OSCAR TALK: Ep. 34 — Screeners arrive, ‘Social Network’ and ‘Let Me In’ open, ‘Secretariat’ thoughts, remembering Sally Menke

Posted by · 11:46 am · October 1st, 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 throughout the season, charting the ups and downs of contenders along the way. Plenty of things change en route to Oscar’s stage and we’re here to address it all as it unfolds.

Two incredibly well-reviewed films are hitting theaters today and Academy voters already have screeners sitting on their doorsteps, not to mention a somber week for the Hollywood community, so there’s plenty to dive into. Let’s see what’s on the docket…

As usual, Sony Pictures Classics is early out of the gate this season with DVD screeners of “Animal Kingdom” and “Mother and Child” hitting voters’ doorsteps this week.

David Fincher’s “The Social Network” hits theaters today after a long-sustained, intense media blitz. How will it do with the public? We discuss its commercial potential.

Anne recently hosted a Q&A for Debra Granik’s “Winter’s Bone,” which was well-received by an all-guild crowd. The buzz has died down a bit now but it’ll come back, but I’m left wondering. Anne is still convinced as ever.

A recent Disney lot presentation included a screening of the animated “Tangled.” Anne caught part of it, I saw the full film as you know. We discuss the studio’s latest musical endeavor.

Also part of that presentation was some added hype for Randall Wallace’s “Secretariat.” We offer up our thoughts on the film (she likes it more than I do) and debate its awards prospects (which we agree are dependent on how the critics react).

The week offered one punch in the gut after another as a string of deaths, some of them quite untimely, littered the headlines. One of them, editor Sally Menke, seemed particularly tragic. We remember her.

Finally, also opening today is Matt Reeves’s “Let Me In,” which appalled Anne’s Sneak Previews class recently. I haven’t seen it yet but she’s given it took looks and offers up some thoughts.

Have a listen to the new podcast below. 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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43 responses so far

  • 1 10-01-2010 at 12:29 pm

    McAllister said...

    Man, I want that shirt!

  • 2 10-01-2010 at 12:41 pm

    Drew said...

    Not entirley sure just how reliable BFCA is, but Secretariat currently has an 85 score on their site. Granted these were the same people who gave Me and Orson Welles a perfect 100 and that went nowhere.

    I’m also curious about Disney marketing the film towards a more Christian audience while the movie seems to have a very feminist theme. Not sure how that subject will play in the heartland.

  • 3 10-01-2010 at 12:51 pm

    Ibad said...

    The thing with Winter’s Bone and Jennifer Lawrence is that I don’t think the critics will even give it all that much support.

  • 4 10-01-2010 at 1:01 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Drew, you answered your first sentence with your second. BFCA scores mean zilch — don’t know why anyone bothers mentioning them.

    As for “Winter’s Bone,” I maintain that it’s this year’s “Frozen River” — a film that didn’t actually feature heavily in the major critics’ awards, but had a robust showing on the indie awards circuit — and proved more up the Academy’s street than other, more outré critical darlings.

  • 5 10-01-2010 at 1:02 pm

    MicheBel said...

    Hey Kris (and Anne)!

    Congrats on the new podcast. I wish you both much success with it.

    However, it’s pretty ballsy to say that you’re the “only kudocast on the Web.” Plenty of people cover the Oscars. I’ve been podcasting about the Oscars (and Emmys) since early 2007. MicheBelz Hollywood, 104 episodes, and counting.

    Thanks. I look forward to listening to your take, however.

    –Michelle Belaskie

  • 6 10-01-2010 at 1:14 pm

    Drew said...

    Guy: They might mean “zilch” to awards prospects at times, but it doesn’t mean that film is going to be derided critically.

  • 7 10-01-2010 at 1:14 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Great podcast.

    Question regarding Secretariat:

    Can you see it going the way of ‘Australia’ (mid 50s on metacritic and RT)? I actually love ‘Australia’, but recognize it is as a big, brooaaddd epic; nothing subtle about it. But the film had heart, and I fell for it.

    Does Secretariat have that same broooaaaddd effect? Or is it simply better made than an ‘Australia’, etc.?

  • 8 10-01-2010 at 1:47 pm

    Andrew M said...

    I think Disney should just focus all of their power on Toy Story 3 getting the most noms it can, and all the votes it can get for Picture.

  • 9 10-01-2010 at 2:18 pm

    Graysmith said...

    Stephen J. Cannell just died too. He wasn’t in the movies, but still! Anyone growing up in the 80s knows who he is… What a fucking week. Ugh.

  • 10 10-01-2010 at 2:25 pm

    Graysmith said...

