In Contention


OSCAR TALK: Ep. 55 — Special Edition! — Oscars postmortem

Posted by Kristopher Tapley · 1:03 pm · February 28th, 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.

The 2010-2011 film awards season has finally drawn to a close. And what a ride it was. After a weekend full of parties and awards shows, Anne and I are here on the final day of coverage this season to offer our thoughts on what was. So let’s get on with it and see what’s on the docket today…

The long weekend started Thursday with an IFC Films party at Soho House (which housed a number of gatherings this week), continued through some events on Friday, and a big day on Saturday. We recount what we were up to throughout.

Also on Saturday were the Independent Spirit Awards. Both Anne and I were on hand. We give our thoughts on the winners and reaction to the growing pains of the production.

Let’s see, what else? Oh yeah, the Oscars happened. Naturally, there is plenty to talk about, from prediction tallies to winner thoughts to, of course, the production itself.

And finally, a couple of reader questions. Not too many this time, though, but thank you for submitting.

Thanks to everyone for listening. The second year of Oscar Talk has been a blast and I hope we entertained and, in some small way, informed you along the way. And thanks, of course, to my colleague Anne Thompson for being a class act and a formidable colleague.

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.

Subscribe to Oscar Talk

Back-up download: Oscar Talk Episode 55




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47 responses so far

  • 1 2-28-2011 at 1:08 pm

    Mike Ward said...

    Awesome year Kris and Anne. Thank you for great insight, not just about the Oscars, but the whole season in general. Enjoy the “break”!

  • 2 2-28-2011 at 1:24 pm

    Ben M. said...

    My guess is now that Inception would have been the fifth nominee instead of Black Swan, it did very well both with the guilds and academy and really only the editing snub was the only thing that would perhaps make me question the slot.

    I don’t see how True Grit would’ve missed with directing, writing, two acting, and five technical noms.

  • 3 2-28-2011 at 1:39 pm

    JJ1 said...

    I’d say TKS, TSN, The Fighter, & True Grit were the top 4.

    5th is a real toss-up between BS and Inception.

    I think Inception would have gotten it. Inception just missed directing/editing. But it was nommed 8 times and won 4. There also would have been a slight backlash if Inception missed out, as TDK did. And perhaps many voters would have been fine listing it in BP, without ‘having’ to acknowledge it in directing.

    Black Swan felt like a real afterthought come nomination morning. And as many have said, it’s not an AMPAS film.

    Either way, if this were a year of 5, whoever was 6th, the fans of that movie would have been LIVID.

    Furthermore, fans of Toy Story 3 would also have been livid to be in 7/8/9th; missing out.

  • 4 2-28-2011 at 1:43 pm

    Brian Whisenant said...

    It was a great year. This weekend I was so Oscar obsessed, I listened to the last several Oscar Talk eps just for fun. Seriously…Kris…you and Anne are so good together. I look forward to one day when you have your screenplay/film up on screen.

    Honestly, I don’t think I can listen to this until WAY later.

  • 5 2-28-2011 at 1:49 pm

    Hero said...

    Great podcast as always. I’ll miss this a lot over the next few months.

  • 6 2-28-2011 at 1:55 pm

    RichardA said...

    This is nice.

  • 7 2-28-2011 at 2:01 pm

    Loyal said...

    Thanks for asking Anne my question Kris. “Goofy” is a step up from last week, LOL.

    And a big thanks to everyone here at In Contention for the best Oscar coverage around. And thanks to the readers as well, always great conversation and debate.

    I look forward to the long Oscar break and getting back to the real world. Before we know it, it’ll be September.

  • 8 2-28-2011 at 2:04 pm

    Sam C. said...

    Last Oscar Talk until May? Aw man.

    Thanks for a great season, Kris and Anne. You two always have the most lucid and level-headed things to say about the races in this podcast, it’s always such a delight to hear it each week.

    Until May!

    And enjoy your hibernation, Kris!

  • 9 2-28-2011 at 2:05 pm

    Mark said...

    As a listener to every podcast this year I just want to say a big thank you to both Kris and Anne, Oscar Talk has been both informative and entertaining. Looking forward to you starting it all up again later in the year.

  • 10 2-28-2011 at 2:09 pm

    Kieran S said...

    *Sniff* It’s like the season finale of one of my favorite shows.

  • 11 2-28-2011 at 2:14 pm

    Mike said...

    Thank you, Kris and Anne, for all of the excellent coverage and incredibly engaging listening over the past few months. I actually got a little teary-eyed when you told us, and each other, good-bye for now… though that might just be the Oscar-hangover emotionalism at work… .

    Thanks again for such an outstanding podcast, and enjoy your much-deserved time off!

  • 12 2-28-2011 at 2:15 pm

    Jim said...

