In Contention

OSCAR TALK: Ep. 58 — Wrapping up the summer, fall festival preview, ‘Warrior’ and ‘50/50’

Posted by · 10:00 am · August 26th, 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.

After months of sporadic special edition updates, we’re back to the weekly grind today. So check back here every Friday from here on out for our musings on the Oscar season, which is right around the corner with the start of the fall festival circuit. We go on for quite a while today. Let’s jump in and see what’s on the docket…

Starting off today we take stock of the summer movie season, which is pretty much wrapped up now. What films come out of that frame with a legitimate angle on the Oscar conversation?

Starting next week, the Venice Film Festival kicks off the fall festival season, with Telluride not far behind and Toronto kicking in a few days later. We spend plenty of time chewing on and mulling over the various players that will pop up in the next few weeks.

Releasing shortly are two films we thought deserved some discussing in the Oscar context. One of them (Jonathan Levine’s “50/50”) we agree on. The other (Gavin O’Connor’s “Warrior”) we don’t.

Finally, we wrap things up with a handful of reader questions, ranging from the Academy’s tapping Brett Ratner for the Oscarcast producing gig to Jessica Chastain’s best Oscar chances in a busy year for the actress.

Have a listen to the new (LONG) podcast below, with the trailer for “Warrior” 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.


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Back-up download: Oscar Talk Episode 58

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93 responses so far

  • 1 8-26-2011 at 10:22 am

    will said...

    Is anyone else having problems getting it to load? If it’s my computer, feel free to tell me to buzz off and get a better Internet connection, but I wanted to see if I wasn’t the only one.

  • 2 8-26-2011 at 10:24 am

    Drew said...

    Yeah I am having issues too. It may be the lenght, I think.

  • 3 8-26-2011 at 10:27 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Seems to work fine for me on Firefox, Chrome and Safari. Did you try the download link at the bottom and opening up in a new window? Might work.

  • 4 8-26-2011 at 10:35 am

    will said...

    Yeah. I can get the first few seconds that way, maybe 2 minutes in the pop up, and about 40 seconds if I download it to my desktop. Weird. Maybe it’s just me.

  • 5 8-26-2011 at 10:39 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Not sure how fast your connection is but maybe let it download fully before playing? If anyone else is having similar issues let me know.

  • 6 8-26-2011 at 10:42 am

    will said...

    It actually stops downloading at those lengths for whatever reason. It’s a decently fast connection. I will continue trying!

  • 7 8-26-2011 at 10:53 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I can’t seem to duplicate this on any of the browsers I have. I’ll do some digging and try to figure out what’s going on, but in the meantime, those having trouble, let me know what happens and what browser you’re using.

  • 8 8-26-2011 at 10:54 am

    will said...

    It just started working for me. It loaded fully in about 30 seconds. I have no idea what happened but, yay.

  • 9 8-26-2011 at 10:55 am

    mary said...

    Anthony Kaufman wrote that “The Help” may be this year’s “Crash” . (He disliked both films)

    I had some doubts about the Oscar potential of “The Help” , but Anthony Kaufman’s article explained my doubts; now I feel that “The Help” would become a big Oscar winner like “Crash”.

    I am willing to shamelessly say that “The Help” is almost locked to win the Best Picture award at Oscar 2012. Other Oscar contenders may be the masterpieces; but on surface, their subject matters seem to have much less mainstream appeal than “The Help” (which clearly has huge appeal to both mainstream audience and the Academy’s mainstream branches).

    I even think that “The Help” could become the highest-grossing Best Picture Oscar winner in US since “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”.

    BTW, “The Help” and “Crash” have the same editor (Hughes Winborne).

  • 10 8-26-2011 at 10:59 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Did some tinkering and someone on Twitter and now will here are saying it’s working for them now. Hopefully it’s cleared up, whatever it was.

  • 11 8-26-2011 at 11:06 am

    mary said...

    It also works for me; I can listen the podcast .

  • 12 8-26-2011 at 11:14 am

    McAllister said...

    I think “The Help” has the potential to gross 150 million and I definitely think it will garner several Oscar nods, including Best Picture but I don’t think it stands much of a chance of winning.

  • 13 8-26-2011 at 11:20 am

    Sam C. said...

    Though I preferred Alan Rickman in Harry Potter 7.2, much praise due to Ralph Fiennes. The character he created on screen is no where in the novels; he, unlike any other HP actor, invented a character. That’s fantastic in and of itself.

  • 14 8-26-2011 at 11:44 am

    John G said...

    @Sam: I think Jason Isaacs deserves the most credit for creating a character outside of the books. I’m on the record preferring Jim Broadbent to the rest of the cast, though.

  • 15 8-26-2011 at 12:46 pm

    Sam C. said...

