OSCAR TALK: Ep. 25 — Postmortem

Posted by · 1:42 pm · March 8th, 2010

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

This is the final installment of the 2009-2010 Oscar season, with nothing left to discuss but Hollywood’s biggest night. On the docket today:

Anne was on the red carpet and in the press area at the show last night, so she offers some first hand perspective on the festivities.

We dig into the actual telecast, which Anne caught in fits and starts, but I was camped out on a couch watching intently the whole time and had, well…issues.

Anne turned up a tally of 16 correct guesses. I nailed down 19. We commiserate on our bad calls and discuss the various winners, some of which were quite surprising.

Finally, we remember our personal high points from the season and let you know when we’ll be back (after a short hiatus).

Have a listen to this week’s podcast below, with a history-making moment leading the way.  Oh, and by the way, for our committed listeners, I thought I’d offer up this soundbite from one of our broadcasts of Anne wrestling with her microphone. It cracks me up every…single…time.

As always, you can subscribe to Oscar Talk via iTunes here.  We’ll see you back here in roughly two months.


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24 responses so far

  • 1 3-08-2010 at 2:16 pm

    Wha said...

    Nice job you two. On to 2011.

    Unfortunately my most anticipated film looks like it will suffer from frontrunneritis (Tree of Life). Went from a not very known 2010 Oscar commodity 6 months ago to a semi-hyped 2011 Oscar contender. It’s never, ever good to be the early frontrunner.

  • 2 3-08-2010 at 2:16 pm

    seasondays said...

    completely agree with the -WORST DIRECTED TELECAST- in a long, long time

    the ceremony didn’t work at all, it was a mess all over barely saved by some presenters and some winners speeches

  • 3 3-08-2010 at 2:26 pm

    Louis said...

    Tom Hanks has been vocal about bad Oscar telecasts in the past (David Letterman bombing comes to mind immediately). My honest guess as to why he announced Best Picture immediately is because he felt the telecast was so brutally put together that he just wanted to put an end to it. Just a thought.

  • 4 3-08-2010 at 2:32 pm

    Loyal said...

    Great final podcast and I look forward to May 7th!

    I also see the true test of the switch to the BP 10 being a year without a mega blockbuster. Maybe I’m naive but I think Inception and Toy Story 3 have a good chance of carving at least a 600m spot in the BP 10, pending solid reviews. Some even think Harry Potter had a good shot, both this year and next (I’m not quite onboard with those wacky wizards).

    As for the ceremony itself, I agree it was pretty bad. It didn’t flow, things that were cut were missed, thing that were added should have been cut, and things that were changed didn’t work.

    The uptick in ratings shouldn’t be looked at by those in charge as an indication of the broadcast working. People are tuning into these mega-events in record numbers and even with a 20% increase over last year, it still could be bigger and better.

    I think its funny that both Kris (at Comic-Con) and Anne (her interview with JC) mark Avatar as one of their high points from the season. I can’t help but think the right film won in the wrong year, if that makes any sense.

  • 5 3-08-2010 at 2:41 pm

    aspect ratio said...


    No, it was actually planned to end that way (according to Hanks himself), as they had already given all ten films introductions during the show.

  • 6 3-08-2010 at 2:50 pm

    red_wine said...

    I would like to say this at the end of this season that I think 2 precursors lost all credibility for me(and a lot of other people). The Golden Globes and the BFCA.

    You are right about the Globes, a truly pointless organization of 90 “journalists” who are easier to buy than… whatever. They have zero overlap with the entire industry and just their puny little number renders them irrelevant. A film can win with only 17 votes. This year also showed they have no idea what the industry sentiment is and that they could shame even E news in terms of star-fucking.

    I should specially say this with respect to how they treated The Hurt Locker. I’m not saying it should have won because it was my favorite film, I’m saying this because you would expect them to treat the most acclaimed film of the year with some degree of respect. I just read in a NY times article that at The Hurt Locker invitation screening for HFPA, 7 out of 90 members turned up. You can bet your ass that they would even stand in a line to catch Avatar and the star-studded Nine. Then they somehow thought Tobey McGuire was better than Jeremy Renner, oh yeah big star. Then they were scared that those ugly angry people from Hurt Locker would spoil their beautiful party so they gave them a slightly behind table all the while brain-storming as to how to make its table more attractive for tv audiences.

