OSCAR TALK: Ep. 46 — The “frontrunner,” guilds on the way, latter-year releases, Portman preggers and a Happy New Year!

Posted by · 9:00 am · December 31st, 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.

After a much-needed holiday week off, we’re back on the case to wrap things up on the final day of the year. There is plenty to chew on, though we kind of meander a bit, shaking off the holiday dust. Let’s see what’s on the docket today…

With the critics’ circuit largely behind us the question still remains, despite the temptation to call it over and done: Is “The Social Network” really so comfortably in the Oscar frontrunner position? We’re not so sure.

The guilds are on the way, which are the real indicators to pay attention to. We talk at length about the first out of the gate — the WGA (and it’s inevitable list of ineligibilities) — and a little about DGA and the already revealed SAG noms.

Speaking of ineligibilities, we briefly chart the thin Best Original Score ranks and some that didn’t make the cut for this reason or that.

One wonders whether latter-year releases can find a foothold, but one of them, “Rabbit Hole,” seems to be struggling to find an audience. Could that be trouble for Nicole Kidman’s Best Actress hopes?

Anne re-addresses her “steak eaters” piece concerning male response to “The Kids Are All Right.”

For better or worse, one of the bigger publicity stories of the holiday was Natalie Portman’s pregnancy, which could help or hurt her awards chances, depending on your source.

And finally, reader questions. We address questions concerning Aronofsky actors’ history with Oscar, the buzz necessary for a foreign performance to break through and potential surprise acting nominations.

Have a listen to the new podcast below, with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross leading the way (largely as a tip of the hat to Jamie Stuart’s wonderful short film “Idiot with a Tripod”). 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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45 responses so far

  • 1 12-31-2010 at 10:17 am

    Amy said...

    Anne Thompson is such a turn off and with that the last time I will ever listen to this podcast.

  • 2 12-31-2010 at 10:29 am

    Hero said...

    Loved the podcast as always! Thanks for a great year!

  • 3 12-31-2010 at 10:38 am

    Jim T said...

    What Hero said.

  • 4 12-31-2010 at 10:50 am

    Andrej said...

    The impromptu Skype call was hilarious, like five seconds of solid silence xD

    Great podcast, and have an awesome 2011 everybody :)

  • 5 12-31-2010 at 10:57 am

    JJ1 said...

    Great podcast, Kris! Messy is good, sometimes.

    Thank you for addressing my question. I enjoyed everyone’s opinion.

    And is Anne getting paid to name drop Cholodenko every week? lololol She really thinks that she has a shot at DGA/Oscars?

    In fact – and I mean no disrespect – I now look forward to, and come to expect hearing something off-beat from her each week. :)

    Happy New Year Kris, Anne, Guy, and all else!

  • 6 12-31-2010 at 10:58 am

    Matthew Starr said...

    Interesting little interview with Manville over at Vulture:


  • 7 12-31-2010 at 11:00 am

    Loyal said...

    Tapley, you can’t tell Anne to let go of Cholodenko getting a DGA nom when you’re hung up on Nolan possibily not getting in. Nolan is twice nominated for the DGA, of course he’s getting another DGA nom for Inception. Come on.

    What a great year of Oscar Talk, from Avatar to White Material. Happy New Year!

  • 8 12-31-2010 at 11:06 am

    andy said...

    Hilarious impromptu Skype call! Always like to hear Guy join in.

    Thank you very much for this podcast. Happy New Year!

  • 9 12-31-2010 at 11:31 am

    Graysmith said...

    If I were to predict the WGAs:

    Original: Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The Kids Are All Right and then toss-up between Get Low, Greenberg and Please Give.

    Adapted: 127 Hours, Rabbit Hole, The Social Network, The Town, True Grit.

  • 10 12-31-2010 at 11:41 am

    Graysmith said...

    As for the DGA, I’d say it’s safe to say Fincher, Aronofsky and Nolan are in, and then I would think that it’ll be between Hooper, Coens and Russell for the last two spots. Boyle a spoiler, but his film is fading fast.

  • 11 12-31-2010 at 11:44 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Amy: Clearly an extremely marginal opinion, but sorry to hear it nevertheless. I don’t know what’s so off-putting but it’s on you. Fare thee well.

