OSCAR TALK: Ep. 56 — Special Edition! — Cannes so far, ‘Tree of Life,’ Von Trier, taking the 2011 awards pulse

Posted by · 8:32 am · May 20th, 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.

It has been nearly three months since we last got on the horn to talk the film wards landscape. We promised another dip during Cannes, so here we are. Today Anne and I are joined by Guy Lodge as the two of them have been working the Croisette all week. Let’s see what’s on the docket today…

The hot news of the moment when we recorded yesterday morning was Lars Von Trier’s public spanking by the festival for inflammatory remarks regarding Adolf Hitler. We discuss both that controversy and the director’s latest, paradoxically uncontroversial film, “Melancholia.”

The big event of the festival this week was the unveiling of Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life.” Given that the film screened in earnest in LA, it’s something all three of us have seen and can chew on, so we do (as there’s PLENTY to chew on there).

We also run through the laundry list of titles worth discussing so far, from Lynne Ramsay’s “We Need to Talk about Kevin” (still a favorite after bowing early) to Pedro Almodovar’s “The Skin I Live In” (the freshest on their mind when we recorded).

We also take a moment to briefly discuss the deplorable “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.”

Finally, we take a brief survey of the 2011 awards landscape five months in. The year hasn’t afforded much to consider but it’s worth it to take stock.

No questions from the readership this week. We settled on doing this rather late in the game, so apologies for that. We’ll try to knock out one more off-season edition later in the summer before getting back to the weekly grind in late August.

Have a listen to the new podcast below. Get comfortable because it’s a long one. Apologies for a handful of audio issues due to the three locales and Anne’s poor microphone being on its last leg. 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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Back-up download: Oscar Talk Episode 56

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22 responses so far

  • 1 5-20-2011 at 11:07 am

    Rod said...

    Do any of you think The Artist has a chance come Oscar season? It has the Weinstein brothers behind it and possibly it could resonate back to the golden age of film.

  • 2 5-20-2011 at 11:39 am

    Rod said...

    I forgot to ask another question: which of the Sundance smashes do you see being more of an Oscar hit: Take Shelter or Martha Marcy May Marlene?

  • 3 5-20-2011 at 1:05 pm

    Andrej said...

    It’s a bummer most of these films will be available only by the end of the year, when Oscar season is in full gear (if they’re meaning to compete, of course). I don’t think The Tree of Life will be releasing soon enough here in Chile or Latinamerica at large, and it could be worse for ‘Kevin’ as it doesn’t have any distributor at all yet :(

    But by the way things are, I don’t know if any of the Cannes movies at large are really Oscar material save for a few noteworthy mentions of acting, screenplay or cinematography I’ve been reading around. If any of these manage to gain considerable momentum, maybe it’ll be an odd year at the Oscars as a whole, like when ‘No Country’ won and running up was There Will Be Blood.

    And as for Rango… still have my doubts. It’s a technical and artistic wonder, but that plot is so whatevers. I’ll hold my breath until Cars 2 to see if Pixar has really lost their streak this year, and to whom they lost it to.

    Great off-season podcast, guys ☺

  • 4 5-20-2011 at 2:11 pm

    James D. said...

    I love these sort of podcasts, where the quality of the film is actually talked about. Good job to the three of you.

  • 5 5-20-2011 at 2:20 pm

    markus said...

    Guy mentioned that Lynne Ramsey has styled the Kevin movie

    styled as this fractured———————–

    Missed the wording after fractured?


  • 6 5-20-2011 at 3:42 pm

    James R. said...


    Been reading on this site for awhile, but this is the first of the podcasts I’ve listened to (And this will be my first post).

    Really enjoyed it, great to hear enthusiastic and intelligent people discussing film. I’ll definitely listen to them in the future.

  • 7 5-20-2011 at 5:40 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    markus: “Fractured tone poem.”

  • 8 5-20-2011 at 7:56 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Aww. So nice to hear your 3 voices again. Loved the discussion on current festival films and recent ’11 films. Come back soon. :)

  • 9 5-20-2011 at 8:03 pm

    Speaking English said...

    Mel Gibson had his little accident in complete disassociation with Cannes, so they have no bearing on banning him. Mr. von Trier decided to let loose his comments (which were not at all funny, by the way) as a part of the festival. Big difference.

  • 10 5-20-2011 at 8:24 pm

    /3rtfu11 said...

    I don’t want to finish listening to this podcast. I had no fair warning that the new Almodovar movie would be spoiled by the person who didn’t care for it. He’s the only filmmaker where too many details fucks up the enjoyment of one of his movies. Every film I’ve seen of his has always been a suprise. Not this one — I’m not sure there’s any point — Goddamnit.

  • 11 5-20-2011 at 9:22 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Apologies, /3rtfu11. I’m not sure Anne would have been callous with a spoiler, so perhaps it doesn’t amount to that much in the film and she figured it was okay to mention whatever that plot point is. But I can’t say for sure.

  • 12 5-20-2011 at 9:51 pm

    Glenn said...

    Yay! Thanks for this. Listened to it while doing some writing work and it finished right as I finished the final proof read! Perfect timing.

    You guys don’t think you’ve seen a winner? JANE EYRE for costumes is surely as good a bet as any other at this stage, surely. Or maybe you were just talking major categories.

    Nevertheless, great listen! Always enjoy the addition of Guy, too!

  • 13 5-21-2011 at 12:40 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    /3rtfu11: I second Kris’s apologies, but I can also assure you that the plot turn Anne reveals is one that comes very early in the game. The film has many more crucial twists up its sleeve.

  • 14 5-21-2011 at 3:09 am

    /3rtfu11 said...

    It was jarring to hear details otherwise completely unsaid elsewhere. Thank you Kris for the apology and thank you Guy for the reassurance.

  • 15 5-21-2011 at 6:04 am

    JJ1 said...

    For me, for what I’ve seen, I could see end of the year possibilities for:

    Bridesmaids – Screenplay.
    Rango – Animated, though I know the hill it’d have to climb.
    Thor – Sounds.
    Hanna – Score.
    Jane Eyre – Costumes.
    Water for Elephants – Art direction.
    Certified Copy – Binoche.
    The Conspirator – Costumes.

    But almost all of those feel like big IFs.

  • 16 5-21-2011 at 7:50 am

    Alex L. said...

    WHY IS THERE NO TALK OF KUNG FU PANDA 2!!!! It was opening night show and still no reviews. I guess nobody can talk until a certain time.

  • 17 5-21-2011 at 8:34 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Actually, Kung Fu Panda 2 wasn’t the opening film of the festival, though your confusion is understandable — it had its junket in Cannes the day before the festival started, so as to catch journalists while they were here. But it had nothing officially to do with the fest.

    As you suspect, it’s still under embargo. I haven’t seen it myself.

  • 18 5-21-2011 at 8:49 am

    Rashad said...

    Jane Eyre over Thor for costumes? What a travesty that would be

  • 19 5-21-2011 at 9:50 am

    DarkLayers said...

    Maybe Pirates for VFX.

  • 20 5-21-2011 at 1:54 pm

    Jim T said...

    Great comeback! Thanks guys.

  • 21 5-24-2011 at 1:24 pm

    cinephile said...

    Finally again! Fantastic and informative podcast from Cannes, and wow, this really seems to have been an incredibly strong competition (and even non-competition / certain regard) line-up. I’m very intrigued to see many of the films you discussed.