    Also, in regards to Scott Rudin NOT campaigning The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo…doesn’t this seem an awful lot like the campaign for The Departed? Purely “box office” lob from a respected director. I think it could be that commercial film that just rocks.

  • 16 8-26-2011 at 12:59 pm

    red_wine said...

    I just burst out laughing uncontrollably when Anne said Serkis won’t be nominated because he is playing a chimpanzee/monkey. I mean its true and all but to put it so bluntly is so wonderful.

    Jane Eyre is a shrug and ain’t happening at all. Its a good well intentioned movie but doesn’t bring anything new to the period piece adaptation genre. Fassbender is good but yeah, nothing to sing about.

  • 17 8-26-2011 at 1:08 pm

    Joe7827 said...

    I don’t mean to sound rude, but… I work 70+ hour weeks in April-May. I get, like, 1 week off, and I’m back to working 40-50 hour weeks. So this whole “wow, I only got 5 months off” complaint sounds really strange to me.

    Anyway, good discussion today. Thanks for making this afternoon (so far) fly by faster, Kris and Anne!

  • 18 8-26-2011 at 1:27 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Joe: I think you’re reading/hearing it wrong. Read it as “five months off FROM THE OSCAR RACE,” because the point being made here is that, once again, here we are facing this slog, and it’s nice to work on OTHER things between Oscar seasons. But the “between” time feels less and less each year.

  • 19 8-26-2011 at 1:34 pm

    Jack said...

    Thanks for answering the Chastain question, I’m really glad you both liked her in The Help as much as I did. I think she’s not getting nearly as much talk as she deserves to for that movie.

  • 20 8-26-2011 at 1:39 pm

    Dana Jones said...

    I have to agree with you Kris, what was wrong with the costumes in ‘The Help’? I don’t understand Anne’s point. I also didn’t think Stone was as distracting as Anne suggests. Her hair, yes, was a device. But overall, she held her own.

    I would LOVE to see Jane Eyre gain some traction. I thought it was fantastic and easily one of the best films of the year thus far.

    On the topic of Olsen and Jones, could those performances register like Williams in ‘Blue Valentine’? Small scope there too, but got Williams a nomination…

    More than anything, this podcast made me really really anxious to see ’50/50′ and ‘Warrior’. I am going to be one emotional mess when both come out.

  • 21 8-26-2011 at 1:53 pm

    McAllister said...

    I just keep getting reminded of Winter’s Bone and Frozen River and how small of productions those were to get as much attention as they did. Like Crazy and Martha Marcy May Marlene could easily pick up the same kinda cues.

  • 22 8-26-2011 at 2:29 pm

    Rex Okpodu said...

    My Oscar talk does not work…cuts out after 10 minutes..please help!!!!!

  • 23 8-26-2011 at 3:14 pm

    john said...

    Oscar Talk still not working for me on Safari. Also tried the back-up download, but got an error message.

  • 24 8-26-2011 at 3:21 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Okay, now I need to track down the issue again. Quite a few have told me after the initial issues it is working for them now, so I have no idea what’s going on. Try clearing caches.

  • 25 8-26-2011 at 3:27 pm

    Dana Jones said...

    It worked perfectly fine for me in Firefox.

  • 26 8-26-2011 at 3:30 pm

    Graysmith said...

    Three minutes into the season and you’re already arguing. :D

  • 27 8-26-2011 at 3:34 pm

    john said...

    Working for me now on Safari. Thanks!

  • 28 8-26-2011 at 3:42 pm

    The Great Dane said...

    Great sum-up of the year so far. I think it’s great that Allen is being considered so strongly.

    In a year of 10, sure. But since we are talking the 5% deal, is it REALLY that locked down that 250 people will put MIDNIGHT IN PARIS as the #1 movie of the year? It really seems like a solid Top 5, but not a Top 1. Or am I crazy?

  • 29 8-26-2011 at 4:04 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Anne irked me no less than 3 times.

    So, in that case, yesssss, Oscar Talk is back!!! :)

    What is her beef with The Help’s costumes? Sheesh. They were lovely. They’re pretty (bing! Oscar!). And they’re from a 2-time Oscar nominee. I understand her not finding them authentic, I guess (?). But Marie Antoinette’s costumes won. And their bubble gum sweet costumes couldn’t have been authentic, either. And I repeat, ‘pretty’ wins out. The Help’s costumes were prrty.

    On Alan Rickman: I think the “well, he’s playing the same role for 8 movies in a row” argument is unfair & incorrect. Rickman’s Snape has always had his ‘moments’. But in this final film, he really brings it in quite a few potent scenes. He had nothing like those scenes in any previous installment.

    And what did I hear correctly, or did Anne lump ‘The Tree of Life’ with ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ together as two of the year’s best reviewed films? ‘TTOL’, sure. It’s got an 87 on metacritic. ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’, while enjoying a nice 83% on RT, has a 65 on metacritic – which basically puts it at even keel with probably 100 or more reviewed films each year. No?

