OSCAR TALK: Ep. 6 — Foreign, animated, ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox,’ Plummer and more

Posted by · 12:56 pm · October 16th, 2009

Oscar TalkWelcome to the sixth installment of Oscar Talk, a weekly awards-centric kudocast featuring yours truly and Anne Thompson of indieWIRE’s Thompson on Hollywood.

As we move further into the season, there is finally substantial grist for the mill.  Here’s what we’re discussing today:

With 65 countries locked in for consideration in this year’s Best Foreign Language Film category, Anne and I offer up rough expectations for the eventual nominees and spotlight a handful of pics we hope to catch very soon.

As the animated feature film category seems ebb and flow with contenders the last few weeks, we talk about how the category might shake down and discuss Wes Anderson’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” playing the London Film Festival and set for an AFI Fest bow next month.

“Where the Wild Things Are” opens today, so Anne and I (of like minds on the film) offer our thoughts.

Making good on last week’s tease, we discuss Oren Moverman’s “The Messenger,” starring Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson and Samantha Morton.

And finally, we get into a late-comer to this year’s Oscar landscape, Christopher Plummer, suddenly looking at a campaign in the supporting actor category for “The Last Station” and the lead actor category for “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,” plus a debate on his classification in the former.

We ran a little long today (and got into some fights along the way), but have a listen to this week’s podcast below.  And, as always, you can subscribe to Oscar Talk via iTunes here.

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→ 15 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , | Filed in: Oscar Talk

15 responses so far

  • 1 10-16-2009 at 2:43 pm

    Luke Gorham said...

    I don’t understand the hype that everyone is projecting on “Samson & Delilah.” The film is wonderful in parts, but is ultimately devolves into something very unspectacular. Of all of those talked about, I think “A Prophet” has the best chance out of the festival hits. It could definitely appeal to this “middle-brow” crowd as it has an old-school appeal to it.

  • 2 10-16-2009 at 2:51 pm

    Bryan said...

    Dave Eggers has ruined one and fractured another film this year. Away we Go was absolutely atrocious (even with Same Mendes directing!) and Where the Wild Things Are was beautiful and yes! those opening moments! But then they get to the island…oh well. I just don’t want to see Eggers’s name attached to anything else again.

  • 3 10-16-2009 at 4:54 pm

    Guany said...

    I agree with Bryan, and for that reason I will never see another film that has Eggers’ name on it.

  • 4 10-16-2009 at 10:34 pm

    han said...

    i think the argentina submission “the secret in their eyes” will prevail.

  • 5 10-17-2009 at 1:38 am

    red_wine said...

    Haven’t heard about the Messenger besides the of you’s raves. But how can it be better than The Hurt Locker? That’s more or less the best American film of the year.

    And more than The Messenger ending up at the end of the pile, the Academy members are so programmed that even if they do watch it, they wont like it as much as say The Lovely Bones because that comes with a more interesting pedigree.

  • 6 10-17-2009 at 5:16 am

    Loyal said...

    The fights are getting better, though the obscure nature of both The Messenger and The Last Station makes it difficult for listeners to back a horse.

    I’m going to back Anne only because she’s prettier.

  • 7 10-17-2009 at 5:39 am

    John said...

    The whole ‘Hurt Locker’ thing has me Absolutely befuddled. Was it good? Yeah, it was.

    But I totally feel like early-early-early-season sentiment is the ONLY thing keeping this alive because it didn’t do all that well at the box office, and in my opinion (even moreso than Kris Tapley, apparently), I found it EXTREMELY bloated.

    Well acted, well directed, edited, shot, etc.

    But an hour and 15 minutes in I started looking at my watch. There are 2.5 hour movies I don’t do that with.

    This isn’t a ‘much ado about nothing’ case. But if ever a movie was kept alive simply for TALKING about how exceptional it is, it’s ‘The Hurt Locker’.

  • 8 10-17-2009 at 5:45 am

    John said...

    I post this only because based on Anne & Kris’ comments/praise of ‘The Messenger’, it just sounds more appealing – to me. Not that that’s saying much. But I wonder AMPAS prefers a ‘war’ movie like ‘The Messenger’ to an (mostly) art War film like ‘THL’.

  • 9 10-17-2009 at 6:21 am

    Loyal said...

    Mostly an art war film? I’ve always thought first and foremost that The Hurt Locker was an action film, dressed up in military fatigues.

  • 10 10-17-2009 at 10:01 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    The Hurt Locker definitely has a better shot with AMPAS than The Messegner.

  • 11 10-17-2009 at 10:45 am

    John said...

    I take that back, Kris. Yes, AMPAS would def. prefer ‘THL’ for Bigelow (she deserves it), Renner, and for editing/cinematography/sound, etc.

    I just wonder if the sentimentality aspect of ‘The Messenger’ would make them think more of it, than say, ‘THL’. Renner & Mackie are great. But we know AMPAS loves their goop, too. ;-)

    But yeah, I take back what I said, a bit. Obviously, a movie like ‘THL’ will get more attention. I just wonder if it will deserve to (based on my own preferences as a movie watcher).

  • 12 10-17-2009 at 5:27 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    “The Messenger” isn’t THAT obscure, guys. It played Sundance and won a major award at Berlin — it may be small, but it’s been on the radar for a while.

    And I must agree with Loyal — the only thing niche or arthouse about “The Hurt Locker” was its (misguided, in my opinion) marketing strategy. The movie itself is as robust an action film as “Black Hawk Down” … I know a couple of mainstream-inclined guys who loved the film, but only after they had to be talked into seeing it because they had the idea that it was “arty.”

  • 13 10-17-2009 at 8:26 pm

    Andrew Webb said...

    I just got back from a screening of “The Messenger” at the Philadelphia Film Festival (after working at it all weekend I finally got a chance to SEE a film) and I am so glad I chose that one. Aside from Ben Foster and Oren Moverman being present for Q&A, which was a nice perk, the film was amazing. After having recently watched “The Hurt Locker” I am having a really hard time trying to figure out which one I think is “better,” they are both so good at very different things.

    I want to see some Acting Oscar action happen for Woody and Ben for sure.

  • 14 10-21-2009 at 9:50 pm

    James D. said...

    I demand that Guy Lodge appear by phone in a future segment.

  • 15 10-21-2009 at 10:45 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I imagine we’ll try a conference with the three of us at some point.