OSCAR TALK: Ep. 15 — Precursors, holiday movies and ‘Avatar’ bows

Posted by · 11:03 am · December 18th, 2009

Oscar TalkWelcome to your pre-holiday installment of Oscar Talk, a weekly kudocast between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood.

This will be the last Oscar Talk broadcast of 2009!

On the docket today as we round out the year:

Anne and I discuss quite the busy week in precursor announcements.  What does it mean?  What did we learn?  Where are we at going into the new year?

Is the 10 really locked in six weeks away from  the nominations announcement?  We discuss potential on-the-bubble spoilers and which films might ultimately miss the cut.

With the holidays right around the corner, we spend some frivolous discussion on our favorite holiday movies.

And finally, with “Avatar” opening today, we talk briefly about the box office implications and, again, the film’s place in movie history, as confirmed by a critical swell as of late.

Have a listen to this week’s podcast below, with a musical intro from the lovely Darlene Love.  As always, you can subscribe to Oscar Talk via iTunes here.


Subscribe to Oscar Talk

→ 17 Comments Tags: , | Filed in: Oscar Talk

17 responses so far

  • 1 12-18-2009 at 11:22 am

    McAllister said...

    Sign me up on your list for a nomination for Zoe Saldana. Damn. Great performance.

  • 2 12-18-2009 at 11:28 am

    aspect ratio said...

    “Jesus christ, Anne”

    — Kris’ reaction to It’s Complicated as BP contender.

    Cracked me up.

  • 3 12-18-2009 at 11:36 am

    aspect ratio said...

    What about Spike Jonze? He has a BD nomination before for a film that wasn’t nominated for Best Picture, and he is an auteur much like Tarantino. He worked on WTWTA for nearly the whole decade, everyone has heard about that and even if the film wasn’t universally loved, it did well.

    I mean, it seems HIGHLY unlikely, but I think he at least deserves to be mentioned.

  • 4 12-18-2009 at 11:54 am

    James D. said...

    I don’t have a Christmas movie with my family, but on the 23rd we all watch the Festivus episode of Seinfeld.

  • 5 12-18-2009 at 12:09 pm

    red_wine said...

    Kris, I absolutely don’t agree with you on Avatar. Glorious spectacle on the screen but a piss poor script.
    I can’t believe people are laying down garlands for this movie of all movies. Now one of the front-runners is Avatar?????
    Is this future of movies this? An avalanche of bad writing?

    There were just so many cliches in the movie and some of the dialogue made me cringe as jeez. Even the story choices and the story in general was uninspiring. I felt zero connection with the characters. The promised ending battle was great but hardly enough to redeem the movie.

    It absolutely does not deserve to be nominated for Best Picture(even with 10 slots) & Best director. There can be no rational defense of the script.

    I really can’t bring myself to support these kinds of movies, the technology is ravishing, Cameron has achieved photorealism but the price paid in terms of nuance, character and in general good film-making is enormous.

    And I agree with Anne, dunno bout the directors but actors, writers, lensers, art directors, costume designers, the sound guys are all gonna for Basterds and thats make it a surprisingly strong contender I think.

  • 6 12-18-2009 at 12:53 pm

    Michael W. said...

    I don’t believe that Avatar will be a contender to win best picture. It must be between Up in the Air and The Hurt Locker. Avatar definitely needs to win some of the industry awards and I don’t see it winning Directors Guild and it can’t win SAG ensemble. The only big one I see it maybe winning is Producers Guild and can it really win the Oscar with just that one? That would be a first. Even Crash won the SAG ensemble and a relatively big critics award from Chicago. Maybe I will change my mind if the Critics’ Choice award goes to Avatar, but that would surprise me.

  • 7 12-18-2009 at 1:07 pm

    Adam Smith said...

    For lone Director: Michael Haneke or Neill Blomkamp. That’s my hunch.

  • 8 12-18-2009 at 1:30 pm

    Ali E. said...

    Kris, you’re not alone in predicting Lone Scherfig for a Director nod. I’ve been also predicting her for a couple of months and am not giving up on her yet… :)

    by the way, I started to think The Hurt Locker may win Best Picture. Yeah, it didn’t have enough boxoffice, I know that. But it looks like the frontrunner for Best Director and it’s the only movie (except Avatar) which has the potential to win more than 2 or 3 Oscars.

    And I believe, when nominated James Cameron will also campaign for her ex-wife to win the Oscar. She’s the one the heavyweight directors you talk about such as Ridley Scott or Cameron will vote this year, imo…

  • 9 12-18-2009 at 1:38 pm

    cineJAB said...

    Kris: random idea for a poll, Favorite Year of movies of the decade. I think we all know 2007 would win, but it would be really interesting to see how each year stacks up.

  • 10 12-18-2009 at 2:00 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Nice idea. That’ll be next.

  • 11 12-18-2009 at 3:01 pm

    Jim T said...

    While you were talking about Christmas movies I was thinking “I guess Gremlins is my favourite” (Anne terrified me when she said she doesn’t think of this as a Christmas movie :p ) but then you mentioned “Batman Returns”. I think I’ll go with that.

    Nice song choice once again!

  • 12 12-18-2009 at 3:04 pm

    Andrew2 said...

    Would love to see Bright Star spoil the nominee list, but the chances are very slim, even for Best Actress. May get some others nods like costume and cinematography. I hope so. I say it again- where the hell is the campaign??

  • 13 12-18-2009 at 5:46 pm

    John O'Neil said...

    As far as Best Director goes, do you think Spike Jonze could pull off a surprise nominee?

  • 14 12-18-2009 at 6:59 pm

    aspect ratio said...


    No way, 2001 was THE year of the decade. Amélie and Memento were not only the best films of the year, they’re in my all-time top ten. Then there was The Royal Tenenbaums, Monsters, Inc., The Fellowship of the Ring, The Man Who Wasn’t There, A.I., Ghost World, Moulin Rouge, etc. 2007 was a good year but 2001 was way better.

    Not to mentioned the greatest mini-series in the history of television came out in 2001: Band of Brothers.

  • 15 12-18-2009 at 8:15 pm

    arjay said...

    What chance that Invictus ends up “Nominated for one Academy Award, including Best Picture”. It only needs the over-nominated Morgan Freeman to disappear.

  • 16 12-19-2009 at 8:18 am

    JJ said...

    Here’s a question …

    … any chance voters see the light and realize that Freeman doesn’t give the most challenging performance and they decide in the late hour to nominate a Mortensen or a Foster instead?

    All that said, I still don’t think Renner is locked into 5th, I just don’t. McAvoy was much more impressive in 2007’s BP nominee ‘Atonement’ and couldn’t get in even with BAFTA support. And I don’t see a wellspring of BAFTA support for Renner, though, I could be wrong.

  • 17 12-19-2009 at 10:28 pm

    david said...

    Cameron, Bigelow, and Reitman should get nominations, and that punk Tarantino will probably slip into the field as well. But, who will get that final slot??

    The mindset of a typical Academy voter:
    Eastwood’s directorial effort on Invictus is mediocre at best…damn. Scherfig is a female, and we have one of those already. Peter Jackson’s film was taken down by the critics. The Coens would make sense, and seem deserving, but they don’t suck up enough. So who then??
    I know…I’ll cast my vote for Stephen Daldry. HOLD ON!! Stephen Daldry isn’t an option this year…what in the world should I do now!!
    Oh..what the hell…I’ll just nominate Lee Daniels and make Oprah happy.
    Voter then drops card in THE BOX.