    The category division into Drama and Comedy renders the latter half pointless and not even worth covering. The nominees are obscenely second rate and are even below the level of long shots for the Oscars save for co-incidents like Meryl Streep in Julia & Julia.

    It seems absurd that people would take these 90 people seriously. LA, NY & NSFC have less members but their winners have credibility, they vote for what they think is best, not what will make the dinner more interesting. And their winners have been singularly excellent with hardly a bad choice.

    In short they are shit and I admire your inclination to not report on them or take them seriously.

    The second is BFCA of which I know you are a member. They don’t turn up choices of what they think is the best of the year so much as Oscar predictions. They are the ones that nominated invictus and nine for best picture. Invictus I can understand, but Nine? I’m pretty sure no-one liked it. It was just nominated because everyone thought it was gonna be up for the Oscars. The title critics choice is deceiving because it does not even remotely represent the intentions of the critics community.

    The 6 nominees in all major categories reeks of predictions. They just want all their bases covered, so that they can still successfully predict all 5 with 1 alternate (or get more people to attend). In the tech categories, cinematography and production design are fine but costume, sound and make-up? And Broken Embraces best Foreign language film of the year?

    You yourself have excellent taste and your ballot that you offered up was superb. One would think that a collection of people like you would yield up an extremely diverse slate of far flung and interesting nominees. There are two ways to attain relevance, either make uncompromising individual choices (like LA,NY,NSFC and some other critic awards) or showcase industry sentiment(like the guilds). These two organizations fall somewhere in between. I wish there were more people like you in the BFCA because it is a good idea.

    But great podcast as usual, I hope the second innings of your show is just as good. My compliments to both you and Anne.

  • 7 3-08-2010 at 2:57 pm

    Craig said...

    I really don’t think the people who genuinely care about the Oscars will look back and think they should have given it to Avatar. 3 Oscars is all it deserved as well. It won the visual categories. The Hurt Locker absolutely deserved both sound awards and film editing.

    I was straight up furious that Precious won an Oscar for a mediocre, melodramatic and manipulative screenplay, especially over Reitman’s masterful work. The fact that Up in the Air got nothing is disgusting-maybe someday people will learn not to call a film they like an Oscar frontrunner months before it hits theaters.

    Other than that, the night went pretty much as expected. You could pretty much tell The Hurt Locker was going to triumph from the moment they first mentioned Bigelow (and if you needed any more assurance, the sound wins), and I was thrilled to see it happen. The telecast was sloppy, but I still had a good time watching for the most part.

  • 8 3-08-2010 at 3:03 pm

    Bryan said...

    Thanks for the great conversations throughout the season. These have been a delight to listen to.

  • 9 3-08-2010 at 3:04 pm

    Craig said...

    Adding on red wine’s comment (which I fully agree with), the WGA is completely irrelevant if they insist on only nominating their members. The number of ineligible screenplays was sickening enough as it was, but then Cameron got a nomination for downright bad work? What’s the point?

  • 10 3-08-2010 at 4:08 pm

    Douglas said...

    Great podcast.
    I saw an interview with Quentin Tarantino where he genuinely thought he was going to win an Oscar. Whether it was Original Screenplay or naively thinking he had a chance at best director or picture, he was certain that he would be up on the stage accepting an award on the night.
    Did you see the disappointment in his face after Original Screenplay was announced?
    According to him that was his last ‘serious’ picture and I dont think we will see him up on that stage for Kill Bill Vol.3

  • 11 3-08-2010 at 4:35 pm

    Andrew F said...

    That dance sequence was only two minutes long?! Felt like a lifetime.

    And the question of how to get bigger films in the top 10 is something that really speaks to the state of popular culture in North America. How to get more mainstream movies into the Oscars? Make better movies. Yeah, it’s a bit of a smartass answer, but it’s true. Looking at the $100 million + films from last year, how many had a chance for Oscar contention — a quarter of them, maybe? It’s not like in order for a movie to be a massive hit, it needs to be stupid. I’m sick of the argument I get from people that ‘audiences just want to be entertained’. Yes, I realize that. But do they need to be so asinine? No! Pixar, Harry Potter, Star Trek, just to name a few. Did 2012 *really* need to be so dumb? Bah!

    Sorry about that rant. Back to you two — I love listening to these! Anne + Kris = Fabulousness.

  • 12 3-08-2010 at 4:47 pm

    Louis said...

    It’s really sad to say this, but I was more entertained by Ricky Gervais sipping beet at the Golden Globes than by the Oscars this year. I know, ouch!

