OSCAR TALK: Ep. 53 — BAFTA fallout, foreign language and animated short races, Banksy in L.A.

Posted by · 8:00 am · February 18th, 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.

We’ve got another 10 days left in the 2010-2011 awards season, not that anyone’s counting. That means three more episodes of Oscar Talk and Anne and I will exit stage right, but for now, there is still, as always, plenty to chew on. Let’s see what’s on the docket today…

The BAFTA Awards went down last weekend. We discuss whether it means something or whether it’s just a blip on the season’s radar.

We focus on a couple of categories this week, starting with the Best Foreign Language Film race. Having seen each of the nominees, we both give our personal takes and our expectations for the Oscars.

Also discussed this week: the animated short films. It’s always a tough chore to pick what will resonate with these categories but we give it a try.

Banksy is in Los Angeles this week, making his presence known and keeping people talking about “Exit Through the Gift Shop.” Worth discussing.

This weekend brings the ACE and CAS awards, so we offer some quick anticipatory thoughts on those.

And finally, reader questions. We address queries concerning Facebook’s potential influence on the race, how we’d improve the show and what it means to “campaign” for an Oscar.

Have a listen to the new podcast below. 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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63 responses so far

  • 1 2-18-2011 at 9:04 am

    DarkLayers said...

    Just to clarify, True Grit won the cinematography BAFTA.

  • 2 2-18-2011 at 9:07 am

    Bryan said...

    Amen. Give me a six hour show.

  • 3 2-18-2011 at 9:14 am

    red_wine said...

    You two committed blasphemy. Didn’t you two just tear Dogtooth apart? Dogtooth is a great movie. Its not a shlocky cheap exploitation movie. It is symbolic its true but it is magnificent film-making of the highest order that is provocative but not in a cheap way.

    It is dazzling written, directed and performed and if nothing else, just that puts it in a category of its own. It is the best film nominated in any category for any award this year at the Oscars (from what I have seen and I have seen almost all).

  • 4 2-18-2011 at 9:20 am

    Brock Landers said...

    The Dogtooth trash talk was over the top. It’s an incredible film and saying you’d rather 5 mundane films get in over it is kind of pathetic.

  • 5 2-18-2011 at 9:27 am

    karol said...

    i’m not surprised you trashed Dogtooth, afterall American people likes simple movies that don’t force them to think and analyze:)
    Dogtooth reminds me a bit of The Clockwork Orange…

  • 6 2-18-2011 at 9:31 am

    Maxim said...

    I largelly agree with everything that was sad, especially in regards to the Oscar ceremony.

    I am a little suprised to hear you say, you wouldn’t nominate Deaking this year though. It IS an impressive looking film and some of the shots in the later half, really transcend simple things like “beauty” and really become quite poetic. I’m specifically thinking back to the sequence of Mattie Ross and Cogburn riding back home.

    And speaking of shots, are you going to be limiting yourself to just one per film in your Ten Best list (I don’t think I remember you ever including more than one in any of the previous list)? I ask this because my favorite other shot from Inception is the one of DiCaprio’s slo-mo raising from a bath and haivng water on his face completely distort his look. Great stuff.

  • 7 2-18-2011 at 9:33 am

    JJ1 said...

    Did not enjoy Dogtooth. Did not find it earth-shattering in it’s message/gravitas.

  • 8 2-18-2011 at 9:40 am

    Andrej said...

    I think Dogtooth is largely overrated, but if you can stomach it, it’s very funny in a dark kind of way. It’s not a brand of comedy I get to see everyday, and that’s why I embrace it regardless of its flaws.

  • 9 2-18-2011 at 10:04 am

    DarkLayers said...

    On the one word game, Pete Hammond when for schitzophrenic earlier. The industry for “King’s Speech” and media-oriented groups going for “Social Network” during phase 1.
    I think there’s something to that. King’s Speech did get the period ADG award, and costume designers are next week. And in terms of the sweep mentality, Anne didn’t mention changing her opinion on score.

