OSCAR TALK: Ep. 48 — Armond White vs. Darren Aronofsky, guilds speaking up, ‘True Grit’ box office, awards show/party weekend on the way, supporting actress wide open

Posted by · 11:38 am · January 14th, 2011

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.

Today is the final day of phase one this season. Ballots are due by 5pm PT, so everyone needs to pick a chair before the music stops. And we have plenty to discuss as a result, so let’s see what’s on the docket today…

We lead off things today with the knock-down, drag-out brawl — okay, verbal tit-for-tat — between Armond White and Darren Aronofsky at the New York Film Critics Circle awards this week.

Two of the most prognosticative guilds spoke up this week, the DGA and the ACE. We discuss the implications of the shared nominees (as each group cited the same films, which are our “five”).

One film that missed with both of those was “True Grit,” which is coming on strong late in the game. We briefly touch on the impressive box office haul and the fact that it could be pulling into the station at just the right moment.

We also preview the awards weekend, with the BFCA’s Critics’ Choice Movie Awards tonight and the Golden Globe awards Sunday night.

The supporting actress category seems to be up for grabs this season and could go a number of different ways. We talk about the different possibilities.

And finally, reader questions. We address queries regarding “Black Swan” as a potential dark horse Best Picture winner, lurking nominee hopefuls in that field, the fact that the category is not called “Best Makeup in a Good Movie” and…contender drinking games?

Have a listen to the new podcast below, with some musical antagonism 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.

(NOTE: Anne’s audio drops low for a portion of the podcast. Apologies for that. It’s not a problem, but just to let you know we’re aware.)


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Back-up download: Oscar Talk Episode 48

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48 responses so far

  • 1 1-14-2011 at 11:48 am

    Maxim said...

    Hold off, you started with LL J because of Armond White? Care to explain that one?

  • 2 1-14-2011 at 11:52 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Uh, antagonistic? It’s a fight between White and Aronofsky? “I’m gonna knock you out?”

    You’re thinking too hard about it…

  • 3 1-14-2011 at 11:53 am

    Maxim said...

    I guess. I’m Sorry. I totally missed all of the lyrics.

    Again, sorry.

  • 4 1-14-2011 at 11:54 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    You’re not instantly familiar with the song?

    Maybe I impose my taste on readers too much. Figured it was a no brainer, but maybe not.

  • 5 1-14-2011 at 12:01 pm

    Maxim said...

    I’ve heard chorus before, obviously but the rest wasn’t at the level of automatic recall.

    And please, don’t take any of that as criticism of the music choices – I think you did a great job picking tracks so far and lack of familarity shouldn’t normally be an issue.

  • 6 1-14-2011 at 12:39 pm

    Joe7827 said...

    Kris, I’m so glad you said it was LL Cool J. I had no clue.

    Just wondering: what are Anne’s musical tastes? It’s partly her podcast, after all.

  • 7 1-14-2011 at 12:48 pm

    Maxim said...

    Answer accepted, by the way, I like the idea of drinking to intention and actually paying attention to get even more drunk.

  • 8 1-14-2011 at 12:52 pm

    Andrej said...

    It also could have been ‘Runaway’ from Kanye West, for literally obvious reasons. ☺

    And for a drinking game… have a drink everytime there’s a slow motion scene in Animal Kingdom. Or have a drink of vodka everytime James Franco drinks water in 127 Hours, and have a drink of beer everytime he drinks… pee.

    … ew.

  • 9 1-14-2011 at 1:11 pm

    red_wine said...

    The fuck barrier is finally broken! I think this is the first time fuck was said on the show. Now lets fly with them. ;-)

    Darren started it. And if we are prepared to say that Darren said it in jest, we must also be prepared to say that White said it in jest. Its people hating the person more than what was said. I’m pretty sure some other beloved critic could have uttered the same remarks and be greeted with peals of laughter.

    And White gave Black Swan the review it deserved, its a border-line terrible movie, IMHO.

