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

I’ve been a fan of Robin de Jesús since Camp, nearly 20 years ago. 

But de Jesús is more than Camp, he's built a stellar career with work in television, film and of course, theater where he's a three-time Tony nominee, earning nods as Featured Actor in a Musical twice (2008's In the Heights and 2010's La Cage aux Folles) and Featured Actor in a Play for the 2019 revival of The Boys in the Band.

Born in Norwalk, Connecticut, he always loved to sing and would join his family in the Parranda, the Puerto Rican version of caroling, during Christmas and go from house to house wherein that house's family would then join and go to the next house until the group grew into most of the neighborhood. It gave him the outlet for his voice and also a creative outlet for his family ("they sort of identified as factory workers but at that time of year they were musicians") and it pushed him through his school years to explore the possibility of making it a career.

After 2003's Camp, his first feature film, de Jesús landed a career breakthrough, the part of Sonny in Lin-Manuel Miranda's In the Heights, a relationship that would bear fruit once again with the theatrical feature version of Jonathan Larson's tick, tick...BOOM!, bringing him full circle back to Miranda, who directs. His performance has earned him Hollywood Critics Association and Satellite nominations for Best Supporting Actor.

Throughout our 30m conversation, we talk about the electrifying response to the film's world premiere at AFI FEST in November and the actor gets candid about his well being and mental health during the shooting of the film ("I wasn't choosing the healthiest thoughts") and how he broke through it to recognize love and blessings in his work and being present in his own life. We talk about his onscreen co-star Andrew Garfield, the depiction of the friendship between a straight man and a gay man on film and what that means on a larger scale.

We also take a look at the state of representation of queer and Latino actors and what representation means to him, the difference between who should play certain roles and who even gets a seat at the table from the ground floor of auditions and casting, what his dream role is and more.

tick, tick...BOOM! is now streaming exclusively on Netflix.

This interview runs 33m with intro and music.

Direct download: robin-de-jesus-interview-final.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 12:21pm PDT

2021 has been the year of the musical. Whether it was Encanto, Vivo, tick…tick…BOOM, Annette, Cyrano, West Side Story, and many more, audiences have experienced a resurgence of the once staple genre of Hollywood. But for many, including myself, the musical that still stands out over the rest this year came out during the summer, Warner Bros' In the Heights.

Based on the Broadway hit musical created by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the film is set over the course of a couple of days in the mostly Latinx based neighborhood of Washington Heights, where people are navigating the modern world and fight to obtain their sueñitos, their little dreams that will change their lives forever. With this, we many follow Usnavi, played by recent Golden Globe nominee Anthony Ramos, is saving enough money to go back to his home in the Dominican Republic and start fresh. But leaving isn’t easy when the community he is in, surrounded by family and friends, rely on him to move forward as much as he needs them.

With awe-inspiring choreography, impeccable performances by this talented ensemble, and lavish cinematography by Alice Brooks, In the Heights provides wonder not found in many modern musicals today. In large part, this has to do with the direction of Jon M. Chu, whose vibrant energy and passion for musicals comes through in almost every moment we see in the film. Chu, known for starting his career making dance movies with Step Up 2: The Streets and Step Up 3D, followed by blockbuster sequels with G.I Joe: Retaliation and Now You See Me 2, he found his biggest success in the 2018 worldwide smash hit, Crazy Rich Asians. With that film he not only made the highest grossing romantic comedy of the 2010s, but landed major awards nominations including a SAG Ensemble, thus making a commercial, celebrated film that all audiences can enjoy while given a vehicle for Asian actors to be seen by audiences in a light that they hadn’t been seen since The Joy Luck Club. Therefore, when it was announced he was attached to In the Heights, it made all sense in the world that he would carry his sincere, detailed approach over to this mostly Latinx, yet universal story.

In a recent conversation with Chu, I talked to him about his passion for the project, his love of the genre, what he carried from making the film’s extravagant musical numbers like "9600," and what he has learned, good and bad, from his experience post the film’s release. With his schedule getting bigger by the day as he starts preparations adaptation of the film version of the monumental musical sensation, Wicked, it was nice to sit down and speak with Mr. Chu about his process and passion to tell diverse stories. His affection for this world and time with Miranda, Ramos, the rest of the cast, and crew still shows in how he speaks, displaying the same feeling the audience has when watching his film, that of an unforgettable experience.

In the Heights is available to stream on HBO Max, as well as to own or rent on Blu-ray and all VOD platforms.

Direct download: Jon_M_Chu_Interview_AW.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 10:47am PDT

It's almost Christmas but the real gift for awards watchers is the Oscars shortlist announcement!

On this 84th podcast, I'm joined by Will Mavity of Next Best Picture to talk about Original Score, Original Song, Makeup and Hairstyling, Visual Effects, Sound, Documentary Feature and International Feature Film and who we think is getting in when the official list comes in on December 21.

Throughout the podcast we highlight how categories like Original Score and Song often nominate well known names and the challenges of being a new name here as well as break down one of the most competitive - and most Eurocentric - International Feature Film competition in years.

2022 Oscar Shortlist predictions: Expect love for ‘Dune,’ ‘Don’t Look Up,’ ‘The Harder They Fall’ and more

Support for this podcast and the following message comes from MGM Studios’ and United Artists Releasing’s LICORICE PIZZA – a film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. LICORICE PIZZA tells the story of Alana Kane and Gary Valentine growing up, running around, and falling in love in the San Fernando Valley, 1973. Named Best Film of 2021 by the National Board of Review, and nominated for eight Critics Choice Awards including Best Picture. Now playing in select theaters in seventy millimeter. Everywhere Christmas day. For Your Consideration in all categories including Best Picture of the Year.

This podcast runs 1h 7m with music.

Direct download: Oscar_Podcast_84_with_Will_Mavity.mp3
Category:Oscars -- posted at: 8:47am PDT

On this 83rd podcast I am joined by the fabulous Sophia Ciminello and fantastic Nick Ruhrkraut of the Oscar Wild Podcast (like and subscribe!).

After a brief razzing of Nick over The Power of the Dog, we settle into looking at how the National Board of Review and New York Film Critics Circle kicked off the critics awards season and what it all means. We dive into the NBR and NYFCC Best Actress wins for Rachel Zegler (West Side Story) and Lady Gaga (House of Gucci), respectively, and the stat that favors at least one of them to get in.

We also take a look at how the Top 10 Films lists from NBR and AFI, especially where they crossover, and how those lists might end up looking like a Best Picture 10. That takes us to a sojourn about the differences between initial critics social responses to films (like Being the Ricardos, Don't Look Up and House of Gucci) vs what the reviews end up looking like. We also dig into the Best Actor category, packed full of previous winners and nominees and wonder if the 41-year stat of a first-time nominee will hold this year or finally fall. In that conversation we look at the two main contenders to keep it going: Peter Dinklage in Cryano and Clifton Collins, Jr. in Jockey.

Support for this podcast and the following message comes from MGM Studios’ and United Artists Releasing’s CYRANO. From Joe Wright, the award-winning director of PRIDE & PREJUDICE, ATONEMENT, and DARKEST HOUR. A lush, musical retelling of the timeless tale of Cyrano de Bergerac set against a baroque cityscape, CYRANO is a symphony of romance and beauty that belies a heartbreaking love triangle. Starring Peter Dinklage, Haley Bennett, and Kelvin Harrison Jr., critics are calling CYRANO “one of the best films of the year.” 

For Your Consideration in all categories including Best Picture. Opens in select cities in January. Everywhere February 4.

This podcast runs 57m 56s with music.

Direct download: Oscar_Podcast_83.mp3
Category:Oscars -- posted at: 8:04am PDT

Within the first few moments of speaking with writer-director Mike Mills, you vibe with his calm energy and gentle spirit, therefore making it a very soul enriching experience to have during an interview. This feeling isn’t a stranger to most who have seen his films, as Mills has been making audiences feel this way over the last sixteen years since his debut feature Thumbsucker. In taking time between his debut and his next three projects, he was able to find distinct connections that span into grand ideas about not just the world his character inhabits, but our modern culture and society.

Films like Beginners and 20th Century Women are, respectively, pieces of art used as an ode to his father and mother. The former earned massive acclaim, including the late Christopher Plummer’s Oscar win for Best Supporting Actor. The latter was hailed as one of the best films of the last decade and landed Mills his first Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. But it is his latest film, C’mon C’mon, that finds him examining new territory, as Mills is making a film about a new family member, his relationship with his child, thus his most personal film to date. Within C’mon C’mon, we follow a journalist named Johnny (Joaquin Phoenix) and his precocious nephew Jesse (Woody Norman) as their bond grows while Jesse’s mom Viv (Gaby Hoffman) is tending to the needs of Jesse’s struggling father (Scoot McNairy). Built within this simple narrative lies some of the most honest screenwriting of the year as Mills is able to balance this familial dynamic as well as the difficult themes he suggests about humanities future and how unsure our world is, with no solutions in sight.

From talking with him, he is someone who cares deeply about his craft, and the connection his work has with audiences across the world. In doing so, he understands the human soul better than anyone working today in film right now. C’mon C’mon is, as stated in our review, “the best film of his career” and “crafts one of the best screenplays of the last ten to fifteen years.” In my conversation with the writer-director, Mills spoke about his creative process, his inspirations for the film, and tells stories and antidotes of his cast, including the relationship between the veteran actor, Joaquin Phoenix and the newcomer of the year, Woody Norman. Here’s hoping the one time Oscar nominee can add not just another Oscar nomination to his leaguer, but a gold statue as well, thus honoring him and one of the best films of 2021.

C’mon C’mon is currently playing only in theaters from A24.

Direct download: MikeMillsInterview.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 9:44am PDT

We're baaaack!

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.

Direct download: oscar_podcast_81.mp3
Category:Oscars -- posted at: 11:15am PDT

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.

Direct download: Donald_Mowat_Interview-dune.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 7:48am PDT

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.

Emmy Podcast #38: The Comedy Categories [VIDEO]

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.

Emmy Podcast #37: The Limited Series categories [VIDEO]

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.

Direct download: emmy_podcast_-_drama_series.m4a
Category:Emmys -- posted at: 10:52am PDT

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.

Direct download: emmy-podcast-comedy.m4a
Category:Emmys -- posted at: 2:51pm PDT

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.

Direct download: Erik-Tyler-Emmy-Podcast-Limited-Series.m4a
Category:Emmys -- posted at: 9:00am PDT

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.