  • 10 2-18-2011 at 10:31 am

    Paul Outlaw said...

    How many actors can say that they appeared in four Oscar-nominated films in the same year? Is this some kind of a record that HBC has achieved?

  • 11 2-18-2011 at 10:32 am

    Anita said...

    How could The King’s Speech win Best Editing? There are so many other categories where people who are gaga about it could reward it and somehow justify their choice, but it winning in this category would be mindboggling. They cannot be that lazy.

  • 12 2-18-2011 at 10:38 am

    Maxim said...

    “How many actors can say that they appeared in four Oscar-nominated films in the same year? Is this some kind of a record that HBC has achieved?”

    I think John C. Reily, of all people, appeared in 3 BP nominated films in 2002 (and that was a year of 5).

  • 13 2-18-2011 at 10:40 am

    DarkLayers said...

    Oh, and this TV line does seem to come up quite a bit for “The Social Network.” For example, the industry indisder who posted here with multiple AMPAS and guild members in his or her family said a writer friend made that observation.

    It’s on David Eng’s blog, though I strongly disagree with much of what he says about the movie:


    I know Kris thinks the industry-critics split notion is somewhat misguided, and I understand why. But the SAG-PGA-DGA crown on one, and the NYFCC-LAFCA-NSFC on the other do constitute noteworthy accomplishments with these different groups. This “TV” feel may be a part of that.

  • 14 2-18-2011 at 10:53 am

    Loyal said...

    Thanks for answering my question, for the second week in a row no less.

    I agree 100% with Kris and Anne about the length of the Oscar broadcast. I love the Oscars, give me a 3 hour show! Side note: I’m seeing Bingham in concert next month, can’t wait.

    I also agree wholeheartedly with Kris’ closing comments about taking a step back. This award season has been a sad one for Oscar punditry.

    Also, speaking of The Lost Thing (my pick for Best Animated Short), it’s now online


    Not that I didn’t enjoy Day & Night, but I feel The Lost Thing trumps it as both art and entertainment. It fits perfectly in line with previous winners in the Animated Short category.

  • 15 2-18-2011 at 11:37 am

    Bryan said...

    Regarding Dogtooth: we just proved the aptness of Kris’s word ‘ugly’ to describe this awards season. Chill out, people. I’m not going to lose it because everyone hates The Village even though I think it a wonderful movie.

    And I did not like Dogtooth, mainly for the reasons discussed in the show, but that’s neither here nor there.

  • 16 2-18-2011 at 11:45 am

    Maxim said...

    I liked The Village.

  • 17 2-18-2011 at 12:17 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Ha. I liked The Village, too. I have one other friend who liked it. The rest – great dislike. To each his/her own.

  • 18 2-18-2011 at 12:33 pm

    Scott W. said...

    Radiohead’s new album is out!!!

  • 19 2-18-2011 at 1:08 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Thanks, DarkLayers. I think I had ASC on the brain when I said that. So many awards.

    And I’d like to think we’re above idiocy like Karol’s comment around here, but to Brock’s (oversold) point, the process that saw Dogtooth nominated was anything but pure, and that’s what we’re criticizing by saying what we did.

  • 20 2-18-2011 at 1:51 pm

    Andrew M said...

    Yeah John C. Reily was in 3 of the BP noms in 2003, was nominated for Supp. Actor, and was in The Aviator the next year. That’s a pretty good run.

    What Scott W. said.

  • 21 2-18-2011 at 1:55 pm

    Brock Landers said...

    *And I’d like to think we’re above idiocy like Karol’s comment around here, but to Brock’s (oversold) point, the process that saw Dogtooth nominated was anything but pure, and that’s what we’re criticizing by saying what we did.*

    That’s fair, but what does that say about the process of voting in the other categories? There must be impure practices used in order to shake up a category and nominate something that (regardless of whether you liked it or not) took some big chances and did not pander to the mainstream? That seems kind of sad.

    And I don’t mean to criticize you at all, but many people often complain about categories being dull and predictable, but then something like Dogtooth gets in and people start complaining. Was the process really so bad that you would rather see 5 mediocre and dull films get nominated? I don’t know the details, but I can’t imagine.