    Thanks a lot guys! Loved listening to Oscar Talk every week.

    Hope you guys have a well deserved break!

  • 13 2-28-2011 at 2:20 pm

    Evan said...

    I’m glad for “Strangers No More.” I don’t really see it as the best-made film in its category, as Anne says– moreso, it was the only uplifting film. The other four were just *so* depressing! And if they were screened in the same order as they were in theaters, the fifth spot surely helped too (after two hours, 40 minutes of sadness, its chipper attitude made me like SNM even more).

    Why would Melissa Leo want to drop the f-bomb? Because she wanted to pretend like she wasn’t expecting the win. Unfortunately, even in her speech she’s an over-actor.

  • 14 2-28-2011 at 2:26 pm

    Drew said...

    I liked what you said about Spacey Kris, you need someone with a theatrical background to host these things. Hathaway was much better than Franco was…take a guess as to why.

  • 15 2-28-2011 at 2:27 pm

    DarkLayers said...

    One of the things on the docket after Cannes should be the possibility of “Tree of Life” for a cinematography win for its DP.

    This has been noted before, but does this season further stress the importance of “festivals” on the journey?

  • 16 2-28-2011 at 2:43 pm

    Afrika said...

    Great talk as always. You and Anne have beautiful chemistry.

    All I have to say about awards season is, “GOOD FUCKING RIDDANCE.” Glad I didn’t watch the show.

  • 17 2-28-2011 at 2:45 pm

    Andrej said...

    It’s been awesome to keep up with your weekly audio coverage of the Oscar season. Thank you, Kris and Anne for making these for so long ☺

    And as JJ1 said, yeah, I think that Inception was in the top 5 after all. Maybe if Black Swan had just a few more nominations I’d say no to that, even if Portman ended up being the only winner from that film. Both movies were the only ones to get nods from all guilds across the board, so just getting 5 nods, and only two for the tech awards really sounds to me like a lower ranked film than Inception to the Academy at large. Inception missed two very important nods, but it got everything else right.

  • 18 2-28-2011 at 2:56 pm

    Loyal said...

    Reading some of the reports from today, it seems that Spielberg ad-libbed that bit about ““If you are one of the other nine movies that don’t win, you will be in the company of The Grapes of Wrath, Citizen Kane, The Graduate, and Raging Bull.”

    That doesn’t surprise me. He strikes me as someone who’s fascinated with technology, sees a young Spielberg in Mark Zuckerberg, and probably voted The Social Network as #1 over his own executive produced True Grit.

  • 19 2-28-2011 at 3:04 pm

    DarkLayers said...

    Since Loyal mentioned Speilberg, there is one thing I do wonder about in terms of Nolan and his luck with AMPAS.

    One potential factor for him is genre, as Kevin K. pointed out, less than a dozen science fiction or fantasy movies have received that. Ben Affleck praised Inception. Del Toro seemed impressed meeting Nolan. James Cameron tweeted his appreciation of the movie. Could it be a factor that there weren’t that many people who did sci-fi in the director’s branch? All of which leads me to wonder, what would Steven Speilberg think of it.

    One quirk in loyal’s theory is Speilberg has a reputation as sentimental, which Social Network is not.

  • 20 2-28-2011 at 3:17 pm

    Loyal said...

    “One quirk in loyal’s theory is Speilberg has a reputation as sentimental, which Social Network is not.”

    Indeed. But I also read “The Men Who Would Be King: An Almost Epic Tale of Moguls, Movies, and a Company Called DreamWorks ” last month while I was in Maui on holiday. Spielberg definitely has Zuckerberg traits behind closed doors and one would think, an appreciation for various aspects of The Social Network.

  • 21 2-28-2011 at 3:27 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Yes, Spielberg’s films are sentimental because he’s actually quite cynical himself.

  • 22 2-28-2011 at 3:40 pm

    Kokolo said...

    I had a total Deja Vu at about 21:30. Like I heard it before :/. Deja Vu are really freaky.

  • 23 2-28-2011 at 3:40 pm

    Emma said...

    Anne Thompson just can’t let Natalie Portman have it. It’s obvious by now that Anne Thompson holds her in low regard and doesn’t think she deserves it but it doesn’t matter who said they were surprised and how close it was; she won!

  • 24 2-28-2011 at 3:59 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Kris, now that the season is over, can you give us any nuggets you heard from voters or other insiders on just how close some of the vote totals probably were (in any category)?

    Are you or anyone you know privvy to such information. i.e., you and Anne seem pretty sure that it was very close btwn. Natalie & Annette. To quote you, Kris … “why?” ;-)

  • 25 2-28-2011 at 3:59 pm

    daveylow said...

    Powell or Desplat should have won score. I’m disgusted that these wonderful film composers lost.

    I wish I could hear Kris and Anne talk about films outside of the Oscar season.
    Thank you so much!

