OSCAR TALK: Ep. 18 — WGA, ACE, ASC, parties, awards shows on the way…uh, we forget anything?

Posted by · 9:46 am · January 15th, 2010

Oscar TalkWelcome to Oscar Talk, a weekly kudocast between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood.

After a busy week of guild announcements and circuit parties, not to mention plenty of industry news from NBC to Disney and anything in between, Anne and I are beat. And we’re moving into a busy weekend of awards shows and gatherings as well, so there’s no rest for the wicked. That having been said, let’s dive in to today’s topics:

The Writers Guild of America announced its slate of contenders Monday, following a rash of ineligibilities that were revealed last week. We discuss the implications, if any.

The WGA wasn’t the only guild staking a claim this week. The American Cinema Editors and the American Society of Cinematographers also nominated. We touch on them briefly.

We’ve been bouncing all over town this week as studios put their best foot forward on the party and event circuit. We touch on a pair of them celebrating the sound of “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” and the principals of Warner’s “The Blind Side.”

The Critics’ Choice Movie Awards are tonight, followed by the Golden Globes on Sunday. Oh yeah, and some parties, too. We preview the busy weekend ahead and discuss the three-horse race for Best Picture.

You can listen to this week’s podcast below, with Patterson’s Hood’s original song “Depression Era” leading the way. It goes a bit long but we had lots to discuss. As always, you can subscribe to Oscar Talk via iTunes here.


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30 responses so far

  • 1 1-15-2010 at 10:38 am

    aspect ratio said...

    Up in the Air kind of needs to win editing to reach that magical four wins total though, at least if Bigelow still wins for Best Director. Editing, Adapted Screenplay, Actor and Picture.. it doesn’t really have a shot at winning anything else (as it’s only other nominations will be Supporting Actress, most likely).

  • 2 1-15-2010 at 10:39 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I don’t think that’s such a magical number, frankly.

  • 3 1-15-2010 at 11:22 am

    aspect ratio said...

    I don’t blindly subscribe to all these statistics that we all manage to dig out from the past, and this is certainly as fractured a year as they get in terms of how many categories are still so open-ended. So if a film is going to win Best Picture with less than four, this would be the year.

    However. I can’t deny that this statistic isn’t pretty damn convincing though: Since 1970, only four films have won Best Picture with less than a total of four wins: Crash, Rocky, The Godfather and Midnight Cowboy (all won 3 Oscars). Curiously enough as a bit of extra trivia, both Crash and Rocky won for Best Film Editing too.

    Up in the Air could certainly win with Adapted Screenplay, Actor and Picture, being three of the major categories (and the same categories that The Godfather won, as a bit of trivia) but I don’t think I’d bet on it.

  • 4 1-15-2010 at 11:28 am

    aspect ratio said...

    Not to mention I have a hard time seeing the recently-Oscared Clooney beating Bridges for Best Actor. Even if Clooney has surprisingly been dominating the precursors, it’ll be a whole other ballgame at the Oscar when so much more than just the performance at hand come into play. It’ll be more like Mr. Just Won An Oscar vs. Mr. Living Legend Without An Oscar than Ryan Bingham vs. Bad Blake.

  • 5 1-15-2010 at 11:28 am

    Yogsam said...

    You took my words out, aspect radio
    Is going to be really hard for “hurt locker” and “up in the air” to get the BEST PICTURE oscar
    if they are only strong on 2 categories besides picture, the number IS magic indeed,Kris.

  • 6 1-15-2010 at 11:30 am

    Loyal said...

    Bit too much inside baseball this week.

    Table placement, parties, introductions to fiancees, who’s meeting who. I felt like I was listening to a Jeff Wells podcast.

  • 7 1-15-2010 at 11:53 am

    Ben said...

    I agree that editing is a significant Best Picture indicator on the night of the Oscars. I remember feeling confident that The Departed would take the top prize after Thelma Schoonmaker won. But in contrast, Gladiator didn’t win editing despite receiving the ACE award, and won Best Picture anyway.

    I think because Avatar is being talked about as such a significant technical achievemnt and leap forward for digital film making, that it could take editing along with the fx and sound categories even if The Hurt Locker (which in itself is a good fit for the editing category) is the ultimate Best Picture winner.

    On another note, I really enjoy listening to these weekly discussions. It’s pretty good insight and reflection on the Oscar season as it progresses.

  • 8 1-15-2010 at 11:56 am

    aspect ratio said...

    I don’t think The Hurt Locker would have that much trouble reaching the “magical” four wins total if it is so popular with the Academy that it wins Best Picture. Director, Original Screenplay, Film Editing and Cinematography are certainly all within its grasp.

