OSCAR TALK: Ep. 54 — Final predictions and thoughts!

Posted by · 9:03 am · February 25th, 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.

And this, as they say, is it. The penultimate podcast of the season, with nothing but the Oscars between us and the end of this year’s crazy ride. So, it’s time dive into the discourse one more time and read the tea leaves> Let’s see what’s on the docket today…

Well, there’s not much else to discuss, right? Time to lay down our final predictions and offer some thoughts on Oscar’s last weekend, so…that’s what we do!

Have a listen to the new podcast below. It’s a LONG one, with plenty of thinking out loud. 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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→ 47 Comments Tags: , | Filed in: Oscar Talk

47 responses so far

  • 1 2-25-2011 at 9:46 am

    Estefan said...

    Haha, had a good laugh with that first song. You’re obviously an Arrested Development fan.

    Or, at the very least, a lover of cheesy ’80s rock ballads. ;-)

  • 2 2-25-2011 at 9:58 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    The latter, more than the former. :)

  • 3 2-25-2011 at 10:01 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    A terrific listen, as usual. I’d have been interested to hear your preferences as well as your predictions — Kris has already made his plain on the site, but Anne is (perhaps intentionally?) something of a closed book on that front.

    In your discussion of the Best Supporting Actress category, I did actually reply out loud to Anne’s “why not” comment when predicting Helena Bonham Carter: “What about the performance?” Her turn may have its fans, but is it many people’s favourite in the category? Is there enough “there” there? I find it odd that these questions didn’t come up in your discussion, since those are the ones giving me pause.

    I’m also curious as to why Anne thinks the hubbub over the production design in The King’s Speech is so very irrelevant. Admittedly, I put quite a bit of work into researching the story myself, but I still think it’s an interesting one, and not because of the amusing porn connection. Rather, it’s raised the issue of how people define and evaluate an entire craft. Surely that’s relevant?

  • 4 2-25-2011 at 10:06 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I actually almost mentioned something about the performance being on the thin side but forged ahead as it was late in the podcast.

  • 5 2-25-2011 at 10:08 am

    Evan said...

    I agree with Kris on his predictions for both Art Direction and Costume Design, but in all fairness to Anne’s point, there wouldn’t be the old joke about those two categories being “Most Costume Design” and “Most Art Direction” if there weren’t some truth to the point that the Oscar goes usually to the showiest nominee.

    I do think that the online Oscar community is a little too caught up in Sandy Powell’s comment last year that royalty gets the Costume Oscar too often. It happened that way the past four years, but before that, there was a six year period (if you count Gladiator) between royal winners. And *maybe* Powell’s comment will push the win to another type of film.

    In other words, I think it’s a close race and not something so obvious as to merit argument.

  • 6 2-25-2011 at 10:10 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    The showiest nominee in costume design is probably The Tempest. So it’s a fluid point, at best.

  • 7 2-25-2011 at 10:12 am

    Evan said...

    One last point: I think another film would be much more likely to beat The King’s Speech if the other nominated films weren’t so loathsome (in the case of The Tempest and Alice in Wonderland), so random a nominee (in the case of I Am Love), or a Western (True Grit), a genre which never wins.

    I have my fingers crossed for I Am Love, personally.

  • 8 2-25-2011 at 10:21 am

    karol said...

    haha, Kris, you’re such a bully here :P nice to listen

  • 9 2-25-2011 at 10:23 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I know, I got worked up. Last week, too. I’m getting cranky on these this season. Thankfully it’s almost over.

  • 10 2-25-2011 at 10:45 am

    Ken said...

    Good stuff you two…loved the back and forth on God of Love.

  • 11 2-25-2011 at 10:53 am

    Evan said...

    About the Documentary Short category, I’ll say that after sitting through 3 hours and 20 minutes of depressing films, “Strangers No More” gave me just what I needed to see– it was uplifting, it had cute kids of course, and it was funny (the only other film with funny moments was Warriors and even then it was only one or two characters). I give it the edge because it’s so different than the other four nominees.

    The live-Action short category is a mess– I can’t wait to see what happens. My favorite was The Confession, but even it had some serious problems. Nice comments on that category, Kris/Anne.

  • 12 2-25-2011 at 11:03 am

    DarkLayers said...

    On the look and plot of English Patient, gosh knows the art direction was unimpressive. There was ralph feinnes character in his room, the dinner table, the office, the bedroom. I think ‘Inception’ deserves it, but King’s Speech is pretty impressive. And enough to garner a win if they adore the movie.