  • 0:00 - 0:22 - Apple TV+ Wolfwalkers sponsorship announcement
  • 0:22 - 0:37 - Wolfwalkers advertisement
  • 0:37 - 1:00 - "and the Oscar goes to..."
  • 1:00 - 8:00 - State of the Race, fake ‘Nomadland’ controversies, anonymous Oscar ballots
  • 8:00 - 13:45 - Live Action Short
  • 13:45 - 16:50 - Documentary Short Subject
  • 16:50 - 20:10 - Animated Short
  • 20:10 - 23:20 - International Feature Film
  • 23:20 - 29:10 Documentary Feature/Netflix domination of below the line nominations
  • 29:10 - 30:40 - Animated Feature
  • 30:40 - 32:15 Visual Effects
  • 32:15 - 36:00 - Sound
  • 36:00 - 42:40 - Original Song
  • 42:40 - 44:25 - Original Score
  • 44:25 - 47:00 - Makeup and Hairstyling
  • 47:00 - 48:10 - Costume Design
  • 48:10 - 51:45 - Production Design*
  • 51:45 - 54:20 - Cinematography/Oscars being shot on film
  • 54:20 - 58:40 - Film Editing
  • 58:40 - 1:02:00 - Original Screenplay
  • 1:02:00 - 1:05:40 -  Adapted Screenplay/Female screenwriter Oscar winners
  • 1:05:40 - 1:13:10 - Supporting Actress/What is Oscar bait now/New Academy members
  • 1:13:10 - 1:16:30 - Supporting Actor
  • 1:16:30 - 1:26:10 - Best Actor/BAFTA talk
  • 1:26:10 - 1:28:50 - Best Director
  • 1:28:50 - 1:44:40 -  Best Actress
  • 1:44:40 - 1:53:25 - Best Picture/closing thoughts/win we want to see the most
  • 1:53:25 - 1:53:55 - Wolfwalkers advertisement

*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

Direct download: oscar-podcast-80-apple-sponsor.mp3
Category:Oscars -- posted at: 3:40pm PDT

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.

Direct download: Jorge_Molina_JTBN.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 8:45am PDT

In this special edition episode of Talking Madonna with Erik and Abdi, we look back at the Queen of Pop's 14 studio albums and curate a perfect record from them. Not a traditional 'greatest hits' by any means, but featuring one song from each album, single or album track, plus three 'bonus tracks' from individual singles, soundtracks or other greatest hits albums.

Direct download: Talking_Madonna_with_Erik_and_Abdi_-_Curating_the_Perfect_Madonna_Album.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:02am PDT

It's been a minute.

The AwardsWatch Emmy podcast return and at the top asking how my guests, Kevin Jacobson and Amanda Spears, have been coping as we enter the 5th month of sheltering in then out then in place and how it's changed or altered their lives. We then go into the realistic chance of what the Primetime Emmy telecast might actually look like with the Television Academy already canceling the Governor's Balls and turning the two-night Creative Arts Emmys into virtual events.

We tackle the Comedy, Limited Series and Drama categories (about an hour each) including all acting. So much to unpack here with the newly expanded categories (eight in series and supporting roles for drama and comedy) and how the the loss of Game of Thrones opens up the race tremendously. Does that mean a long-standing bystander like Rhea Seehorn (Better Call Saul) finally gets in or was she never that close to begin with? What does Lead Actor in a Drama Series look like, which has been on a clear path of rewarding only first and last season performances with wins? How will Apple fare in its first Emmy season with The Morning Show and Defending Jacob?

Watch out for full written predictions including writing and directing throughout this week.

There is a slight glitch between 1:54:00-1:54:15 while Amanda is doing her Supporting Actor in a Drama Series predictions that couldn't be fixed in editing.

This podcast runs 3h 5m 50s with intro and outro.

Opening: Pose opening (FX)

Closing: Schitt's Creek main and end title medley (by Maribeth Solomon and Geek Music)

Direct download: Emmy_Podcast_35.mp3
Category:Emmys -- posted at: 9:18am PDT

What if you had the chance of opting into a second life after death?  In the Amazon original series Upload, Robbie Amell plays computer programmer Nathan Brown, a handsome but self-centered computer programmer who dies under suspicious circumstances and finds himself in Lake View, a utopian virtual after-life.  As Nathan acclimates himself to his new existence, he befriends Nora Antony (Andy Allo), his virtual handler. Nathan and Nora grow closer as they work to solve the mystery surrounding Nathan’s untimely demise. Upload is a sweet and whimsical comedy, with profound observations about technology, love, class and the meaning of life. 

Amell, who’s made the sci-fi genre his playground with roles on Netflix's Code 8 and the CW series' The Tomorrow People and The Flash was immediately drawn to creator Greg Daniel’s futuristic vision in Upload. Amell shares "When Greg and I talked about the script and the show he said if this digital after-life was created by people then it would have the same problems the real world has with division of wealth and income inequality.”

Amell also shares his audition process in landing the role of Nathan, why fans are rooting for Nora and Nathan to be together and why the idea of a virtual afterlife appeals to him. 

Direct download: robbie-amell-interview-final.mp3
Category:Emmys -- posted at: 4:23pm PDT

Patti LuPone’s been busy. Between starring in the new Ryan Murphy Netflix show Hollywood, performing in Zoom concerts, giving no-holds-barred interviews in her signature outspoken fashion and giving us regular video updates from her basement, there’s no question that 2020 – coronavirus be damned— has already been Patti LuPone’s year.

But to many of us, EVERY year is Patti’s year. My love for the legendary diva spans decades of seeing her perform in countless shows and settings, including an evening almost 10 years ago when I got to see her sing at a Barnes and Noble in New York City to promote her deliciously honest memoir. Watching LuPone in that intimate setting solidified my love and admiration for this woman and was an evening I’ll never forget (partly because I was also seated right next to the late, great Zoe Caldwell— but that’s a story for another day.)

So you can imagine how thrilled and honored I was to get a chance to talk to her briefly in the midst of her busy quarantine schedule. Patti filled me in on the challenges of trying to stay productive while stuck at home, chatted about the current state of the arts in general and theatre in particular, filled me in on how she prepared to play a female studio executive in 1947 Hollywood, and, yes, gave me some insight into those basement videos that have turned her into a full-blown Twitter legend.

Direct download: patti-lupone-interview-full.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 4:43pm PDT

In this era of quarantine it's time for some levity.

Kevin Jacobsen and Amanda Spears return for this podcast, covering the Comedy categories and it's a bit of a Schitt fest. With so many contenders not in the race this year, like Veep, Barry and Russian Doll, everything is much more open than usual. Plus, how will the extended Emmy voting period and inability to host FYC events impact this year's awards?

We cover Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Lead Actor, Lead Actress and Comedy Series where, in many races, looks like Schitt's Creek vs The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel in nearly all but Lead Actor. Dan Levy vs Tony Shalhoub, Alex Borstein vs Annie Murphy and Catherine O'Hara vs Rachel Brosnahan. But what about Merritt Wever in Run? Is the final season of Modern Family rearing its ugly head?

We close with an interesting conversation on the theory of 'vote-splitting,' which I generally don't believe is a real thing, or at least used correctly as a descriptor. But between Kevin, Amanda and myself - and using last year's Drama Directing race as an example - I think we land on a mutual understanding. 

This podcast runs 1h 29 with music.

Opening: Theme from The Good Place by Geek Music/Symphonic Distributor

Closing: End theme from Schitt's Creek by Maribeth Solomon

Direct download: Emmy_Podcast_44.mp3
Category:Emmys -- posted at: 9:52am PDT

Last week, Kevin Jacobsen, Amanda Spears and I tackled the Limited Series categories for the year's Emmys but today it's all about the DRAMA.

Starting with Supporting Actor first, we look at the likely returning nominees like Jonathan Banks (Better Call Saul), Bradley Whitford (The Handmaid's Tale) and David Harbour (Stranger Things) as well as who could break in for the first time like Josh O'Connor for The Crown, Kieran Culkin for Succession and Tom Pelphrey for Ozark.

With Game of Thrones gone, that opens up a whopping four spots in Supporting Actress, which finds HBC (Helena Bonham Carter) as HBIC for The Crown, with the newest winners here - Julia Garner in Ozark, Thandie Newton in Westworld and Ann Dowd in The Handmaid's Tale - ready to give her chase. Plus, Big Little Lies is now here so you know what that means: Meryl Streep and newly minted Oscar winner Laura Dern. Can Better Call Saul's Rhea Seehorn finally catch a nom here?

Lead Actor could be a wild set of nominees with two of its most recent winners - Billy Porter in Pose and Sterling K. Brown in This Is Us - on weirdly shaky ground. Could Succession pull double duty and get both Brian Cox and Jeremy Strong in? Perennial nominee Bob Odenkirk is in for Better Call Saul, Jason Bateman is surely a lock for Ozark and b's Tobias Menzies seems safe too. Can Al Pacino break in for the critically divisive Hunters? Is there a world were former winner and Oscar winner Rami Malek makes one final nomination for Mr. Robot?

Emmys: Lead Drama Actress is a winners circle but who will come out on top?

There isn't going to be a more bloody fight this season than Lead Actress in a Drama Series (which Kevin breaks down here) with Oscar winner Olivia Colman in The Crown, previous Emmy and new SAG winner Jennifer Aniston in The Morning Show and last year's surprise winner here, Jodie Comer in Killing Eve (which premieres late in April). Then you still have Emmy favorite Laura Linney (in her best season of Ozark), previous winner here Elisabeth Moss in The Handmaid's Tale (and having a great year in film). What about previous winners in their final seasons like Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder) and Claire Danes (Homeland)? Can Sarah Snook sneak in for Succession or is this the wrong category for her?

Emmys: Who will make the cut for Best Drama Series?

We end with Drama Series, another category looking for a brand new winner now that four-time champ Game of Thrones is gone (check out Amanda's breakdown here). Will HBO's Succession take the crown or will it be, well, The Crown? How will previous nominees like Pose and Westworld fare here? Can Big Little Lies make the jump from Limited Series to Drama Series successfully and will Apple TV+ score its first series nod with The Morning Show?

All of these questions and more are answered in this 33rd Emmy podcast, which runs 1h 23m 45s with music.

