OSCAR TALK: Ep. 22 — “All the noise, noise, noise, noise!”

Posted by · 1:11 pm · February 19th, 2010

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

Every week inches us closer to the end of the loudest Oscar season of all time. Today Anne and I sit down and discuss the noise of the week, adding our own noise (we went on a bit long this week):

Anne was in attendance at Monday’s nominees luncheon so she offers some first-person perspective on the goings-on.

Speaking on the clutter, the glut of festive gatherings and contender pitching has hit a fever pitch, so we wax on about that a bit.

Harvey Weinstein got his druthers this week as any and everyone desperate for something to write about has picked up on his proclamation that “Inglourious Basterds” will win Best Picture.

The original song performances were nixed from the telecast this week, which leads us into a discussion of trepidation over how things will play out on March 7.

Finally, we talk through a number of the below-the-line races before addressing the foreign language and documentary short categories at some length.

Have a listen below, with Jeff Bridges leading the way with a little ditty. And as always, you can subscribe to Oscar Talk via iTunes here.


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→ 41 Comments Tags: , , , , | Filed in: Oscar Talk

41 responses so far

  • 1 2-19-2010 at 2:08 pm

    Matthew Starr said...

    Anyone read this?


    The Academy is so damn lame. Grow some balls!

  • 2 2-19-2010 at 2:54 pm

    Megan said...

    Will give it a listen when I get to a computer that actually has a sound card.

    And when I do, I’ll make sure I listen to it while eating a can of Who-Hash.

  • 3 2-19-2010 at 3:08 pm

    Jason said...

    The Last Emperor had no acting nominations and swept 9/9 including best picture.

  • 4 2-19-2010 at 3:15 pm

    Blake said...

    Master and Commander- 10 nominations, none in writing or acting.

  • 5 2-19-2010 at 3:18 pm

    Jason said...

    Also, Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King had no acting nominations and swept 11/11 including best picture

  • 6 2-19-2010 at 3:20 pm

    Jason said...

    And Also, Slumdog Millionaire had no acting nominations and went 8/10 including best picture.

  • 7 2-19-2010 at 3:22 pm

    Jason said...

    Further still, Braveheart had no acting nominations and went 5/10 including best picture

  • 8 2-19-2010 at 3:25 pm

    Conor said...

    … But both ROTK and Slumdog had noms in screenplay and won, too. Braveheart had a screenplay nom as well. The last time a movie won best picture without screenplay OR acting noms was a long time ago

  • 9 2-19-2010 at 3:27 pm

    Jason said...

    Around the World in 80 Days 5/8

    The Greatest Show on Earth 2/5

    An American in Paris 6/8

    -all three had zero acting nominations and won best picture

  • 10 2-19-2010 at 3:31 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Anyone mentioning Last Emperor, Slumdog, 80 Days, Greatest Show, American in Paris, Braveheart and LOTR is hard of hearing. We’re talking screenplay AND acting.

    So, with that in mind, thank you, Blake.

  • 11 2-19-2010 at 3:35 pm

    Matthew Starr said...

    Why is my first comment awaiting moderation?

  • 12 2-19-2010 at 3:41 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Did it have a link in it?

  • 13 2-19-2010 at 4:35 pm

    Manuel L. said...

    I think the voter Kris was talking about hasn’t really thought this thing through. Let’s say someone puts Avatar at #1 and, in order to protect his favorite, puts The Hurt Locker at #10 (even if he/she loves both). If it comes down to Avatar vs. The Hurt Locker, it doesn’t matter if the latter is at #2,3,4,5… His vote still goes to Avatar.
    If Avatar is eliminated, though, his vote would go something other than The Hurt Locker even if he doesn’t love it as much.
    That kind of voting only works if you want to prevent a film from winning, not to protect your #1. In that case, if you REALLY don’t want a film to win, well, it’s not so strange that you would put it at #8-9-10.
    A film that could really benefit from an eventual Avatar vs Hurt Locker strategic voting could be Inglourious Basterds, unless it also becomes part of that mess… In that case, as Kris said, the system could benefit Up in the Air and Up.

