OSCAR TALK: Ep. 5 — Oscar hosts, leading ladies and category placement

Posted by · 1:19 pm · October 9th, 2009

Oscar TalkWelcome to the fifth installment of Oscar Talk between yours truly and Anne Thompson of indieWIRE’s Thompson on Hollywood.

A somewhat streamlined show today.  Here’s what’s on the docket:

Spit-balling host ideas for this year’s Oscarcast, which seems to be a popular topic these days.

Doing the same on a potential producer for the show.

Our first fight!  Anne and I debate the merits of the leading actresses of this year’s films.  Anne says it’s a weak season, I say there are plenty of fine performances to choose from (and more on the way).

With “An Education” opening in limited release today, we discuss Peter Sarsgaard’s potential category fraud/confusion and debate the philosophies of what makes a performance a lead.

A brief tease of a topic on next week’s episode, Oren Moverman’s “The Messenger,” which I saw this week and Anne will catch up on before we chat again.

Have a listen to this week’s podcast below (with a lead-in from the trailer for “An Education”).  And as always, you can subscribe to Oscar Talk via iTunes here.

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→ 19 Comments Tags: , , , , | Filed in: Oscar Talk

19 responses so far

  • 1 10-09-2009 at 1:57 pm

    Matt Mazur said...

    I am really digging these podcasts!

    I’m sorry Anne, but I have to agree with Kris — I think this is a strong year for leading ladies. You are not alone anymore!

    And that said, I am much more enthused about Last Station after hearing both of you praising Mirren and less interested in seeing the mega-hyped Trucker.

  • 2 10-09-2009 at 2:23 pm

    Lance said...

    Very good conversation about leading actresses. I’m also with Kris – Outside of the ones you mentioned I think there are two or three other actresses that could be potential nominees like Emily Blunt or Penelope Cruz.

  • 3 10-09-2009 at 2:28 pm

    Loyal said...

    Another great podcast. You two are becoming pros at this.

    One suggestion, you might want to open up the podcast to questions from listeners. Maybe someone would have a great topic or question that you or Anne haven’t thought about covering.

    I loved it when Anne floated the idea that voters could overlook Gabby and think she’s playing herself.

    You were like a protective momentarily insane with rage father Kris, it was fantastic.

    I’m still not sure that qualifies as a fight. You seem to saying there are great female performances (which is true) while Anne is saying the actual type of perfomances likely to be nominated are lacking in number (also true). So you’re both right!

    As for the Oscar host, I don’t think Steve Carell or Kevin Spacey (wtf) would be nearly as entertaining or in control of things as Tina Fey or Ricky Gervais would. But we’ll see who’s in the running once the producer is announced. I still think my list is tops, a Nobel Peace Prize winning Oscar host.

    I look forward to seeing An Education next week, hopefully category confusion/convolution doesn’t sink the chances for Molina and Sarsgaard.

    Again, well done on the podcast!

  • 4 10-09-2009 at 2:37 pm

    Matt Mazur said...

    There is no plausible universe in which anybody should consider Emily Blunt in Young Victoria as a contender for anything. That movie was mind-numbingly boring and her performance lacked sharpness and focus. Blanchett-lite we’ll call it.

    On the topic of hosts, I would love to see a great lady do it.

  • 5 10-09-2009 at 3:13 pm

    andrew said...

    Consider me another to support your belief that its a good year for lead actress performances. May not be a rich year when looked at through the Oscar eye, but when that is lense off its pretty easy to see there has been some great work this year from the ladies.

    And if it means anything so does Nathaniel Rogers and everyone knows how much lead actress means to him.

  • 6 10-09-2009 at 3:28 pm

    John said...

    Ughh, love Blunt. And the trailer for ‘TYV’ looks great.

  • 7 10-09-2009 at 3:35 pm

    James D. said...

    Hooray for mentioning my suggestion of Carell. All that’s left is a move of The Hangover into the Best Picture race.

  • 8 10-09-2009 at 3:46 pm

    red_wine said...

    Kris: Can you absolutely confirm that Waltz is supporting?

    That is one category fraud just waiting happen. Waltz is the lead in IB and the only conceivable reason he’s in Supporting is that he’s so out-of-this-world tremendous that they simply have to give him the Oscar and they’ll feel queasy about giving the Best Actor to a complete unknown, over industry big-shots and insiders.

    And Anne doesn’t have a point? About Gabby, don’t we all know its a 1 time thing. This is seriously likely gonna be her only moment of glory. She’s not likely to move onto bigger and better roles in the way Mulligan is. So the suggestion that its once in a lifetime, perfect marriage of actor-character rather than a truly great actress holds water.

  • 9 10-09-2009 at 3:54 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    red_wine: Yes, he is definitely supporting. I asked about it earlier this week, in fact.

  • 10 10-09-2009 at 4:53 pm

    Loyal said...

    Not to put too fine a point on it but there are a limited amount of roles Gabby could possibly inhabit post Precious. That’s not really in question.

    Whether or not that will be held against her, I don’t know.

  • 11 10-09-2009 at 5:00 pm

    Jilpen said...

    Well, I think that if people take to Precious in some ways they have to take to Gabby. It’s just that kind of film. Oh…and Gabby is currently shooting a film with Don Cheadle now…so go her! :)

  • 12 10-09-2009 at 6:12 pm

    Jim T said...

    Well, I think you are both right and wrong. It is a strong filed in teh sense that there are many good performances (I have to believe others’ words since I’ve only seen Mulligan) but I don’t think there are many candidates for the win. Streep, Mulligan and Gabby. Mirren has won recently. Ronan is too young and the others don’t have the buzz for a win.

  • 13 10-09-2009 at 7:01 pm

    AmericanRequiem said...

    RONAN RONAN RONAN RONAN RONAN RONAN, I want to be subtle. 14 if she nails it all plus an american accent youve got to hand it to her. Best actress was soo boring last year along with supporting actress so this year is much more interesting. no one has the lead, its on in all categories and i love that

  • 14 10-09-2009 at 7:30 pm

    John said...

    Gotta second the RONAN.

    She’s very young (not necessarily bad), in a potentially-HIT movie, the afformentioned American accent (which she’s nailed several times), & the Academy already loves her. This is a potentially meatier role. And if she nails it and the reviews are solid and the film does well in B.O., she’s in. I think in Lead.

  • 15 10-09-2009 at 8:50 pm

    "Julianstark" said...

    Also, Kris… since red_wine asked about Waltz in Inglorious Basterds, is anyone from the film being campaigned as a Lead

  • 16 10-09-2009 at 8:56 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Not that I’m aware. Maybe Pitt on a whim but with no real muscle.

  • 17 10-09-2009 at 9:12 pm

    "Julianstark" said...

    Oh okay. I would have thought Pitt as well, but I’m with you on this one: after seeing the film, you kinda realize that there is no real lead in it (except MAYBE Melanie Laurent). Do you think that Julianne Moore could win over Mo’Nique?

  • 18 10-09-2009 at 10:56 pm

    Dan said...

    Ronan winning feels a lot like Holly Hunter winning for The Piano. Lots of voice over etc

  • 19 10-10-2009 at 1:59 am

    Ali E. said...

    with Carey Mulligan, Michelle Pfeiffer (yes, still), Gabouray Sidibe, Meryl Streep, Hilary Swank, Abbie Cornish, Helen Mirren, Saoirse Ronan, Tilda Swinton (for Julia, even if it’s a very longshot), Natalie Portman (for Brothers… why not consider her?), Brenda Blethyn (London River), Marion Cotillard, Penélope Cruz, Emily Blunt… I don’t see how it’s a weak year for Best Actress contenders…