OSCAR TALK: Ep. 60 — A sprint Telluride recap, ‘Descendants,’ ‘Albert Nobbs,’ disagreeing on ‘Dangerous Method,’ thoughts on Eddie Murphy, Toronto preview (ish)

Posted by · 9:07 am · September 9th, 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.

Today we’re back from the Telluride film fest, but Anne is up in Toronto and things are, well, kind of nuts. She’s up against the wall trying to get to a screening so we don’t get to dig in as much as we’d like. But we try. We really try. So, let’s see what’s on the docket today…

Diving right into a Telluride recap, we talk about the big hit of the festival, “The Descendants,” which comes away looking like a strong possibility for a number of nominations.

Also playing very well at the festival was “The Artist,” which is in the delicate position of elevating expectations while trying to keep word of mouth strong on the festival circuit.

We also talk about “A Dangerous Method” (which I didn’t like, but Anne loved), “Shame” (which I loved, Anne kind of liked — though I can’t really tell) and “Albert Nobbs,” which we both see as a good play for Glenn Close but, we also both think the film isn’t fully there.

Speaking of Glenn Close, we touch on the idea of lifetime achievement awards, which I argue more often go to lead actors than to lead actresses. (She disagrees strongly, for some reason, but I think I have Natalie Portman, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, Hilary Swank, Halle Berry, Helen Hunt, etc., etc. on my side here.)

With the news of Eddie Murphy taking the emcee gig at the Oscars this year, we briefly give our knee-jerk reaction to that. And finally — agree on something today!

Finally, I must apologize that we weren’t able to address reader questions due to Anne’s time constraint. I’ll save them for next week, but I did pose Guy’s query regarding Toronto’s position as THE festival for the Oscar conversation, since it seemed pertinent.

Have a listen to the new podcast below, with the trailer for “The Descendants” 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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48 responses so far

  • 1 9-09-2011 at 9:34 am

    JJ1 said...

    One that immediately came to my mind, regarding Lifetime Achievement …

    1985: Geraldine Page over Whoopi or Meryl Streep.

    Sorry, Kris. Siding with Anne on this one, for ……. the first time ever, haha.

    On the whole, I do agree with you, overall.

    But I first thought of Page within seconds (who I also thought was excellent in the role, and deserving).

  • 2 9-09-2011 at 9:43 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Why? Because ONE came to mind?

    I think my point is being lost here. It’s unfortunate but true that few actresses have much longevity past 40. It’s due to the underlying sexism of Hollywood. And that has manifested itself in film awards, which tend to go, at least in a leading lady capacity, to hot young things or mid-career hotties rather than aged actresses.

    I really don’t see how it’s arguable. Particularly if you’re only drumming up one example (though I’m sure there are others).

    Read the in-text comment above. I think I have recent history on my side.

  • 3 9-09-2011 at 9:48 am

    JJ1 said...

    Also, glad to hear the 1st word (from you, Kris) on ‘Anonymous’ is positive. Don’t know how the consensus will be. But I’m glad. The trailer reeled me in. I also like Ifans. And I tend to enjoy most things Shakespeare.

  • 4 9-09-2011 at 9:49 am

    James said...

    I do think Close could be an exception because she’s fairly well liked and tried to make this film for a long time, but for the most part I agree with your assessment about the overdue actress aspect.

  • 5 9-09-2011 at 9:58 am

    JJ1 said...

    No, like I said ^, “On the whole, I do agree with you, overall”.

    I should have worded better before posting {knee jerk}. All I’m saying is that Page came to mind immediately.

    But as you noted, the string of young actresses who’ve won lately is apparent. The sexism, too.

    And as you said, when it does happen, it tends to be in Supporting.

    But then, to me, an Oscar is an Oscar. I don’t really get the whole, ‘Oh, but she has only won in Supporting! When’s her Lead win!?’ that I often hear.

  • 6 9-09-2011 at 10:05 am

    ninja said...

    I`m calling it now, Close is not winning. The movie doesn`t seem to be good, her performance isn`t an OTT showpiece that AMPAS love and she isn`t a young hot babe who uglified herself for awards attention (which AMPAS always award). We`ll have to look for the winner someplace else.

  • 7 9-09-2011 at 10:13 am

    Will42 said...

    Kris is right about the lifetime achievement awards. Even the real lifetime achivement awards like Honorary Oscars almost always go to men. Out of over 100 men recipients only 9 were women.

  • 8 9-09-2011 at 10:16 am

    JJ1 said...

    That’s appalling.

  • 9 9-09-2011 at 10:27 am

    Will42 said...

    Sorry, I meant that out of all recipients only 9 were women.

  • 10 9-09-2011 at 10:31 am

    red_wine said...

    Darren Aronofosky is a hack. Out of all the directors supposed to be ‘artistic’, he most denigrates the term.

    And Kris, I can say sight unseen that you are mostly gonna be alone on the new Emmerich :P :D

  • 11 9-09-2011 at 10:44 am

    /3rtfull said...

    Close has five nominations in the 80s.

  • 12 9-09-2011 at 10:53 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Thanks. I knew it was substantial, whatever it was.