    Joe Mantel just died as well. He wasn’t famous, but he was Oscar-nominated for Marty, and he delivered one of those lines that will always be remembered:

    “Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.”

  • 11 10-01-2010 at 2:27 pm

    Robert Hamer said...

    @ Andrew M: In a perfect world….

  • 12 10-01-2010 at 3:04 pm

    Ben M. said...

    Drew,
    I don’t see why Secretariat couldn’t appeal to Christian audiences, granted I haven’t seen the movie but the story of a housewife taking a stand and doing what she believes in even against the advice of others is very similar to The Blind Side, and that film was a huge success with Christian audiences.

    Now something like For Colored Girls may get a negative reaction from Christian audiences, even though I’m sure Lionsgate will target them given how they are a big factor in Tyler Perry’s success.

  • 13 10-01-2010 at 3:16 pm

    Drew said...

    Ben M, I’m just certain that if the more conservative members heard the word feminist they would run in terror.

  • 14 10-01-2010 at 3:17 pm

    Raffi said...

    Great podcast, as always!

    On “Secretariat”… I saw this a couple weeks ago and boy was I bored out of my mind. It was a VERY well made film, I’ll give them that. But everything about the movie was just so beyond plain. Such limited characters.

    What made me laugh out loud was when someone told me that the scene in which Diane Lane has this intense staring moment with Secretariat as they look straight at each other (if you’ve seen the film the film, you’ll know it’s supposed to be this big emotional thing – though I have to admit I chuckled) is physically impossible. Apparently, where Diane Lane was standing is precisely out of the horse’s sight. LOL

    I don’t know. Maybe I am letting my bias take over, but I see zero Oscar potential for this. Not even Diane Lane. Kris is right. The lead actress category is way too contentious this year.

  • 15 10-01-2010 at 3:24 pm

    Jake G. said...

    I want Robin Hood to get a Best Picture Nomination! It deserves one!

  • 16 10-01-2010 at 3:34 pm

    Rashad said...

    Jake G I’m right with you!

    Let Me In was really good, and set itself apart from the original. I’d even say it’s better

  • 17 10-01-2010 at 3:40 pm

    Speaking English said...

    I think you need to take a closer look at your ‘graph there… it still says “every Friday (except today),” which is left over from the podcast two or three weeks ago. Today is in fact Friday, however.

  • 18 10-01-2010 at 3:45 pm

    Loyal said...

    10.1.10, the day the Oscar race ended (technically the writing was on the wall two weeks ago).

    What do we do now? I guess there is some drama to be had in the acting categories and what the 9 BP runner-ups will be. Still, 151 days to go, delaying the inevitable.

    Great podcast, I’m looking forward to Let Me In. The original was one of my favorite films of 2008.

  • 19 10-01-2010 at 3:49 pm

    daveylow said...

    Diane Lane is a wonderful actress and I hope she does get nominated.

    I still think about her performance in Under the Tuscan Sun, which is a better version of Eat, Pray, Love.

    Anyway, I love you two talking together. I look forward to your banter each week.

    As as far as Anne’s class goes, they need to see films like Let Me In now and then.

  • 20 10-01-2010 at 4:04 pm

    Silencio said...

    Oh man. When you were talking about your early memories of going to the movies, I was thinking about TMNT, and then you mentioned it. She edited that, too?? Man. I miss her even more now.

  • 21 10-01-2010 at 4:22 pm

    Jake G. said...

    Thank You Rashad! Robin Hood is Oscar bait! It has a strong story, its visually stunning, and I love Cate Blanchettes performance and Oscar Isaacs gritty and powerful role as Prince John!!!

  • 22 10-01-2010 at 4:31 pm

    red_wine said...

    You can always count on the great Michael Giacchino to deliver a great score. He’s the best composer working today according to me. He’s one of the few composers who I’ll specially see a movie for, just to listen to his score.

  • 23 10-01-2010 at 4:41 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    MicheBel: When we started this last season it was the only one I was aware of (certainly the only Oscar-centric one, which is the point). But in any as, we’re certainly not anymore as we’ve inspired some competition elsewhere. And now I’m aware of yours, so thanks for pointing it out and we’ll adjust that.

    English: Thanks. Easy template mistake to make (smarty pants).

  • 24 10-01-2010 at 4:42 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    And by the way, as promised, I caught Let Me In this afternoon. I’m not on the bandwagon. It seems so much less refined, spelling beats out, almost a faux sense of restraint. And man did they butcher that shot at the end. I’ll collect my feelings in a separate post but it disappointed me, for the most part.