  • 13 2-25-2011 at 11:20 am

    karol said...

    i feel relived after you changed your Best Supporting Actress prediction to Melissa Leo. you correctly predicted this category since 2002 (i don’t remember earlier picks), and all the signs are showing it’s her to lose.
    Bonham-Carter won only BAFTA award, Hollywood Film Festival award & British Independent Film award. sure BAFTA is the best precursor here, but Swinton & Arkin (examples of BAFTA power in some people’s opinion) had won more than just BAFTA before getting an Oscar for starring in a Best Picture nominee (Swinton-awards from Dallas, Kansas, Vancouver/ Arkin-awards from Vancouver & ISA) …
    on the other hand, if there was a Weinstein’s sweepie vehicle, the supporting actress that won BAFTA also won Oscar like Dench for SiL, Bincohe for TEP, Zeta-Jones for C & Zellweger for CM. but Binoche had also NBoR award and some minor awards, Dench had KansaS award , Zeta-Jones & Zellweger a combo of GG-SAG-BFCA.
    so i guess that if someone’s really going to stole the award from Leo, it’s Steinfeld. she won awards from Kansas, Vancouver, Southeastern Film Critics etc. and let’s not forget she was nominated as a lead at BAFTAs! (same as Weisz, Hudson, Basinger, Thurman, Davis, Tandy, Ashcroft, Lange, Streep, Hawn, Kedrova before-7 of them won the Oscar in the end).
    concluding,i’m still saying it’s gonna be Leo,but one thing is really troubling me.
    since we are able to know the BAFTA longlists, the winner of the SAG supporting award that was shortlisted but didn’t get the nomination in the end, won only once.
    that was Morgan Freeman for Million Dollar Baby, and the possible reason behind it, is that the movie wasn’t seen by many back then at the time.the movie was shortlisted for Actress, Supporting Actor & Adapted Screenplay, but few had a chance to actually see it.
    the other SAG winners that couldn’t get the nom at BAFTA include Paul Giamatti for Cinderella Man, Ruby Dee for American Gangster (she was not even shortlisted while the movie was nominated for Best Picture!!), Eddie Murphy for Dreamgirls (won a combo of SAG-BFCA-GG, but eventually Dreamgirls got only 2 BAFTA nominations) & Melissa Leo for The Fighter…

  • 14 2-25-2011 at 11:24 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    “you correctly predicted this category since 2002”

    Wow, I did? I’ll trust you, lol.

  • 15 2-25-2011 at 11:25 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Yeah, I guess I did. Got Connelly in 2001, too. A lot of easy calls in there, though.

  • 16 2-25-2011 at 11:27 am

    karol said...

    and if it comes to Best Costume Design category, Braveheart, Driving Miss Daisy & Schindler’s List are the only last examples where not-so-showy costumes didn’t win even though the film was perceived as a Best Picture winner.

  • 17 2-25-2011 at 11:27 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    In any case, yeah, I’m with Leo and Steinfeld as an alternate. I’ll kick myself if Steinfeld wins and I bailed on her at the last second.

  • 18 2-25-2011 at 11:28 am

    karol said...

    haha, i remember this ’cause when i was just discovering my Oscar obsession and googled Oscar word, found OscarCentral site :P

  • 19 2-25-2011 at 11:30 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Well, you’ve been a reader for a long time. Happy to see I haven’t alienated you (even with our recent spat). :)

  • 20 2-25-2011 at 11:31 am

    JJ1 said...

    I think ‘The English Patient’ had fine art direction.

    As Anne mentioned: the planes, the cars, the trucks, varied furniture, the hospital tent, the beach scene, the abandoned monastery, the room Feinnes lays in, the church Naveen Andrews takes Binoche in, the fancy parties/buildings Feinnes & KST were in in the flashbacks, the cave. I could go on. Also, are locales/selection of locales also considered art direction?

    I mean, was the art direction on the sparce side? Sure. But it was in every shot and, I thought, impeccable. My win that year would be ‘Hamlet’.

  • 21 2-25-2011 at 12:05 pm

    karol said...

    wounds licked. i just can’t resist reading the posts on this site.but i’m glad this Oscar season is over on Sunday, ’cause i need to catch up with my Uni stuff, and Oscars aren’t helping with concentrating on it;)

  • 22 2-25-2011 at 12:30 pm

    DarkLayers said...