    Loyal: Not really “hung up,” just talking through it, really.

  • 12 12-31-2010 at 12:35 pm

    Jake G. said...

    I saw The Kids Are All Right yesterday and Julianne Moore is way better than Annete Bening in it! JM also has more screen time!

  • 13 12-31-2010 at 12:54 pm

    Dooby said...

    The Pam Grier for Jackie Brown is for me personally the worst oscar snub ever.
    She deserved to WIN.

    Kris, if you can, bring in Guy Lodge every week for the podcast – he’s brilliant!

  • 14 12-31-2010 at 12:56 pm

    Andrej said...

    Oh, and also I would like to thank you guys for adressing my movie quote question :)

    My favourite quote this year it’s from Scott Pilgrim. There’s no major reason or context for why I like it, it’s just a fun phrase to yell around, and as an old school gamer I can’t help but loving this line.


  • 15 12-31-2010 at 1:34 pm

    Josh C. said...

    Great podcast. Guy you are amazing. “I had something on the stove…” I also love the prospect of someone coming out of nowhere for a nomination. Can’t wait for more Oscar Talk in 2011.

  • 16 12-31-2010 at 2:47 pm

    Kyle T. said...

    Just wanted to say thank you for a great year of podcasts. I don’t think that there is a more detailed and accurate source of information about the awards circuit, and the best film has to offer.

    For the record, this listener can’t imagine Oscar Talk without Anne. Her unique opinions, and her devotion to, at times, the ‘underdogs’, are warmly received by this loyal viewer.

  • 17 12-31-2010 at 3:17 pm

    Silencio said...

    It’s a shame about Rabbit Hole. It’s my number 1 of the year so far. Criminally overlooked.

    And I enjoyed the spontaneity with calling Guy. That’s the kind of thing I’d do, too.

  • 18 12-31-2010 at 3:29 pm

    red_wine said...

    I just want to say that critics have indeed responded to The Ghost Writer in the US as well. In the FilmComment, Indiewire and Village Voice critics polls, The Ghost Writer was respectively ranked 4th, 7th and 4th best film of the year, which is extremely impressive. According to these polls, it is more acclaimed than all English language films this year save Social Network and Winter’s Bone.

    Also Olivia Williams finished 3rd amongst supporting actresses at Indiewire and Village Voice, higher than Melissa Leo. Polanski finished 4th in both places in director (behind Assayas, Fincher and Aronofsky).

    Tilda Swinton too finished 4th in both places (behind Lawrence, Portman and Kim Hye-ja from Mother). She has love too its just that something else wins out. She might yet win NSFC.

  • 19 12-31-2010 at 5:45 pm

    Matthew Starr said...

    Probably my favorite line delivery of the year is John Hawkes sitting with a rifle in the drivers seat,

    “Is this our time?”

    That guy was not fucking around.

  • 20 12-31-2010 at 8:56 pm

    Maxim said...

    Kris, I hope you read this.

    You really misunderstood my question and by leaving the second part of it off you sort of mispresented it too Anne.

    It wasn’t about Aronofsky or the fact that they were his actors – it was wether or not there was a bump of any sort to the movie being an Oscar contender.

    The question you eneded up reading was indeed silly – but it wasn’t what I meant.

  • 21 12-31-2010 at 9:23 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I’m in the air over Texas or something, so I’ll address this.

    I may have glossed over it after reading the first bit and simply expecting the same general “what about what happened to Rourke and Burstyn” questions I’ve seen in recent months, so apologies for that.

    Now that I look at the question more closely, though, I have to admit that it reads pretty much the same as those queries:

    “Do you think that Natalie Portman is in a better position to win an Oscar this year than Mickey Rourke or Ellen Bernstyn were when they got nominted for Aronofsky’s films? If so, how much of this is due to Black Swan’s likely presence in other top categories, or, put another way, would she have been as strong without it?”

