRR. They also answer a question about what films, actors, or directors that they think of when they think of each other. This lead to some pretty interesting choices for each host.

Finally, the gang play a brand new game called Part of the Ensemble. The game goes as so; Ryan reads a list of actor’s names from nominated casts for Best Ensemble in a Film at the SAG Awards. He starts with someone lesser known in the cast, one at a time, till one of the other hosts buzzes in with their guess. It is a lot of fun and something they plan on doing again, next time on the television side.

You can listen to The AwardsWatch Podcast wherever you stream podcasts, from iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Spotify and more.

This podcast runs 2h09m. This is a little bit on the long side but we are really proud of this one. Without further ado, let’s get into it.

Direct download: AWPodcast139.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:37am PDT

That was two-time Emmy winner Elisabeth Moss invoking the iconic Maggie Smith line from Downton Abbey as we began our chat on a Sunday morning. Reminding ourselves that we aren't in chosen industries where phrases like 'weekends' and 'business hours' are non-existent, it's a funny icebreaker before diving into talking about her work.

Moss may play some of film and television's most taunted and tormented characters but she as opposite of that in possible in real life. Jovial and effervescent (I don't think I've interviewed someone who laughs as much), our conversation digs into her new role and new show Shining Girls, which recently finished airing on AppleTV+. Moss plays Kirby Mazrachi, an archivist for a Chicago newspaper in the mid-90s who was savagely attacked six years prior. When a recent murder is discovered to have a similar calling card to her own assault, she forges a bond with a reporter (played by Wagner Moura) to find and nab the killer (Jamie Bell).

We jump right into the fact that the show throws the audience into this story, one of split personalities, time shifting and time travel, and gives them just enough information to stay afloat, much like Kirby herself. Often as an audience we're one step ahead of our protagonist but in Shining Girls, based on the novel by Lauren Beukes and from showrunner Silka Luisa, the viewer is a part of the unfolding mystery and sharing in the suspense.

Moss received the script back in 2018 ("I just thought it was the coolest thing") to act in and produce, but her time behind the camera on The Handmaid's Tale more than prepared her to helm this new project that features all women directors; Moss is joined by Michelle MacLaren (Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad) and Daina Reid (The Handmaid's Tale) as well as a crew largely comprised of women ("It was just the natural thing to do...and all the best people for the job were women") and talk about the ever-important penultimate episode, .

We of course dive into working with her co-stars Wagner Moura, aka "Wag," who Moss says is "so unbelievably alive, he's so facile. He has a presence that is absolutely electric." On Bell, playing heavily against type as the series bad guy, she remarks, "This is the best performance he has ever given. I think that man is going to be somebody who is going to win an Oscar."

This is AwardsWatch so I would be remiss if I didn't take a look at how Moss is poised to make Emmy history if she's nominated for her performance in Shining Girls. She is currently tied with 10 women who have earned Lead Actress in a Drama Series Emmy nominations for two different shows, including Glenn Close, Connie Britton and Barbara Stanwyck. Moss earned lead actress nominations for Mad Men and The Handmaid's Tale, winning for the latter. She would be in a place all her own if she can nab a nom this year for a third show.

Listen to our conversation below. Major spoilers of the series in the last third of the interview so if you haven't seen the show, I recommend it.

Direct download: elisabeth-moss-interview-trimmed.mp3
Category:Emmys -- posted at: 8:26am PDT

On episode 138 of The AwardsWatch Podcast, Executive Editor Ryan McQuade is joined by AwardsWatch Editor-In-Chief Erik Anderson, as well as AwardsWatch contributors Dan Bayer and Nicole Ackman to break down all the winners and major moments within the 2022 Tony Awards.

Before the group gets to the Tony Awards, there was a major casting announcement this past week that made Erik lose his mind and that they had to talk about. Per reports from all major outlets, it was confirmed that two-time Emmy Award winner Julie Garner has accepted the role within the upcoming Madonna bio-pic, which will be directed by the pop icon. While the film is still in pre-production, this didn’t stop the gang (mostly Erik) from bragging about getting this casting correct, and what they would like to see covered within the film once it is release. Doesn’t have to be good, you all know we will be covering it when it comes out.

Beyond this piece of film news, the rest of the show is dedicated to the 75th Annual Tony Awards, which took place at Radio City Music Hall just last night. The show was hosted by recent Academy Award winner Ariana DeBose, who the panel agreed was a fantastic choice as host and should return to host this show and any other award show. They went over who won the top prizes of the night, as well as the performances for the nominated revival and new musicals, which showcased the best that Broadway had to offer. On the musical side, A Strange Loop, MJ, and Company walked award with the most Tonys on the night, while on the stage play side of things, it was a big night for the Sam Mendes drama, The Lehman Trilogy.

Not only was every big moment of this show covered by the group, but they also talked about what this Tonys telecast could mean for the upcoming Oscars telecast, in terms of being a confident show that is willing to embrace what they are and who they are putting on a show for. It was a very knowledgeable, well rounded discussion on Broadways biggest night. For a full list of the winners, please read Erik’s piece on the show which includes all the winners on the night.