    I’ll be at Toronto for 10 days again this year but I’m not sure I’ll be following the Oscar race next year.

    I want to add on thing: I know there were a lot of people who were upset with Hooper’s win. I was happy for him. He was not a Hollywood insider and was known for his TV work and still won.

  • 26 2-28-2011 at 4:05 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Also to add, I will sorely miss these podcasts. They are absolutely wonderful. And enjoy the time off, Kris.

  • 27 2-28-2011 at 4:12 pm

    DarkLayers said...

    Loyal and Kris–in that case, I can totally picture Speilberg going “Social Network.”

    It is also of interest that both “ET” and “Saving Private Ryan” did lose to period movies.

    I would also suggest that for people who wanted this to be over. I think the week after SAG, it became exhausting.

  • 28 2-28-2011 at 4:21 pm

    Marc R. said...

    As always, great podcast Kris. And thank you for all your great coverage this year. I hope the Oscar race doesn’t end up killing you off as it seems to be doing lol.

    For the record, 18/24 w/ the oscars. Happy about Inception’s haul and TSN score win. Nothing else really mattered to me, although i hit myself in the head when Alice in Wonderland won art direction since the costume design win (which i gave to TKS) was inevitable at that point.

  • 29 2-28-2011 at 4:22 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    JJ: Don’t really know. We just heard a lot of Annette votes is all, enough to at least suggest it wasn’t a runaway for Portman.

  • 30 2-28-2011 at 5:03 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Gotcha.

  • 31 2-28-2011 at 5:07 pm

    Kicksotic said...

    From experience, I know Spielberg is, at heart, a sentimental guy with a soft spot for movies with soaring emotions that touch his heart. Cynical when it comes to business and what will or won’t sell. Cynical when it comes to brutally butchering some poor writer’s rewrites because he knows what works for his audience and what doesn’t.

    But when it comes to sitting in a darkened screening room with a bag of popcorn, he’s a sucker for movies that make him feel. That are an emotional experience with a Big Payoff at the end that pulls the ol’ heart strings.

    With that in mind — and knowing Kate wasn’t a huge fan of of the film –, I doubt very much Spielberg voted for TSN.

    He either played the good solider and cast his vote for True Grit knowing it wouldn’t win but unable to vote against one of his own. Or he listened to his sentimental heart and voted for TKS.

    And I, too, Kris heard a lot of Annette votes as well as HBC votes. It’d be interesting to know how razor close Leo’s win was.

  • 32 2-28-2011 at 5:43 pm

    qwiggles said...

    “He either played the good solider and cast his vote for True Grit knowing it wouldn’t win but unable to vote against one of his own. Or he listened to his sentimental heart and voted for TKS.”

    Oh come on now. He may well have voted for TKS if it was his favourite, but True Grit has plenty to chew on for sentimental tastes. And remember that the preferential ballot system is such that if he put True Grit at #1 and TKS at #2, his vote was likely redistributed to TKS somewhere down the line.

  • 33 2-28-2011 at 6:15 pm

    Marv said...

    I’ve heard a few talk about Natalie Portman’s supposed attitude in her acceptance speeches this season; not to make a excuse for her; but! isn’t the woman pregnant?

    I mean I’m a man; and I can’t even imagine what her hormones are going through.

  • 34 2-28-2011 at 6:17 pm

    Marv said...

    Her attitude prior to last night’s speech( which was wonderful) I mean.

  • 35 2-28-2011 at 6:50 pm

    Glenn said...

    Aw, thanks Kris and Anne! It’ll be sad to no longer have your interesting and refreshingly composed podcasts to look forward too. One suggestion for next year? More of Guy’s perfect accent, please.

  • 36 2-28-2011 at 6:52 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Marv: Indeed, and it’s not a shot, really. Just an observation.

  • 37 2-28-2011 at 10:22 pm

    Samuel said...

    Interesting discussion. My general preference for reading over listening has meant I’ve missed most of these, but I’m glad I listened to this one.

    Through my own ruminations I came to the conclusion that the five would have been TSN, TKS, Fighter, True Grit and Inception. Leaving Aronofsky with the auteur spot in the directors’ line up. I think the wins for Inception, particularly cinematography (given that SFX and at least one of the sound ones, probably editing, was a gimmie), suggest that it would’ve squeezed in.

  • 38 2-28-2011 at 10:27 pm

    Samuel said...

    Also, in regards to the show, you spoke about the show structure. I haven’t watched Oscarcasts for very long, but Hugh Jackman’s hosting gig had a similar structure. I remember thinking it was quite a good effort (especially compared to the two years since).

    I agree that they just need to make it about the movies and the process of making them. Why the obsession with trying to change it every year? Why not settle in on a good formula and framework for the show and, even if you change hosts, stick with that for a few years?