    Gahh, gotta love Anne, anyway. And I actually agreed with her on a lot of other points.

    Kris, so happy that you, Anne, and eventually the others, are back for Oscar Talk.

  • 30 8-26-2011 at 4:34 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I think she’s crazy about the costumes. They were fantastic and authentic.

  • 31 8-26-2011 at 4:35 pm

    tony rock said...


    Your above statement just shows how irrelevant Metacritic is. 30 or so critics is not a consensus.

  • 32 8-26-2011 at 4:49 pm

    Chris138 said...

    Well, if it’s true that the Academy only cares about the positive reviews then I would imagine Harry Potter would do just fine, at least judging from how it’s doing on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. I think it’s chances of a Best Picture nomination are slim as well, I’m just commenting on what was mentioned in the podcast.

    And I also think the 2001 comparisons to the origins of the universe sequence in The Tree of Life has gotten very tired. I don’t see much to really compare.

    Anyways, great podcast. Looking forward to hearing more in the coming months.

  • 33 8-26-2011 at 5:06 pm

    JJ1 said...

    tony rock, no I know. I see what you’re saying.

    I’m just saying that I think the quality of ROTPOTA doesn’t match up with TTOL (and I think most critics, on the whole, would agree).

    We all know that a film with 93% on RT can have a user rating of 7.2, while a film with 84% can have a user rating of 8.1. So, no review indicator is perfect, it seems.

  • 34 8-26-2011 at 5:11 pm

    Andrew M said...

    I agree with Anne on “The Help” not being able to stay afloat. There are going to be a few more movies that come along that will grab the Academy’s heart. I will not be surprised if it gets in Best Picture, I’m just not seeing it. I don’t agree on the costumes however.

  • 35 8-26-2011 at 5:59 pm

    DylanS said...

    Kris: Regarding yours and Anne’s stance on “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, I think Polland made a good point on Movie City News that the novel is a hit with older audiences, many of whom in the Academy. Yes, the material isn’t their cup of tea, but with guys like Fincher and Rudin involved, that could bring it into their wheelhouse. I think your argument that. If the film is a commercial and also a critical (which given Fincher’s track record, is likely) hit, I think it could easily shape up as a contender. I’m not saying either of you are completely wrong (I think Anne is spot on with only Acting and craft nominations), but I think you’re both underestimating it quite a bit.

  • 36 8-26-2011 at 6:03 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    We’ll see.

  • 37 8-26-2011 at 8:11 pm

    Matthew Starr said...

    After what the Academy did to Fincher last year how can you not bet against Tattoo? It will be great but the Academy will show it no love.

    If I were betting I would bet Reznor/Ross, Cronenweth and maybe Baxter/Wall. That’s it.

  • 38 8-26-2011 at 8:44 pm

    DylanS said...

    “After what the Academy did to Fincher last year how can you not bet against Tattoo?”

    So because they happened to like a perfectly good and far more Academy friendly film more than TSN, that means that Fincher has been sent to the dog house for good? I don’t get your logic there, If the Academy doesn’t go for “Tattoo” it’ll be because it’s a violent genre film, not because of a non-existent grudge against Fincher.

    I would also toss Best Sound Mix in there as a possible contender. Ren Klyce is very well-respected and very good at what he does. He’s been nominated three times before, once for work in a Fincher film that wasn’t loved by the Academy, and I’m sure the sound work on “Tattoo” will be very atmospheric.

  • 39 8-26-2011 at 8:50 pm

    Dana Jones said...

    Well, looks like Anne’s positive remarks on Gerard Butler’s career moving forward may be put to an abrupt halt if these ‘Romancing the Stone’ remake rumors are to be believed. It’s all downhill from here.

  • 40 8-26-2011 at 8:57 pm

    Kidman said...

    What was that comment about Like Crazy and Martha Marcy?
    Wasn’t Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone one of Anne favorite performance/contender of last year?
    I think Felicity Jones has a great shot and I hope she’ll get there because she’s damn good in that movie.
    I think Like Crazy could get a Original Scenario nod and why not best picture?

  • 41 8-26-2011 at 9:33 pm

    Matthew Starr said...

    Dylan I didn’t intend to mean the Academy has a grudge against Fincher. They obviously don’t as they have nominated him twice now.

    My point was rather in line with your thinking that Tattoo will be snubbed because of its style and genre. If Social Network and Fincher couldn’t win last year what chance does a film like Tattoo have at becoming a contender?

  • 42 8-27-2011 at 12:01 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I think you’ll ultimately find you were overestimating it all along, Dylan. That’s my humble opinion.

  • 43 8-27-2011 at 6:52 am

    JJ1 said...

    Kidman, yes! That’s the other Anne comment that had me rolling.

