OSCAR TALK: Ep. 38 — ‘Love & Other Drugs,’ lead and supporting actor races, the circuit revs up, favorite horror films

Posted by · 8:58 am · October 29th, 2010

Oscar TalkWelcome to Oscar Talk.

In case you’re new to the site and/or the podcast, Oscar Talk is a weekly kudocast, your 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.

You can feel the season rumbling to life with Halloween just around the corner.  It’s been a lively enough week as contenders began to hit the circuit and more films were unveiled for eager press.  Let’s see what’s on the docket today…

Anne and I both took in a screening of Edward Zwick’s “Love & Other Drugs” this week. We fall on pretty much the same side of the conversation.

Sean Penn was shuffled over to a supporting actor campaign this week, which leads us to a discussion of the contenders in that field and in lead.

Jennifer Lawrence was in town this week to promote her work in “Winter’s Bone,” as was the “127 Hours” crew. We discuss the circuit as it begins to rev its engines.

Halloween is coming up, so a discussion of favorite horror films is clearly in order.

And once again, reader questions. This week we address issues concerning “127 Hours,” “Black Swan,” Jacki Weaver’s Oscar chances and the Academy’s penchant for recognizing young actresses more than young actors.

Have a listen to the new podcast below (with John Carpenter’s piano and synthesizer leading the way). If the file cuts off for you at any time, try the back-up download link at the bottom of this post. And as always, remember to subscribe to Oscar Talk via iTunes here.

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50 responses so far

  • 1 10-29-2010 at 9:14 am

    McAllister said...

    Listen now as I clean the kitchen.

    Thanks guys!

  • 2 10-29-2010 at 9:43 am

    JJ1 said...

    OK, I understand the need to compare or search deep for meanings for films to exist. And I understand that the pharmaceutical aspect appears to be in the plot of ‘Love & Other Drugs’ for a reason.

    That said, are you not wild about – and – do you not think the movie is an Oscar contender mostly because it doesn’t nail the high-brow pharmaceutical angle that is broached? Or did you just not like the overall execution of the movie? Is it both?

    I say this because I don’t feel that every movie (Oscar contender or not) has to be about something.

  • 3 10-29-2010 at 9:48 am

    JJ1 said...

    All that said, I agree with you, Kris, about Zwick (and the lacking a suggestive part of his filmmaking/storytelling). And I really enjoy his movies, too.

  • 4 10-29-2010 at 9:54 am

    Drew said...

    Favorite horror films in no particular order. The Exorcist, The Shining, Audition, The Descent, Don’t Look Now, Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer, Psycho, Peeping Tom, The Sixth Sense, Manhunter, Silence of the Lambs, Poltergeist, Devil’s Backbone, ummm…can’t think of anymore right now.

    Would Balck Swan count as a horror film?

    To add the list of elder starlets, I think Helen Mirren definetley deserves to be up there.

  • 5 10-29-2010 at 10:33 am

    Duncan Houst said...

    While you’re still talking about “Animal Kingdom”, could you please remove those ads from your site. It’s really creepy and disturbing.

  • 6 10-29-2010 at 10:34 am

    Danielle said...

    I think Hathaway’s outside of the top 5 now.. the reviews single her out but they don’t seem to be uber enthusiastic about her either.

    Also, the London Boulevard trailer is now online.

  • 7 10-29-2010 at 10:36 am

    Graysmith said...

    Winter’s Bone feels like an Actress and Screenplay bid to me, not much else. It’s bleak and drab, so why would it stand so much more of a chance than something like Black Swan which is all but written off for Best Picture?

  • 8 10-29-2010 at 11:13 am

    Jim T said...

    I love it that Kris admits to not liking the film despite the fact that he has the ads. I don’t mind them at all, personally.

  • 9 10-29-2010 at 11:14 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Duncan: Kris doesn’t exactly pick and choose the ads. It’s business.

  • 10 10-29-2010 at 11:31 am

    Everett said...

    We’re seeing a trend of hyped female performances and their male counterparts actually being better…

    Annette Benning < Mark Ruffalo
    Michelle Williams < Ryan Gosling
    Naomi Watts < Sean Penn
    Anne Hathaway < Jake Gyllenhaal
    Nicole Kidman < Aaron Eckhart?