  • 39 3-01-2011 at 6:07 pm

    JTag said...

    Kris, did anyone ever point you to the clip you were referring to that everyone raved about? http://oscar.go.com/award-show/video/vd_VD55115026/pl_PL55113781
    It was the montage set to Reznor’s/Ross Hall of the Mountain King.

  • 40 3-01-2011 at 8:06 pm

    Speaking English said...

    Kris, the “opening” that everyone was talking about was indeed that wonderful Hathaway/Franco filmed bit where they inserted themselves into different films, but before that sequence was a little montage of the 10 nominated films set to “In the Hall of the Mountain King.” It was really nice.

    I’m totally baffled at what some people are saying about Spielberg. Did he not also list the films that DID win Best Picture, including “The Godfather” and “On the Waterfront?” I’d say that’s equally good company to the films he mentioned that didn’t win.

  • 41 3-01-2011 at 8:07 pm

    Speaking English said...

    Heh, well there’s the clip (thanks JTag).

  • 42 3-01-2011 at 8:57 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    No, actually it was the montage I was referring to (lots of people thought it well done — same guy did the montage that aired just before the Best Pic presentation), not the Inception thing (which I still think was kinda lame and MTV Movie Awards-ish). But I remembered it eventually. Thanks to JTag for posting the clip, though.

  • 43 3-02-2011 at 1:51 am

    Jim T said...

    It’s been a great series of podcasts and a great coverage overall!

  • 44 3-02-2011 at 3:52 am

    Celine said...

    Thanks for all the podcasts and yes please do a Cannes podcast (likely to be great line-up if early rumours are true).

  • 45 3-02-2011 at 5:52 am

    JJ1 said...

    Speaking English said “I’m totally baffled at what some people are saying about Spielberg. Did he not also list the films that DID win Best Picture, including “The Godfather” and “On the Waterfront?” I’d say that’s equally good company to the films he mentioned that didn’t win.”

    Very true. I just don’t see a story there, either (Spielberg subliminally saying something). Nor did I see the Franco is disrespectful/high thing. He just wasn’t equipped to host the Oscahhhhs.

    The only things I didn’t like during the night were the presenters (so many stumbled, bumbled, or were disinterested), and The King’s Speech “speech” being played over the Best Picture montage.

    Otherwise, it was no better or worse than any other year where people cry that it sucked.

  • 46 3-02-2011 at 5:52 am

    Maxim said...

    “From experience, I know Spielberg is, at heart, a sentimental guy with a soft spot for movies with soaring emotions that touch his heart. Cynical when it comes to business and what will or won’t sell. Cynical when it comes to brutally butchering some poor writer’s rewrites because he knows what works for his audience and what doesn’t. ”

    With that in mind — and knowing Kate wasn’t a huge fan of of the film –, I doubt very much Spielberg voted for TSN.

    He either played the good solider and cast his vote for True Grit knowing it wouldn’t win but unable to vote against one of his own. Or he listened to his sentimental heart and voted for TKS.”

    With all due respect, can you get any more presumptious? Jezzus. You don’t even acknowledge the possibility that he DIDN’T think King’ Speech was the best movie of the year. And if you knew a thing about the guy, you’d have known that when he really likes a film in a race, he makes it known (Avatar being just a recent example). Just like he, supposedly didn’t at all like Life is Beautiful. So please don’t pretend like you have the guy figured out. And stop reading so much into what was just a diplomatic and not at all inappropriate intro.

    Also, don’t paint the guy like some sort of a ruthless crybaby. He started out making pretty cynical films (Amblin’, Sugarland Express, Duel, etc) and, if anything, films he made in the last decade show the guy is far from beings as sentimental as people make him out to be. As he rather delights in making audiences terrified. Nor does he chase box office with every project he does either.

  • 47 3-02-2011 at 6:04 am

    Maxim said...

    “Reading some of the reports from today, it seems that Spielberg ad-libbed that bit about ““If you are one of the other nine movies that don’t win, you will be in the company of The Grapes of Wrath, Citizen Kane, The Graduate, and Raging Bull.” ”

    Now this is just downright ridiculous. Both parts were clearly written together and there was no way one was going to be said about the other.

    Think about this. Throughout the entire evening the theme has been honoring movies. Not just best picture winners, but nominees and everything that helped contribute to the history of movies. This is certainly true of this year’s crop. Under this light it makes perfect sense that they were going to cap this year off with that kind of introduction. There’s really all there is too it, just like there is nothing particularly peculiar about this year that would warrant this kind of introduction. King’s Speech (for better or worse) has been a very popular film.

    Had the same kind of an innocerent remark. Been made a previous year, people would be saying it was because of Avatar (and all things considered, more successfully too). You are not displaying any sense of hindsight.