You can listen to The AwardsWatch Podcast wherever you stream podcasts, from iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Spotify and more.

This podcast runs 1h12m. Movie and TV talk, as well as listener questions and games will be back next week. Till then, let’s get into it.

Direct download: AwardsWatchPod138.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:54am PDT

A change of pace for this special edition of the AwardsWatch Podcast as it's not only all about the Emmys, it's dropping on a Friday. Don't worry, we'll still have the Monday edition, too.

The first of many Emmy podcast to come this season, AwardsWatch Editor-In-Chief Erik Anderson, Executive Editor Ryan McQuade and TV Editor Tyler Doster take on the top categories in the Limited or Anthology Series or Movie section, which has some very contentious and tough races as we enter the nomination voting period next week.

Hulu is a dominant factor in this year's races with Dopesick, The Dropout, Pam and Tommy, The Girl from Plainville, Candy, WeCrashed and Under the Banner of Heaven (FX on Hulu) all fighting several networks, streamers and programs, as well as with itself.

As is often the case, Lead Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie is proving to be the most competitive. While a few names feel locked in like Amanda Seyfried (The Dropout), Best Actress Oscar winner Jessica Chastain (Scenes from a Marriage) and Margaret Qualley (Maid), the rest of the field is packed with previous Emmy winners like Viola Davis (The First Lady), Gillian Anderson (The First Lady), Claire Foy (A Very British Scandal), Julia Garner (Inventing Anna) and Toni Collette (The Staircase) as well as Oscar winners (a category Davis also falls under) Anne Hathaway (WeCrashed) and Julia Roberts (Gaslit). But with only six spots, who's in and who's out?

You can listen to The AwardsWatch Podcast wherever you stream podcasts, from iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Spotify and more.

This podcast runs 1h 4m. Let's get into it.

Direct download: AwardsWatchEp137.mp3
Category:Emmys -- posted at: 8:40am PDT

On episode 136 of The AwardsWatch Podcast, Executive Editor Ryan McQuade is joined by AwardsWatch contributors Dan Bayer, Nicole Ackman and Josh Parham, as they review talk about their favorite films of 2022 so far, answer listener questions, and play some games.

While everyone is catching up with Top Gun: Maverick in theaters right now, the AwardsWatch podcast crew decided to talk about some of the favorite films, performances, scenes and more of 2022, considering we are very close to the half way point of the film year. Between Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Batman, After Yang, Benediction, RRR, The Northman, Kimi and more, the year has given our team a lot to talk about that they agree on. But they also mentioned some out of the box picks, as well as talked about some films that will be coming out soon that they saw earlier this year at film festivals. It will be interesting to see if any of these selections remain in tack once everything is the fall is seen and they do their end of the year lists.

Moving over to this week’s listener questions, the group talk about their favorite LGBTQ+ films, in honor of Pride Month. They also decided who would win in a fight between AwardsWatch editors Erik Anderson and Ryan McQuade, as well as answer what their favorite interviews or reviews of their careers are, as well as their most memorable moments in their podcasting careers. Next, they talk about what their favorite, and least favorite, Best Picture and Director winners are, as well as look back at the last 25 years, and see if they would change any of the Best Picture winners with another film that was nominated within the same year. Lastly, they select which director has had the best three film run of all time.

And in the final segment of the show, the gang play two rounds of the renowned Cinephile game, in which they compete against each other in the Filmography game. This week’s actors were two time Oscar winners Denzel Washington and Cate Blanchett, whose extensive body of work lead to a lot of selections and fun amongst the group.

You can listen to The AwardsWatch Podcast wherever you stream podcasts, from iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Spotify and more.

This podcast runs 2h02m. It’s a little on the longer side this week but it’s a good one. Let’s get into it.

Direct download: AwardsWatchEP136.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:47am PDT

On episode 135 of The AwardsWatch Podcast, Executive Editor Ryan McQuade is joined by Editor-In-Chief Erik Anderson, as well as AwardsWatch contributor Dan Bayer, as they review Top Gun Maverick, and talk about the prize winners for the 2022 Cannes Film Festival.

As discussed on the last couple of episodes, the Cannes Film Festival is going on, and as of this past week, it wrapped up with the jury prize winners announced, with NEON landing their third straight Palme d’Or winner with Ruben Östlund’s Triangle of Sadness. Ryan, Erik, and Dan break down the full list of winners, as well as if they think any of these wins will translate over into an Oscar campaign for the respective films or performances that won.

Transitioning over to listener questions, the guys talk about their favorite moments they have experienced at a film festival, and what they watch to decompress after a rough last couple of weeks. They also choose who which musician they would like to see making the jump to the big screen. Diving into some more Oscar related questions, they breakdown some of their favorite VFX Oscar winners of all time, which network they thing the SAG Awards will end up on, and how they would fix the Best International Feature Film category qualifications. Lastly, they look at this year’s Best Animated Feature category and examine why there is so much genre bias within the Academy.