Opening: Theme to Succession by Nicholas Britell

Closing: Theme to The Crown by Hans Zimmer

Direct download: Emmy_Podcast_33.mp3
Category:Emmys -- posted at: 9:57am PDT

Podcasting in the time of corona.

The AwardsWatch Emmy Podcast returns and this week I am joined by Kevin Jacobsen and Amanda Spears to talk about the Limited Series categories and the state of television in the ever-changing landscape the coronavirus pandemic has created. 

We open by talking a bit about our own personal experiences with the outbreak, the lockdowns and our existential thoughts. My sincere apologies for any of my coughing that comes through, I've been battling a severe dry cough (no fever!) and did the best I could to stifle it. 

Even with the new season of Fargo out of the mix (production had to halt because of the virus and it won't make its April debut), the Limited Series races are jam packed with great content, most especially the lead actress and supporting actress categories. Full of Oscar winners and nominees, Emmy winners and nominees, both are set to be the most exciting of the season. 

This podcast runs 47m 15s with intro and outro.

Opening: The trailer for HBO's Watchmen

Closing: "New York City By Day" by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan

Direct download: Emmy_Podcast_32.mp3
Category:Emmys -- posted at: 12:36pm PDT

That's that, the Oscar nominations for the 92nd Academy Awards are in and Joey Moser from Awardsdaily and I have some words to say about them. 

From Joker's 11 nominations to the dearth of non-white acting nominees to no female director nominees there's a lot we have to talk about. Is the Academy regressing? Why are there so many 'dad' movies in Best Picture this year?

Is it all bad? Definitely not. Some strides were made even as setbacks were like a tidal wave over them. 

We try and end on a positive note of our favorite nominations of the morning (Parasite! Honeyland x2! Great short noms!) and include some words of wisdom and advice from a snubbed contender to help right the ship. 

This podcast runs 1h 10m with music.

Opening: John Cho and Issa Rae intro to the morning's Oscar nominations

Closing: "New York City by Day" from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan by Thomas Newman

Direct download: Oscar_Podcast_79.mp3
Category:Oscars -- posted at: 2:45pm PDT

In what might be the wildest Golden Globes in a while, with so many categories open and without a true frontrunner, returning guest Kyle Buchanan of the New York Times and I try to figure out who's going to win this Sunday and who might go home empty-handed. 

There's a lot of Oscar talk in this podcast too, especially as this shortened season pushes everything so much closer together. Oscar nomination voting just kicked off yesterday so we could the impact of this Sunday's Globe winners felt when Oscar noms are announced on January 13th. 

Kyle and I do agree on a few locks of the night, like Brad Pitt for Supporting Actor, but we differed on who's going to take Best Actor - Drama...well, at first. I've been in the Adam Driver seat all pre-season but, as often happens during a good podcast, I have gone over to the dark side and wound up agreeing with Kyle that it's probably Joaquin Phoenix's to lose. Especially if Joker is going to give us an upset in Motion Picture - Drama...

Amazingly, Best Motion Picture - Drama might be the most open category and we make the case for almost any of the five nominees to be able to win. 

Support for this podcast comes from NEON, presenting PARASITE, the film that the New York Times has called “the movie of the year.” Featured on over 100 Top 10 lists, Parasite is nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award, seven Critics Choice Awards and three Golden Globes Awards. Visit www.neonguilds.com to find screenings.

This podcast runs a zippy 48m with music.

Opening: “Modern Fashion” by AShamaluevMusic

Closing: “New York City By Day,” by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan

Direct download: Oscar_Podcast_78.mp3
Category:Oscars -- posted at: 1:05pm PDT

The Oscar shortlists dropped earlier this week in nine categories: Original Score, Original Song, Makeup and Hairstyling, Visual Effects, Documentary Feature, International Feature Film, Documentary Short Subject, Animated Short Film and Live Action Short Film.

On this podcast, my guest Will Mavity of Next Best Picture and discuss the first six of those shortlists, identifying the biggest surprises and the biggest snubs but also the bigger picture (and potential) what it means for a film like Parasite to get into Original Song or 1917 to make the cut in both Visual Effects and Makeup & Hairstyling. We also give our predictions in each category.

This podcast is sponsored by Amazon Studios and their films Les Misérables, which made the Oscar shortlist for International Feature Film and One Child Nation, which made the shortlist for Documentary Feature.

This podcast runs 1h 32m with music.

Opening: “Modern Fashion” by AShamaluevMusic

Closing: “New York City By Day,” by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan

Direct download: Oscar_Podcast_77.mp3
Category:Oscars -- posted at: 8:44am PDT

On this 76th Oscar podcast I welcome Variety's Awards and Features Editor Jenelle Riley, a first time guest, to discuss the upcoming Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations for film.

While we don't really get into line by line predictions, Jenelle and I dig into the recent National Board of Review and New York Film Critics Circle wins, including The Irishman breaking from the pack early, but also the stealth contenders we're seeing come out of these announcements. Namely, Richard Jewell and Knives Out.

We talk a bit about potential 'controversies' this year but highlight and recognize that no amount of internet chatter keeps voters from voting what they want to vote for. 

We close with a bit of hopedicting and, wonderfully, we have the same single pick. #NominateNaiNai

This podcast runs about 52m with music.

Intro: "Modern Fashion" by AShamaluevMusic

Outro: "New York City By Day," by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan

Direct download: Oscar_Podcast_76.mp3
Category:Oscars -- posted at: 10:25am PDT

With the Creative Arts swinging big for Game of Thrones, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Chernobyl, will the Primetime Emmys follow suit?

In this final Emmy winner prediction podcast, Amanda Spears and I delve into all Drama, Comedy and Limited Series categories with our winner predictions plus the spoiler in those categories.

Even with Game of Thrones as the obvious winner for Drama Series (can you imagine the upset if it lost?) where else will it win? It's at 10 Emmys from the Creative Arts, just two away from the all-time record of 12 for a single season (a record owned by GOT itself, twice) so breaking that record should happen. But, by how much?

Creative Arts Emmy Award Winners – ‘Game of Thrones’ leads with 10; ‘Chernobyl 7,’ ‘Maisel’ with 6

Comedy is a fight between Barry, Fleabag, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Veep. Barry picked up two wins at the Creative Arts (yet lost stunts and sound editing, strangely), Fleabag snagged the casting award (a huge get) and Veep went 0/4. Its chances of taking the crown back from Mrs. Maisel seem like a pipe dream at this point.

Limited Series categories at the Creative Arts loved Chernobyl, giving it seven big wins. When They See Us, only managed a single win but it was for casting, a good bellwether for Sunday. There is a lot of history to be made if the series and its creator/director Ava DuVernay win. She's the frontrunner for writing and directing right now, making her first African-American woman to achieve that if she does.

This podcast runs 1h 14m with music.

Opening: Main title of Game of Thrones

Closing: Trailer for season two of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel featuring the song "Get Happy"

Direct download: Emmy_Podcast_31.mp3
Category:Emmys -- posted at: 11:23am PDT

It's crazy but this is our first Oscar podcast of the 2019/2020 awards season!

With Berlin, Cannes, Venice, Telluride and Toronto behind us the Oscar season prospects are coming into view. Some things that looked strong in spring and now wilting in the fall, while others have emerged as frontrunners.

I am joined (for the first time) by AwardsWatch's own Mina Takla. Mina hit Cannes and TIFF for AW this year, knocking out over two dozen fantastic reviews and providing a much-needed looking at the non-English language selections that 2019 has to offer.

TIFF 19 Wrap-Up: From jokers to popes and birds to hustlers, here are the Best Films and Performances of the Toronto International Film Festival

In this podcast, we begin discussing Mina's experience at TIFF and the films and performances he liked the best. We end that section talking about the Grolsch People's Choice winner Jojo Rabbit and its runners-up Marriage Story and Parasite, which propels us into the Oscar conversation.

We cover Best Picture, Best Actor (with a focus on Joaquin Phoenix and Adam Driver), Best Actress (with a focus on Renée Zellweger and Cynthia Erivo), Documentary Feature and dabble in the supporting categories, as well as the historical potential of the Best Director category having more than woman director and/or two Asian directors with Bong Joon-ho (Parasite) and Lulu Wang (The Farewell) both in contention, on our way to closing out with the huge success and awards potential of Hustlers and the potential for Jennifer Lopez.

My apologies in advance for some of the audio. Something's a bit buggy with my side of the recording (and yes, that clickety-clack is me) lately and I'm still working it out. Thank you for your patience!

This podcast is 1h 17m with music.

Opening: "Over the Rainbow," from Roadside Attractions' Judy, sung by Renée Zellweger

Closing: "New York City By Day," by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan

Direct download: Oscar_Podcast_75.mp3
Category:Oscars -- posted at: 2:21pm PDT

The Creative Arts Emmys, a two-night affair celebrating the technical achievements of the television season such as lighting, editing and cinematography, are this weekend - September 14th and 15th. I am joined by returning champ Amanda Spears on the Creative Arts Emmy winner prediction podcast.

The Creative Arts Emmys are also the home of five of the biggest awards of the Emmys: the four Guest Acting categories and Reality/Competition Host. We start the podcast analyzing the guest categories (Can Bradley Whitford win again? Will Adam Sandler be an Emmy-winning actor? Will Phylicia Rashad finally take it?) and that Reality/Host contest. RuPaul Charles stands a very good chance of tying Survivor's Jeff Probst for a 4th win here for RuPaul's Drag Race.

We also tackle categories that are often bellwethers for what is going to happen the week after at the Primetime Emmy Awards. Namely, the Casting categories. Casting for a Limited Series is going to be a tough fight between Chernobyl, Fosse/Verdon and When They See Us, one of many between these three nomination giants. Casting for a Drama Series should easily go to Game of Thrones as part of its inevitable sweep (keep an eye out for a GOT article from Amanda, who correctly predicted it would hit 32 nominations, on its potential wins). But it's Casting for a Comedy Series that gives us trouble. Veep won this three times in a row on its way to Comedy Series wins. In its absence last year, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel won. But we also have huge Emmy hits Barry and Fleabag. Who will win and will that win correlate to a Comedy Series win?

The four costume categories (Contemporary, Period, Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Variety, Reality or Competition) and several music categories (Music & Lyrics, Main Title Theme, Score for Series and Limited Series) make up the rest of our Creative Arts Emmy winner predictions.

We'll be doing a Primetime Emmy winner predictions podcast just after the Creative Arts Emmys are held this weekend.