  • 13 9-09-2011 at 11:01 am

    Squasher88 said...

    Totally agree about the overdue actress thing. I thought it was common knowledge that its usually the young starlet. Surprised that Anne hasn’t realized that by now.

    I sometimes get upset about the other side. Why don’t young male actors get respect in terms of Oscars. The youngest winner was Adrien Brody at 29! Astonishing! That’s close to the average age of Best Actress winners.

  • 14 9-09-2011 at 11:05 am

    /3rtfull said...

    I’ll have to make my peace now with Close winning nothing more than a 6th nomination — if that?

  • 15 9-09-2011 at 11:10 am

    Rashad said...

    Squasher: Heath Ledger died when he was 28 and won.

  • 16 9-09-2011 at 11:13 am

    Squasher88 said...

    ..I meant Lead Actor.

  • 17 9-09-2011 at 11:13 am

    JF said...

    PORTUGAL has officially chosen the José Saramago documentary JOSÉ E PILAR (JOSÉ AND PILAR) to be its Oscar submission.

    Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkxyTc9BbkU
    Poster: http://www.josesaramago.org/images/jose_e_pilar/jose_e_pilar_cartaz.jpg

  • 18 9-09-2011 at 11:23 am

    red_wine said...

    Raul Ruiz’s towering masterpiece has been ignored. Maybe France will submit it?

  • 19 9-09-2011 at 11:24 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Better served in an email or in Guy’s foreign language post, JF, not randomly inserted in a discussion that hasn’t touched the topic. Thank you.

  • 20 9-09-2011 at 11:50 am

    /3rtfull said...


    Timothy Hutton is the youngest male Oscar winner at 20 — Supporting Actor.

  • 21 9-09-2011 at 12:21 pm

    immature said...

    Portman for lifetime achievement? Black Swan is her best performance–what else would she win for, besides Closer–V for Vendetta? Goya’s Ghost? That awful Anne Boleyn film?

  • 22 9-09-2011 at 12:22 pm

    JF said...

    Ok, sorry Kris, can you remove the post then (and of course this one?)

    Thank you.

  • 23 9-09-2011 at 12:28 pm

    Bia said...

    I think you’re right, actresses do peak early. I remember reading that the median age women won a lead Oscar was 29. Someone like Leo DiCaprio will be expected to wait as opposed to Natalie Portman who sped through her 20s toward the major performance that had to win her that award NOW.

  • 24 9-09-2011 at 2:16 pm

    Andrej said...


    “Raul Ruiz’s towering masterpiece has been ignored. Maybe France will submit it?”

    Haven’t seen Mysteries of Lisbon yet, but isn’t the country of director’s nationality the base for submission? Biutiful was all in Spain, but since González Iñárritu is mexican, they submit it instead.

    If it’s really so, then the submission duties would fall on Chile, but I highly doubt they’ll choose it over the recently successful Violeta Se Fue a Los Cielos. Also, from what I’ve read, Mysteries of Lisbon is getting the Carlos treatment: split into episodes for TV airing, so I’d count it out of Best Foreign Language Film discussion.

  • 25 9-09-2011 at 2:24 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    One that immediately came to my mind, regarding Lifetime Achievement … 1985: Geraldine Page over Whoopi or Meryl Streep.

    Not that Page’s career (and seven fruitless nominations) didn’t factor into that win, but her work in “The Trip to Bountiful” is one of the all-time great Best Actress performances. No idle lifetime achievement award, that.

  • 26 9-09-2011 at 2:31 pm

    red_wine said...

    Both Carlos and Lisbon were released theatrically. I believe Carlos would have been eligible had France been so minded, but it clearly did not need that being one of the most widely celebrated and acclaimed films of last year.

    Lisbon I don’t think has caught fire in the way Carlos did. Even though it beat Carlos to the ultra prestigious Louis Dellac Prize.

    I believe the nationality of the film-maker has nothing to do with it, more like where the money/talent came from. And I don’t believe Chile was involved at all, so the onus is now with France (the film has French money involved as well as French actors and French dialogue).

    But Guy can clear up these mysteries better than most.

  • 27 9-09-2011 at 2:48 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Guy, agreed (I mentioned in in my post, as well). I remember watching it and thinking, ‘Geez, people thought that Whoopi should have won this walking?” I honestly was very moved by the performance. It’s one of the greats, for me, as well.

  • 28 9-09-2011 at 3:00 pm

    Andrej said...

    Yeah, it’d be something like the 1992 uruguayan submission of A Place in the World if Chile submitted ‘Lisbon’; though after making a quick check through the rules, the director doesn’t get the award, he just accepts it on behalf of the winning country’s film industry, so if a director and the producing country aren’t from the same nations, the submission opportunities are given to the director’s country just as a formality. Dunno.

    However, I still have to verify if ‘Lisbon’ will be transformed into a miniseries or not.

  • 29 9-09-2011 at 3:05 pm

    /3rtfull said...

    Not that Page’s career (and seven fruitless nominations) didn’t factor into that win, but her work in “The Trip to Bountiful” is one of the all-time great Best Actress performances. No idle lifetime achievement award, that.

