In Contention

OSCAR TALK: Ep. 32 — What’s hot out of Toronto, ‘Social Network’ steals the thunder, ‘The Town’ comes out strong, ‘I’m Still Here’ has no clothes

Posted by · 3:00 pm · September 18th, 2010

Oscar TalkWelcome to Oscar Talk.

In case you’re new to the site and/or the podcast, Oscar Talk is a weekly kudocast, a one-stop awards chat shop between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. The podcast is weekly, every Friday (except today) throughout the season, charting the ups and downs of contenders along the way. Plenty of things change on route to Oscar’s stage and we’re here to address it all as it unfolds.

Apologies for the tardiness this time around. Anne has been in transit from Toronto and we kept missing our windows, but she’s back home now and we offer a little more for you to chew on this weekend. Let’s see what’s on the docket…

We chart what’s hot coming out of Toronto, including strong positioning for “127 Hours” and “The King’s Speech” (which we discuss at length), making good on the buzz initiated in Telluride.

One film picked up this week that came on strong was John Cameron Mitchell’s “Rabbit Hole.” Having seen it at the fest, Anne offers her thoughts on the film and it’s Oscar potential in the performance categories. Kidman launches into a tight Best Actress category that already includes Sally Hawkins in “Made in Dagenham” (which went over well at the fest).

Ben Affleck’s “The Town” released yesterday to glowing reviews and solid box office, which raises the question: Could it be a contender? The instinct is no but maybe with added box office power and a widened field that caters to this kind of thing, who knows? We talk about the possibilities.

Sofia Coppola’s “Somewhere” won the Golden Lion last weekend, which caught a number by surprise. But is that going to matter much for an awards play? We think not, but it certainly helps with marketing.

While most of the industry was up in Toronto taking in the latest contenders, Scott Rudin and company stole the fest’s thunder by screening “The Social Network” in New York and Los Angeles. Anne will see it next week but I offer up some thoughts on the film once more and touch on its connection to “Catfish,” which opens this weekend as well. We’ll discuss both more when Anne gets a look.

Speaking of “Catfish,” which is drawing accuracy suspicions, we talk about “I’m Still Here,” which was revealed (officially) this week as a hoax. Anne has some strong thoughts on all of that.

Have a listen to the new podcast below, leading off with a little Boston flavor. If the file cuts off for you at any time, remember you can click the download link to save it directly or play from the source. And as always, remember to subscribe to Oscar Talk via iTunes here.


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29 responses so far

  • 1 9-18-2010 at 3:31 pm

    Andrew M said...

    One question, is there a trailer for The Kings Speech. I know of the clips, but I’m interested in a trailer.

  • 2 9-18-2010 at 3:43 pm

    Danny King said...

    I agree with Kris that “The Town” is an improvement on “Gone Baby Gone,” and a film that will appeal to many more people. However, I think Anne’s hesitation regarding the film’s awards prospects may be correct. “The Blind Side” has Bullock’s win to back up its nomination, but I’m not sure where else “The Town” would be recognized outside of Best Picture. (Do you have any ideas?)

    Other than Renner, who I think is a longshot anyway, Rebecca Hall would be the only one I could think of just because she’s been is several worthy films and hasn’t been nominated at the Oscars yet.

  • 3 9-18-2010 at 3:51 pm

    Raffi said...

    I’ve heard Blake Lively definitely delivers the Amy Ryan equivalent of GBG here. I agree with what everyone has been saying. I don’t think this had any solid awards prospects, but with stellar reviews, good audience reception, now a solid opening, plus 10 spots, you never know. Can’t wait to see it.

    Great podcast. I can’t wait to see the King’s Speech. I think it’s gonna take it. As of now, it’s looking to be “The King’s Speech” vs. “The Social Network.” Ultimately, The Social Network may go the way of Up in the Air with the Academy choosing the more traditional… though I guess for this year Hurt Locker wasn’t that much more traditional than UITA.

  • 4 9-18-2010 at 4:06 pm

    Sean C. said...

    I think “Gone Baby, Gone” was better (more awardsy) film than “The Town”, but the latter was very good; it’s just more of a crime/caper flick, not the sort of thing that generally gets nominated.