  • 14 2-19-2010 at 4:50 pm

    AmericanRequiem said...

    i defend pans labyrinth for cinematography, and i think basterds could threaten to win it this year
    god i hope tarantino will win screenplay, but i agree with kris that boal will win

  • 15 2-19-2010 at 4:52 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Manuel: Precisely.

  • 16 2-19-2010 at 6:40 pm

    Aaron88 said...

    Did anyone NOT think voters would tank other movies when they rolled out this preferential voting? You don’t think Cameron is going to list Avatar #1 and Hurt Locker #10?!?! Get real! The system is way to tempting not to do so.

  • 17 2-19-2010 at 6:42 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Cameron is a bit different than random sound guy or random makeup guy, Aaron. There isn’t as much sophistication as you might think. Frankly, most voters aren’t likely to take the ranking seriously after #1.

  • 18 2-19-2010 at 8:25 pm

    JJ said...

    I can understand the frame of mind of loving 2 or 3 particular movies (that happen to be the favorites for the win) but REALLY wanting one in particular to come out ahead.

    I would then put the one I REALLY wanted in first. I’d put all the movies I couldn’t give a crap about in the last few slots. And I’d put the 2 other favorites (that I happen to really like) probably in 4th and 5th or so.

  • 19 2-19-2010 at 8:27 pm

    Craig said...

    It doesn’t really matter if people are voting strategically. The top three will be The Hurt Locker, Basterds and Avatar pretty much no matter what, and 2 of those films will have votes that will never go anywhere else.

  • 20 2-19-2010 at 8:27 pm

    JJ said...

    Who says you can’t love a bunch, but really want to help the one you love most by putting the others farther down the line? I just totally get that, and I’d probably do the same if I were an AMPAS member.

  • 21 2-19-2010 at 8:29 pm

    Craig said...

    It sounds like any academy voter who’s trying to “manipulate the system” has gotta be close to being mentally retarded. If their vote is going to go to another film, it might as well be something they love, because the very situation of their second place vote being considered means that whatever they put in first isn’t winning anyway.

  • 22 2-19-2010 at 8:29 pm

    Craig said...


    That IN NO WAY helps your number 1 win. Why is that so hard to get?

  • 23 2-19-2010 at 8:30 pm

    JJ said...

    For example, last year I LOVED The Dark Knight and Slumdog Millionaire. In a year of 10, and if TDK made it in, & IF there was preferential system.

    Knowing I liked TDK just a smidge more, I’d have put in in 1st cause I REALLY wanted it to win, and I’d put Slumdog in 10th – knowing that it was the heavy favorite to win anyway. And then, I’d just vote for Slumdog to win Director, Editing, & Song because I think it deserved those wins, etc..

  • 24 2-19-2010 at 8:33 pm

    Craig said...

    That’s fucking retarded. Whether you put Slumdog at 2 or 10, that doesn’t improve The Dark Knight’s chances at all. Basically you’re saying “if my movie can’t win, that one can’t either”

  • 25 2-19-2010 at 8:35 pm

    JJ said...

    Craig, I get it. I get what the person Kris interviewed is saying. And while it sounds frigged in theory, I would personally feel alright letting the other 5, 776 (or whatever it is) do how THEY want, while I do what feels right for me. I love a lot of films in this years top 10, and if I want one in particular out in front, I’d push the others down farther.

  • 26 2-19-2010 at 8:35 pm

    Craig said...

    Are you sure you understand the preferential system?

  • 27 2-19-2010 at 8:36 pm

    Adam Smith said...

    Hey Kris, just on a purely technical note, I think that starting AND ending the podcast with music was a strong choice. Always felt before that they seemed to end a bit abruptly, so it’s a nice way to transition in and out. Can we expect that format for the rest of the Oscar Talk installments?

  • 28 2-19-2010 at 8:40 pm

    Craig said...

    Because you seem to be missing the fact that no matter where all the other films are on your ballot, your number 1 film still has the same chances of winning.

  • 29 2-19-2010 at 8:41 pm

    JJ said...

    I believe I do. If one film doesn’t get the majority of 1st’s, then after a series of eliminations, the film with the most consensus of 1s, 2s, 3s (in general) at the end wins out.