This podcast runs with music.

Opening: HBO's Chernobyl, episode "Please Remain Calm"

Closing: "Mein Herr" from FX's Fosse/Verdon

Direct download: Emmy_Podcast_30.mp3
Category:Emmys -- posted at: 9:25am PDT

With the Drama and Comedy categories under our podcast belts, returning guest Amanda Spears and I tackle the Limited Series/TV Movie nominees with our ranked predictions.

The top three nomination getters - Chernobyl, Fosse/Verdon and When They See Us - take up quite a bit of oxygen in every race, going up against each other in virtually every category. Will there be a sweep or will the three split categories across the board? Will Ava DuVernay make Emmy history?

What to do with Supporting Actress. Will it be Patricia or...Patricia? Amanda and I go toe to toe on whether Arquette or Clarkson will be triumphant here. But maybe there's a spoiler lurking...

This podcast runs 1h 21m 55s with music.

Opening: "Big Spender" from Fosse/Verdon (FX)

Closing: Trailer for When They See Us (Netflix)

Direct download: Emmy_Podcast_29.mp3
Category:Emmys -- posted at: 8:20am PDT

After a spirited debate on the Drama categories for this year's Primetime Emmy Awards, Amanda Spears and I return to tackle Comedy and it's a much more open race across the board than their more serious counterparts.

While Game of Thrones is the clear frontrunner and runaway winner in many categories over in Drama, the Comedy side is rich with major contenders and no clear shot at who's going to end up on top. The return of Veep, for its final season, is surely a serious threat to take the crown back from The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, who triumphed during Veep's hiatus and sits at a field-best 20 nominations, but we also have Barry, a big winner last year with double the noms this year, and the return of Fleabag, the cult hit that turned into a pop culture phenomenon this spring.

Emmy Podcast #27: Winner predictions in the Drama categories

While it doesn't seem to leave much room for the other nominees, there stands a chance for Schitt's Creek stars Eugene Levy or Catherine O'Hara to surprise - especially O'Hara who, back in the tape-based era, could probably run away with this with her submission "The Crowening." Veep's Julia Louis-Dreyfus stands in her way though, looking for her 9th career win, which would break her tie with Cloris Leachman as the female actor with the most Emmy wins. JLD has never lost here for Veep yet, a six-year streak.

Speaking of Schitt's Creek, late in the podcast (just before we reveal out Comedy Series winner predictions), Amanda has a special announcement to share. 

With music this podcast runs 

Opening: Theme to Veep by Rupert Gregson-Williams

Closing: Ending theme to Schitt's Creek (composer unknown)

Direct download: Emmy_Podcast_28.mp3
Category:Emmys -- posted at: 10:02am PDT

With all of the episodes submissions in for Drama Series and individual performers, the first Emmy winner prediction podcast is here, tackling the guest, supporting and lead acting acting categories as well as the big one itself.

I am joined once again by Amanda Spears, who correctly predicted the path for Game of Thrones to earn its historic and record-breaking 32 Emmy nominations this season. While it's kind of a forgone conclusion that the incest and dragons page-turner will triumph in Drama Series, there's a lot of room for spoilers, upsets and surprises in the acting categories.

Can Peter Dinklage make history and win his fourth? Will Pose's Billy Porter be the first out, queer, black man to win Lead Actor in a Drama Series? Will Lead Actress go to Killing Eve's Jodie Comer or Sandra Oh? Or is Emilia Clarke going to fly in destroy their chances? All these questions and more get answered.

With music, this podcast runs 1h 16m 38s with music.

Opening: Into to FX's Pose

Closing" "Home," sung by Mj Rodriguez, Billy Porter and featuring Our Lady J from FX's Pose

Direct download: Emmy_Podcast_27.mp3
Category:Emmys -- posted at: 8:31am PDT

Is Game of Thrones running away with the Drama Series Emmy win? All signs point to yes but that doesn't mean there isn't a conversation to be had about this year's drama races. 

I am joined once again by Amanda Spears to break down Drama Series, Lead Actor and Actress and Supporting Actor and Actress (guest, writing and directing categories will be tackled later). 

In this podcast we tackle if GOT can break NYPD Blue's all-time record for most nominations by a show in a single season, how the acting races could play out for Killing Eve's Jodie Comer, Pose's Billy Porter and the Emmy fate of This is Us and House of Cards and much more.

This podcast runs 56m 30s with music.

Opening: The theme from Game of Thrones by Ramin Djawadi

Closing: "New York City By Day,' by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan

Direct download: Emmy_Podcast_26.mp3
Category:Emmys -- posted at: 11:44am PDT

We're right in the middle of the Emmy voting period for the 2019 Primetime Emmy Awards, making it high time for an Emmy podcast.

Returning champion Amanda Spears and I discuss the likely nominees, if When They See Us can dominate the acting categories, how Deadwood, Chernobyl, Fosse/Verdon and Sharp Objects will fare and if there's any room for major surprises. 

This podcast runs 57m 10s with music.

Opening: Trailer for When They See Us (Netflix)

Closing: "New York City By Day," by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan

Direct download: Emmy_Podcast_25.mp3
Category:Emmys -- posted at: 11:25am PDT

In our first Emmy podcast of the 2018/2019 season, I am joined by Amanda Spears, who has been detailing her Emmy predictions here over the last few weeks.

In this episode we tackle the Comedy Series categories and the battle that seems to be between Veep's final season and the second season of the history-making winner from last year, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Will this focus on only these two shows (and their acting components like Julia Louis-Dreyfus vs Rachel Brosnahan and Alex Borstein vs Anna Chlumsky) make room for a surprise third to come in and shock?

We look at the possible demise of the regular networks in the top category, with ABC's black-ish barely hanging on and NBC's The Good Place possibly coming in to take its place in the final lineup of seven shows.

Netflix has been enormously successful at the Emmys...with nominations. With so many comedies, new and previously established for it to push, how many can it realistically get in? 2? 3? 4?? And can it ever win?

I know I say at the beginning of the podcast that we'll be doing both Comedy and Drama categories but I decided to split them up so Drama cats will be coming soon.

This podcast runs 1h 7m 45s with music.

Opening: "Change for the World" by Charles Bradley from HBO's Barry

Closing: "New York City by Day" by Thomas Newman from the original motion picture soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan

Direct download: Emmy_Podcast_24.mp3
Category:Emmys -- posted at: 9:02am PDT

The 2018-2019 awards season pulled itself across the finish line last night with the 91st Academy Awards giving Best Picture to Green Book

The night gave us the widest spectrum of wins where Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book sit beside BlacKkKlansman, Black Panther and If Beale Street Could Talk as Oscar winners in the same year, from the same voting body.

On this 74th podcast, the Oscar post-mortem, I am joined by New York film critic Tomris Laffly of Time Out and RogerEbert.com to work our way through this bizarre season of over the top controversy and scandal, of show producers' tone deaf ideas and how it ultimately fed into a telecast that gave us inspired wins, unique moments and tearful speeches.  

Tomris and I also dig into the how the producers listened to the backlash (albeit seemingly oblivious to it), what we thought of the show having no host, our favorite wins and moments and what we hope and want for next year's show.

This podcast runs 1h 30m with opening 2019 Oscar moments and closes with, as usual, "New York City By Day," by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to Desperately Seeking Susan. 

 

Direct download: Oscar_Podcast_74.mp3
Category:Oscars -- posted at: 2:54pm PDT

Welcome to the AwardsWatch Final Oscar Winner Predictions Podcast!

I am honored to be joined by Amanda Spears, the creator of the #PresentAll24 hashtag and movement that brought film and Oscar fans together when the Academy and show producers announced it would be pushing four categories to commercial breaks. The wave of social media support to keep all 24 categories on the live broadcast moved actors, directors and filmmakers to join the push and late last Thursday night, they reversed their decision. 

On this 73rd podcast, first time guest Amanda and I break down this year's race not just its controversies but how we talk about the Oscar race, including how the controversies of Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody have impacted how we do that.

We work our way into categories that are up in the air such as Supporting Actress where Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk) and Rachel Weisz (The Favourite) are neck and neck. 

The technical categories give us a lot to talk about, especially in Production and Costume Design that see a close race between The Favourite and Black Panther and how closely other categories, like Makeup & Hairstyling, Sound Mixing and Editing are closely tied to Best Picture nominees. 

As we move into the more locked categories (like Supporting Actor, Best Director) we find ourselves at Best Picture, where we reveal our rankings from #8 to #1 and the ins and outs of why and how. 

Amanda Spears can be found on Twitter at @msamandaspears and her writing can be found at GoldDerby. 

Keep an eye out for my FINAL Oscar winner predictions at awardswatch.com this week. 

This podcast runs 1h 53m with music. Enjoy!

Opening: "And the Oscar goes to..." montage

Closing music: "New York City By Day" by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan

Direct download: Oscar_Podcast_73_-_Final_Oscar_Predictions.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:33pm PDT

At the age of 85, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has developed a breathtaking legal legacy while becoming an unexpected pop culture icon. But without a definitive Ginsburg biography, the unique personal journey of this diminutive, quiet warrior's rise to the nation's highest court has been largely unknown, even to some of her
biggest fans – until now. RBG is a revelatory documentary exploring Ginsburg 's exceptional life and career from Betsy West and Julie Cohen, and co-produced by Storyville Films and CNN Films.

I spoke with Betsy West and Julie Cohen, the directors of RBG, the double Oscar-nominated documentary of the life and victories of the judicial powerhouse. In our conversation we talk about the directing duos first meetings with RBG, her unique relationship with fellow Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and what it could tell us about how we interact with each other today.

RBG is currently available to rent or buy on DVD or streaming on Amazon. The 91st Oscars will take place on Sunday, February 24th, 2019 and air live on ABC.

Direct download: Julie_Cohen_and_Betsy_West_RBG_Feb_15_2019_033708_PM_PST.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 4:49pm PDT

The 2019 Oscar nominations happened less than 12 hours ago and on this 72nd podcast I am joined by the awesome Valerie Complex to talk about the nominations we liked, what we didn't like and where we think the Academy is heading with these choices. 

We dig in on the good (Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, LGBTQ character inclusion) but also talk about how a group that makes impressive and inclusive choices like nominating Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira (ROMA) can continue to fall back on safe, easy 'traditional Oscar bait.'