    Last year, all I heard from her mouth was “Winter’s Booonnnne. Yes, Winter’s Bone. Oh, it’s amazing. And the critics …. yes, the critics will bring it back. They’ll remember that. They’ll bring it around. You see. The critics will keep this small film afloat. And Jennifer Lawrence is too good to miss. Winter’s Bonnneee. The Academy knows taste. They know quality, however small. Winter’s Booonnne”.

    I exaggerate, of course. And she was right about the film.

    But for her to say that ‘Martha Macy’ or ‘Like Crazy’ doesn’t have a shot – one of them with John Hawkes in it, and both with two apparently Jennifer Lawrence-esque ‘wow, who are you?” performances ……. her commentary on the subject just made absolutely no sense to me.

  • 44 8-27-2011 at 8:18 am

    Matt said...

    Love having the podcast back! I will put out that not only did Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises play at TIFF, but it also won People’s Choice that year. Also Tom Hardy for the win!

  • 45 8-27-2011 at 9:02 am

    Joe7827 said...

    Anne: “Do you really think that Felicity Jones or Elizabeth Olsen can be nominated?”

    Well, we know one person who doesn’t visit this site.

    Anyway, Kris, I understand what you’re saying; although it’s difficult for me to picture it as a slog, it very well could seem that way for someone who’s knee-deep in the middle of it. Maybe I was in a bad mood because I had to work late yesterday (I’m still working right now, in fact).

  • 46 8-27-2011 at 9:36 am

    DylanS said...

    Kris: You’re probably right. I’m just not ready to toss it to the wayside quite yet. And I do think it will get craft nominations and possibly acting nominations regardless. Let’s see the film and hear what people have to say.

  • 47 8-27-2011 at 10:09 am

    The Other James D. said...

    Better get in a comment before Hurricane Irene sodomizes NJ!

    I’m glad some others agree that Martha Marcy May Marlene (and Like Crazy, too, perhaps) have a strong shot and you should probably have more faith in it. Like Frozen River, Precious, and Winter’s Bone before it, MMMM is a dark drama centered on a female. It’s also a major prize-winner at Sundance. I think these tend to follow a pattern of being embraced by the Academy because it starts its buzz early, but doesn’t peak. It’s a quiet storm, and I think the guilds will be the first sign of passion for either/both films. The Globes will definitely pass them over, as always. (They nominated Gosling/Williams, but those names carried much more weight.) Some critics might show some love, but the critics are so unanimous/boring these past few years, I’m not holding my breath.

    Original Screenplay seems weak enough that both could be nominated–and Actress *might* have room for both, but I’d lean towards Olsen for having the more complex role. Still, both Lawrence and Williams got in last year, so Jones and Olsen might both make it. I also wonder if Hawkes might have the power to secure a second consecutive nod. Renner pulled it off last year, albeit in a more high profile follow-up. But the actors do the nominating, after all, and his role seems like a powerful one, and different from his WB character. Hm.

    If either film garners the 5% support/passion for a BP nomination though, it’s MMMM. LC seems less likely to achieve that. Still interested in both.


    On another note, just read on IMDb today before clearing out my backyard that The Lady is opening Rome Film Festival. Probably old news for some people, but just thought I’d share in case anyone sees it for the first time =).

    M’kay, back to hurricane panic slave labor.

  • 48 8-27-2011 at 12:28 pm

    Speaking English said...

    I don’t think “The Tree of Life” deserves a Best Visual Effects nomination, as good as the effects were. They’re simply too minimal, and after being wowed by them in the first 25 minutes or so, they almost completely disappear and the focus is put entirely on the grounded, non-FX elements of the story. They simply don’t have the presence of some of the heavier contenders.

  • 49 8-27-2011 at 1:29 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    They’re hardly minimal, English. They’re grand and unique and well-executed, not to mention pertinent to the story being told. But just because they don’t have the presence of a film with wall-to-wall robots doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a fair shake, and in this case in particular, they deserve MORE than a fair shake.

  • 50 8-27-2011 at 2:26 pm

    JJ1 said...

    So, Kris. You can’t drop any kind of cryptic hint/clue about your opinion of ‘Contagion’, eh? :)

  • 51 8-27-2011 at 2:27 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...


  • 52 8-27-2011 at 2:33 pm

    JJ1 said...

    okey doke

  • 53 8-27-2011 at 3:20 pm

    daveylow said...

    I just handed in my film choices for TIFF and Carnage and Tinker Tailor are not playing there.

    One of my choices is 50/50. Glad to hear the positive comments.

    I decided not to see The Ides of March because I wanted to see Trishna, directed by Michael Winterbottom. I hope I don’t regret it. But I’m a fan of Winterbottom and Ides will be playing everywhere.

    I’ll be seeing The Lady, The Artist and The Descendants. I’m excited about Michelle Yeoh and David Thewlis.