  • 13 3-08-2010 at 5:38 pm

    SHAAAARK said...

    God, I wish there were a rep system here. I completely agree with everything in that comment, red_wine. Also, I believe Ben Lyons is a BFCA member, so the standards of entry are really low. Random bloggers are able to get entry (Nathaniel Rogers is now a member, though no knock against him personally), entertainment reporters, and the like. It has no legitimacy.

  • 14 3-08-2010 at 6:43 pm

    Jessica said...

    I don’t agree that any nasty campaigning is a reason to kill having 10 Picture noms. That kind of campaigning has been going on so long that nothing will ever stop it.

  • 15 3-08-2010 at 6:50 pm

    Jim T said...

    I just want to say that I’m really grateful for these Talks. You and Anne have been really interesting to listen to. I thank you both.

  • 16 3-08-2010 at 8:08 pm

    Speaking English said...

    Aw, that was really sweet. It’s been a great time here and throughout the entire season. What a fun and frustrating, but FUN game!

    Also, I think that little Anne soundbite could make a wicked YouTube mix. ;)

  • 17 3-08-2010 at 8:21 pm

    JJ said...

    Well, I’ll defend Kris’ BFCA in that: (small voice) while it may have been pre-Oscar predicting (as mentioned) … I really liked ‘Nine’ and was happy to see it get recognition from BFCA and GG.

    And the fact that ‘Nine’ got 4 Oscar noms shows me that had it received only 20% better reviews … it may have been nommed for BP as well as 2-3 others. Again, I liked the movie, so I wouldn’t have minded.

    But yeah, I still like BFCA and GG.

  • 18 3-08-2010 at 8:49 pm

    epoch said...

    wow. Email obviously was way too pumped to be there to have an kind of objective opinion on the show. i guess she admits it, but she was clearly half-ass watching the show. No one in the tv audience could say it wasn’t the worst show since … ? i don’t even know, people rip the letterman show but it at least had mid-90’s mediocrity

  • 19 3-08-2010 at 8:50 pm

    epoch said...

    anne not ’email.’ i need an editor

  • 20 3-09-2010 at 4:57 am

    Patrick said...

    Great final podcast Kris and Anne! Thanks for all your work, insights, and tireless prognostication. You’ve made this my most informed and enjoyable Oscar season, so a great pat on the back. Can’t wait until next year!

    Also, a great thumbs up to Guy’s increased participation in the sight this year. His input has added a real individuality to In Contention. You guys are unique!

  • 21 3-09-2010 at 4:58 am

    Patrick said...

    *site, urgh, slow morning.

  • 22 3-09-2010 at 4:27 pm

    daveylow said...

    Dear Kris and Anne,
    I’ve really loved the Oscar Talks this year–intelligent and insightful without getting too biased. And Kris, thank you (and Guy) for making your site so informative and mostly balanced. I’ve studied and viewed films for longer than I care to admit and I’ve enjoyed all the focus on artists behind the scenes.

    And thank you for being more civilized than another popular Oscar site this year. There’s something very wrong when you keep calling one film a masterpiece over and over when there were a lot of fine films to consider in 2009.

    I had a lot of trouble watching the Oscar telecast this year. It was sluggish and unimaginative and suffered from a lack of inspiration. The acting clips were better chosen so we saw more variety than in the past, but otherwise this was one of the worst Oscar shows I’ve seen.

    Also, being a writer and editor by profession, I was extremely disappointed by the choice of the screenplays this year.

    I’m a bit sorry A Prophet didn’t win the foreign film award. Such a terrific movie. I hope it finds an audience. But I could see from the clip they showed of The Secret of Their Eyes that that film was probably easier for the voters to like. At least this was one year where all the films nominated were worthwhile.

  • 23 3-09-2010 at 4:30 pm

    daveylow said...

    Also wanted to add Kris that I agree with you that the Best Actor and Actress tributes didn’t work well this year. Though it was lovely to see Michelle Pfeiffer and Julianne Moore side by side–two actresses who hopefully have Oscars in their futures.

  • 24 3-09-2010 at 4:34 pm

    daveylow said...

    And I’ll add one more comment: in a few years, I think The Hurt Locker will seem like a good but not great choice for best picture and some other films in 2009 will grow in stature, Bright Star, The Messenger, and Fantastic Mr. Fox to name a few. And in the more populist vein, Star Trek will also hold up well.