    Anne mentioned actor support for “Black Swan”, but they opted out giving it a supporting actress nod, and most other organizations (BFCA, HFPA, SAG, BAFTA) did.

    Anne mentioned the luncheon, but someone brought up the alphabetical listing with Bening before Portman. I agree Portman’s speeches weren’t as good as say Sandy Bullock or Mo’nique last year, but some of these people who’ve garned several wins over the race didn’t give great speeches most of the time.

  • 23 2-25-2011 at 12:39 pm

    Sawyer said...

    The sets in Hamlet were astonishing. Good call JJ.

  • 24 2-25-2011 at 12:56 pm

    Paul Outlaw said...

    “In your discussion of the Best Supporting Actress category, I did actually reply out loud to Anne’s “why not” comment when predicting Helena Bonham Carter: ‘What about the performance?’ Her turn may have its fans, but is it many people’s favourite in the category?”

    Guy, that is not the sole criteria for why people vote for a particular performance, as you know. There’s also how the person campaigned, how they “performed” at awards ceremonies, if they’re considered due or overdue, if they are generally liked, if the film they’re nominated has long coattails, etc. etc.

    Why not Helena Bonham Carter?

  • 25 2-25-2011 at 1:02 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    People vote based on all sorts of factors, sure. But when it’s up against flashier and/or more substantial performances in Best Picture nominees that are also well-liked, the meagreness of the role has to be a consideration.

  • 26 2-25-2011 at 1:54 pm

    Loyal said...

    Great choice of music this week, Europe and Zimmer.

    Quite the dust up over God of Love. I can’t believe what Anne said. And she didn’t clarify why she feels Luke won’t be a big talent in the future. Anyway, good luck to him and the God of Love team on Sunday!

    I’m actually looking forward to the culling of the Oscar blogging herd. Too many voices saying absolutely nothing.

  • 27 2-25-2011 at 1:59 pm

    Graysmith said...

    Meanwhile in Hollywood:

    The Weinsteins have really gone through with censoring The King’s Speech for a PG-13 rating, and in the process lost any respect I ever had for them. Hard to understand that this is the same guy who valiantly fought for Blue Valentine in December, in the name of artistic freedom.


  • 28 2-25-2011 at 2:07 pm

    DarkLayers said...

    Haha, on the tone of discource, I wonder if this does not tamper down the impulse towards megaphones in the critical community, given how it may have put off moviegoers and industry awards voters.

  • 29 2-25-2011 at 3:47 pm

    Jason Travis said...

    Anne makes some good points about the Best Actress race in regards to Bening having support of the older voters. But that still doesn’t explain then why the majority of Best Actress winners in the past decade have ALL been the younger, hot woman vs. old woman (Bullock beating Streep, Cotillard beating Christie, Winslet beating Streep, Witherspoon beating Huffman, Theron beating Keaton, Berry beating Spacek, Roberts beating Burstyn). Explain where the older voters were then? It just is too bad because Helen Mirren aside, this has always been the Princess category.

  • 30 2-25-2011 at 3:52 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Yeah^, I get that Bening has supporters young & old. But the “older voters” support really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when you break down how Actress has gone in recent years.

  • 31 2-25-2011 at 3:55 pm

    Mike M. said...

    What makes me think HBC has a chance is that she’s been in the industry longer than the other nominees, save for Melissa Leo. She’s known internationally, is in the BP front-runner, and has the added benefit of the “British block.”

    Melissa Leo, Amy Adams and Hailee Steinfeld may split support, allowing for HBC, an actress with smaller but potentially stabler (for reasons mentioned above) support to sneak through.

    Fingers crossed!

  • 32 2-25-2011 at 4:17 pm

    Jason Travis said...

    I have to agree with Kris about the Art Direction/Costume Design-

    Voters DO vote lazily and see an epic, and think “Oh that’s best Costume Design”- look at when Gladiator won costume design. Look at when Marie Atoninette beat Devil Wears Prada.

    Alice in Wonderland is a BAD film. And awards don’t tend to go to badly reviewed movies. Tim Burton, sure, but Batman and Sleepy Hollow and Sweeney Todd were way better received then Alice in Wonderland.

    But back to how the voters go- King’s Speech is TAKING Art Direction and Costumes. And I have to diagree with Ann about the men’s costumes in King’s Speech- Firth wears some very snazzy suits.

  • 33 2-25-2011 at 4:18 pm

    DylanS said...