    So to answer the first bit, yes, I think she’s in a much better position than the other two actors because of the reasons I stated in the podcast. So I guess don’t think it was really all that misrepresented. The rest of the question is kind of window-dressing, but to get specific on that, I’ll just say that I think the film is as present in the Best Picture field as “The Wrestler” was, so it’s all probably moot. “Requiem for a Dream” was much more of a fringe, indie thing.

    Hopefully that addresses it. Didn’t mean to give it short shrift.

  • 22 12-31-2010 at 9:24 pm

    Maxim said...

    By the way, not saying it’s your fault – could’ve phrased my question better – just saying it’s not what I meant.

    I will say this though – whatever reason Roberts won her Oscars had little to do with her acting.

  • 23 12-31-2010 at 9:39 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Same could be said about countless Oscar winners over the years.

  • 24 1-01-2011 at 1:22 pm

    Rob T. said...

    Love the podcast as usual, but a minor factual correction is in order. Randy Newman’s score for The Princess and the Frog was submitted for Oscar consideration last year, but ruled ineligible by the Academy’s Music Branch Executive Committee. The Academy’s announcement of this is at http://www.oscars.org/press/pressreleases/2010/20100112.html.

  • 25 1-01-2011 at 2:15 pm

    daveylow said...

    Have to defend Anne. I’ve followed her Oscar commentary for years and I admire her passion for films.

    I thought O’Russell wasn’t popular in Hollywood so would the DGA vote him in.

    Hooper is a respected television director–could that help him in DGA voting?

    Desplat may get a double nomination for The King’s Speech and The Ghost Writer. His score for Harry Potter was also lovely.

    I think Never Let Me Go was poorly marketed. Fox should have emphasized the acting and the unique story. It was released a bit too early in the season, too. It didn’t get any awards but was on several 10 best lists.

    I don’t get the love for Mila Kunis in Black Swan. I kept wishing Amanda Seyfried had been in the role. But then I don’t get the critics going crazy over the awfulness of Black Swan.

    I went to see The King’s Speech in the theater over the holiday. It was sold out but a much smaller audience than when I saw it in Toronto. The audience clapped the end. The film holds up well in a second viewing, particularly the script. This film has no wasted moments.

  • 26 1-01-2011 at 3:15 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I recall being told by the campaign that it wasn’t submitted, Rob, so thanks for the correction.

  • 27 1-01-2011 at 3:51 pm

    daveylow said...

    I think I read in the Wrap that Randy Newman decided not to submit Toy Story 3 this year because of his score for The Princess and the Frog being ruled ineligible last year.

  • 28 1-01-2011 at 4:06 pm

    Speaking English said...

    Best line deliveries of 2010:

    “If them men wanted a decent burial, they should’ve got themselves killed in summer.” – Jeff Bridges, True Grit

    “Let’s just assume for the moment that everyone in here doesn’t like me! ” – Zachary Levi, Tangled

    “Did I adequately answer your condescending question?” – Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network

    “That makes it official, then.” – Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech

    And tons of stuff from The Fighter, but unfortunately I can’t find the quotes online.

  • 29 1-02-2011 at 7:05 am

    KS said...

    While I enjoyed The Kids Are All Right, I still think it’s an overrated film. My opinion, however, has nothing to do with it featuring lesbians or being directed by a lesbian. A female lesbian at that.

    And yes, I love eating meat…potatoes not so much.

  • 30 1-02-2011 at 2:45 pm

    matsunaga said...

    Thanks for the Rabbit Hole topic Kris.. I really appreciate Anne’s and your views regarding on how the film will fair the Oscars race….

    Happy new year everyone!

  • 31 1-02-2011 at 4:12 pm

    Iamthenewblack said...

    Have to agree with you daveylow, I love Anne’s insight and that she constantly has her thumb to the pulse of the industry to share those little academy voter tidbits. Also appreciate Guy on the podcasts. With 3 people speaking it could come off as clumsy but the fluidity of the conversation remains intact, kudos to you guys.

    The supporting actress race is the most intriguing race of all, Nobody really has seemed to gain a foothold on the race. In this climate I think a passionate pick like Jacki Weaver may have a chance, thoughts??

  • 32 1-02-2011 at 5:31 pm

    Speaking English said...

    Nobody really has seemed to gain a foothold on the race? Melissa Leo seems to have.