  • 10 1-14-2011 at 1:15 pm

    DylanS said...

    I totally see your point with the make-up reader question, Kris. But what’s your opinion on the make-up in “Black Swan’ and “127 Hours” not even getting short-listed.

  • 11 1-14-2011 at 1:17 pm

    anon said...

    Kris, I ask this question with sincerity, not snark. If five is truly the optimal which can capture excellence and these members had trouble going beyond it, why is that so many movies that showed up frequently on the “best of the decade” lists weren’t nominated for best picture at the expense of actual nominees? (e.g. “Far From Heaven”, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “Mulhollan Drive”, “Children of Men.”)


    On the one hand I can understand why one might say, “There weren’t that many good movies. This is just too much.” But when you do the decade retrospective, a large and substantial number of the films that touch, stir, and entertain many indiviuals just didn’t make the cut their respective year. If the system truly awards excellence without limitations, then, why didn’t more make the cut?

  • 12 1-14-2011 at 1:18 pm

    anon said...

    *Mulholland Drive

  • 13 1-14-2011 at 1:27 pm

    Maxim said...

    red_wine, so suppose Darren really did start it with White but what does this have to do with any other people he has lashed out at during the ceremony?

    Also, I think it’s very plausible he would have uttered his Greenberg remark anyway, considering his “history”. And by the way, after he wrote what he wrote about Noah, whatever retort he had against him he 100% had coming.

  • 14 1-14-2011 at 1:46 pm

    Kevin K. said...

    A little disappointed my question wasn’t answered, as I figured it was a good segway from this Armond White debacle and just the turn talkbacks like the ones on this site (no offense intended) take when awards come into play, as well as what you said about the Makeup Oscars. I think there’s something to be said about the toxic, negative atmosphere this long road to awards creates. And to be honest, that atmosphere really offends me as a film lover first, Oscar watcher second, because I hate the idea of being soured on a film you otherwise enjoyed or even loved just because it wins or doesn’t awards over something else. Oh well, maybe I’ll just rehash the question next week in hope of a discussion ;-)

  • 15 1-14-2011 at 1:47 pm

    JJ1 said...

    I had no idea it was LL Cool J and until the chorus, I hadn’t a clue about the ensuing reference, either. That said, I’ve probably heard the song dozens of times in my life and never really cared to pay attention to all of the lyrics either, so. My bad, too.

    Very good podcast. And I am mucho, mucho jealous that you guys will be at the awards show(s) and parties. Enjoy!

  • 16 1-14-2011 at 1:58 pm

    Bjorn said...

    Just a little question. The bit of music at the end of the podcast; what’s it from? Sounds awesome!

  • 17 1-14-2011 at 2:18 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Kevin: Actually saving your question for something later, FYI. It was a good one. And please understand, sometimes I use the overall flavor of the questions to steer the conversation, so there are times when a question might be answered in a roundabout way, though not referenced directly.

    Bjorn: That’s part of Clint Mansell’s original score for Black Swan.

    Joe: Good point. I kind of just take that part over in the editing!

    Dylan: I think both were great achievements, Black Swan more than 127 Hours. I’m more surprised it wasn’t short-listed, but alas, they like certain things in that branch and those things aren’t reflected in those films.

  • 18 1-14-2011 at 2:33 pm

    Kevin K. said...

    Kris: Awesome. Thanks for taking a look at it. I’m looking forward to your insight on the topic, as I really enjoy our discourse over the years here and on twitter. And I do understand what you’re saying about referencing questions later and steering the flavor of discussion. Thanks for the follow up!

  • 19 1-14-2011 at 3:00 pm

    Scott Coleman said...

    Maxim stop sucking up to Tapley

  • 20 1-14-2011 at 3:05 pm

    Dana said...

    In response the debate on supporting wins and career achievements, I just wanted to mention Morgan Freeman’s win for Million Dollar Baby.

  • 21 1-14-2011 at 3:35 pm

    Proman said...