    Kris: I just wanted to thank you and Anne so much for analyzing theese categories with a litle thing called clarity, which God knows I needed a heaping of to make my final predix. Especially thanks for not just saying your picks for the shorts categories, but actually discussing why you’re voting that way and how you felt about the nominees. It is nice to have something to go by other than just who’s picking what and how many are picking it, so thank you for that.

  • 34 2-25-2011 at 5:08 pm

    daveylow said...

    I totally understand Anne’s argument about Alice’s costumes but do the voters care about that film at all?

    I know that Fincher fans insist he’s such a genius that he should win but he could easily win next year for Dragon Tattoo.

    I hope best song goes to someone else than Randy Newman who already has an Oscar.

  • 35 2-25-2011 at 5:10 pm

    daveylow said...

    I totally understand Anne’s argument about Alice’s costumes but do the voters care about that film at all?

    I know that Fincher fans insist he’s such a genius that he should win but he could easily win next year for Dragon Tattoo.

    I hope best song goes to someone else than Randy Newman who already has an Oscar.

    Also I just don’t see Inception winning four Oscars which means it’s not going to win one of the sound awards or art direction.

  • 36 2-25-2011 at 5:17 pm

    JTag said...

    In my betting pool, I got “Day & Night” and “Wish 143”. I’ve seen the shorts at the Charles Theatre in Baltimore the last two weekends and “The Gruffalo” was the only animated short that did not receive applause (and that includes the two honorary ones at the end of the package). If that wins, I might break my TV screen. “Wish 143” was the only live short that everyone liked in some capacity and didn’t have a “I hated that” contingency.

  • 37 2-25-2011 at 7:11 pm

    DarkLayers said...

    Daveylow, Guy argued against the view that his turn will roll around in 2012.

  • 38 2-25-2011 at 8:27 pm

    Speaking English said...

    The fighting over “God of Love” was hysterical. I listened to it six times.

  • 39 2-25-2011 at 8:32 pm

    bluemoon02 said...

    Anne Thompson’s pronounciation of “Qiugang” is way off and hilarious. no offence. The actual chinese pronounciation is actually http://www.nciku.com/search/all/pinyin/%E4%BB%87%E5%B2%97.
    And I am abit confused, its supposed to be “chou gang” and not ” qiu gang” as based on the chinese characters, but oh well, it could be a result of some dialect version of it or the American distributors kind of mix it up.

  • 40 2-25-2011 at 8:39 pm

    Robert said...


    Anne does make good points about older voters going for Bening. You have to remember that many factors go into winning the Oscar,and in those winners that you gave, those “older” women had already won Oscars, which more than likely had a strong impact on voters choosing the “younger” actress. This year, is quite different, where neither Bening nor Portman have won.

  • 41 2-25-2011 at 9:35 pm

    Alex said...

    Jason, in reference to your comment about younger female leads almost always trumping the older ones in the last decade, if you’ve noticed, all of the older ones you mentioned (bar Huffman) had already won Oscars earlier in their careers.

    Not taking the older contingent of the Academy into account here, might that also have something to do with the fact that both Portman and Bening realistically have very good chances at winning because neither of them have won before, according to your line of reasoning?

  • 42 2-25-2011 at 9:44 pm

    Alex said...

    My apologies, scratch that second paragraph. What I meant to say was this:

    Because neither Portman or Bening have won before, and the only past winner in this category hasn’t got a snowball’s chance in winning this year, a win for either actress seems very realistic.

  • 43 2-25-2011 at 10:25 pm

    BK said...

    ……and now I will have “the final countdown” in my head for an entire week. Thanks a lot :P

  • 44 2-25-2011 at 11:28 pm

    Jason Travis said...

    @Alex and Robert- very true. Wow, didn’t realize that! Well…I would LOVE to see Bening win. Actually Kidman gives the best performance, but she’s won already- I personally would give her by ballot- if you haven’t seen “Rabbit Hole”- SEE IT! Incredible performance by Nicole Kidman, not to mention Eckheart and Wiest.

  • 45 2-26-2011 at 2:54 am

    cinephile said...

    Great, interesting and often funny listen once again! Thank you very much. Man it makes me sad that this is the final Oscar Talk of the season and all the predicting, all the deliberations are over now…

  • 46 2-26-2011 at 11:16 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    I’m actually looking forward to the culling of the Oscar blogging herd.

    Has a cull been announced? Who has been charged with executing it? This is the first I’ve heard of it.