    Take This Waltz and Dangerous Method are Galas at Toronto BTW. Hope to be seeing both as well as Shame and The Deep Blue Sea.

    I’m seeing some of the high profile films but also some films that aren’t Oscar contenders that supposed to be worthwhile–Oslo August 31, Bonsai, Rampart, Twixt, Elena, Love and Other Bruises, Woman in the Fifth.

    So many choices, not possible to see them all. I can’t fit 360 in my schedule and would love to see it.

    In regards to Martha Marcy and Like Crazy–wasn’t The Education an example of a small movie that played well with the Academy?

  • 54 8-27-2011 at 3:23 pm

    Anne Thompson said...

    Have you guys actually seen Martha Marcy May Marlene or Like Crazy? They were among the best films at Sundance, and both are terrific small-scale dramas that boast strong performances. They are must-sees and will get strong reviews. But neither is as well-written, directed and acted as Winter’s Bone, which crossed over beyond the art-house crowd. While they may do some limited indie business, MMMM is a tough haunting little piece, and Like Crazy is a hand-held improvised romance. Both will be real long shots for Elizabeth Olsen or Felicity Jones to land best actress nods. A lot will have to go right for these films–on the order of Half Nelson, where Gosling broke into a weak best actor field. That’s the only way. Neither of those films will be up for writing, directing, editing, or best picture. And that’s not to take away from their considerable achievements. I liked them both a lot.

  • 55 8-27-2011 at 3:33 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    “neither is as well-written, directed and acted as Winter’s Bone”

    Annnncckkk! Wrong. At least in my opinion. Martha Marcy May Marlene blows Winter’s Bone’s faux-southern nonsense right out of the water.

  • 56 8-27-2011 at 3:34 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Thank you for that thorough comment/response, Anne. :)

  • 57 8-27-2011 at 3:56 pm

    JJ1 said...

    I thought that ‘Winter’s Bone’ had some major strengths, but was quite overrated, overall.

    Some of the lesser roles rang false, and aside from the superb, and eye-opening first 30-40 minutes, nothing really happened plotwise to invest me or pull me into the story for the rest of it’s running time.

  • 58 8-27-2011 at 4:03 pm

    ePastorJames said...

    An Education isn’t quite as similar to MMMM or LC. AE had a lighter tone, whereas the MMMM is gritty. That’s why I draw comparisons to the Sundance-to-Oscar successes of the past three years: the aforementioned Frozen River, Precious, Winter’s Bone. And that’s also why I have more faith, based on its reception and the Academy’s tendencies, in MMMM than LC.

    Anne, you shouldn’t discount at least MMMM in Original Screenplay. The amount of plausible contenders is pretty limited. Remember in 2008, Vicky Cristina Barcelona was snubbed in favor of FR and In Bruges. If the writers’ branch respects it and is impressed, which they most likely will be, it’s a good contender. For the win? Of course not. For a nod? Surely.

    And another aspect not to take for granted is the power of the screener push. Being a smaller, indie film, the team behind it certainly are aware of the lengths it would take. Junebug sent them out early, assisting Amy Adams tremendously.

    Every year, some people consistently seem to doubt the power of the alpha (fe)male of the annual Sundance indie smash. Well, with the exception of Precious, which booked a spot early on. But I keep the faith. The gritty Sundance champion is as much of a token nominee in various main categories as the good Pixar films are in OS. And on that note, since Cars 2 is likely going to be the first year without a Pixar screenplay nod since, well, Cars 1, that opens up OS even more to allow one indie in.

  • 59 8-27-2011 at 5:57 pm

    DylanS said...

    Kris: I’m glad I’m not the only one who got that vibe from “Winter’s Bone”.

  • 60 8-27-2011 at 6:36 pm

    The Great Dane said...

    Sorry to repeat myself, but I’m interested in other people’s opinion about this, and since no one answered I’ll try again, fingers crossed :)

    About Midnight in Paris being a “sure thing”:
    In a year of 10, sure. But since we are talking the 5% deal, is it REALLY that locked down that 250 people will put MIDNIGHT IN PARIS as the #1 movie of the year? It really seems like a solid Top 5, but not a Top 1. Or am I crazy?
    I just can’t imagine in 4-5 months time that it will remain the number one choice of so many Academy members.

  • 61 8-27-2011 at 6:48 pm

    ePastorJames said...

    Nah, I don’t think you’re crazy. :-P It’s a perfectly legitimate skepticism. I would say it’s certainly among the top 10-15 contenders vying for a slot, but it would not make the cut in a year of 5. It is the return of Woody, on the other hand. But I do think it will ultimately be outweighed. As has been said, it’s smart to predict for 10, but knowing how many of those 5-10 will be recognized is the true challenge at hand here.

  • 62 8-27-2011 at 7:21 pm

    JJ1 said...

    But that’s my hesitation with this entire 5% deal. To me, I barely see 5 films making that up.