After that, Ryan and Dan review Top Gun: Maverick, which landed in theaters this past weekend. They talk about the film’s spectacle, smocking hot cast, and how it is exceeding all expectations, with both of them clearing expressing that it is better than the original in almost every way. They also give some thoughts on the first trailer for Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, which premiered online this past week. Basically, we live in Tom Cruises world right now, and they are okay with it as he seems to be the only one making these types of practical big-budget films that dare to go above and beyond with each outing.

And in the final segment of the show, the gang play the beloved AwardsWatch or Not Game, this time breaking down the filmography of Tom Cruise and pitting his films up against each other. They also give out recommendations for which shows or movies you should be watching right now.

You can listen to The AwardsWatch Podcast wherever you stream podcasts, from iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Spotify and more.

This podcast runs 1h27m. Let’s get into it.

Direct download: AWP135.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:14pm PDT

On episode 134 of The AwardsWatch Podcast, Executive Editor Ryan McQuade is joined by Editor-in-Chief Erik Anderson, as well as AwardsWatch contributors Nicole Ackman, Sophia Ciminello, and Dan Bayer, as they discuss their first predictions of the Best Actor and Actress races of the 2023 Oscar season.

Starting off this week’s show, the group give their brief thoughts on the new Harry Styles album, and talk about their favorite concerts that they have ever gone to. Once done, they continued their conversation from last week about previewing this year’s Oscar season with a look at Best Actor. With his Erik’s first predictions just published, it looks like Leonardo DiCaprio is in the number one spot, with the hopes of landing his second Academy Award. But as they get to talking, everyone brings up their own actor who could challenge DiCaprio in these very early projections. As they wrapped up Best Actor, the conversation shifted to a bit on the Best Actress, which is just as chaotic as it usually is. Erik’s Best Actress predictions article should be releasing later this week.

Moving on to listener questions, the gang talk about their biggest pet peeves about the discourse surrounding award season and what they would change or get rid of if they could. They also share some brief thoughts on the first reactions out of the Cannes Film Festival, as well as what might win the screenplay prize given out by the Cannes jury. Lastly, they talk about the Emmy’s and the nomination chances for the shows Yellowjackets and Severance, as well as Better Call Saul actress Rhea Seehorn's chances in Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.

In the final segment of the show, the gang played two games. The first game is another round of Call Me by Your Tagline, this time with a Cannes related theme. The second game they play is a round of the beloved Cinephile game, in which they played the Filmography, in which each host takes a term in naming a film from an actor selected on the chosen card. The actor chosen was the beloved Julianne Moore, and it led to a lengthy battle between everyone that you won't want to miss.

You can listen to The AwardsWatch Podcast wherever you stream podcasts, from iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Spotify and more.

This podcast runs 1h55m, and it was a lot of fun. Let’s get into it.

Direct download: AwardsWatchPod134.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:46am PDT

On episode 133 of The AwardsWatch Podcast, Executive Editor Ryan McQuade is joined by Editor-in-Chief Erik Anderson, as well as AwardsWatch contributors Sophia Ciminello and Josh Parham, as they dive deep into the website’s first Oscar Predictions for the 2022-2023 season.

In the wake of the news that the 2023 Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 12, 2023, it was only right for the first predictions of the Oscar season to go live on the site this week. Ryan, Erik, Sophia, and Josh breakdown the Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress races, who the early contenders are, who they would like to see make it into the race, and which performances they are a little skeptical about already. It is a long way till the nominations on January 24, 2023, and with most of these performances as of yet unscreened, it will be fascinating to take a look back on this conversation to see how spot on everyone was, as well as how far off some of these predictions might be.

Then they transitioned over to listener questions, where they discussed what the Academy needs to do to attract younger viewers to the watch the Oscars next year, as well as which films from the beginning of the year can sustain their momentum into the fall. They also talked about the film from Cannes they are most interested in based on first reactions, as well as talk a little about if one or both of Hirokazu Kore-eda or Park Chan–Wook could be an international director to break into the Best Director lineup. Lastly, they mention what debut directional efforts they are looking forward to in 2022 and if they think Top Gun: Maverick has any chance in Best Picture. A wide range of listener questions, but we thank everyone who sent in their questions in.

In the final segment of the show, the gang played two games. The first game was another round of AwardsWatch or Not, this time pitting the top ten lists of 2020 and 2021 against each other to see which film year was better. The first round of lists consisted of Erik’s favorite films, while round two focused on Ryan’s taste in film. Then they played a new game titled Call Me by Your Tagline, in which Erik, Sophia and Josh had to match the poster tagline of an Oscar–winning or nominated film to its respected title. It got a little competitive but it was a lot of fun.

You can listen to The AwardsWatch Podcast wherever you stream podcasts, from iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Spotify and more.

This podcast runs 1h47m, and it’s blast. Let’s get into it.

Direct download: AwardsWatch_133.mp3
Category:Oscars -- posted at: 8:03am PDT

On episode 132 of The AwardsWatch Podcast, Executive Editor Ryan McQuade is joined by AwardsWatch contributors Nicole Ackman, Dan Bayer and Kevin L. Lee to talk about the latest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Daytime Emmy Nominations, previewing Tony Nominations and playing a new game.