Does the Academy hold back on 'too many' black or female or LGBTQ stories and need to coalesce around one or two? Why wasn't there room for If Beale Street Could Talk or Disobedience? Where's Crazy Rich Asians or genre films Hereditary and performances likes Toni Collette's?

All of this and more is covered.

This podcast runs 51m 45s with music.

Opening: Theme for 2019 Oscar nominations announcement

Closing: "New York City By Day" by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan

Direct download: Oscar_Podcast_72.mp3
Category:Oscars -- posted at: 3:52pm PDT

Here it is. The FINAL Oscar nominations predictions podcast and, as usual, it's a big one. 

I am joined by Next Best Picture's Will Mavity for this 71st Oscar Podcast and we dig in on how wild this season has been so far, with films being hit with controversy, the continuing chasm between critics and audiences and where we think the Academy is going to lean as a result.

Predictions start off with Visual Effects and build up through the techs into the top 8 of Original Screenplay, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and finally Best Picture. Regrettably, we didn't hit Animated Feature, Documentary Feature or Foreign Language Film but you can find those predictions at each of our respective sites.

We spent time on the hows and whys of films like A Star Is Born, Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody hitting the guilds and audiences whereas If Beale Street Could Talk not finding that same love. We also ask: will First Man become the most nominated film in the expansion era to not hit Best Picture? Can Barry Jenkins be a lone director nominee a la Bennett Miller?

These details, utilizing guild nominations, box office, branch history and more help guide us through our predictions, with both Will and I making changes on the fly during our conversation. 

This podcast runs 2h 23m with opening and closing music. 

Closing music: "New York City By Day" by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan.

Direct download: Oscar_Podcast_71.mp3
Category:Oscars -- posted at: 2:39pm PDT

This 70th AwardsWatch Oscar podcast I am joined by someone I've followed and enjoyed listening to for a long time, Isabel Custodio. You may know her better as be kind rewind from her fantastic YouTube videos that deconstruct the Best Actress Oscar races over the last 90 years. Always succinct and thoughtful; thorough and completely engaging, Isabel's passion for the Oscars, and especially, the history of actresses, is a natural fit for the AW podcast and I am so happy she was able to come aboard in a year with such a bandwidth of roles, performances and women heading up female-fronted films and controlling the narrative in them. 

The podcast opens with Isabel talking a bit about why she loves the Oscars and actresses so much and how it got her into creating her wonderful videos. 

As we start to dig into this year's race we quickly settle on the prevailing belief that the top 3 of Glenn Close (The Wife), Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born) and Olivia Colman (The Favourite) are as closed to locked in as can be and that it's nearly a dozen others fighting for the 4-5 spots. 

While we both think those two spots look the most likely for Viola Davis (Widows), Yalitza Aparicio (ROMA) and Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), each also comes with enough drawbacks that make room for a Felicity Jones (On the Basis of Sex), Nicole Kidman (Destroyer), Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins Returns) or KiKi Layne (If Beale Street Could Talk), just to name a few. 

We also dive into actress wins of the past and and offer some thoughts on the concept of a musical biopic vs a musical with regards to the Golden Globes.

Isabel and I offer our predictions as well as our hopefuls to get in in such a competitive year.

This podcast runs 1h 49m 30s.

Opening: "Look at me" clip from The Favourite, The Wife clip, "One Reason" clip from A Star Is Born

Closing: "New York City By Day" by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan

Direct download: Oscar_Podcast_70.mp3
Category:Oscars -- posted at: 9:37pm PDT

In this titillating 69th Oscar podcast, I am joined once again by returning guest Kyle Buchanan, newly of The New York Times where he has his own column called The Carpetbagger

Kyle and I kick the tires on all four acting categories, taking a closer look at co-leads running in Supporting (like Best Supporting Actor frontrunner Mahershala Ali for Green Book) to a seemingly barren Best Actor season (with only two 'locks' in the form of Bradley Cooper for A Star Is Born and Christian Bale for Vice) and the overflow of great contenders in this year's Best Actress race that includes locked and loaded Glenn Close in The Wife, Lady Gaga in A Star Is Born. and Olivia Colman in The Favourite.

Category placement has been a jumble this last week with two studios walking back previously announced pushes: Paramount with Emily Blunt for A Quiet Place (going from Lead last week to Supporting this week) and Sony Classics, doing the same with Jonathan Pryce for The Wife.

We also take some time to talk about Black Panther as an across the board contender (including Michael B. Jordan in Supporting Actor) and why some pundits shouldn't dismiss it and Widows (from Viola Davis to Daniel Kaluuya to the film' technical mastery) as major Oscar player. 

With music Oscar Podcast #69 runs an 1h 19m.

Opening: Trailer clips from If Beale Street Could Talk and A Star Is Born.

Closing: "New York City By Day" by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to Desperately Seeking Susan

Direct download: Oscar_Podcast_69.mp3
Category:Oscars -- posted at: 2:16pm PDT

On the 68th AwardsWatch Oscar podcast I am joined by Kristy Puchko, Managing Editor of Pajiba and we dig into what we saw at the fall festivals, what we liked and didn't like with Kristy talking a bit about her recent trip to Fantastic Fest.

We land on a long conversation about A Star Is Born, talking about elements both good and bad and the differences between festival audiences and audiences at large. 

Then we move into talk about the year of 'skater' movies including Skate Kitchen, Mid90s and how much we both love Minding the Gap, how great Hereditary is (and what it's like to sit next to Kristy at a movie) and that Toni Collette should be a real Oscar contender. 

We also talk at length about stories with female and queer perspective including Eighth Grade and the upcoming Can You Ever Forgive Me? and the fantastic performances from Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant. 

Kristy gets super excited to talk about The Favourite, most especially the costumes (which makes sense comes from a fashion maven such as herself).

Making sure we get some Oscar talk in there, we talk about the now defunct Popular Oscar category and why it was a bad idea. 

This podcast runs 1h 50m with music.

Opening music: "Sulk" by TR/ST

Closing music: "New York City By Day" by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan

 

 

Direct download: Oscar_Podcast_68.mp3
Category:Oscars -- posted at: 10:41pm PDT

Since graduating from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Brian A. Kates has edited many acclaimed films, with 14 films selected to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and 5 films in Cannes.

He has been honored with an Emmy Award for his work on Taking Chance, and an Emmy nomination for editing the pilot episode of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. He also won two ACE Eddie Awards for his work on Bessie and Lackawanna Blues, in addition to two other Eddie Award nominations.

His collaborators have included Andrew Dominik (Killing Them Softly), Dee Rees (Bessie), Joseph Cedar (Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer), Michael Cuesta (Kill the Messenger), Tamara Jenkins (Private Life and The Savages), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Jack Goes Boating), John Cameron Mitchell (How to Talk to Girls at Parties and Shortbus), Lee Daniels (Shadowboxer and The Butler), Nicole Kassell (The Woodsman), George C. Wolfe (Lackawanna Blues and Nights in Rodanthe), Moisés Kaufman (The Laramie Project), Ross Katz (Taking Chance), John Krokidas (Kill Your Darlings), and Jeremiah Zagar (We the Animals).

In addition to his work in fiction, he was Jonathan Caouette's co-editor on the groundbreaking documentary Tarnation.

His television work has included collaborations with Alfonso Cuarón (Believe), Bill Condon (The Big C), David Simon and Eric Overmeyer (Treme), and Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel).

He is currently finishing his third collaboration with John Cameron Mitchell, a 10-episode original audio musical, featuring the music of Bryan Weller and Mr. Mitchell, and a cast including Glenn Close, Patti LuPone, Cynthia Erivo, Ben Foster, Nakhane, Bridget Everett, Justin Vivian Bond, and Laurie Anderson, entitled Homunculus.

I had the pleasure of chatting with Brian this week about his Emmy nomination for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, his summer camp background that got him into film and his collaborations with Lee Daniels and John Cameron Mitchell.

By the end it turns a bit into an impromptu gushing about his work on NBC's Kings and a promo for his new film We the Animals, which is in theaters now. GO SEE IT.

You can see Brian's work next in the upcoming Tamara Jenkins film Private Life, which will world premiere at the New York Film Festival next month.

There also might be a bit of tea spilled on an upcoming sequel to a gay classic. 

This interview runs just shy of 37m with music.

Opening: "A Wonderful Day Like Today" from The Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd (Original 1965 Broadway Cast) 

Closing: "Girls Talk" by Dave Edmonds

Direct download: Brian_A_Kates_interview_.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 10:24am PDT

Christopher Scott never wanted to dance. Now he's a three-time Emmy nominee for Outstanding Choreography. 

After his mother packed him and his sister from Maryland to Hollywood to give them better opportunities, Scott defied having to enter a dance class, opting for track and field instead. "If you had told me I was going to be a dancer I would have laughed in your face," he says.

He entered Hollywood High School in the 9th grade, and applied and was accepted into the performing arts magnet program. It was in his very first semester that he checked out the school's production of West Side Story (his sister was in it and dating the "coolest guy in school") and out of sheer boredom learned the songs and the dance moves and landed a part in the production. During his four years in the program, he had leading roles in several stage productions and studied various styles of dance, particularly excelling in tap. To hone his tap dancing skills, he spent many weekends as a street performer on the Venice Beach boardwalk and the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, California.

In 11th grade, three-time Emmy winning actress and choreographer Debbie Allen (and future So You Think You Can Dance judge) came to the school to audition dancers for the opening of the American Music Awards with Mariah Carey. "I feel like the luckiest kid in America," he says. It was his first paying job and when he got his paycheck (about $650) he thought 'I think I'm gonna go with this,' and his dancing career began.

Since then Chris has worked with renowned artists such as Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, Imagine Dragons, Khalid, and Gloria Estefan, and has worked on a variety of film and TV projects including the Emmy-nominated 82nd Academy Awards, Step Up 4: Revolution, Step Up 5: All InDancing with the Stars, and America’s Best Dance Crew.

In 2009, Scott teamed up with Harry Shum, Jr. to choreograph the super hero inspired web series The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers, aka The LXD. An experiment in storytelling through dance, the series is the brainchild of writer/director/producer Jon Chu. 

In 2011, Scott made his So You Think You Can Dance debut and thereafter made frequent visits choreographing contestants' duets and group routines. He received Outstanding Choreography Emmy nominations for his work on the show in 2012 and 2014.

In my interview with the three-time Emmy nominee and Scott talks about his leap from dancer to choreographer, his love of props in routines, reveals his advice for new dancers and the song that got away - the only tune he hasn't been able to snag the rights to (yet).