  • 11 10-29-2010 at 12:20 pm

    Dylan said...

    I haven’t heard anybody say that Ruffalo was better than Bening.

  • 12 10-29-2010 at 12:30 pm

    JJ1 said...

    And I second ‘Sleepy Hollow’; not necessarily as a great scary movie, but a wonderful, moody, Halloween-type movie.

  • 13 10-29-2010 at 12:35 pm

    Everett said...

    @Dylan: Kris has been saying Ruffalo was the standout in the cast.

  • 14 10-29-2010 at 12:41 pm

    Graysmith said...

    I thought Ruffalo was good in The Kids Are All Right, but I wouldn’t say he was better than Bening or Moore. I don’t think the vast majority thought he was either.

  • 15 10-29-2010 at 12:46 pm

    tintin(uruguay) said...

    “The others”, “El orfanato”….

  • 16 10-29-2010 at 12:52 pm

    Keil Shults said...

    I was hoping someone would mention Rosemary’s Baby, which is one of my favorite films of all time, regardless of genre. And perhaps because it was a big part of my childhood, I have a strong fondness for the first Poltergeist as well. While I haven’t cared for most of the recent horror films, I did think The Orphanage was an excellent movie.

    Also, this past weekend, I watched an amazing horror(-ish?) film from 1961 called The Innocents. I don’t know how or why I hadn’t discovered it before, but it was wonderful. I need to see The Haunting again, which I believe AMC is airing this Sunday evening.

    Anyway, good Oscar Talk this week. I can’t wait to hear what the widespread critical consensus is on True Grit, The Fighter and The Way Back.

  • 17 10-29-2010 at 1:03 pm

    Andrew M said...

    Favorite horror movies: The Shining, The Exorcist, The Sixth Sense, The Orphanage, Silence of the Lambs, 28 Days Later, Halloween, and The Blair Witch Project.

    Mixed Genres: Alien, and Shaun of the Dead.

  • 18 10-29-2010 at 1:17 pm

    McAllister said...

    I loved hearing how hard Anne was laughing talking about how forgetful “It’s Complicated” now seems.

    Also, London Boulevard looks great. Different from what I expected… but I’m really looking forward to it. A lot.

  • 19 10-29-2010 at 1:42 pm

    Alex L. said...

    What was the music snippet at the end called and what was it from?

  • 20 10-29-2010 at 2:13 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    That was DannyElfman’s score for Sleepy Hollow. Opening titles.

  • 21 10-29-2010 at 2:19 pm

    JTag said...

    So do you think Ed Zwick’s post as one of the governors of the director’s branch in the Academy have any influence on its Academy reception?

  • 22 10-29-2010 at 2:52 pm

    Billy Buddusky said...

    Everett,
    Jake Gyllenhaal being better than Anne Hathaway? Do you write Sarah Palin’s speeches in your spare time? YOUTOOFUNNY!

  • 23 10-29-2010 at 3:01 pm

    Everett said...

    um…I’m just writing what Kris and Anne said in the podcast.

  • 24 10-29-2010 at 3:02 pm

    Angie said...

    Why would that be funny? Jake is a VERY underrated actor (check out his work in Brokeback Mountain–he was also the BEST actor in Brothers) while Anne is VASTLY VASTLY overhyped and overrated. Not surprised by Kris’ comments at all.

  • 25 10-29-2010 at 3:11 pm

    Billy Buddusky said...

    You sure this isn’t a Fox News adjunct, where everything is the reverse of how it really is? Jake is an excellent actor, but to even whisper that he was better than Anne Hathaway in LAOD is from the Glenn Beck school of insanity.

  • 26 10-29-2010 at 3:35 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    But that’s how a number of people see it, nevertheless.

    What’s with your obsession with opinions different from your own somehow being in league with conservative political views, by the way? Talk about cuckoo.

  • 27 10-29-2010 at 3:51 pm

    mary said...