Starting off this week’s show are our listener questions, which consist of asking everyone if there is a 2023 Oscar nomination the panel is willing to lock in right now based on the films released in theaters. They then break down if there are any other films like Avatar: The Way of Water and Top Gun: Maverick that they would love to see get a long awaited sequel for. And speaking of Top Gun: Maverick, they also discuss which directors they would love to see the film’s star Tom Cruise work with in order to get out of his action movie phase of his career and go back to his most dramatic focused work that made him a star.

Moving right along, the group then break down the recently announced Daytime Emmy Nominations, and then dive into a Tony Nomination preview, with those nominations set to announce on Monday, May 9, 2022. This discussion was very insightful, and for more coverage of both these topics, we encourage you to take a look at Erik’s Daytime Emmy Nomination article as well as Dan’s two articles covering the Tony Awards (Musical & Plays) from last week.

Finishing out the episode is a brief conversation on the Avatar: The Way of Water trailer, which is being shown exclusively in theaters right now in front of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. And speaking of Doctor Strange, the gang then give their full thoughts on the first blockbuster of the summer, going into extensive details as to why it works on some levels and doesn’t on others. It is a SPOILER FILLED review so if you haven’t seen the film, skip over to the last segment of the show, where Ryan, Nicole, Dan and Kevin play a new game called AwardsWatch…or Not, where two films are pitted against one another and they must decide what they want to keep while the other film is lost forever. They played two rounds, covering films in the MCU and Non-MCU movies featuring members of the extensive cast of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

You can listen to The AwardsWatch Podcast wherever you stream podcasts, from iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Spotify and more.

This podcast runs 2h16m, and it’s an absolute blast. Let’s get into it.

Direct download: AwardsWatch_podcast_132.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:43pm PDT

The AwardsWatch Podcast is back and better than ever. Kicking off this reboot, AwardsWatch Executive Editor Ryan McQuade hosts show #131 with Editor-In-Chief Erik Anderson, TV Editor Tyler Doster, with Sophia Ciminello, Dan Bayer, Kevin L. Lee, Nicole Ackman and Josh Parham joining the podcast family.

At the top we answer listener questions about the Oscars like should studios position more awards players in the summer and was last season's record numbers of stat breakers a fluke or a sign of a fundamentally changed landscape? We also talk about what limited series' we think would have been better off as singular films and a question about this year's Cannes Film Festival sparks a conversation about what our gut instinct tells us is winning the coveted Palme d'Or.

CinemaCon wrapped last week, giving us several first looks at some of this year's most highly anticipated films and even peeks at 2023. Top Gun: Maverick, Greta Gerwig's Barbie and the long, long-awaited sequels to Avatar from James Cameron whetted the appetites of attendees and onlookers alike.

We also introduce a new game feature to the AwardsWatch Podcast with a Summer Movie Draft where our group of eight were split into two teams - Team One: Ryan, Tyler, Nicole and Josh vs. Team Two: Erik, Sophia, Dan and Kevin. Each team built a strategy of what films we think will be the biggest summer hits of the year worldwide as well and factoring in what films will be the most critically lauded. As a knife-twisting bonus, each team presented the other with a 'bomb' pick; a film they think will tank and negatively impact the other team's score. Tell us in the comments and on Twitter what you think of each team's picks and who you think is going to win.

You can listen to The AwardsWatch Podcast wherever you stream podcasts, from iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Spotify and more.

This podcast runs a sleek 1h36m. Let's get into it.

Direct download: AwardsWatch-Podcast-Episode_131-2022-Summer-Movie-Draft.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:27am PDT

The year was 2015. A year in cinema that saw one of the greatest actions films ever made delivered to cinemas with George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road. The fourth installment in Miller’s Mad Max franchise was an experience like no other. A two-hour bonanza filled with thrilling car chase sequences, memorable characters, and a cinematic world unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Layered into this spectacle were social and political messages on climate change, warmongering, hoarding nature resources, and the power of feminism, all the while sharing the screen with a guy playing an electric guitar on top of a moving vehicle with flames coming out.

With stars Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron leading the charge in front of the camera, Miller and company gave the world an entertaining achievement that was not only loved by audiences and critics around the world and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with ten nominations and six wins, but it is almost a film may consider one of the best films of the last decade, some even going as far as to say of all time.

But the journey to the big screen is a story within itself, as there were twenty years of obstacles in pre-production, on-set, and even leading up to the test screenings for the final cut of the film. This is all documented in the new book by Kyle Buchanan, Blood, Sweat & Chrome: The Wild and True Story of Mad Max: Fury Road. Over the course of the book, we are told the history of this film struggles, leaving no stone unturned in terms of information about how hard it was for Miller to get this made, the monumental task of recasting the iconic Mad Max character, the extensive production that resulted into a behind the screen feud between the two leading stars of the picture, the constant fight to keep Miller’s version Fury Road his and only his, the legacy of this film and even a tease at the future of the franchise.