    The Film Editing category is very likely to be extremely telling on Oscar night though, much like Kris and Anne talk about in the podcast.

  • 9 1-15-2010 at 12:42 pm

    JJ said...

    If The Hurt Locker were to win big, it will probably WIN director, possibly writing, possibly editing. That’s 1 to 3 wins at most. Best Picture win makes it 2 to 4 wins. Right?

  • 10 1-15-2010 at 12:43 pm

    Megan said...

    I won’t be able to listen to this until I get home, but I thought I’d chime in, anyway.

    I agree with your sentiment, aspect, that the race is very scattered. It seems like each of the major players excelled in one facet while meeting or perhaps not making the grade on others. I see it this way so far, and I know this will look simplisitc:

    Hurt Locker: Directorial
    Up in the Air: Directorial
    Precious: Acting
    Avatar: Technical
    Basterds: Writing

    Stats can always be revealing indeed, but I can’t help but wonder if this is year where something unusual might happen; there’s always a first time for everything, so we’ll see.

  • 11 1-15-2010 at 12:53 pm

    Loyal said...

    Obviously Anne Thompson and Kristopher Tapley have a good read on things but I still can’t see a 600m grossing, critically well-received film, with the proper amount of guild support, not winning Best Picture. Avatar might not steamroll over the competition on March 7th but say 10 noms, 7 wins.

    Sucks for The Hurt Locker but Bigelow is going back to the Middle East with her next film “Held by the Taliban.” Second time’s the charm.

  • 12 1-15-2010 at 12:57 pm

    James D. said...

    To think I was mocked for my prediction of a Best Picture nomination for The Hangover. You will rue the day you mocked me, Trebek.

  • 13 1-15-2010 at 1:00 pm

    Blake said...

    I am very confident that Up in the Air will not win any more than the 3 already mentioned: Picture, Actor, Adapted Screenplay. And with the strong possibility of Bridges, or even Renner, upsetting in Best Actor, Adapted Screenplay will likely be its only win.

    I have a hard time believing the academy will award Avatar best picture when they just gave Cameron 3 Oscars for his last film. I know it’s been 12 years…but still. And this film is not the academy bait that Titanic was. Nevertheless, Avatar could potentially win up to 8/9 awards:

    Picture, Director, Art Direction, Cinematography, Editing, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Visual Effects, Score.

    Inglourious Basterds is still a contender despite the ACE not chiming in. Right now, it is less likely to take Picture, but it could easily win in any of these 5 categories: Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Art Direction, Costume Design, Cinematography. That would be 7 if they chose picture and director as well.

    However, I believe The Hurt Locker is going to be the winner here in the end.

    It’s hard to imagine Kathryn Bigelow not winning director. Same goes for Murawski and Innis on editing. Academy members often award the film with the highest number of cuts/most amount of coverage–Slumdog Millionaire, Bourne Ultimatum, The Departed–all examples of this. Since Mark Boal will walk away with WGA, he can easily take original screenplay rather than Tarantino. With Picture, that’s 4. But I don’t think it’s done there.

    Cinematography I think they will award a “prettier” film, since everybody votes for the winners- even though this has been winning most of the awards. I think Sound Mixing is a very strong possibility a lot of people are underestimating. Avatar and Star Trek easily have larger soundscapes, but I think you could say the same thing about Wall-E and The Dark Knight, or Transformers and No Country for Old Men. Editing and sound mixing often go together at Oscar- Slumdog, Bourne Ultimatum, Black Hawk Down, Chicago. It could likely happen again. I would also go out on a limb and say, if Clooney and Bridges split votes, Renner could take home the Oscar, along the lines of Brody winning for The Pianist. He has already won Boston, Chicago, and NSFC, so who can say he’s only a critics’ thing. Golden Globe will stand in his way, but I still think he can push through without it. That brings its tally up to a potential 7. But I think in the end, it will settle for 4-5 awards.

  • 14 1-15-2010 at 1:41 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Inside baseball is kind of what we do, Loyal. We’re not exactly two people living with our parents writing about the Oscars from a basement somewhere.

    And while the Wells comment is, I assume, meant as a pejorative, it also doesn’t make any sense. But whatever.

  • 15 1-15-2010 at 1:45 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    James: Well, you know — still not gonna happen. :)

  • 16 1-15-2010 at 2:14 pm

    Annie Mouse said...