    Anon, certain films define a decade, others work are just timeless. There’s fewer of the latter then there is of the former.

  • 22 1-14-2011 at 3:54 pm

    Loyal said...

    Trying to download from iTunes to my iPhone, this Oscar Talk doesn’t seem to be available yet.

  • 23 1-14-2011 at 3:55 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Dana, good one. If ever there were a Lifetime Achievement Supporting Oscar example. That Oscar really could/should have been Thomas Haden Church’s or Clive Owen’s.

  • 24 1-14-2011 at 3:55 pm

    anon said...

    21, you would deem “A Beautiful Mind”, “Ray,” “The Reader,” “Chocolat,” ,”Finding Neverland”, “Frost/Nixon”, etc. to be in the timeless category.

  • 25 1-14-2011 at 4:02 pm

    americanrequeim said...

    kris i played a drinking game with inception. Everytime you see the children, everytime they say dream, and whenever you hear durmmmmmmmm

  • 26 1-14-2011 at 4:38 pm

    JJ1 said...

    lol ^ “durmmmmmm”

    love it.

  • 27 1-14-2011 at 4:42 pm

    Proman said...

    “you would deem “A Beautiful Mind”, “Ray,” “The Reader,” “Chocolat,” ,”Finding Neverland”, “Frost/Nixon”, etc. to be in the timeless category.

    I have a name and not I wouldn’t. But the question wasn’t about what was or wasn’t include (an issue that still exists with 10 slots”.

    Your question had to do with whether five was enough and whether more was required.

  • 28 1-14-2011 at 5:37 pm

    anon said...

    I phrased poorly. I find it baffling that there are all of these people who say, “I can’t think of that many movies!” And then, you turn around and there are all these they missed. Did all of these individuals really write down all the worthy pictures that existed? Maybe, in retrospect, there were things that they didn’t note that perhaps they should have.

    But you’re right that the issues don’t quite align, since theoretically there could be “room” for these movies but other factors kept them out and those “other” factors (genre bias, tastes of AMPAS an exposure) are most responsible and should be addressed.

    On that note, a very critical factor in the differences between such lists and BP nods is foreign films and the top ten unfortunately hasn’t improved that.

    Random, but I find it interesting that in July or August, Kris talked about the possibility of which summer movies (“Toy Story 3”, “Inception,” “The Kids are All Right”) would get BP nods and “Inception” was the weakest player, but now it’s the most secure of the summer players.

    Though FWIW, I do wonder how representative of the sentiments Kris reported with that particular filmmaker are, because Neil B. of District 9 seemed happy about the expansion last year, or said so in “Entertainment Weekly.”

  • 29 1-14-2011 at 6:02 pm

    Maxim said...

    Figured I’d respond with the monicker I’m more known under now.

    Thanks for the clarification, anon. I understand your pont now. I think the biggest issue here is that every year is different and while some years deliver a huge number of great films others don’t contain quite as many .
    All of this is subjective of, course but by rigidly enforcing a ten slot scheme every year (ten is still just an orbitrary number) we not only solved the problems brought up by both us, but potentially do an en even bigger injustive to great films that will be overlooked either due to lack of taste or simply because sometimes even ten isn’t enough. Seeing those films miss the mark might be even more bitter, but I guess that depends on how you look at it. And also, because of variation in numbers of great films I’ve mention above, a larger pool will only increase the disparity between relative and absolute quality.

    I also believe that, ideally, Best Picture nominees should be more than great – they should be the best of the best and while that sounds awfully elitist, I can’t help but think that the necessity to crown ever good or defining film or, looking at BP nominations as a justification of a given film’s greatness is equally extreme.

  • 30 1-14-2011 at 7:17 pm

    James D. said...

    How is it that web-based writers, like our two hosts, do not understand what a troll is? Armond White does not have anything wrong with him, he is making a name for himself in the film criticism world the same way Glenn Beck does in the commentary world?

    Also, he writes his better-than lists every year. I wasn’t sure if you were aware of that.