    Kris & Anne said that the interviewee’s thought process was bizarre. And yeah, with this new system, it’s bound to be, & make for interesting reults (that we’ll never know from 2-10).

    But I don’t think it’s fu*ing retarded if I, who I consider to be a resonably normal, level-headed human being automatically thought the same thing that the interviewee did.

  • 30 2-19-2010 at 8:45 pm

    JJ said...

    Don’t get me wrong. I know it’s odd. And when push came to shove, if I were an AMPAS member, I may not have entered my ballot that way.

    And I wish there WERE no preferntial ballot system. All I’m saying is that I DO understand the interviewee’s point of view. It could very well backfire. but I think it’s an interesting way of strategy; one that could backfire; but interesting.

  • 31 2-19-2010 at 8:50 pm

    Craig said...

    The film with the lowest number of 1s gets eliminated and the votes are redistributed based on what is 2nd on those ballots and so on until a majority is reached. It’s highly likely this will come down to the last three films (we know what those will be). It’s also highly likely that the interviewee’s favorite film and what they consider that film’s “competition” are among those 3 films. So say that person had Avatar at 1 and The Hurt Locker at 10 (even though THL is his/her second favorite).

    Let’s say, for this scenario, that Avatar is third in number 1 votes at this stage and is thus eliminated, and THL and Basterds are left at exactly 50/50, except that 1 vote from the interviewee tips the scale (this would never happen, but it shows how stupid this reasoning is). So that person not only has to see their favorite film lose (which would have happened no matter where they put Locker on their list), but also doesn’t get to see their second favorite win because their “strategic” voting identified it as more of a threat than Basterds.

    Explain to me how that’s not stupid?

  • 32 2-19-2010 at 8:52 pm

    Craig said...

    If it accomplishes anything at all, it will backfire. There is no scenario where placing their second favorite at ten helps their favorite win.

  • 33 2-19-2010 at 8:58 pm

    JJ said...

    OK. I mean, fair enough. You explain yourself well enough. I get what you’re saying. I believe my initial intent was to say that my knee-jerk reaction to what Kris said about the interviewer was that I understood his frame of mind.

  • 34 2-19-2010 at 9:02 pm

    Craig said...

    From the sound of it, the interviewee thinks the ballot is weighted rather than the form of preferential that it is. With a weighted ballot, this “strategic voting” would actually work. With the form of preferential that they’re using, it wouldn’t.

  • 35 2-19-2010 at 10:02 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Craig: Uh, no, I know plenty who don’t take Basterds seriously and therefore put it at the bottom or toward the bottom of the ballot, and plenty who hate Avatar, and ditto.

    And the “interviewee” knows full well the situation, even if keeping the competition film at #10 is nothing more than insurance at the end of the day.

  • 36 2-19-2010 at 11:59 pm

    Jessica said...

    When I look at the process for the preferential voting for Best Picture, I wish they would have had this in place for years rather than straight out voting for the nominees. Even when there was five Picture nominees.

    Just think if half the Academy had submarined Forrest Gump back in the day, like some of these folks are planning to do some films. Perhaps we would have gotten a better winner that year since everything was better than Gump.

  • 37 2-20-2010 at 1:36 am

    Manuel L. said...

    @Aaron88: If James Cameron understands how the process works, I really don’t think he would put The Hurt Locker at #10. Remember, his other rankings only come into play when Avatar is eliminated. Based on what he has said, I think his #2 would actually be The Hurt Locker. Unless he actually doesn’t want Kathryn to win Best Picture if his own movie can’t.

  • 38 2-20-2010 at 10:02 am

    Craig said...

    Kris: What are you talking about?

  • 39 2-20-2010 at 11:29 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...


  • 40 2-25-2010 at 2:10 pm

    DarkLayers said...

    I just wanted to point out, for those citing LOTR and Slumdog Millionaire, there are hints that both of those movies had support from actors that Avatar may well not. Both LOTR and Slumdog Millionaire won the SAG cast prize, which Avatar was not even nominated for.

    And going zero for acting and writing is tough for a best pic.

  • 41 2-26-2010 at 4:24 pm

    Speaking English said...

    Everybody likes “The Hurt Locker,” Anne? Uh, no. I have no idea where she’s getting this from.