OSCAR TALK: Ep. 28 — Special Edition! — ‘Inception’ (Yes it is! No it’s not!), Comic-Con preview, contenders so far

Posted by · 9:25 am · July 16th, 2010

Oscar TalkWelcome to Oscar Talk, your one-stop kudocast between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood.

In the final of three off-season discussions, Anne and I address the following today:

Today is “Inception” day as Christopher Nolan’s latest hits theaters nationwide, so naturally, Anne and I dig into our thoughts on the film. See spoiler note below.  (Don’t forget to tell us what you think of the film.)

Unfortunately, thoughts on the film aren’t the only thoughts being bandied about, as criticisms of criticisms ran rampant throughout the week. Anne and I discuss the idea of responding to other reviews in the context of one’s own review.

Comic-Con is around the corner as Hollywood descends on San Diego to sell any and everything it collectively can to a geek audience foaming at the mouth. We briefly preview what interests us from the schedule.

A few potential awards movies have hit this summer already, which we’ve kind of addressed before, but we dig back in to see what could stay afloat come year’s end, as well as offer one last look ahead before we get to the season.

Have a listen to the latest podcast below. As always, remember to subscribe to Oscar Talk via iTunes here. We’ll be back again, and weekly, at the start of this year’s awards season Friday, August 27.

(PLEASE NOTE: There are “Inception” spoilers from roughly 13:00 – 18:00.)


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→ 16 Comments Tags: , , , , , | Filed in: Oscar Talk

16 responses so far

  • 1 7-16-2010 at 10:08 am

    Robert Hamer said...

    I side with Anne Thompson on the “contexts of reviews,” and it’s exciting to see them become a two-way conversation. Some of the most insightful observations about film have been comments from members of websites like Roger Ebert’s blog, The Film Experience, Nick’s Flick Picks, and course this one. Although, I guess you didn’t necessarily disagree with her on that specific point.

    I have a question, though: were you actually surprised about the reviews (and review backlash) of Inception? I knew that little clusterfuck was going to happen *well* in advance, and the idea of seeing measured responses and mature debate of Chris Nolan’s Dark Knight follow-up right off the bat strikes me as a little overly optimistic.

  • 2 7-16-2010 at 10:14 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    No, I frankly didn’t expect professional critics from the NY Times and NY Mag to suddenly reference a fractional reaction to a film they didn’t get to see first. I guess I’m naive.

  • 3 7-16-2010 at 10:49 am

    med said...

    What does Anne say in relation to Kubrick – mesonism….What does that mean?

  • 4 7-16-2010 at 11:09 am

    red_wine said...

    Kris nobody is so lucid to watch a movie in a bubble. A movie is never just the movie itself but also the cultural moment in which it is released.

    Around The World In 80 Days did receive good reviews on its release. It won the snobbish NY critics’ prize but yet no critic worth his salt will have a single good word to say about it today. But back then, everybody thought it was good so even the critics thought it good.

    So a film’s perception definitely impacts its reception, that has always been the case, critics(who are humans afterall) have always been influenced, its just that tongues and pens have gotten a little looser in these times of internet and blogging and they admit to it now where previously they might just have alluded to it.

  • 5 7-16-2010 at 3:57 pm

    Jacob S. said...

    Speaking of discussing Oscar contenders, when will the sidebar be updated? I noticed that “The Last Airbender” is still mentioned in a few of the categories, ha.

  • 6 7-16-2010 at 5:24 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Note at the top of the sidebar, plain as day. ;)

  • 7 7-16-2010 at 6:40 pm

    Jacob S. said...

    I didn’t spot that – thanks!

  • 8 7-16-2010 at 6:54 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Med: I haven’t been able to hear the whole podcast yet, but I think you might have misheard: Anne said “mise-en-scène,” not “mesonism.”

    Coincidentally enough, a good recent discussion of the term “mise-en-scène” can be found here.

  • 9 7-17-2010 at 4:56 am

    JJ said...

    Good podcast, keep ’em coming! :-) I know, I know, won’t be for a while. The film’s I’m most looking forward to for The Fall/Winter are The Way Back, The Fighter, The King’s Speech, & Blue Valentine.

  • 10 7-17-2010 at 7:17 am

    Drew said...

    Great podcast Kris. Surprised to hear that True Grit might be leaning towards a childrens film, and I’m still surprised that The Way Back doesn’t have a distriutor yet.

    As for Inception, it’s one I may not get to see for a while, but in regards to critical aggregation cites, the only one that I pay any real attention to is BFCA. Mainly because when the awards season begins they are the first ones to kick things off and help influece future votes.

  • 11 7-17-2010 at 7:30 pm

    Pete said...

    So the flaw to you, Kris, is that the rest of the team has no reason going deeper into the dream state to assist Cobb in planting the idea in Fischer’s head??? They have no choice. If they stay on that first level – which they though was gonna be a walk in the park – they would be slaughtered by Fischer’s projections. Cobb also tells them that if they die, they fall into limbo, now they have no choice but to go deeper with him. How is this flaw? It is brilliant to me. The tragedy and fear of it all, knowing that they are in a life and death situation for such a simple thing; that is frightening to me. It’s like walking into a gas station to grab a soda, and at that exact moment the store is held up by a lunatic gunmen – and now you’re playing with life and death simply because you made a decision to go get a soda.

  • 12 7-18-2010 at 10:45 pm

    Brian Whisenant said...

    I have been thinking a lot about what you said about critics referencing other critics in reviews. I review films on my blog…and often (most recently, with Time Out and their pan of “To Age or Not to Age.”) a bit piece I read from a review…mostly a dig…will stick in my mind while I am watching that film. If I really disagree with that dig…I might reference it, and give my take on it.

    I’m don’t really know how I feel about it all yet, but you have me thinking, that’s for sure…for now I think I will leave that sort of thing out of reviews and only bring it up in other posts.

  • 13 7-18-2010 at 11:07 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Pete: No, the flaw to me is that they agree to go on the job in the first place. And that has to be cleaned up with the whole, “Now that you’re here, by the way, if you die, you’ll be stuck in limbo” stuff.

    It only really gets explained away easily if you dive into one of the many “it’s all a dream” theories.

  • 14 7-18-2010 at 11:22 pm

    Hans said...

    It could also be one of those cases, Kris, where the protagonist is indeed acting a little selfishly and purposely withholds the information about limbo, because he knows that otherwise the team won’t agree to do this potentially dangerous job. Of course, that makes Cobb an incredibly unsympathetic character, but I think I prefer that to “Surprise! Killing yourself leads to limbo, not the real world!”

  • 15 7-22-2010 at 12:51 am

    DRM said...

    I think Anne is right about WB miscalculating by being so careful with who they allowed to see the film at certain points in time. They should have just showed it to everyone at the same time. Then none of the critics could have gotten into a pissing match with each other based on reading other reviews or based on jealousy that they didn’t get to see it early or whatever else was going on with this situation.

  • 16 7-23-2010 at 4:20 am

    aspect ratio said...


    The talk about why the others would do this, the shallow reason to do this inception and why they would risk their lives to do it when Cobb and Saito are the only ones getting anything out of it, you’re forgetting the fact that Cobb and the chemist are the only ones who knew BEFORE they went into the dream that if they die they don’t wake up like they do otherwise. So at that point the others are really just doing their best to stay alive because they have no other choice. That’s their motivation.