    I believe it was Anne who talked about when the people who nominated it saw the screening of it. They didn’t really respond very well to it at first, but then warmed up to it greatly when they talked about it afterward at dinner. That’s the kind of story I love hearing.

  • 22 2-18-2011 at 1:58 pm

    maurier said...

    The nominating process in the foreign language category it’s not perfect, but I cannot imagine one country submitting (for example) more than one movie – the entries from Greece or Peru wouldn’t stand a chance to get noticed in the bunch including 10 highly publicized French movies.

    Anyway, the Academy always votes for the movie made in the “American style” and this year it’s “In a better world”.

  • 23 2-18-2011 at 2:03 pm

    Evan said...

    Fun episode guys- I love hearing people talk about the foreign language films and animated shorts. You were, however, the first people I’ve heard to both hate Dogtooth (excluding squeamish folks) and the first to say it was a bad pick on the part of the committee– when the alternatives were something like Spain or South Africa’s films, is it really such a bad pick? We already have one ‘meh’-worthy film in “Outside the Law.” I wouldn’t have minded Japan’s though.

    “I believe that Amy Adams gave the better performance and Melissa Leo is overacting.” Completely agree, Anne. Then you say Alice in Wonderland is “gorgeous visually.” *screeching halt* Haha.

    In my mind, the best animation in the animated short category was Madagascar (The Lost Thing was second best), but my favorite was The Gruffalo. The Lost Thing was beautiful but I found it terribly boring and a little mopey (“Guess we’re all too busy nowadays to notice…” blech.)

    Finally, a question: when you guys talk about hearing from Oscar voters what they’re thinking about particular pictures, how do you get this info? Are we talking about a conversation here and there, he-said-she-said, or something more scientific?

  • 24 2-18-2011 at 2:17 pm

    karol said...

    i guess Kris you feel as a superhuman just because you’re the *big* writer here. if you call someone with some less than nice words, first look in the mirror. idiocy is all over your fascinating ‘persona’

  • 25 2-18-2011 at 3:05 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Brock: It just reeks of bullshit is all. But a number of Oscar-related things do anyway.

    Karol: I think few would argue that what you wrote, aimed at Anne and Me, was out of line. Idiocy is what I call it, though maybe it borders on something worse.

  • 26 2-18-2011 at 3:13 pm

    DarkLayers said...

    Karol, I don’t think he feels solely that he is the big writer here. Guessing someone doesn’t like to think or analyze because they don’t share your views is mean-spirited and presumptous. It would be one thing if you politely pointed something out that their analysis missed or some way in which it was off the mark. But instead you used his nationality and generalizations to dismiss their opinions.

  • 27 2-18-2011 at 3:21 pm

    Kevin K. said...

    I agree with Kris and Anne on Dogtooth. It’s an awful film, and presumptuous to boot, assuming it can get by on shock value alone. But there’s no meaning or value to any of the forced social “commentary” in the film. It’s a film that reeks of street-cred pick. Which is exactly why the way it was selected as one of the nominees by the committee is bullshit. That branch fails year after year when they can’t nominate Gomorrah or Let the Right One In yet they go for Dogtooth? Fail.

  • 28 2-18-2011 at 3:24 pm

    Kevin K. said...

    Also, I have to say that Dogtooth’s greatest accomplishment is that it actually made me like and appreciate Antichrist, a film I felt was critically flawed, a lot more. There’s something to be said about making a Lars Von Trier film look subtle by comparison I guess.

  • 29 2-18-2011 at 3:36 pm

    Manos said...

    Dogtooth is the most daring pick of this years’ Oscars. And you can say whatever you want… speek to the hand…

  • 30 2-18-2011 at 3:49 pm

    Conor said...

    I wish that in general people didn’t associate “daring” with good.

  • 31 2-18-2011 at 3:53 pm

    karol said...