  • 31 1-14-2011 at 10:17 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Not sure what you’re saying, James.

  • 32 1-14-2011 at 10:49 pm

    Kevin K. said...

    I think James is trying to say that it should have been obvious by now that White is a troll, and it shouldn’t have taken this awards ceremony to show everyone that.

  • 33 1-14-2011 at 11:32 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    He’s frankly been harmless to me in print. Sure, he has grating opinions, but he can speak knowledgeably about those opinions. And he’s dipped into the personal, sure, but this one rubbed me really wrong.

  • 34 1-14-2011 at 11:58 pm

    Kevin K. said...

    I agree. It’s easy just to ignore his well-written nonsense in print, but this crossed a line and really was a display of tastelessness and downright douchbaggery. But as much as I don’t care for Greenberg or much of Noah’s work, when he said that Baumbach’s mother should have aborted him, that’s just absurd and really getting way out of hand.

  • 35 1-15-2011 at 4:31 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Jesus, some of you guys are making me feel old. I knew it was LL Cool J from the very first second.

  • 36 1-15-2011 at 4:54 am

    Kokolo said...

    That song at the beginning was PAINFUL.

  • 37 1-15-2011 at 5:28 am

    the other mike said...

    lol at Guy, it used to be, “you guys are too old” and studgy to not recognise that rap song. but its probably the other way now. a lot of young ones probably not aware that the CSI Los Angeles dude was an og rap star. that song came out in 1990 which is what, 21 years ago? yep, we getting up there age wise.

  • 38 1-15-2011 at 5:31 am

    the other mike said...

    i mean, that song is up there with Eye Of The Tiger for motivating you to want to crack someone.

  • 39 1-15-2011 at 1:24 pm

    Speaking English said...

    I’m incredibly surprised at no mention of Alan Arkin winning for “Little Miss Sunshine.” I highly doubt most would consider that a career-defining performance.

  • 40 1-15-2011 at 2:10 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Eng: Nor was anything else in the category, really.

  • 41 1-15-2011 at 2:17 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Well, for going the ‘serious acting’ route after a sccessful comedy career, and winning plenty of awards leading up to the Oscars — I thought Eddie had it in the bag; Norbit or not.

  • 42 1-15-2011 at 2:36 pm

    Maxim said...

    Bullshit, Speaking English. And you know why I think it’s bullshit? I remember walking out of that movie realtively early in the year and independently thinking that Arking’s turn was Oscarworthy.

  • 43 1-15-2011 at 5:14 pm

    Rex Okpodu said...

    closing music from Oscartalk…Inception?

  • 44 1-16-2011 at 9:55 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Black Swan

  • 45 1-16-2011 at 10:24 am

    DylanS said...

    JJ1: Do you mean to say the Academy Award Nominated film “Norbit” prevented Eddie Murphy from winning an Academy Award? hmmmm, ironic. :)

  • 46 1-20-2011 at 8:22 pm

    Patrick said...

    I guess you’ve probably already recorded, but anyway:
    Last year there was a lot of talk about the preferential ballot and the films that would get #1 Votes that had small but rabid fanbases. This was applied mostly to District 9 and A Serious Man. Can you think of any films this year that are on the margins of the 10 that could be helped by a small constituency of #1 votes? What films are hurt by this?

  • 47 3-01-2011 at 12:16 am

    M. Alexander Renner said...

    All I can say is that I’ve learned more about the art of film from reading White’s column over the past 10 years than I have from anyone other source. He’s continually informed my worldview about the purpose of meaningful cinema. I could do without the hijinks as well, but in our modern climate where independent, intellectual and spiritual voices are almost completely absent from a mainstream media which is vapid and patronizing, I don’t blame him. The fact is, Hollywood is primarily about ego and money. White is one of the few voices who fights for truth in art, against the corruption. I do not always agree with him. But I am also forgiving of eccentricity in the case of brilliance. I do not believe the argument that White stirs up controversy to gain web traffic holds any weight, either.