    Best Picture: The Hurt Locker
    Best Director: Kathryn Bigelowe
    Best Actress: Meryl Streep
    Best Supporting Actress: Monique
    Best Actor: Jeremy Renner
    Best Supporting Actor: Anthony Mackie
    Best Screenplay: The Hurt Locker
    Best Adapted: Fantastic Mr. Fox
    Best Animated: Fantastic Mr. Fox
    Best Docu: The Cove
    Best Foreign: The White Ribbon
    Best Cinematography: Inglorious Basterds
    Best Production Design: The Hurt Locker
    Best Editing: The Hurt Locker
    Best Visual FX: Avatar
    Best Sound FX: Star Trek
    Best Sound Mixing: The Hurt Locker
    Best Makeup: District 9
    Best Costume Design: Inglorious Basterds

  • 17 1-15-2010 at 2:45 pm

    Ben said...

    “…but I still can’t see a 600m grossing, critically well-received film, with the proper amount of guild support, not winning Best Picture.”

    Star Wars, E.T.

  • 18 1-15-2010 at 2:48 pm

    SHAAAARK said...

    I think you put a little too much emphasis on Avatar’s WGA nod. Did you look at the list of films that were eligible? At that point, it was basically probably that, It’s Complicated, or The Messenger for fifth place, and they probably disliked IC and Oscilloscope didn’t have the money to campaign.

  • 19 1-15-2010 at 3:05 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Yes, we looked at the films that were eligible and we made it a point of mentioning that fact. And by the way, most still weren’t predicting it, even with the eligibility in mind. It’s a significant nomination.

  • 20 1-15-2010 at 3:33 pm

    JJ said...

    I def. see what you & Anne are saying, Kris. But I just think that AVATAR probably would have been 6th, 7th, or even 8th ranked in OS of WGA if every film was eligible.

    And since AMPAS is a bit more high-brow than WGA; and since Titanic got the WGA nod and no Oscar nom, I’d say that AVATAR’s WGA nom is not overly significant at this point.

    If it gets the Oscar nom … then wow, watch out. AVATAR would really be looking mighty good for the big prize. Of course, this is all just my opinion; as you guys had yours. Just my impression.

  • 21 1-15-2010 at 3:34 pm

    JJ said...

    And have fun tonight. I’ll have a blast trying to locate you (from what I gather you look like) at the Up in the Air table. haha

  • 22 1-15-2010 at 4:01 pm

    daveylow said...

    Crash won best picture, best screenplay, best editing, only 3 awards. And it was should have only won 2.

    Hurt Locker will not win Best Actor. But I could see it getting editing. As far as picture goes, I don’t know at all.

  • 23 1-15-2010 at 4:09 pm

    Craig said...

    Avatar should visual effects and…that’s it…

  • 24 1-15-2010 at 4:37 pm

    Loyal said...

    “Inside baseball is kind of what we do, Loyal. We’re not exactly two people living with our parents writing about the Oscars from a basement somewhere.

    And while the Wells comment is, I assume, meant as a pejorative, it also doesn’t make any sense. But whatever.”

    Wells is always going on and on about what difficulties he had at x screening or a story about what happened to him at x party. No one really cares about that sort of stuff, at least I don’t. That’s not inside baseball, it’s a tangent.

    We listen to the great Kristopher Tapley (who it should be pointed out is definitely not a mouth breathing basement dweller) for expert award season forecasting.

    I’ve listened to the entire podcast series thus far and this was the first time I noticed those bits of superficiality. It’s great that April finally met Michael Bay but you know, content would be welcomed as well.

    Don’t take criticism so personal Tapley. I’m a loyal fan.

  • 25 1-15-2010 at 7:49 pm

    Andy said...

    For some reason I am having major problems loading the podcast. I can’t save it or play it. I can an “Error loading file” message when I try to play it and a different error message when I try to download it. Just wondering if anyone else is having this problem.

  • 26 1-16-2010 at 11:20 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Loyal: “No one really cares about that sort of stuff, at least I don’t.”

    Speak for yourself or not at all. By the way, we’re not putting on high art with these podcasts. It’s not really up for criticism in any real classic sense, I’d imagine. You’re just being bitchy for no reason. It’s a pattern from you.

    But, again…whatever.

    Andy: I’ll get into it.

  • 27 1-16-2010 at 11:22 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Andy: How about now?

  • 28 1-16-2010 at 7:19 pm

    Kevin said...

    This is Andy’s brother (I guess as good a stand-in as any) and I’m having the same problem. Might have something to do with the fact that I’m trying to load the podcast from my local library and not from home, no?

  • 29 1-16-2010 at 7:33 pm

    Andy said...

    Same deal. Will try again at home.