    Sexual movies with a lot of nude scenes will always get many bad reviews from US critics, no matter how good they are. Even “The Reader” received many bad reviews from US critics. So it is no surprise if “Love & Other Drugs” receives many bad reviews from US critics. (Again, I suspect that many US critics love “Black Swan” is partly because “Black Swan” is a sexual movie without any nude scene. )

    On the other hand, “The Reader” was still a strong Oscar contender despite of many bad reviews the movie received.

    I suspect Edward Zwick makes “Love & Other Drugs” mainly for proving that upscale sexual movies with a lot of nude scenes can still make money, and it may be why he makes this movie as entertaining as possible. I wish Edward Zwick will success.

  • 28 10-29-2010 at 4:04 pm

    tp89 said...

    Billy Buddusky, I agree with you ( but not as harsh). I don’t understand the hate or the lack of respect for Anne Hathaway. She was very good in LAOD- her best performance since Rachel Getting Married.

  • 29 10-29-2010 at 4:20 pm

    daveylow said...

    Great work Kris and Anne. Can’t wait to see Fair Game. My favorite Penn performance is still Dead Man Walking.

    I hope love for Blue Valentine grows.

    About Sam Rockwell. He may be memorable on screen but he was surprisingly weak on Broadway recently.

    Forget about Guy and 127 Hours. He just didn’t get it.

    As far as horror goes, what about Repulsion? That was one of the creepiest films I’ve ever seen.

    I wish Gemma Jones would be nominated for supporting actress. She won’t, of course.

  • 30 10-29-2010 at 4:32 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    There is no hate or lack of respect for Anne Hathaway from me or from Anne, tp89. I’ve had my say on her performance in my review and would say it was praise to say the least.

  • 31 10-29-2010 at 4:35 pm

    James D. said...

    If I may comment on ads, I thought Jones was one of the lesser pieces of You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger. I thought Lucy Punch was better, but I guess I don’t know the business side of these things.

  • 32 10-29-2010 at 5:01 pm

    Mitchell said...

    OT: 15 Years of Fox Searchlight:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zyqNxE7xl0

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFsth4Cf9M8&feature=related

  • 33 10-29-2010 at 5:14 pm

    Keil Shults said...

    Yes, the mediocre response to Love and Other Drugs must be because of its nudity. I’m guessing that’s also why Deep Throat didn’t land a single Oscar nomination and In the Cut was completely shutout at the Globes.

    And speaking of The Reader, I seem to recall Kate Winslet also getting nude in a film about a boat that took home a statue or two.

    Schindler’s List had Jewish genitalia and The Silence of the Lambs had tucked-in genitalia, a he-muff, a saggy-breasted she-skin suit, and flying semen. And let’s not forget about Midnight Cowboy, The Godfather, The Last Emperor, Shakespeare in Love, American Beauty, etc.

  • 34 10-29-2010 at 5:17 pm

    Keil Shults said...

    Also, glad someone else mentioned Repulsion, which I also love and forgot to mention earlier.

  • 35 10-29-2010 at 6:04 pm

    Joe said...

    Kris, I have to admit that you sounded kind of bored or tired. Was it the late night taping? Or is that just how you sound? Or… maybe I’m imagining things.

  • 36 10-29-2010 at 7:22 pm

    Billy Buddusky said...

    Flying semen? Wasn’t that an old John Wayne film?

  • 37 10-29-2010 at 7:51 pm

    Linda said...

    Kind of disappointing you never finished up the discussion on the acting categories. That’s what I was looking forward to hearing about and it was frustrating to hear you go off on a tangent and not go back to it.

  • 38 10-29-2010 at 8:25 pm

    daveylow said...

    Lucy Punch? After seeing her in Dinner for Schmucks and the latest Allen film I hope I don’t have to see her in another film again.

  • 39 10-29-2010 at 8:27 pm

    eurocheese said...

    Loved the Black Swan/127 Hours question. Very excited to see both films, with Black Swan being my most anticipated film of the next few months. I’m curious about Rockwell – loved him in Moon, as Anne mentioned, but I’m not getting the Conviction love. I think he may fall out. We’ll see.

    Also, in case I forget to ask next week, do you think BP and the two Screenplay categories will go 10/10? It’s definitely possible. If not, who might show up in writing without BP and vice versa?