    I mean, for the last 2 years (and the ranking 1-10 with various rounds) … I understand how they came to 10.

    But for this new system? The whole thing feels weird. In theory, I like that anywhere from 5-10 could happen. But if you think about it, which films from the past few years do you think had passion votes (or wheeling & dealing) for an automatic 5%’s ???

    Last year, I’d say The King’s Speech, The Social Network, & The Fighter, for sure. And I think that Black Swan, Inception, & TS3 may have also had 5% or more. But that’s only 3-6 films.

    The year before, I’d say The Hurt Locker, Avatar, Inglourious Basterds, Precious, & Up. Maybe Up in the Air. That’s 5-6.

    I just think that 250 passion votes (#1’s on ballots) seems like a lot to ask for. But maybe my line of thinking is completely off. God knows how AMPAS operates come time for balloting.

    So The Great Dane, I don’t think you’re nuts, either. I could see MiP happening. But I’m hesitant, as well.

  • 63 8-27-2011 at 11:32 pm

    red_wine said...

    This much is certain, MMMM & Like Crazy will almost certainly will not have critical acclaim on the scale of Winter’s Bone.

    Winter’s Bone was MASSIVELY acclaimed. It was right behind TSN and Carlos as the major critics cause of the year. If these 2 movies were not there, it would have swept the critics with many Best Picture wins.

    So yeah, I don’t see MMMM & Like Crazy being as big with the critics as Winter’s Bone.

  • 64 8-28-2011 at 7:01 am

    Observation said...

    Really enjoyed this podcast, but was taken aback by Anne saying stuff like “well, you’re from the South” re: the Help and asking if Kris hadn’t see Jane Eyre because he’s a male.

  • 65 8-28-2011 at 8:51 am

    m1 said...

    What’s that song at the end?

  • 66 8-28-2011 at 9:02 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Soundgarden, “Fell on Black Days”

  • 67 8-28-2011 at 10:23 am

    bokata said...

    The rise of the planet of the apes is kinda overrated.
    Jane Eyre is something else. Mia, Judy and Michael Fassbender gave amazing performances.
    Win win was very good too.

  • 68 8-28-2011 at 2:32 pm

    daveylow said...

    I wasn’t as crazy about Win Win as Anne was. The screenplay was very predictable unlike McCarthy’s previous efforts.

  • 69 8-28-2011 at 3:31 pm

    m1 said...

    I honestly don’t get the “overrated” talk for Winter’s Bone, but anyway…

    Paramount and Fox Searchlight are fairly large studios. I feel confident that Like Crazy and Martha Marcy May Marlene will get attention if they play their cards right.

  • 70 8-28-2011 at 3:33 pm

    Brett Buckalew said...


    If you read between the lines in a very carefully-worded, absolutely non-embargo-breaking tweet battle between Kris and David Poland, it’s fair to surmise that Poland is a huge fan of “Contagion” and Kris is decidedly not. I’m not saying this to be a dick and get the two combatants in trouble (I’ll emphasize again: Kris and Poland did not penetrate the embargo in any way, shape, or form), but because, like you, I feed on the screening buzz behind awesome-seeming fall movies like it’s candy, and I thought you’d like to know what the screening buzz is in this case.

    A trusted friend of mine saw “Contagion” at a WGA screening and really liked it. If you really study the tone and compositions of the trailers & TV spots, it’s clear to me the film will be a cold, dry, clinical, authority-criticizing tract typical of Soderbergh instead of the “The Town”-esque WB fall adult commercial play that the studio wants to fool ticket buyers into thinking it is (and which Kris seemed to be expecting it to be when he entered the screening room). So it’ll be closer to “The Informant!” than “Outbreak,” which is fine with me, since I vastly prefer the former to the lazily workmanlike latter.

    My friend said that Gwyneth, despite her, ahem, evidently limited screentime, is a standout, which surprised him, but then, he doesn’t watch “Glee,” which I feel actually contains her best work since “Shakespeare in Love.”


  • 71 8-28-2011 at 3:45 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Brett, well that was pretty great right there, thank you. :)

    When I asked Kris if he could drop a subtle/cryptic hint or clue on his opinion of ‘Contagion’. His brief, and very unlike Kris response was “No”.

    That means he either can’t say anything, OR, he didn’t care for it. I don’t/won’t dig deeper.

    Your “but because, like you, I feed on the screening buzz behind awesome-seeming fall movies like it’s candy, and I thought you’d like to know what the screening buzz is in this case.” —- is awesome. Thank you for that, too. haha

    On Gwyneth, I’ve actually only ever liked her in ‘Shakespeare in Love’, ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’, ‘Proof’, and ‘Glee’.

    Thanks again on your take.

  • 72 8-28-2011 at 4:48 pm

    Brett Buckalew said...