    How does this performance compare to Interiors? I’ve only seen that single performance from her and fell in love.

  • 30 9-09-2011 at 3:21 pm

    j said...

    8 Actress winners have been 50+. 3 of them were Katharine Hepburn. The others were in 30s, 50s, 80s, 90s, 00s. So on average almost once a decade.

    14 for Sup Actress, lower than I expected actually. 19 for Actor. Sup Actor, 19 were actually 60+ for a total of 30 50+. And yes my source was Wiki, so possible errors.

    Since 1997, only 2 Best Actresses were outside the 25-35 range.

  • 31 9-09-2011 at 3:48 pm

    JF said...

    Red_wine is correct.

    ‘Mysteries of Lisbon’ is a French-Portuguese-Spanish production. It has French and Portuguese dialogue. So it would be up to France and Portugal to submit the movie.

    About the TV mini-series… It already aired in Portugal but that doesn’t rule it out because it didn’t air in the USA.

    Alas, I’m betting France submits ‘Le Havre’.

  • 32 9-09-2011 at 4:06 pm

    Graysmith said...

    Glenn Close in Albert Nobbs sounds comparable to Annette Bening in Being Julia. She’ll be nominated because she’s well-respected and it’s a good performance, but she won’t win.

    If an older actress is going to win this year it’ll probably be Meryl Streep.

  • 33 9-09-2011 at 4:09 pm

    Graysmith said...

    Hey Kris,

    Any chance of the Contenders page getting filled in any time soon? I’m itching to jot down some early predictions, and in past years I always found that page more than helpful.

  • 34 9-09-2011 at 4:21 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    The Contenders page has been updated consistently for a few weeks now, Graysmith. Broken out by category on one page, by studio on another. It’s always linked in the Off the Carpet column and in the right sidebar.

  • 35 9-09-2011 at 4:24 pm

    Mark said...


    What is Emmerich: PD?


  • 36 9-09-2011 at 4:48 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Not sure what you’re referring to.

  • 37 9-09-2011 at 4:49 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Unless you mean red_wine’s smiley faces.

  • 38 9-09-2011 at 5:04 pm

    Graysmith said...


    I seemed to have falsely remembered that they used to be on that same page, so when I went there now and it was all empty I thought you hadn’t added anything.. Didn’t think to try and click on them. Oops!

  • 39 9-09-2011 at 5:14 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Oh man, hope you didn’t miss a lot last year!

  • 40 9-09-2011 at 7:26 pm

    will said...

    I totally get what you are saying, Kris, and I agree. In general, and this has been the case for a long time, older actors and younger actresses are usually the people who will win the Oscars in the leading categories. As this is so, ‘career’ awards are much more likely to go to male actors over 40.

  • 41 9-09-2011 at 8:35 pm

    Speaking English said...

    I understand your complaint about the un-cinematic qualities of “A Dangerous Method” and how it made the film less interesting to you, but must every movie adhere to conventions of overt visual storytelling? I mean, I can’t even imagine what you thought of “My Dinner with Andre.”

  • 42 9-10-2011 at 3:54 pm

    Michael W. said...

    I am absolutely thrilled to hear these great things about The Descendants. Payne and Clooney can do no wrong. And I don’t agree with Kris and Anne that the trailer didn’t play well. I thought is was and is wonderful. Hopefully the film can be a true contender through out the season.

  • 43 9-10-2011 at 3:58 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    “must every movie adhere to conventions of overt visual storytelling?”

    No, but being more stimulating than watching smart paint dry is a must. And visual storytelling doesn’t have to be, by definition, “overt.”

    My Dinner with Andre had a hook to it that ADM just doesn’t.

    Michael: I never saw the full trailer so I wouldn’t say I agreed with Anne.

  • 44 9-10-2011 at 4:23 pm

    Michael W. said...

    Oh. Ok.

    I thought that you agreed that it didn’t play well when you said “right”.

    But nonetheless. It’s wonderful :D And I hope I will feel the same about the film.

  • 45 9-10-2011 at 4:26 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    That’s just something I do, unfortunately, when trying to move along. I say, “Right, right,” as in, “uh-huh, mm-hm,” just kind of an acknowledgment.

  • 46 9-11-2011 at 12:26 am

    Steve G said...

    Great podcast, as always. And nice to hear you being civil to each other, even when you disagree.

    The Annette Bening-Being Julia analogy for Glenn Close this year sounds apt. It helps to win if your film is also up for Best Picture. When The Blind Side was nominated for Best Pic and Julie & Julia got no other noms, that felt like the clincher for Bullock over Streep. Similarly, Picture nominations for Ray, Capote and even The Queen seemed to shore up the wins for the actors that starred in them.

    If The Help is a Picture nominee, and Albert Nobbs and The Iron Lady are not, watch out for Viola Davis!

  • 47 9-11-2011 at 5:10 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Alas, I’m betting France submits ‘Le Havre’.

    If any country submits Le Havre, it will be Finland — the film is on their shortlist of potential entries.