  • 40 10-30-2010 at 5:12 am

    RichardA said...

    Mark Ruffalo’s best performance ever was in “You Can Count on Me”. What’s funny about his performance in “The Kids Are A’ight” is that it is what I imagined what Mark Ruffalo’s character ended up doing when he moved west–wayward youth using his charm to settle down and move up in the word and still be a little immature.
    He and Laura Linney deserved Oscars for that movie.

  • 41 10-30-2010 at 5:31 am

    JJ1 said...

    I, too, love Rockwell. But I also feel that (if Garfield is given a solid push), that Rockwell is the lowest man on the totem pole for a nom — riding that 5th/6th/7th placing for the 5 noms. But God only knows.

  • 42 10-30-2010 at 8:17 am

    mary said...

    The subject matters of The Godfather, The Last Emperor, Shakespeare In Love are not very ‘sexual’, and those films don’t have too much nudity .

    Midnight Cowboy and American Beauty were released in many years ago; studios and critics treated those kinds of films more nicely in the past.

    For now, I really don’t think that any major studio would still want to make the films like Last Tango In Paris, Midnight Cowboy, American Beauty, Pretty Baby, Basic Instinct and even Eyes Wide Shut.

  • 43 10-30-2010 at 12:25 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Mitchell:We mentioned that, actually:

    http://incontention.com/2010/10/27/1027-oscarweb-round-up-sticking-up-for-swinton-ampas-joins-twitter-15-years-of-fox-searchlight/

  • 44 10-30-2010 at 12:26 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Linda: We finished the two categories we wanted to discuss, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor.

  • 45 10-30-2010 at 12:27 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Also, I don’t think the nudity has anything to do with negative feelings on LAOD. If anything I think the way that stuff is handled is a virtue (as I mentioned when I wrote the film up).

  • 46 10-30-2010 at 1:12 pm

    Liz said...

    mary,

    “American Beauty” was released many years ago? It was only ten years ago! And I don’t know the last time you saw “Shakespeare in Love,” but it’s plenty sexual, just as much as “American Beauty.”

    I agree that the U.S. can be a little silly about these matters, but there’s no vast conspiracy against movies with sexual content and nudity.

  • 47 10-30-2010 at 3:15 pm

    mary said...

    Liz

    The subject matter of “Shakespeare in Love” isn’t as sexual as “American Beauty”.
    BTW, I believe that when Julia Roberts was attracted to do “Shakespeare in Love”, that film’s script did not contain any nude scene.

    Many things changed a lot in recent ten years. ( ie. in 1999, studios still made a lot of R-rated adult dramas) For now, Dreamworks and other studios probably would not make films like “American Beauty” again, and “Shakespeare in Love” will probably be made as a PG-13 film.

    There is no vast conspiracy against films with sexual content and nudity; but some people have changed their point of view on those films.

    In recent years… “Lust, Caution” won best film award at Venice Film Festival, but that film still received many bad reviews from major US critics. I’m more surprised to see that “The Reader” received many bad reviews from US critics.
    Luckily, Oscar voters clearly understood that “The Reader” is a great movie, and didn’t care about what some US critics said. So there is still some Oscar hope for “Love & Other Drugs”.

  • 48 10-31-2010 at 8:33 am

    JJ1 said...

    Kris, I’m curious … I realize now that Love and Other Drugs does not appear to be an “Oscar” film because of it’s inconsistencies. But in your opinion, how does it compare to the Bounty Hunter’s, Back-Up Plans, Ugly Truth’s, and other romantic comedies?

    Is LAOD a much better film than those, but just disappointing (given expectations), or is it just a poor movie?

  • 49 11-02-2010 at 11:11 am

    Davin said...

    Jerry Zucker produced Fair Game and David Zucker produced An American Carol. Does that put them at opposite ends of the political spectrum?

  • 50 11-03-2010 at 3:42 pm

    Rob said...

    What about Kirsten Dunst for “All Good Things”? Even though the film may not be too good, could Dunst be up for awards?

    I heard she is gone for a good majority of the film, so could she be nominated for Best Supporting Actress? Thoughts?