    Mr. Tapley, maybe you need to start thinking of wearing glasses, because at the end of my sentence was a smile, which meant you cannot treat the thought i’ve written too serious. but now it’s not the point if you have a sense of humor or not, or if you should contact a doctor cause you might be having some problems with your eyes (or some other parts of your body, hopefully not), it’s about you using words you should think twice about, so easily. yeah, in the internet world it’s so easy to call someone you cannot look into eyes an idiot without knowing the context. you, as a writer and the defender of language being in the jeopardy of its vulgarization, should behave different way!

    and finally, back to the main reason i even commented in the first place. i think there are many differences between Europeans & Americans, few can argue it’s not like that. we have different history, sense of humor, different taste, we like it ‘harder’, we like it ‘different’, we like it ‘braver’, we don’t like the short cuts in the cinema ’cause then it gets to repetetive.
    Dogtooth, is a dark comedy about our modern world taking a bit from Josef Fritzl story. it reminds us we cannot be sure who our neighbor really is, it pays our attention to the anxiety our world is constantly living in, and that is something Europeans & Americans have in common, we share same problems but we have different ways of telling them, and by different you cannot say bad or worse than yours.

  • 32 2-18-2011 at 3:53 pm

    qwiggles said...

    “Sensational, exploitative, and horrible.” Anne and I have our Dogtooth-Incendies reactions backwards.

  • 33 2-18-2011 at 3:55 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Conor FTW.

    By the way, Kevin, in fairness to the committee, they didn’t have a chance to nominate Let the Right One In as Sweden submitted Everlasting Moments instead. But point taken regardless.

  • 34 2-18-2011 at 3:58 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Truth in all “jokes,” Karol. But apologies if I read too much into it. Personally I don’t think nationality has a place in this discussion, but that’s me.

  • 35 2-18-2011 at 4:05 pm

    Kevin K. said...

    I wasn’t aware of that actually. But as you pointed out in the podcast, the way countries chose what films to submit (and the fact that they can only submit one) is suspect. Like I said, that branch just fails year after year with their broken nomination process.

  • 36 2-18-2011 at 4:09 pm

    qwiggles said...

    As for Dogtooth, I agree that it enjoys its prurience and snickers contentedly along the way. But that seems more a description than a criticism of a film that is transparent about its intentions, and spells its allegory out right off the top. The great thing about Dogtooth for me is that it fleshes its one joke out with a character for whom this unbelievable situation has real physical and developmental consequences. ‘Eldest’ starts off as a flat punchline, but that scene in the bathroom near the end has real emotional weight for me: it’s uncommonly affecting to see a seemingly empty-headed character make a serious decision which is at once radical and totally in line with her utter inexperience.

    And I don’t think the movie is condescending to her: it seems genuinely touched and troubled by both the discovery she’s come to and the pathetic limitations of it. Or at least I was touched.

  • 37 2-18-2011 at 4:13 pm

    karol said...

    i just meant that every country has its own ‘mark’ if it comes to filmmaking. Czechs are known for lighthearted comedies with situational humor, Poland always tells sad & depressing stories about their sad & depressing history, Swedish people like it more cinematic & less talkative, Spain produces a lot of hot crazy stuff, Americans loves stories about overcoming difficulties & their nationality & attachement to the great country full of freedom etc. and the Greek cinema as of lately deals with with the cultural identity problems associated with the new Europe, especially the unprecedented influx of refugees fleeing collapsing states in the region. you cannot fully admire the filmmaking of each country if you don’t know the’ background’, and you cannot call it bad or trashy if you just didn’t get it, because in our world we are always saying one word too much…
    p.s. i’m not Greek, i’m not defending the film because of the nationality, i’m a student of the history of filmmaking

  • 38 2-18-2011 at 4:50 pm

    Jim T said...

    Though a disscussion has already taken place, I’d like to say a few things about Dogtooth.