    Definitely confirms that Affleck is a talent, though – I expect a Best Director nomination at some point in the future.

  • 5 9-18-2010 at 4:10 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    “I’ve heard Blake Lively definitely delivers the Amy Ryan equivalent of GBG here.”

    Not true at all. (IMO)

  • 6 9-18-2010 at 4:31 pm

    Danny King said...

    Lively’s role is much, much smaller than Amy Ryan’s. Even though she plays it just fine, there’s no way she’ll get any awards attention.

  • 7 9-18-2010 at 4:35 pm

    JFK said...

    Kris, check out the Morrissey track “Dagenham Dave” for the way to properly pronounce the word:

  • 8 9-18-2010 at 4:51 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...


  • 9 9-18-2010 at 4:54 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    And as someone who lived in London for a time and took his fair share of Northern line trips to the Clapham and/or Tottenham Court stops, I probably should have known better.

  • 10 9-18-2010 at 4:56 pm

    Graysmith said...

    I agree with Anne’s take on The Town. It’s a genre film first and foremost, and even if it packs more drama and weight than your average genre film, it’s tough to imagine it getting into Best Picture when there’s no performance that (seemingly) could get nominated or anything else for that matter.

    The 93% on Rotten Tomatoes is certainly impressive, but that doesn’t necessarily reflect any opinion that it’s Oscar-worthy, merely that it’s a very good film. And it’s not like it needs to be an Oscar movie either, it’s nice to see a genre film like this that’s simply just a well-made movie.

  • 11 9-18-2010 at 4:58 pm

    Loyal said...

    I’ve been having arguments lately over whether or not The Town is a contender. Once it makes $133m, I guess I’ll change my tune. Until then, I think it’s on the outskirts of the 10.

    Great podcast, I can not wait to see The King’s Speech. It does appear to be a race between it and Social Network, for now anyway. I can’t remember the last time we actually had a proper Oscar race.

    I know I’m in the minority but I think Inception could make a name of itself with a PGA or DGA win and make it a three-way race.

    Then again maybe True Grit will be the single greatest western ever made and render all of this moot.

  • 12 9-18-2010 at 5:09 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    “And it’s not like it needs to be an Oscar movie either, it’s nice to see a genre film like this that’s simply just a well-made movie.”

    Totally agree with that.

    “I can’t remember the last time we actually had a proper Oscar race. ”

    How about…The Hurt Locker vs. Avatar?

  • 13 9-18-2010 at 5:28 pm

    Robert Hamer said...

    It sounds like Anne Thompson isn’t mad at Affleck and Phoenix “having fun at the media’s expense” so much as her being fooled about the film’s authenticity (even if her initial instincts were correct at first).

  • 14 9-18-2010 at 5:47 pm

    Loyal said...

    “How about…The Hurt Locker vs. Avatar?”

    I thought it was a race but apparently it was wishful thinking on my part seeing as Hurt Locker won

    NY and LA film critics (in addition to Boston, Chicago, BAFTA, and almost every major critics circle), BFCA, DGA, PGA, ACE, WGA, Emmys, Annies, Pulitzers.

    Some good those Globe wins did Avatar. Oh well, I can always wish for a better outcome in 2014. And Cameron needs to go back to the beard look.

    The last proper races were properly 04 and 05 but then again those were more like 11th hour surprises. Maybe with the way oscarwatching has grown over the last several years it’s now impossible to have a race (do we really need Slashfilm and Firstshowing commenting on the award season). It’s all noise, no focus or discipline.

  • 15 9-18-2010 at 6:07 pm

    Frank Lee said...

    I completely agree that it is a minor consideration whether “The Town” gets nominated for awards. What matters is that an entertaining, mature film made by a Hollywood insider has been well-received and is popular. Just maybe we will get more of same. Here’s hoping.

  • 16 9-18-2010 at 7:03 pm

    AmericanRequiem said...

    i hope its nominated, because i havent seen 10 better movies yet, maybe thatll change. but i thought it was pretty great, we’ll see

  • 17 9-18-2010 at 7:05 pm

    Ibad said...