  • 33 1-02-2011 at 7:31 pm

    DylanS said...

    Yeah, It really wouldn’t hurt to have Guy around more often. Just hearing a different opinion in the mix is always enjoyable.

  • 34 1-03-2011 at 6:26 am

    Maxim said...

    I want to bring up my question again, Kris because, after giving it some thought I really think your answered was confused and didn’t make any sense.

    On one hand you laughed off the “is Portman in a better position” position (nevermind the fact that the factor I concentrated on – best Picture nod was ignored) portion while you and Anne said that the Academy looks at every performance individually.

    And yet you went on to claim that nothing would have stopped a star like Roberts from winning her Oscar (which all props to her pefromance had nothing on Bernstyn) – the very definition of a political win. It seems like you are trying to have it both ways here.

    My mistake (and I made one too) was to use Aronofsky’s name in the question since it made it seem as if I was putting Portman’s chances exclusively on him and his past history. That wasn’t the case – I used his name more of a shortcut. But if I was to follow that trajectory for a second, I wonder – was there really that much that Portman done in Black Swan that Jackman didn’t do in the Fountain? Is he any less amazing in it?

    Isn’t it the perceived success of the respective films that ultimately decided the Awards fate of their actors? Hence my original question, or at least, that part of it you didn’t consider.

  • 35 1-03-2011 at 9:08 am

    Bia said...

    Totally agree about Guy’s Black Swan line reading…I laughed at the scene with Barbara and Mila. So funny.

  • 36 1-03-2011 at 9:33 am

    JJ1 said...

    Actually, though “she’s a trip” is very funny. It was the “Jesus” line afterwards that got me. lol

  • 37 1-03-2011 at 10:08 am

    Paul Hurt said...

    Guy is a true hero

  • 38 1-03-2011 at 11:29 am

    T J Mackey said...

    I’m thinking Julianne Moore has a better shot then most have given her. This is going to be like the Thelma & Louise duo noms. but they will both lose to Portman.

  • 39 1-03-2011 at 12:54 pm

    Iamthenewblack said...

    @speakingenglish: based on the critics awards supporting actress is the closest race. I would say Melissa Leo is the front-runner but I don’t think she is a slam-dunk. Especially with the strength of Amy Adams’ performance.

  • 40 1-03-2011 at 1:01 pm

    DylanS said...

    Maxim: To just interject my thoughts on the “Aronofsky” question. I think your why Portman and not Jackman argument is legitimate, but easily explained. It isn’t always about pure performance, but the actor and the film around it. “The Fountain” wasn’t the right film and it wasn’t Jackman’s moment. It is, however, “Black Swan”s moment and even more so, Natalie’s.

  • 41 1-03-2011 at 1:51 pm

    Nicolas Mancuso said...

    Great podcast as always!

    I love that recording of “Auld Lang Syne” you use at the end. Who is the artist?

  • 42 1-03-2011 at 1:51 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    I’m so bored of people whining about Julia Roberts winning for a terrific star turn that happened to be nominated against a couple of other terrific performances by less popular actresses.

    It wasn’t a “political” win per se. The movie was a hit. She carried it. People loved her in it. The performance was very much a factor.

  • 43 1-03-2011 at 2:07 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Nic: Can’t remember. Came from something called “Metal X-Mas,” though.

    Maxim: I think it’s been fully addressed, both in the podcast and in what I wrote in the comments here. Now you’re just further confusing it by, I guess, trying to make something clearer that you didn’t make clear the first time around. I guess, you know, be clear next time about what you mean? Yeah, that’s a good start. :)

    But I guess I’ll try:

    First of all, Anne said the bit about how they look at each perf, not me. But Roberts’s was not a political win, for the reasons Guy says above. So don’t project.

    Comparing Portman to Jackman makes no sense. Black Swan is in the Best Picture hunt. So was The Wrestler. Requiem wasn’t, but again, I’ve already written this just a few comments up, so I’m not sure why I have to be clearer.

    Also, stop saying I didn’t consider a portion of your question. I considered it in the comments section here and apologized for potentially glossing over it because its point was so muddied.