This week on the Oscar Podcast, Sasha, Ryan and I talk mostly about the Best Actor race – Daniel Day Lewis, Joaquin Phoenix, Denzel Washington – and we air out Elvis Mitchell’s wonderful interview with Phoenix in Interview Magazine. I highly recommend you check out the interview whether you listen to the podcast or not.

2 Responses to “Oscar Podcast the Fourth”

  1. Just listened to Podcast #4 during an extended Wednesday morning break, while attending to some other work on the PC.

    Great to see that Ryan Adams is stoked to see Barack Obama re-elected, much as he was four years ago as I well recall. I’ve typically gone into my own liberal Democrat mode as well, as the release of every new poll has me on edge. I still think Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nevada and New Hampshite will provide our man with the winning Electoral College combination. Got a laugh listening to the banter here about debate interruptions, but Sasha was quite right putting things in the right perspective by saying the election is far more important than the Oscars, to put it mildly.

    Sasha did another splendid job as moderator, and as always her opinions are food for though and her predictions seemed headed for consumation. I was admittedly frustrated though, that she doggedly opposed Richard Linklater’s BERNIE (the director’s best film) in the podcast’s longest sub-thread. Her opposition was surprising given the film’s spectacular critical concensus and the fact that it unquestionably provides Jack Black with his best role and performance in a compelling study of repression. The complaint that the film is “not deep enough” completely rings hollow to me, and a further over-the-top foray in the black comedy territory would clinically taint the film’s endearing qualities (and yes Ryan, “ambiguity.”) Black deserves an acting nomination, though I agree it’s a long-shot. All said BERNIE is a critic’s film and I believe it’s probably Top Ten material. The whole “community” discussion too (by Ryan) was convincingly applied, and Craig’s excellent emellishments completed the case.

    I also agree that AMOUR is probably the front-runner for Best Picture, in large measure because it has been so widely anticipated, the potential crowd-pleasing aspects, and the always foridable Palme d’Or, the last of which just by itself is hardly assuring. But all of this can change depending on the way things go in the remaining weeks needless to say.

    Craig: You did an awesome job discussing Denis Levant’s astounding work in HOLY MOTORS. I do believe it’s the best performance in a film this year, though I don’t doubt Sasha’s call on Daniel-Day Lewis. I also concur that John Hawkes should be seriously entertained as his was simple spectacular in THE SESSIONS.

    Interesting that Sasha feels that ARGO continues to lead LINCOLN is Best Picture likelihood. Can’t say much there until I see LINCOLN, but I did see ARGO and most definitely did like it in a 2012 that has largely been dominated by films from abroad (THE TURIN HORSE, HOLY MOTORS, WAR WITCH, OSLO AUGUST 17TH, THE DEEP BLUE SEA, THE KID WITH A BIKE, MONSIEUR LAZHAR)

    I didn’t read about the issues brought on by Joaquin Phoenix in statements he is alleged to have made, but yeah that would impact the race. Day-Lewis has won before (as has Hoffmann) but he’s playing a real person, always an Oscar built-in advantage.

    Seems like the group here is less certain on this podcast than on the previous one that MIDDLE OF NOWHERE is headed to some important nominations. Again, I haven’t seen it yet to comment further.

    I was going to jump in with Woody Allen’s name when asked the question “Who else was anti-Oscar?” but then Sasha brought him into discussion. Yes, it is tragic that $$$$ has dimmed David Lynch’s future output. I see the performance of Tommy Lee Jones is getting raves by sasha. Look forward to that too.

    And then as mentioned again is the unknown “LES MIZ” factor. I am excited for sure, but I was for PHANTOM too, only to see a negative response from most.

    In any case things are getting clearer by the day, and will fall into place when a few more puzzle pieces are connected.

  2. Wow, Sam. You listened to the shit out of that thing!

    I disagreed with Sasha on Bernie. Ultimately (as good as Black was) I don’t think the film was about him so much as it was about the small Texas community in which he lived and how those people respond to his terrible action. I felt his motives remained ambiguous, but Sasha thought they were clear cut. Either way, his motives don’t really make his action better or worse and it’s fascinating to me how the community responds.

    As for Amour, it’s one of the best films of the year so it’s hard for me to predict that The Intouchables will beat it at the Oscars. Though they’ve improved lately, I don’t have a lot of faith in that category. Intouchables is a crowd please and that’s hard to fight against. Amour asks you to go places and think about things that aren’t going to make people very comfortable. I found it moving and invigorating, but I’ve talked to several people who were just depressed by it.

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