    Glad to help! :)

    Mostly agree on the Paltrow list, but personally, I would also add “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “Hard Eight.” And I think most of her weaker performances are in movies that would suck with or wihout her presence (i.e. “A Perfect Murder”).

  • 73 8-28-2011 at 4:58 pm

    Evan said...

    Anne, I agree about “Moneyball.” After “The Tree of Life” and “The Artist,” it’s my favorite trailer of the year. I could easily be let down, but it has piqued my interest.

    On the other hand, I was not taken by the trailer for “The Ides of March”– the movie seems so unoriginal. Also, as much as I love Ryan Gosling, he’s not believable to me as a political operative. He’s just too laid back as a person and it shines through in his acting and showed in that trailer in my opinion. But we’ll see…

  • 74 8-28-2011 at 5:22 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...


    My response to David was all about his comment in the wake of Warrior, less about what I think of this particular film.

    Don’t hurt yourselves, guys.

  • 75 8-28-2011 at 6:15 pm

    Brett Buckalew said...


    Sigh. I actually thought I’d look like an asshole if I specified the tweet in question, but now that I’ve angered a respected colleague, I have to revert to damage-control mode. Your tweet to Poland was this:

    Don’t go overstating another film

    And there was the hashtag #warriorredux. So inarguably there is a second particular film BESIDES “Warrior” that you feel Poland is overstating. Combined with one of Poland’s followers guessing “Contagion” as the film he loved, and the knowledge that “Contagion” screened for some press early in the week, I figured that was why it’s “fair to surmise” (I choose my words very precisely) that you were less of a fan of “Contagion” than Poland.

    I felt I bent over backward in explaining that I had no malicious intent and didn’t want to upset you, but obviously I did a craptacular job of that. Please accept my sincere apology and keep up the good work.


  • 76 8-28-2011 at 8:06 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    It’s possible to think someone is overstating something and yet not harbor any personal negative feelings toward the thing in question.

    You read too much into it. The point being made was that Poland has a tendency to foam at the mouth regarding perfectly fine films he loves, setting an unreasonably high expectation.

    Simple as that.

    And yet now I’ve gone and inadvertently called something “perfectly fine” when I’d prefer to save my feelings for a more in-depth consideration.

    You didn’t anger me. Just went a bit too far based on very little info. I’m flattered to have my Tweets parsed, regardless.

  • 77 8-28-2011 at 8:55 pm

    Brett Buckalew said...


    Gotcha. Please let the record show, though, that I never said “Kris has negative feelings toward ‘Contagion,'” or anything remotely to that effect. What I specifically said was it seemed you were “decidedly not” a “huge fan” of it, which is apparently accurate.


  • 78 8-28-2011 at 9:31 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Stop the presses.

  • 79 8-28-2011 at 10:10 pm

    Brett Buckalew said...


    I’ve hardly said anything to warrant that snarky a response.

    You write for a site that caters to geek obsessives who get excited about forthcoming projects from their favorite directors. I’m one of them. And since I’m a freelancer who’s not on many screening lists and not covering any of the fall fests, I have much more in common with them in terms of access than I do with you. So, like them, I become geekily obsessive over advanced buzz on highly anticipated movies. JJ1 inquired about a piece of buzz that you were in no position to share with him, so since I’m uencumbered by embargo-related restraints, I thought I’d share it with him. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s par for the course for this kind of site, and if the positions were switched, I’d want JJ1 to do the same for me.

    I made a logical inference that you weren’t as in love with “Contagion” as David Poland, and I turned out to be right. No big deal. It doesn’t reflect positively on me just as surely as it doesn’t reflect negatively on you. It’s just geek gossip at the end of the day.

    The possibility that you liked but didn’t love “Contagion” was still there in what I wrote. I didn’t say, “there is a chance that he could still admire the movie but just not adore it,” because I get the impression that no one here is so stupid they need to be reminded of that. I mean, regular readers know from your “Warrior” review that you didn’t *hate* that movie or anything, so why would they automatically assume from what I wrote that you would hate the movie your tweet compared it to?

    Like I say, I choose my words very precisely. If you accuse me of “reading too much into” something and yet are unable to cite where specifically I was guilty of that, I have the right to use my words to defend myself. There’s absolutely no hostility inherent in me doing so.

    One inference I abstained from making because it’s less rational than saying “I think Kris isn’t a huge fan of ‘Contagion,'” is that you intended a patronizing “get a life” tone in your earlier comment, “Don’t hurt yourselves, guys.” But we know that’s not the case, right? Because if that is what you intended, you would be acting disingenous at best and unprofessionally condescending towards your obsessive-geek readership at worst.

    Also, you’re a smart writer, so you know full well you could just *not* make coy tiptoe-around-an-embargo tweets or “inadvertant” comments about a movie you’d rather wait to address in more in-depth form later. Writing is not just regurgitating your thoughts onto paper with no mental barrier acting as a filter, and I’m surprised I’m having to say this so overtly, frankly.