Christopher Scott is nominated for Outstanding Choreography for So You Think You Can Dance.

The Emmy voting period ends August 27th at 10pm PST.

The Creative Arts Emmys will be a two-night affair on Saturday, September 8th and Sunday, September 9th.

The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards will be Monday, September 17th.

This interview runs 25m.

Opening: So You Think You Can Dance theme

Closing "Say You Won't Let Go" cover by Boyce Avenue (used by Christopher Scott in one of his nominated dance routines featuring Allison and Logan)

Direct download: Christopher_Scott_interview_.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 10:18am PDT

 
Costume designer Meghan Kasperlik has made a name for herself in the world of feature films after first cutting her teeth in the fashion industry and then television.
 
Out of college she jumped at the opportunity to work with the legendary Patricia Field (Emmy winner for Sex and the City, Oscar nominee for The Devil Wears Prada). Building her resume on shows like Hope & Faith, Cashmere Mafia and Royal Pains, Meghan made the jump to feature films, working as an assistant costume designer on The Dark Knight Rises, American Hustle, The Amazing Spider-Man 2Noah and Joy before being the head costume designer on Little Accidents, Crown Heights and It Comes at Night.
 
 
Her work on Ramin Bahrani’s 99 Homes brought her to the HBO movie that would earn her her first Emmy nomination, Bahrani's update of Fahrenheit 451 which made its world premiere at this year's Cannes Film Festival and stars Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon. 
 
In my interview with Meghan the Emmy-nominee talks about her approach to color and texture when she designs, how she's an expert second-hand shopper and some of her costume design inspirations and favorites of all time (including Keira Knightley's iconic green gown from Atonement).
 
You can see some of Meghan's most recent work on the upcoming second season of Netflix's The OA.

The Emmy voting period ends August 27th at 10pm PST.

The Creative Arts Emmys will be a two-night affair on Saturday, September 8th and Sunday, September 9th.

The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards will be Monday, September 17th.

This interview runs 23m

Opening: "Fahrenheit 451" from Fahrenheit 451 music byMatteo Zingales and Antony Partos (Milan Music)

Closing: "Resurrection" from Fahrenheit 451 music by Matteo Zingales and Antony Partos (Milan Music)

Direct download: Meghan_Kasperlik_Emmy_interview_Fahrenheit_451.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 3:35pm PDT

There are some major changes coming to the very next Oscars ceremony...and they're not good.

Yesterday, the Academy, in a bombshell announcement, revealed that they would be creating a new category: Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film. 

After yet another year of dropping ratings, this attempt to secure viewership from audiences that have shelled out their money to the year’s blockbusters like Black PantherMission: Impossible Fallout and Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, can be assured that ‘popular’ will now equal ‘best.’ 

The Board of Governors have also committed to a 3-hour telecast. Even though ad rates for the Oscars are still among the highest in television, the length of the Academy Awards has always been the butt of jokes, often by the host themselves. One of the ways the show intends to shorten the running time won’t be asking winners to make quicker speeches but to move some categories to commercial breaks. Other awards shows implement this already, like the Tonys or the the MTV Movie Awards, and it’s likely that categories such as Live Action Short (and its kind) will be moved there. 

The third big change won’t involve next year’s Oscars but the 92nd Academy Awards. They’re moving up from their previously announced date of February 23rd to February 9th. That is going to result in a seismic shift in every other awards show, nomination date and give pause for every studio in how they dole out their fall and winter releases. 

In this podcast, I am joined by returning guest Daniel Joyaux, freelance film writer (The Verge, Vanity Fair, Moviemaker magazine and more) and publications editor for the Sundance Film Festival.

We discuss in enraged detail each of these changes (and the real reason behind them), whether they'll be able to withstand the barrage of hate they received on social media and I posit a way that maybe, just maybe this new category nonsense might actually work the way they want it to. 

This podcast runs 1h 29m

Direct download: Oscar_Podcast_67.mp3
Category:Oscars -- posted at: 10:00am PDT

Bill Groom is no stranger to the Emmys, he's a four-time winner for HBO's Boardwalk Empire. With its expansive sets and designs of Atlantic City, both the boardwalk and interiors, Groom was more than ready to take on the mid-century look of New York City for Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which earned 14 Emmy nominations for its freshman season, including one for Groom's meticulously detailed production design. 

In my interview with Groom we discuss his incredible body of work which includes HBO's Vinyl, ABC's miniseries When We Rise and the feature films Eat Pray Love and Milk, the process of location vs sets and the leg work involved in recreating the period with accuracy and detail. 

Bill Groom is nominated in Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Period or Fantasy Program (One Hour or More) for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel episode "Ya Shivu v Bolshom Dome Na Kholme."

The next season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel will hit Amazon in late 2018 or early 2019.

This interview runs 34m with opening and closing music.

Opening music: "Egh-choh-choh" by The Barry Sisters

Closing song: "Rebel Rebel" by David Bowie

The Emmy voting period ends August 27th at 10pm PST.

The Creative Arts Emmys will be a two-night affair on Saturday, September 8th and Sunday, September 9th.

The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards will be Monday, September 17th.

Direct download: Bill_Groom_Emmy_interview_Marvelous_Mrs_Maisel.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 9:40am PDT

Cort L. Hessler, with his 2014 Emmy for Stunt Coordination on 'The Blacklist'

Cort L. Hessler lll, with his 2014 Emmy for Stunt Coordination on 'The Blacklist'

Emmy-winning stunt coordinator Cort L. Hessler lll got his start in Florida, where he grew up, at Disney when the theme park came to his high school scouting for talent. He water skied, did live shows, anything and everything that was available to him.

When Universal Studios opened in 1990 he auditioned for, and got, a Miami Vice-style show in the park's lagoon and that kicked off his film and television stunt career. With live shows and film and television being shot for onlookers and tourists to see, Hessler jumped in head first, filming stunts in the park. That led his first big break, the NBC primetime show SeaQuest 2032 starring Roy Scheider and Jonathan Brandis. Hessler doubled for Brandis and he became a go-to for water and underwater stunt work.

On The Blacklist, a job he got over Facebook while working on Blue Bloods, Hessler is proud of the level of practical stunts he employs (including more than one character on fire, CGI-free) and the safety he demands on his set.

In our chat we talk about his directorial debut on the show last season (he'll have another one next season), his favorite types of stunts, his favorite sequences from this last season, his advice for those interested in this (sometimes literally) backbreaking work, and if the Oscars will catch up to the Emmys and Screen Actors Guild in recognizing stunt work.

Season 6 of The Blacklist will return this September on NBC.

The Emmy voting period ends August 27th at 10pm PST.

The Creative Arts Emmys will be a two-night affair on Saturday, September 8th (where Hessler’s category is slotted) and Sunday, September 9th.

The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards will be Monday, September 17th.

Direct download: Cort_Hessler_The_Blacklist_interview.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 12:10pm PDT

For Ben Kutchins, his love of film and filmmaking started out the way it did for a lot of kids; finding an old 35mm camera in a parent's drawer, dusting it off and giving it a go. Looking at life through a lens became a hobby, then a passion and during college he interned, as many people who are interested in film and live in Northern California do, at Lucasfilm. That internship turned into a job but he saw the tides turning from film to digital and that he was on track to a working at a desk, which he didn't want.

Pushing back, he left a job offer from Lucasfilm and entered NYU's film program. It was everything he wanted; shooting over 60 short films, learning the language of film and learning from and with Reed Morano (Emmy-winning director of The Handmaid's Tale) and Rachel Morrison (Mudbound, and the first ever female director of photography nominated for the Cinematography Oscar).

Throughout his career Kutchins has been inspired by cinematographers like Oscar-winner Emmanuel Lubezki ("He moves the camera in the most naturalistic way that I've seen of any modern cinematographer"), Roger Deakins ("The best lighting cameraman I've ever seen), Gordon Willis ("He knows how to give each location its own beating heart") and more.

For his work on Netflix's Ozark, Kutchins earned the first Emmy nomination of his career in the category of Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (One Hour). But he'll tell you he didn't get there alone ("I take every day as a gift, I don't take that lightly"). He had been the cinematographer on a film starring Jason Bateman (The Longest Week) and that relationship earned him a spot on Bateman's team for the Emmy-nominated Netflix hit ("We get excited about the same things, we're real film nerds"). Working with Stephani Lewis (costume designer) and Derek Hill (production designer, who's also Emmy-nominated) on finding the look of Ozark, Kutchins calls it a "melding of minds" and "gearing towards the same aesthetic."

Ozark returns to Netflix for its second season on August 31st. You can watch the trailer here.

The Emmy voting period ends August 27th at 10pm PST.

The Creative Arts Emmys will be a two-night affair on Saturday, September 8th (where Kutchin's category is slotted) and Sunday, September 9th.

The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards will be Monday, September 17th.

Direct download: Ben_Kutchins_Ozark_interview.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 8:22am PDT

This week gave us the lineups of two of the fall's biggest festivals, Venice and Toronto

On this 66th Oscar podcast, I am joined by freelance film writer (you can find his work at Vanity Fair, Moviemaker magazine and more) and publications editor for the Sundance Film Festival, Daniel Joyaux

While these festival announcements always give us great intel on how studios are positioning their fall and winter awards releases, it's often the films that are missing that give us even bigger clues. Where are Bohemian RhapsodyBoy Erased, Destroyer and Mary Queen of Scots? Some may show up at Telluride, others may be added to Toronto's lineup next month (there are still three Gala spots and 30 Special Presentation slots open).

Venice will give us premieres of Damien Chazelle's First Man, while Toronto will world premiere Steve McQueen's Widows and If Beale Street Could Talk from Barry Jenkins. Alfonso Cuarón's Roma looks set to hit every major festival - Venice, Toronto, NYFF and Telluride. All eyes will be on the follow-ups of these Oscar-winning directors.

The Cannes/Netflix kerfuffle earlier this summer proved to be the gain of both Venice and Toronto as each festival is flush with debuts from the streaming service. The Coen brothers' anthology series (which will apparently compete as a feature film for the Oscars) The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Paul Greengrass's 22 July and the final film from Orson Welles, The Other Side of the Wind are all set to kick off at Venice.

I will be at the Toronto International Film Festival this year for the first time. Keep your eyes and ears open for more podcasts leading up to, at, and after TIFF.