    Well, let’s say both your and Anne’s comments were unfortunate. You’re basically saying that a film many people (critics and otherwise) loved, was chosen just so they can brag about how cool they are but you two were able to see right through its pretentiousness.
    I thought the movie justified its “weird” means and managed to make tis point.
    To say that it was suposed to attack/shock a particular group of people for the sake of attacking/socking is an unwelcome assumption.
    You certainly aren’t so hard on movies that actually exist mainly to make money if you happen to like them.
    And I do think a “daring choice” is a good choice. Quality is subjective. Riskiness, not so much.
    For example, you obviously think The King’s Speech is a good choice because you like it. But is that a strong reason?
    Picking a far from mainstream film is because it shows openmindedness.
    Based on the general tastes of the Academy, it’s not crazy to say that they just wanted to improve their image, but not in the case a movie so many people admired, whether it was right after they had watched it or after additional consideration.

  • 39 2-18-2011 at 5:07 pm

    Kevin K. said...

    Karol: So what you’re saying is that Kris doesn’t have the right to call a film he didn’t like a bad film because he’s American and the film isn’t American? That’s some epic bullshit if I ever heard it.

  • 40 2-18-2011 at 5:19 pm

    Graysmith said...

    These last few Oscar Talks feel like they’ve been more or less just endless arguing. I couldn’t make it through all of last week’s podcast, and I’m only ten minutes into this one and I just can’t keep listening to this. If it is because there really isn’t much of anything to talk about except to endlessly argue your own viewpoints, I don’t know.. But maybe next year cut down the Oscar Talks in the last few weeks?

  • 41 2-18-2011 at 5:44 pm

    Loyal said...

    My previous comment is still pending moderation but big Oscar broadcast changes were announced today.

    – Virtual sets including some based on animated films.

    – No film montages.

    – No 5 acting winners as presenters.

  • 42 2-18-2011 at 6:25 pm

    Glenn said...

    I’m so glad Kris and Anne didn’t like “Dogtooth”. Every single arthouse cliche is on display with that one.

    And the bit about the season being “ugly” is spot on. A certain female Oscar webmaster blocked me on Twitter because I accused her (and Scott Feinberg for that matter) of being PR machines for The Social Network (and Melissa Leo). This was not the year for transparency, was it?

  • 43 2-18-2011 at 6:35 pm

    Jason Travis said...

    Where are her podcasts? All I see is articles and recent posts. When I searched Podcasts, nothing came up.

  • 44 2-18-2011 at 7:15 pm

    DarkLayers said...

    Um, Oscar Poker. I think she has some posts pertaining to it.

  • 45 2-18-2011 at 7:18 pm

    Mike said...

    Kris, I understand the thought process of them not understand what is Art Direction and what is a Visual Effect in regards to Inception…but didn’t Avatar win that award last year?

  • 46 2-18-2011 at 7:31 pm

    Frank Lee said...

    Kris asks how one can argue with the editing of “Inception.” I found the editing the weakest element of the film in that the pacing was monotonously bam-bam-bam-bam. The editing kept the plot clear–that’s very important–but it wasn’t enjoyable to watch, and that’s related directly to the editing (and the emptiness of the material).

  • 47 2-18-2011 at 7:52 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Graysmith: Some think we’re too cordial and don’t argue enough. Can’t please everyone I guess.

  • 48 2-18-2011 at 7:54 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Mike: Yes, and that’s my point, as in, that’s how I was justifying a potential win for the film there, in so much as I don’t think it would be for the “correct” reasons for a great many.

    Jason: ?

  • 49 2-18-2011 at 10:50 pm

    Hans said...

    BAFTA was all too willing to give Slumdog a sweep, even in technical categories it didn’t deserve (Cinematography, Editing, Sound). If TKS really is so beloved, the below-the-line folks should have been all too willing to check the film off in a heart beat. The only tech it won was Music. The only tech guild it has won is Art Direction in its own period category. If an editor doesn’t think TKS is deserving of its own award, then I don’t see him/her being that eager to check it off for Art Direction. I don’t think tech departments necessarily work independently of each other; the Makeup artists surely have to work together with the Costume Designers, and an Editor needs to know what good art direction looks like in order to sew the movie together.