Buchanan, known for being a pop culture, awards season reporter (The Projectionist is his Oscar column) for The New York Times, former the senior editor at Vulture, makes an engrossing, stellar debut novel filled with loads of honesty and passion for Miller’s action epic. In taking in dozens of accounts from people involved with the project, along with mixing in talent within the industry, film historians, and journalists, he crafts a must read for any self-proclaimed cinephile.

In our audio conversation below, we talked about his first experience with seeing the film, when he knew he wanted to make this book, what he learned about director George Miller and actress Charlize Theron, why the Academy went for the film, and what the future of the Mad Max series looks like. We thank Kyle for his time and implore everyone, once they are done listening to the interview, to go purchase his book. You won’t regret it.

Blood, Sweat & Chrome: The Wild and True Story of Mad Max: Fury Road is available in stores and online wherever books are sold.

Direct download: KB-MMFR.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 8:28am PDT

Ariana DeBose is a triple threat force to be reckoned with. From the moment she arrives on the screen of Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the classic musical West Side Story, it is clear we are in the presence of singular talent that expertly performs any task she is assigned. Since the film’s release, she has become an overnight sensation and the front-runner to take the Best Supporting Actress prize at this year’s Oscars, but if you have followed her career, it’s not surprising that she is in this position.

DeBose began her career in 2009 as a contestant on the dancing show So You Think You Can Dance, where she finished in the Top 20. She then landed roles in musical productions of Bring It On, Motown, and Pippin, where she landed the understudy role and eventually, for Pippin, was the star of the show. These projects led her to the part of “the bullet” in the ensemble of the Broadway phenomenon, Hamilton.

From her time on Hamilton, she moved on to playing Disco Donna in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, where she landed a Tony nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. With this, DeBose was able to make the transition to the big screen and small screen, with prominent roles in Ryan Murphy’s The Prom and Schmigadoon! from AppleTV+. 

But it’s with West Side Story, and her layered, energetic, passionate interpretation on Anita, a role made famous by the legendary Rita Moreno, that has brought Ariana DeBose the most praise and accolades of her career to this point. And with her Oscar nomination, she is the first Afro-Latinx actor to be nominated for an acting prize, as well as one of the few nominees in the history of the Academy Awards to be openly out as a member of the LGTBQ+ community. This brings enormous pressures and power being in this position, but after speaking with her, it is clear she is taking it all in as gracefully as one can be at this monumental moment in their career.

Within the first moments of speaking with her, I marveled at how down to earth and open she is. As the conversation started, DeBose arrived on the zoom humming a song with subtle lyrics about getting set up for our chat. About five minutes in, as she is answering a question, her Airpods went out, and as she responded, she quickly configured her settings, all the while staying focused, smiling the entire time. Midway through, her cat started to crawl right next to her and she grab it and put them on her lap as we finished out our time together. Completely comfortable and authentic, she spoke to me about her love of musicals, the important relationships with her West Side Story co-stars, what she is going to look for in future projects, and so much more.

By the end, as we parted and exchanged goodbyes, she struck me by the way she said goodbye, as if it was a friend saying goodbye to someone they know, someone they will see again down the road. In a world that is harsh to navigate through, DeBose shows in this interview, and the variety of others she has done throughout this awards season, that her kindness, relatability, and comfort within who she is is infectious and leaves you with a smile on your face and a warm heart.  Good things happen to good people, and Ariana DeBose is beyond good, she is phenomenal. I hope our paths do cross again; till then, here is my full conversation with the recent Oscar nominee.

Direct download: Debose_Audio.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 9:09am PDT

Last week, when the Academy announced Oscar nominations, hair and makeup designer Donald Mowat was on set in Spain, hard at work on his next project. When he found out that his fantastic work for Dune was nominated, it was the culmination of over 35 years of incredible creations being celebrated for the first time by his peers. For Mowat, an Academy member who over 20 years, he couldn’t believe it happened, and still can’t we I spoke with him recently, but takes a lot of pride in this honor because it’s for a movie and team he truly loves.

Known for working with actors Mark Wahlberg, Daniel Craig, Ryan Gosling, and Jake Gyllenhaal as their make-up artist, and being the department head for movies like First Man, The Fighter, Skyfall, Prisoners, Sicario, and Blade Runner 2049, Mowat’s dedication to his craft has garnered praise by many in the industry, thus making him one of the most reliable artists working today in the business. On Dune, he and his team’s collaboration built upon their director’s vision to create unique looks for each character and the story they are telling. Between extensive research and detailed “vision boards,” they were able to successfully separate the work on this film from any of the previous versions of Dune we had seen before.

I sat down with Mowat back at the 2021 Middleburg Film Festival, right before the release of the film and before he and his team have gone on to win award after award for their work on Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi spectacle. In this interview, I asked him about his reaction to being nominated for his first Oscar nomination, what Dune has meant to him, his team’s work on the villainous Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgård), dealing with weather difficulties on shooting on location in Budapest, and his excitement for working on Dune: Part 2. And while he’s a little nervous about the outcome of the Oscars in late March, he is mostly excited to get back together with Denis and the team behind Dune one last time to celebrate their epic achievement.

This audio interview, which runs 51m, might contain spoilers, so if you have not seen Dune, go watch the film and come back to this conversation.