    I think the thing I’ve noticed with most angrily criticizing I’m Still Here is the idea that they were mocked. Which is a completely counterproductive response to seeing an image of yourself being satirized. I had seen the film before Casey Affleck’s admission but I had made the observation on my blog that it was most likely a situation in which the scenarios were set up and then improvised from there, which to my understanding was largely what it was. And if someone like Anne knew it wasn’t exactly genuine to begin with then there’s no reason to feel duped or anything. I personally loved the film, although it definitely went on for longer than the material sustained, because of how it was able to blend the fiction in this backdrop of reality. People are talking about it being a hoax as if it can only be completely real or completely setup when in reality it was something more complex and thought provoking than that. It wasn’t just a satire on the absurd public scrutiny fired on celebrities on all these different cylinders from mainstream press to blogs to youtube, etc., but also of standard documentary filmic conventions, on the notion of how constructed public personas presented to the mainstream really are, and how the path to success is so riddled with mudslinging and mean spiritedness. I know it won’t get anywhere awards wise, though, since so many people agree with Anne, and no one likes being the butt of a joke like so many people in this movie are. But I think by the end of the year Phoenix stands a good chance at remaining my favorite male performance from 2010. – just in case anyone’s interested.

  • 18 9-18-2010 at 8:29 pm

    James D. said...

    The comments about I’m Still Here really got under my skin. It seems very pompous to bring up his brother and use it to talk about his choices. I would imagine he was affected more by his brother’s death than anyone else here was.

  • 19 9-18-2010 at 10:40 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    James: I didn’t “bring it up,” I mentioned that it was something others have pointed to as a reason to consider it a tasteless move. It’s not my opinion.

  • 20 9-19-2010 at 12:55 am

    Bradley said...

    The Town reminds me of The Departed. A Boston set genre film that comes out in sept/oct without a heavy awards push but gets great reviews. Granted Affleck ain’t Scorcese but Affleck already has an Oscar. They love them those hyphenates… Wouldn’t rule it out with ten noms and a great ensemble for the actors…

  • 21 9-19-2010 at 2:53 am

    Robert Hamer said...

    @ Kris: But you and Anne clearly agree with that sentiment, and even expand it into a general statement about people who “genuinely struggle with this stuff in real life.”

  • 22 9-19-2010 at 3:12 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Why shouldn’t Affleck and Phoenix have some fun at the expense of the media? The media has a lot of fun at the expense of others.

  • 23 9-19-2010 at 7:28 am

    red_wine said...

    In some shocking news apparently Polanski’s The Ghost Writer has won the best film of the year prize from FIPRESCI!!! They gave their top honors to The White Ribbon last year.

  • 24 9-19-2010 at 7:55 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Oh yes, that was announced a couple of weeks ago. I meant to mention it, but forgot amid my Venice activities. Thanks for the reminder.

  • 25 9-19-2010 at 10:20 am

    ninja said...

    Why so quiet about Black Swan?

  • 26 9-19-2010 at 11:18 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Ninja: What more is there to say about “Black Swan” at this point? There haven’t been any new developments on that front. Patience.

  • 27 9-19-2010 at 11:21 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Robert: I don’t “clearly agree” with anything. Lending credence or empathizing with a point of view doesn’t mean one necessarily shares it. It’s a conversation. It’s not a black and white stating of opinions (at least not in my case).

    At the end of the day, as I say in the podcast, I think what’s being said in this film (which I still haven’t seen) about an obsession with celebrity is vital. So my sentiments lie with the kind Guy is conveying, but I’m not going to disavow other perspectives.

    ninja: Because we’ve already discussed it at length. We got to a few other titles we haven’t discussed yet.

  • 28 9-19-2010 at 1:51 pm

    Silencio said...

    I like that Affleck and Phoenix are having some fun in Hollywood. They’ve proven their talent already. It does sound like it went a little overboard, but I’ll forgive that for the concept’s sheer audacity.

  • 29 9-20-2010 at 1:30 pm

    Loyal said...

    I just read about the launch of “Oscar Poker with Jeff & Sasha.”

    Kris and Anne, you’re inspiring others!