With music this podcast runs 1h 27m.

Opening song: "Sulk" by TR/ST

Closing song: "New York City by Day" by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan

Direct download: Oscar_Podcast_66.mp3
Category:Film Festivals -- posted at: 11:14am PDT

From left: Melissa Sweeney, Ted Sarandos, Sean Callery (photo: Image24 PR)

From left: 'Jessica Jones' creator Melissa Rosenberg, Netflix's Ted Sarandos with Sean Callery with Emmy win for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music for Netflix's Jessica Jones (photo: Image24 PR)

It doesn't get more Emmy-tastic in the Music Composition categories than Sean Callery.

Callery has received 17 Emmy nominations and 4 wins, making him one of the most nominated composers of all time. 10 of his Emmy nominations are for the hit Fox drama 24, starring Kiefer Sutherland, where Callery composed all nine seasons and is the only composer to have been nominated every year for a series that ran more than three seasons. Altogether, Callery won three Emmys for Outstanding Music Composition for his work on 24

His fourth, and most recent win, came in 2016 for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music for Netflix's Jessica Jones, starring Krysten Ritter.

He also composes the music for hit series such as Showtime’s Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning drama Homeland, starring Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin, ABC’s Designated Survivor, starring Kiefer Sutherland, and CBS’s Sherlock Holmes-inspired drama series Elementary, starring Lucy Liu and Jonny Lee Miller.

I had the pleasure to chat with Sean about his prolific composing career, the intricacies of being a Television Academy judge in the Limited Series music sections, and how music is a primal form of human communication.

In our conversation, Sean talks about his first major moviegoing experiences that helped shape his own likes and inspirations with composing, including 2001: A Space Odyssey and Jaws

Describing creating the Emmy-winning theme for Jessica Jones, Sean found the voice of Jones through film noir but with an original spin, playing with the playful and hardened elements of the character.  

Sean also reveals the golden piece of advice that every composer wants to hear before creating a score. 

Sean resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Debbie.

This interview opens with his Emmy-winning main title theme from Jessica Jones and closes with music from Homeland's 7th season and sixth episode, "Species Jump."

Direct download: Sean_Callery_interview_Jul_26_2018.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 1:11pm PDT

Composer Nathan Barr has received critical acclaim for his unmatched versatility, incorporating eclectic instruments from musical cultures across the world. Nathan recently completed construction on his new 8,000 square foot personal studio in Tarzana, California that can house 50-60 musicians. The studio, Bandrika (named after the fictional country in Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes, which I had forgotten!), houses the original Wurlitzer pipe organ that was installed at Fox studios in 1928 that recently went through a four-year restoration. With 1,500 pipes, able to mirror hundreds of different instruments ("It's like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory for music," he says.), its music can be heard in iconic films including Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Sound of Music, and Patton. Barr and his team are currently compiling a list of composers that have used the organ including Oscar winners John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith and Bernard Herrmann.

I chatted with the two-time Emmy-nominated composer about his work on The Americans, how his pianist mother and banjo-playing father introduced him to music in Japan at five years of age and becoming a collector of rare and unusual instruments from around the world such as a human bone trumpet from Tibet, dismantled pianos, a rare Glass Armonica, gourd cellos, many of which you can hear on any number of his original compositions. We also talk about some of his favorite composers and film scores including The Third Man and its classic zither.

Since the end of The Americans, Nathan scored the dystopian action thriller, The Domestics, starring Kate Bosworth and Tyler Hoechlin, which hit theaters June 29th and is currently scoring season two of AMC’s multi-generational western epic, The Son, starring Pierce Brosnan. He's also putting the finishing touches on his next collaboration with director Eli Roth, the upcoming adventure film The House with a Clock in Its Walls (see trailer below) starring Jack Black and two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett.  The film's release on September 21 will mark the Wurlitzer's 21st-century debut for movie audiences. 2019 will find Nathan scoring Amazon’s upcoming fantasy, period drama, Carnival Row, starring Orlando Bloom and produced by Guillermo del Toro.

Nathan Barr currently resides in Los Angeles, California.

Direct download: Nathan_Barr_interview.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 7:48pm PDT

Before earning an Emmy nomination last week for her work on the series finale of Once Upon a Time, Cindy O'Connor began her career as a musical theater composer...well, actually it goes back further than that. Her parents love to regale their friends with stories of Cindy composing at the age of 5, writing song on her keyboard called "The Aku-Aku Foot Disease" while her family was living in Japan. It all began there. Flash forward to 1993, writing the music for All That He Was in collaboration with Larry Todd Johnson where she won the National Playwright Award and the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for New Play. The darkly comic musical, about one man’s struggle with AIDS where the deceased functions as host and narrator, invisible among the friends and family assemble to pay him final respects, has since been produced in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and several theaters across the US.

O'Connor worked from the ground up in television and film, with Emmy-winning Oscar-nominated composer Mark Isham taking her under his wing. The two have collaborated for over a decade and share that 2018 Emmy nomination with Michael D. Simon. Throughout her musical career she's worked on the Oscar-winning film Crash, Blade, The Conjuring 2The Black Dahlia and as the composer for shows like The Black Donnellys and the television adaptation of Crash

I chatted with Cindy about her first Emmy nomination (and being the only female nominated in the Music Composition categories), jamming with Pat Benatar and the importance of advocacy for women composers and in the film and television industry. She's also a member of the Alliance of Female Composers. On September 4th she'll be a part of KCRW Presents The Future is Female: A Concert Celebrating Female Composers at The Wiltern in Los Angeles that will also include Tamar Kali (Mudbound) and Ronit Kirchman (The Sinner), both featured in 5 Female Composer You Should Know. Tickets are available here

Here is my interview with Emmy nominee Cindy O'Connor. 

Direct download: Cindy_OConnor_-_Once_Upon_a_Time_-_Interview.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 2:30pm PDT

Buckle in, kids, this is a doozy. 

On this FINAL Emmy nominations prediction podcast, I am joined by Awardsdaily TV's Joey Moser. The shade will be deep and the tea is steeped.

Starting off with the Drama categories, working our way up from Guest to Lead to Supporting and Drama Series itself, Joey and I debate if Westworld can hold its own against the return of Game of Thrones and how both will do in the face of The Handmaid's Tale's second season after a first season domination at last year's Emmys. 

Comedy gets into how the absence of Veep could find its replacement with up to three freshman shows (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, GLOW and Barry) looking for a spot in Comedy Series against the reboot of Will & Grace, Silicon Valley and frontrunner Atlanta

Limited Series and TV Movie closes the podcast and, as is often the case, we find it the most difficult to predict. 

Watch for my full list of final Emmy predictions today.

This epic podcast run 2h and 30m with music and is worth every moment. 

Opening music: Theme from Black Mirror

Closing music: Theme from Will & Grace

Direct download: Emmy_Podcast_23.mp3
Category:Emmys -- posted at: 9:23am PDT

It's Emmy season and in podcast #22 I am joined by GoldDerby contributing editor and Emmy super sleuth Riley Chow.

The Emmy nominating ballots were revealed yesterday and Riley and I begin the podcast by discussing any anomalies in the submission list and the Guest vs Supporting categories and new(ish) 50% rule.

Westworld and The Handmaid's Tale will likely make up a large portion of guest and supporting acting nominations and Riley and reveal our thoughts on where we think each show will land now that they both will face Game of Thrones

We venture into the writing and directing categories of drama, talking at length about The Americans, Game of Thrones, The Handmaid's Tale, The Crown, Stranger Things and This Is Us. I also try and make the case for Killing Eve.

In comedy we focus on Atlanta, GLOW, Barry, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Silicon Valley and how the absence of Veep and Master of None opens the door for an interesting lineup. 

We close on the Limited Series and TV Movie categories, as bleak as they are this year, finding similar predictions with The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, The Tale, Twin Peaks: The Return and Godless and more. 

Stay tuned for more podcasts before the July 12th announcement of the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards and check in with my 2018 Emmy write-ups here.

This podcast runs 1h 14m with music.

Opening: Theme to Mindhunter

Closing: Theme to Twin Peaks: The Return

 

Direct download: Emmy_Podcast_22.mp3
Category:Emmys -- posted at: 12:21pm PDT

cannes-logo

It's one week after the close of the 71st Cannes Film Festival and guest Aaron Locke, who guested on the first Cannes podcast, returns to chat with me about it. 

We talk about Aaron's impressions as a first-time visitor of the fest, those early pieces about the lack of prestige and importance of Cannes and then move into our favorites like Burning, Shoplifters and Lazzaro Felice and least favorites (sorry, Godard) of the two week extravaganza. 

We close revealing our picks for dream jury members for the future. 

With music this podcast runs 1h 5m. 

Opening music: Cannes Film Festival opening theme

Closing music: “New York City By Day” by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan

Direct download: Cannes_Podcast_2.mp3
Category:Cannes -- posted at: 12:37pm PDT

In this very first AwardsWatch Cannes Podcast, I am joined by Aaron Locke, who will be attending the festival for the first time. This will be my third but first as press under my own moniker. We both of a slew of films we're looking forward to and why.

A truly international festival, Aaron and I chat about the new Lee Chang-Dong (Burning), Kore-eda (Shoplifters) and Knife + Heart from Yann Gonzalez. On the American side, two films are represented - Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman with John David Washington, Adam Driver and a very buzzed about Topher Grace and Under the Silver Lake from David Robert Mitchell starring Andrew Garfield, Riley Keough and again, Topher Grace. 

We also talk the interesting choice of Cannes and Oscar winner Asghar Farhadi's Everybody Knows as the festival opener and about potential controversies with the new Lars von Trier (The House That Jack Built) and Terry Gilliam (The Man Who Killed Don Quixote) in the age of #MeToo. Both films, and their directors, are likely to be under tremendous scrutiny this year, especially during the press conferences.

This is a brisk podcast, coming in at just over 45m with music. Keep your ears open for a mid-festival podcast too. 

Opening music: Cannes Film Festival opening theme

Closing music: "New York City By Day" by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan

Direct download: Cannes_Podcast_1.mp3
Category:Cannes -- posted at: 2:56pm PDT

I chatted with Screen Actors Guild nominee Leonardo Nam, star of HBO's Emmy-winning sci-fi series Westworld, which just had its second season premiere last night. We talked at length about the importance of visibility, opportunity and representation in films and television and his early role models and acting idols, Sidney Poitier and Denzel Washington. 