  • 80 8-28-2011 at 10:21 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Jesus it was a joke. A self-effacing one at that. You’re being unbelievably ridiculous. (And you still miss the point of the Tweet, but good God, it doesn’t matter enough for me to get into this any further.)

  • 81 8-28-2011 at 10:39 pm

    Brett Buckalew said...

    I’ll back out too, and turn it over to the other readers: did anyone else here interpret Kris’ “stop the presses” comment as a poke at me instead of one at his own expense?

    If it turns out I’m alone, then obviously I’m being ridiculous, and I’ll issue a proper mea culpa.


  • 82 8-28-2011 at 10:44 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I’m sure some took it as a jab at you. I’m a prickly guy, tend to give off a negative vibe even when unintended. No need to “turn it over to the readers” in some unnecessary display. It was a nudge at how unimportant what I said about the film on Twitter was. If that’s not good enough for you, then I don’t know what to tell you.

  • 83 8-28-2011 at 11:17 pm

    Brett Buckalew said...

    Cool, no worries. My interest in turning it over to the readers was twofold: I wanted to make sure I wasn’t perceived as a loon, and I wanted to be responsible enough to apologize if I was proven to be rash in my interpretation of your joke. But your response does indeed make turning it over to the readers totally unnecessary.

    So, everyone else: please ignore my question in comment #81.

    I had no interest in gloating if you didn’t respond and others did supporting me, but it is hard to take that “turn it over to the readers” tack and not seem at least a little melodramatic in doing so. I would’ve just shut up and not apologized if others agreed with me.

    Which I’ll do now! :)


  • 84 8-29-2011 at 6:24 am

    JJ1 said...

    In all honesty, I took Kris’ comment ……


    My response to David was all about his comment in the wake of Warrior, less about what I think of this particular film (him meaning Contagion).

    Don’t hurt yourselves, guys.”

    …. very simply as a ….’Brett and JJ1, love your back & forth on this, but unfortunately, the source tweet had nothing to do with ‘Contagion’ anyway. It was about ‘Warrior’. Let me put a stop to this cute, but misguided commentary now.’

    And the ‘Don’t hurt yourselves, guys’ came across to me as Kris chuckling and saying, “guys, haha, please don’t hurt your brains wondering about my little old opinion of Contagion all week long since nothing was being discussed about Contagion on the first place”.

    Is that correct, Kris?

    I did not, honestly, see any of Kris’ comments as condescending or agitated or anything of the like. I just think it was a communication breakdown because of the internet/mistaking context/mistaking tone, etc.

    Brett – I SO appreciate your initial comment to me. That was well thought-out and awesome of you to type that up for me. Very interesting WGA and other assorted info on ‘Contagion’. Thanks again! :)

    But I do think you’ve misread a lot inferred since. Please don’t be upset with me. :)

  • 85 8-29-2011 at 7:54 am

    DylanS said...

    Kris: You mentioned in the podcast that you were soon going to see “Take Shelter”. The trailer has me very intrigued, and I’m curious to hear what your take on it is.

  • 86 8-29-2011 at 12:10 pm

    Brett Buckalew said...


    Why on earth would I be upset with you? :)

    Your analysis of Kris’ first response is actually extremely helpful in that it does prove one inference I made that I assumed to be common sense really wasn’t. The thing is, I always interpret the expression “Oy” as one of frustration at the very least and more often than not some level of anger. I’ve *never* heard it used in a “just kidding around” context, though it’s now clear from your obviously dead-on interpretation of Kris’ response that that’s what was meant. Live and learn, I guess.


  • 87 8-29-2011 at 12:13 pm

    JJ1 said...

    OK, cool beans, Brett. :-)

  • 88 8-29-2011 at 12:13 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Yes, what JJ said. Let’s break bread.

  • 89 8-29-2011 at 12:15 pm

    JJ1 said...

    good times

  • 90 8-29-2011 at 12:34 pm

    Brett Buckalew said...

    But I HATE bread!!

    Naw, just kidding. I was just so tempted to either make that joke or a reference to the breaking-bread-driven final scene in “Munich,” and I figured the former was less spoiler-y, not to mention more tasteful.


  • 91 9-02-2011 at 8:30 am

    Smokey Cloud said...

    Just wanted to say I’m really glad you guys enjoyed the Rise of the Planet of the Apes so much. We worked really hard on it and it’s super awesome to hear so much debate about Serkis’s performance, the visual fx, and how well-reviewed it is. The sound team is exceptionally proud.

  • 92 9-09-2011 at 9:03 am

    Lea said...

    Best feature doc for me so far this year is HBO’s “Marathon Boy”. My pick of Tribeca, an incredible film – can see this be in there come Oscar time.