Dune is available to buy on Blur-ray and DVD, as well as to own or rent on all VOD platforms. It will return to HBO Max in March 2022.

Direct download: MowatInterview-2.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 11:07am PDT

Dave Karger is a host on Turner Classic Movies (TCM), including the network's annual 31 Days of Oscar, which kicks off on March 1 this season.

An award-winning host, interviewer, and entertainment expert, Karger began guest hosting on TCM in 2016 and was named an official host in 2018. He has made more than 200 live appearances on NBC’s Today show and also serves as a Special Correspondent for IMDb. In 2018 he co-hosted ABC’s Live from the Red Carpet on Oscar night.

In 2015, Karger received the Publicists Guild Press Award honoring the year’s outstanding entertainment journalist. In 2014, he was named one of OUT Magazine’s “OUT 100,” acknowledging the most influential people in the LGBT community.  

From 2012 to 2016, he served as Chief Correspondent at Fandango, creating and hosting the original video series “The Frontrunners,” which received a 2013 Webby Award nomination for Best Variety Series. Before that, Karger spent 17 years as a senior writer at Entertainment Weekly, where he wrote more than 50 cover stories on subjects including George Clooney, Angelina Jolie, Elton John, Taylor Swift, Johnny Depp, Denzel Washington and Carrie Underwood.

In 2012 and 2013, he was the Academy’s official red-carpet greeter on Oscar night and only the third person ever to hold that post. Dave graduated cum laude from Duke University.

I sat down with Karger to talk about 31 Days of Oscar, the look of this year's race, the changes in the Academy over time and his own Oscar origin story.

Direct download: dave-karger-tcm.mp4
Category:Interview -- posted at: 12:25pm PDT

On this 88th podcast I am joined by Kenzie Vanunu to talk about the upcoming BAFTA nominations.

Kenzie and I break down the writing, acting, directing and Best Film categories as well as try and tackle the always difficult to predict Rising Star nominees. Throughout the podcast we detail the changes in BAFTA voting that were enacted last season (that also gave us wild snubs like Gary Oldman, Carey Mulligan and Olivia Colman), how those new rules will impact this year's results and who will be helped and hurt by BAFTAs choices.

Best Actress is one of this year's most contentious categories and at BAFTA we're very likely to see many of the top Oscar contenders missing - outside of the chapter-voted top two - in favor of more local-grown talent. But who's getting snubbed - Lady Gaga? Jessica Chastain? Kristen Stewart? ALL of them?

Support for this podcast and the following message comes from MGM Studios’ and United Artists Releasing’s RESPECT. Jennifer Hudson is Aretha Franklin in the true story of the icon’s musical and spiritual journeys. She overcomes controlling men and inner demons and, empowered by family friend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., becomes a civil rights activist. With Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, and Audra McDonald. Critics say this is “Another Oscar worthy performance from Jennifer Hudson” that has been hailed as “electrifying.”

For Your Consideration in all categories including Best Actress - Jennifer Hudson.

This podcast runs 1h 45m with intro and music.

Direct download: oscar_podcast_88_with_kenzie.mp3
Category:BAFTA -- posted at: 6:30pm PDT

On this 87th podcast I am joined by AwardsWatch staff writer Zach Gilbert to break down the big guild nominations - WGA, DGA and PGA - that are happening this week.

With the Writers Guild eligibility list omitted several top contenders, including Oscar frontrunners, Zach and I agree on most of our predictions with a few outliers seeking one of the final spots. Same goes for the Directors Guild, in both the main award and the First Time Feature award, where we are 4/5 in agreement in two very competitive categories.

The Producers Guild of America nominations is where things get tough as we align on 8/10 in a year where the Oscars return to a straight 10 nominees. Not even in the first two years of 10 nominees (2009 and 2010) did PGA and Oscar lineup exactly so the race is on between House of Gucci, No Time to Die, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Nightmare Alley, The Tragedy of Macbeth and more for those spots, both at PGA and Oscar.

Nominations for the Writers Guild, Directors Guild and Producers Guild are Thursday, January 27.

Support for this podcast and the following message comes from MGM Studios’ and United Artists Releasing’s No Time to Die, produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, and directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga. Daniel Craig concludes his five-film portrayal of James Bond in No Time to Die. ‎Joining forces with his MI6 team and a new generation of agents, Bond faces the highest stakes of his espionage career and emotionally explores the sacrifices of heroism.

Critics are hailing -  “No Time to Die will be remembered for its emotional impact above all.” You can watch it everywhere you rent movies. For Your Consideration in all categories including Best Picture of The Year.

This podcast runs 1h 1m 30s with intro and music.

Direct download: oscar-podcast-87-zach-gilbert.mp3
Category:WGA/DGA/PGA -- posted at: 4:45pm PDT

For over to forty years, Nicolas Cage has given us one of the most diverse filmographies of all time. While being one of cinemas greatest action heroes with hits like The Rock, Gone in 60 Seconds, Con Air and Face Off, Cage also excels in prestige dramas about complex, emotionally rich characters in films like Leaving Las Vegas (for which he won the Oscar), Matchstick Men, Adaptation, and Joe. He can make you fall in love with him in films like Moonstruck and Raising Arizona, while discovering and protecting historical American secrets. Basically, the man can do anything and knock it out of the park, thus makes him one of, if not, the best actor of his generation.