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina to Korean parents and then raised in Australia, Nam knows a little something about cultural diversity. TheLA-based actor constantly defies stereotype with his versatility and is actively making sure other Asian-Pacific and Asian-American actors and filmmakers get noticed, including his ambassadorship with the Asian Pacific American Visionaries Short Film competition sponsored by HBO and his support of multi-cultural designers in what he wears on the red carpet. 

Nam broke big with the 2004 Paramount Pictures film The Perfect Score, playing a lead role opposite Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson but is beloved for his role of Brian McBrian in 2005's The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and the film's sequel (for which he was almost replaced). He talks fondly of his mentor on that film, Debra Martin Chase, who really went to bat for him for a role that was written as a blond-haired, blue-eyed guy. We might fan out over the movies juuust a little bit. Nam also reveals a touching story of a young female fan of the book who was not happy when she found out he was cast but had a change of heart once she saw him in the film.  

Talking Westworld, Nam teases a bit of what's in store for Felix's hero status after helping Maeve escape last season and what Westworld, and television like it, has to say about the state of the world today. 

Westworld season 2 airs every Sunday on HBO. Listen to the full interview below. 

Direct download: Leonardo_Nam_interview_Apr_23_2018.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 2:40pm PDT

In the first Emmy podcast of the 2017-2018 television season I am joined by a familiar voice - Vox.com's critic-at-large Todd VanDerWerff.

The first hour of this 90-minute podcast focuses heavily on the Outstanding Drama race which sees the return of Game of Thrones after taking a year off and now going up against last year's winner The Handmaid's Tale. How will that affect the return of Westworld? Its 22 nominations last year are likely to take a hit with Game of Thrones competing directly with it in multiple categories. 

Delving into comedy finds a lot of talk about Roseanne's ratings-bonanza return, the chances for One Day at a Time to stake its Emmy claim and whether or not reboot fever (that also includes Will & Grace) will find its way to nominations. With Veep out of contention this year, the door opens for Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (and Amy Sherman-Palladino into the Emmy conversation) as well as HBO still having four comedies to choose from in Silicon Valley, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Insecure and their freshman show Barry. We also talk about how FX could position Pamela Adlon and Better Things to have a much-needed conversation about Louis C.K. from one of the people closest to him. 

Finally, Todd makes a desperate plea for...well, I'll just let you listen and hear for yourself. 

This podcast runs 1h 32m with opening and closing music. 

Opening music: Westworld theme by Ramin Djawadi

Closing music: "This Is It," by Gloria Estefan - theme song for One Day at a Time


It's all down to this. 

Oscar voting is now over and the big show is on Sunday. In this 65th podcast I am thrilled to be joined by Vanity Fair's Joanna Robinson

READ: Why Should I Care About the Oscars?

This podcast focuses quite a bit on the race itself, how this season has gotten us to three possible Best Picture winners, the obstacles it took to get there and how our predictions were led by passion and gut versus simple statistics. 

Will it be Three Billboards? The Shape of Water? Get Out? Or possibly something else?

With the acting categories seemingly locked up, we talk about the divergence of early critics wins versus the televised awards, the possible importance of Original Screenplay telling us something early in the show and close with the categories that always end up making or breaking your Oscar pool predictions: the shorts. 

Take a peek at the Gold Rush Gang's Final Oscar predictions here before tomorrow's publication.

This podcast runs 1h 13m with music

Intro: "And the Oscar goes to..."

Outro: "New York City by Day," by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to Desperately Seeking Susan

Direct download: Oscar_Podcast_65.mp3
Category:Oscars -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

In this 64th Oscar podcast, I am joined by Gold Rush Gang member Matt Dinn the day after the BAFTA awards where Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri won Best Film and the four acting frontrunners - Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour), Frances McDormand (Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri), Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri) and Allison Janney (I, Tonya) all repeated their wins from the Critics' Choice, Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild awards in an historic sweep. 

But, is Three Billboards actually the frontrunner to win the Best Picture Oscar? Over the course of just over an hour, Matt and I make the cases for why it can and why it won't. Same for The Shape of Water. The Critics' Choice, DGA and PGA winner seems like a good bet. Or is it? Digging deeper, we discuss the path for a Get Out win in the face of seemingly insurmountable statistical odds. How much will the preferential ballot impact these three films and which stands the best odds with it? Will Original Screenplay be a deciding factor?

2018 Oscars: The State of the Race the Day Before Voting Starts and Why Get Out Can Win

With every Best Picture nominee facing one obstacle or another, stats and history start to fall by the wayside and let gut feeling and instinct and the impact of social relevance to take over. 

This podcast runs 1h 16m with music. 

Outro music: "New York City By Day" by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan.

Direct download: Oscar_Podcast_64.mp3
Category:Oscars -- posted at: 5:18pm PDT

It's Oscar nomination day and I have Awardsdaily's first lady of Oscar talk Sasha Stone with me to discuss and break down this morning's Oscar nominations and what the state of the race looks like now.

2018 Oscars: 90th Academy Awards Oscar Nominations

Sasha and I dig deep into where Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and The Shape of Water are after their SAG and PGA wins, what that Martin McDonagh director snub means and how the current brewing backlash of his film could stop it dead in Oscar's tracks. 

2018 Oscars: Who Are the Frontrunners Now?

Get Out and Lady Bird feature heavily as contenders that could find themselves with less baggage than the two guild beasts and the Academy showed this morning that they're diverging on a different path than those guilds with over-performers like Darkest Hour and Phantom Thread and under-performers like I, Tonya and Molly's Game

This podcast runs 1h 9m with music.

Intro: Andy Serkis and Tiffany Haddish announce the 2018 Best Picture Oscar nominees (via the Oscars' YouTube page)

Outro: "New York City By Day," by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan

Direct download: Oscar_Podcast_63.mp3
Category:Oscars -- posted at: 2:06pm PDT

It's Wednesday, January 17th and this is the FINAL Oscar nomination predictions podcast of the 2017-2018 awards season. 

Through the roller-coaster of this awards season we found ourselves without a true frontrunner until really just this month in Three Billboards but, is it? Can Get Out, Lady Bird or The Shape of Water turn the tide? How did critical frontrunners like Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project) and Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird) stumble once the televised awards started?

Gold Rush Gang member Bryan Bonafede and I explore this season's Oscar race in great detail: from missed opportunities, to why studios keep putting prestige releases at the end of December (and when it sometimes works like I, Tonya) and the possible look of this year's nominees through the optics of a new Academy. 

There's a handful of Producers Guild (PGA) and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) talk as both groups announce their winners this weekend, just days before Oscar nominations. 

We break down top categories and analyze chances of outliers, discuss if Netflix will finally break through this year with Mudbound and where and finally, reveal our one nomination wish for Tuesday. 

Sit back, this podcast runs 2h 10m with music. 

Intro: Oscar nominations introduction

Outro: “New York City By Day, ” from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan

Direct download: Oscar_Podcast_62.mp3
Category:Oscars -- posted at: 1:15pm PDT

This 61st podcast is focused on the Golden Globe Awards this Sunday, January 7th and our winner predictions. 

I am joined by Gold Rush Gang member Matt Dinn and we break down what is one of the most competitive, up in the air awards seasons in years, in almost every category. 

Will there be a sweep like La La Land last year or will the HFPA want to stay away from that backlash? Will that Globes-only screening pay off in more than just nominations?

75th Golden Globe Awards Winner Predictions (Motion Picture)

Is is Ronan or Robbie? Metcalf or Janney? McDormand, Streep or Hawkins? Can Timothée Chalamet upset Gary Oldman?

With nearly every category having two and sometimes three viable contenders it's going to make for a very fun show. We think we have some good ideas on who will actually triumph in the end. 

This podcast runs 1h 11m 45s with music

Note: Between 26:20-26:30 Matt's mic dropped out

Intro: "Waiting for the Globes," from the 59th Golden Globe Awards

Outro: "New York City By Day, " from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan

Direct download: Oscar_Podcast_61.mp3
Category:Oscars -- posted at: 9:09pm PDT

Oscar Podcast #60, the second in a week, welcomes the fantastic Kayleigh Donaldson of Pajiba to talk about Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nomination predictions.

A healthy portion of the first part of the Golden Globe conversation centers around Get Out, both in its quality as a film and its likelihood as a Golden Globe Best Picture nominee. Talk about Call Me By Your Name, Dunkirk and the Darkest Hour are abound. 

The Screen Actors Guild conversation details the nature of nominees being dependent on the SAG nom comm getting screeners and how odd nominees can find their way here. Kayleigh and I both agree that the main category here, Cast in a Motion Picture is chock full of likely and worthy contenders and that it's going to be a bloodbath. 

Mudbound is a point of contention as to whether is lives or dies on SAG nominations or not. 

It's at this point that we take a sojourn into the wonder that is The Florida Project, which happens to be among both of our favorites of the year. 

We wrap with a few nominees we feel we might only see here at SAG (hint: mine if from Logan and it's not Hugh Jackman).

You can see my official Golden Globe predictions here, and my Screen Actors Guild predictions will be revealed this weekend.

This podcast runs 1h 9min with music.

Intro: Get Out TV spot #3

Outro: "New York City By Day" by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to Desperately Seeking Susan

Direct download: Oscar_Podcast_60.mp3
Category:Oscars -- posted at: 7:43pm PDT

 

In this 59th Oscar Podcast I am joined by Kyle Buchanan, senior editor of New York Magazine and Vulture.com.

We start by discussing the first round of critics' awards: the National Board of Review, New York Film Critics Circle and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and what their wins for Call Me By Your Name and The Shape of Water could have on the upcoming (ongoing?) road to the Oscars. 

Interview: CALL ME BY YOUR NAME’s Luca Guadagnino and Michael Stuhlbarg

Throughout, Kyle peppers the conversation with his insight on voters, the importance of being the 'movie for right now' and we dip a bit into Screen Actors Guild talk, especially regarding Get Out (watch out for a new podcast for that this weekend).

We wrap up addressing some of the controversies surrounding contender Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and reactions to Call Me By Your Name.

2018 Oscar Predictions from the Gold Rush Gang

This podcast runs 1h 5m 25s with music.

Intro: Call Me By Your Name TV spot

Outro: "New York City By Day," by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan

Direct download: Oscar_Podcast_59.mp3
Category:Oscars -- posted at: 3:42pm PDT