  • 25 10-01-2010 at 5:37 pm

    Glenn said...

    Wow, Anne really got Diane Lane’s “Unfaithful” co-star’s name wrong. lol.

    Nice podcast though.

  • 26 10-01-2010 at 5:51 pm

    Rashad said...

    “And man did they butcher that shot at the end.”

    They made it better. The CGI in the original was poor and was too light/faded. Here we can actually see Kodi is in the water. Plus we hear better what is going on.

  • 27 10-01-2010 at 5:53 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Yeah, because you’d be able to hear SO clearly underwater. I think it was butchered, edited almost arbitrarily (as if to shy away from stealing it outright, which ironically would have been the better call). It barely has half the impact the original shot had as a result.

  • 28 10-01-2010 at 7:41 pm

    Rashad said...

    Well we are supposed to hear what’s going on. I mostly enjoyed the unromanticized depiction of the vampire unlike the original. That’s why when I hear Abbey feed and kill, it feels more “raw” and horrific as it should be.

    I don’t know what edited part you’re talking about.

    I hate both endings with the train. Creates way too many holes.

  • 29 10-01-2010 at 8:36 pm

    JJ1 said...

    How was Moretz and Langella, Kris? Praise-worthy? Or, does it even matter; given your disappointment? And had there never been the original version, would your opinion have been similar?

  • 30 10-01-2010 at 9:32 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Rashad: The original shot in question was one show. They edited it and randomly cut a few times in this version and it just seemed arbitrary.

    JJ: Jenkins you mean? He was fine. I wouldn’t go so far as to praise him on the level Anne does here. He really has a passive role, much like the original. Not a lot to work with or stretch with, I should say. Moretz is really good, as was McPhee. And I think it’s impossible to answer your last question, to be honest.

  • 31 10-01-2010 at 11:56 pm

    Matt King said...

    I quite liked Let Me In. Actually kind of one of my favourites of the year so far. And I thought Jenkins had more to work with here than in the original. Reeves I felt tried to develop that more, different feeling in the relationship. At least for me. Though, I haven’t seen the original since it came out, so my memory may be a bit rusty.

    Also, and this has nothing to do with Let Me In, or anything really, but I finally got around to seeing How To Train Your Dragon, and holy crap was that movie great. I really really really wish I had seen it on the big screen.

  • 32 10-02-2010 at 5:00 am

    Derek 8-Track said...

    MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE WAS MY FIRST TOO!

  • 33 10-02-2010 at 7:02 am

    JJ1 said...

    Oh, yeah, totally meant Jenkins, not Langella. My bad.

  • 34 10-02-2010 at 9:49 am

    JJ1 said...

    Kris, just out of curiosity, how would you rank’em:

    The Social Network, Another Year, The Way Back.

  • 35 10-02-2010 at 9:50 am

    JJ1 said...

    I think you gave The King’s Speech a 3.5 (almost 4), Black Swan 3.5, Inception 3.5. I assume those are your 4-6, or so. ??

  • 36 10-02-2010 at 10:06 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    We’ll save that for the year-end top 10.

  • 37 10-02-2010 at 10:48 am

    JJ1 said...

    of course. :-)

  • 38 10-02-2010 at 10:58 am

    red_wine said...

    @JJ
    I think A Prophet is gonna be in Kris’s Top 3. :-)
    But we shall see like Kris says what sticks by the end of the year.

  • 39 10-03-2010 at 4:33 pm

    Sean said...

    Winter’s Bone is another one I don’t get. It even more dark than Frozen River. While Lawrence was fine in the role, I’ve seen better work from Bening, Portman, and Manville. And have yet to see Hathaway, Swank, Lane, Kidman and Williams yet. I don’t think Lawrence will make it.

    Don’t count on the critics carrying her. Sally Hawkins was the critic’s hardon two years ago and SAG, BAFTA and Oscar all said NO to her.

  • 40 10-03-2010 at 5:34 pm

    JJ1 said...

    I agree with everything Sean just said. It still may happen, but Hawkins had it all lined up, and may not have even been the 6th in line. I see lots of buzz/campaigning/word of mouth for several other hefty names; even some lesser names.

  • 41 10-03-2010 at 7:12 pm

    Aaron22 said...

    Scott Thomas for the French film was 6th, Blanchett for Button was 7th, Winslet for RR was 8th and Hawkins was 9th.
    Nomination counting isn’t top secret :)

  • 42 10-03-2010 at 8:36 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Aaron22 … what? haha

  • 43 10-04-2010 at 4:21 pm

    w11 said...

    Rodrigo Perez? LOL. Olivier Martinez.