But with his latest film, Pig, Cage takes his range and dramatic work to a whole new level as Rob, a reclusive chef who must confront his past after his beloved truffle hunting pig is kidnapped. Written and directed by Michael Sarnoski, and co-starring Alex Wolff and Adam Arkin, Cage is stunning in this film. When I reviewed Pig back July, I stated that “it’s not just one of the best performances of the year so far, but how it is the best work he has ever done,” and after seeing the film again, that statement firmly holds up. This sentiment was fleshed out a month later in an FYC piece for Cage to get a nomination for Best Actor at this year’s Oscars, noting that what the legendary actor was doing in this part was “an astonishing achievement” and that he delivers “a bloody, broken, delicious showcase that lingers well beyond the briskly efficient 92-minute runtime.”

After writing about this performance all year long, it only seemed fitting to go to the source and sit down to ask the actor about his incredible, career defining work in this movie. In the interview below, I spoke with Cage about his time making Pig, the bonds with Sarnoski and Wolff that grew on and off set, the lessons he learned in playing a chef, and his love of cinema. At the end, we concluded our chat with some interesting rapid-fire questions with answers lifelong fan of his movies have always wanted to know, as well as take a look at what he has coming in the not too distant future.

This interview runs 24m 31s.

Pig is available to rent or buy wherever you stream movies.

Direct download: Cage_Interview-_FINAL.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 8:59am PDT

On podcast #86 I welcome, for the first time, Christina Jeurling Birro, from Pop Culture Confidential. You probably know Christina from her PCC podcast, which I've guest on several times but she's finally here and I couldn't be happier.

In just an hour, Christina and I break down the Golden Globes winners and non-ceremony last Sunday, and the one-two punch of BAFTA longlist and Screen Actors Guild nomination announcements announcements that happened within an hour of each in the early hours of Wednesday morning. We dive into the surprise SAG mentions for Bradley Cooper and Ben Affleck at the expense of the Belfast boys, the shocking snub of Kristen Stewart and who showed up at BAFTA and why it matters.

Support for this podcast and the following message comes from MGM Studios’ and United Artists Releasing’s House of Gucci. Directed by Ridley Scott and starring Lady Gaga, Adam Jared Leto, Jeremy Irons, with Salma Hayek, and Al Pacino,House of Gucci is inspired by the true story of the family empire behind the Italian fashion house of Gucci.

Critics have hailedHouse of Gucci as “One of the best films of the year. A supremely entertaining and revealing drama from Ridley Scott.” and that the cast displays a “masterclass in acting” with “the best performances of the year.” Nominated for 4 Critics Choice Awards and 3 Screen Actors Guild Awards including Best Supporting Actor Jared Leto and Best Actress Lady Gaga, winner of the New York Film Critics Circle for Best Actress Spanning three decades of love, betrayal, decadence, revenge, and ultimately murder, we see what a name means, what it’s worth, and how far a family will go for control.

For Your Consideration in all categories including Best Picture of the Year.

This podcast runs 1h 5m with sponsorship, intro and music.

Direct download: oscar_podcast_86_with_christina_birro_final.mp3
Category:Screen Actors Guild -- posted at: 7:53am PDT

Stevie Martin and Lawrence Davis are two very well-established makeup and hair designers, having traversed the worlds of film and television with equal success and yes, respect.

Martin made her start in makeup designing when she started doing makeup for magazines before building her way to TV and film. She was one of the key makeup artists on projects such as The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, then returning for Mockingjay – Part 2The Nice Guys and Sleepless, where she grew a reputation of her minimalist style and using no prosthetics.

Davis comes from a very ranged background of work, having even won an Emmy for his work on Hairspray Live! He went on to being one of the key hairstylists for daytime and primetime TV shows and specials like the Grammys, the Academy Awards, American Idol. From this he went onto movies and became a key hairstylist for projects such as In TimeFlight and Dumb and Dumber To. Through all of this he started working frequently with Jennifer Hudson, which is how he landed the role of Hair Designer Head for Respect.

We were curious how they both went about the daunting task of transforming Jennifer Hudson and Marlon Wayans into their respective roles as Aretha Franklin and Ted White, especially when the filmmakers asked for no prosthetics. Benji Bury had a sit-down discussion with them about how they climbed this high mountain.

Respect is currently available to rent or buy wherever you stream movies.

Direct download: respect_makeup_interview.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 2:16pm PDT

When Ridley Scott calls, Janty Yates answers. 2021 brought not one, but two Scott projects - The Last Duel and House of Gucci - and Yates was by his side on both. With The Last Duel, we are transported back into medieval France to meet Marguerite de Carrouges (Jodie Comer), Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver) and Sir Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon) as they fight for the truth. As for House of Gucci, we meet Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga) in the late 1970s as she begins her relationship with Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver). Yates’ costumes are standouts and she is receiving some of the best reviews of her career. 

Yates is no stranger to the awards attention. In 2001, she was the winner of Academy Award for Best Costume Design for Gladiator. She was also nominated for a Satellite Awards (where she is 4x nominee), a Saturn Award (where she is a 3x nominee) and a BAFTA. In addition to these accolades, she is also a 2x Costume Designers Guild Awards nominee (The Martian and De-Lovely). 

Yates has been racking up nominations left and right for critics prizes for both of her films of this year, including a Hollywood Critics Association nomination and a Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards nomination. 

Their collaboration continues with Kitbag, starring Joaquin Phoenix as Napoleon Bonaparte. Jodie Comer was originally cast as Joséphine Bonaparte but had to drop out due to COVID-influenced scheduling conflicts.

This audio interview runs 25m 19s.

Direct download: janty_yates_final.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 3:55pm PDT

To this day, 3x Oscar nominated production designer Arthur Max continues to transport us to his beautifully constructed worlds. In 2021, he took us to the castles of medieval France with The Last Duel and to the bustling streets of Italy in House of Gucci. Through tireless research and close collaboration, Max has been frequent go-to of Ridley Scott for over two decades. 

His three Oscars were for Best Achievement in Production Design (The Martian), Best Achievement in Art Direction (American Gangster) and Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (Gladiator). The accolades don’t stop there. He is also a 2x BAFTA nominee (1x winner for Gladiator), 7x ADG nominee (2x winner for The Martian and Gladiator), NBR Award winner for Gladiator, and many more. 

Their collaboration continues with Kitbag, starring Jodie Comer and Joaquin Phoenix as Joséphine Bonaparte and Napoleon Bonaparte. 

House of Gucci is out in theaters today and stars Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Jared Leto, and Al Pacino. The Last Duel is on VOD today and stars Matt Damon, Adam Driver, Jodie Comer and Ben Affleck.

This audio interview runs 59m 27s.

Direct download: arthur_max_edited.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 1:55pm PDT

On this episode, I am joined by the twin team of Cole and Justin, better known as The Oscar Expert and Brother Bro, who return to the AwardsWatch Oscar Podcast to talk about the Screen Actors Guild and offer our predictions.

We hit all categories and dive into both likely nominations, weird SAG-only possibilities (like Viola Davis and Sandra Bullock in The Unforgivable) and break down how many nominations Belfast and The Power of the Dog can score. Each stand a chance to to get in 3 or even 4 individual actors plus the SAG Cast category. The all-time record still stands at 5 nominations for a single film and we could see it happen once, or even twice, this year.

West Side Story is a big part of the conversation, which was recorded on December 26, because at the time no screeners, digital or physical, had been sent to the SAG nominating committee for voting. As of this writing, digital screeners have now reached the 2000-2500 voters but is it too late? Voting opened on December 6 ends on January 9 and many might have already submitted their picks, deciding not to wait on 20th Century/Disney to drop those screeners. Our predictions for WSS reflect that here.

Support for this podcast comes from Amazon Studios, presenting Being the Ricardos. Lucille Ball (Nicole Kidman) and Desi Arnaz (Javier Bardem) are threatened by shocking personal accusations, a political smear, and cultural taboos in Academy Award-winning writer and director Aaron Sorkin’s behind-the-scenes drama Being the Ricardos

A revealing glimpse of the couple’s complex romantic and professional relationship, the film takes audiences into the writers’ room, onto the soundstage, and behind closed doors with Ball and Arnaz during one critical production week of their groundbreaking sitcom I Love Lucy

Featuring J.K. Simmons, Nina Arianda, Alia Shawkat, Tony Hale, Jake Lacy, Linda Lavin, Ronny Cox, and John Rubinstein. Now nominated for three Critics Choice Awards for Best Original Screenplay Aaron Sorkin, Best Actress Nicole Kidman, and Best Supporting Actor J.K. Simmons. Variety raves the film is “intoxicating; a beautiful illustration of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz." Being the Ricardos is streaming now on Prime Video.

Support for this podcast also comes from Amazon Studios’ The Tender Bar, which tells the story of J.R. (Tye Sheridan), a fatherless boy growing up in the glow of a bar where the bartender, his Uncle Charlie (Ben Affleck), is the sharpest and most colorful of an assortment of quirky and demonstrative father figures. 

As the boy’s determined mother (Lily Rabe) struggles to provide her son with opportunities denied to her — and leave the dilapidated home of her outrageous if begrudgingly supportive father (Christopher Lloyd) — J.R. begins to gamely, if not always gracefully, pursue his romantic and professional dreams — with one foot persistently placed in Uncle Charlie’s bar. 

The Tender Bar is based on the best-selling memoir of the same name by J.R. Moehringer. The Los Angeles Times calls the film “a nostalgic coming-of-age drama lovingly directed by George Clooney... Affleck has never been better." The Tender Bar is in theaters now and streaming January 7 on Prime Video.

This podcast runs 1h 20m with music and sponsorship content.

Direct download: Oscar_podcast_85_cole_and_justin_final.mp3
Category:Screen Actors Guild -- posted at: 11:45am PDT

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