Don’t be daunted by the nearly 2 hour run time of this episode. The whole second half is just Sasha, Ryan and I bitching about politics, because honestly nothing else really seems to matter right now – certainly not the awards race. If you don’t care about Oscars, you could certainly skip ahead to the 60 minute mark and listen to just the politics, or you could tune in to just the first hour for an updated look at the Best Picture race (not much has changed and we’re still favoring Argo), the Best Actress race (still Jennifer Lawrence, but don’t count out Judi Dench in the surprisingly lovely The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel which is already making the screener rounds and personally I favor Marion Cotillard), a post mortem on Cloud Atlas which we all kind of loved and then we toss out some suggestions for your Halloween viewing. Check it out here  or subscribe on iTunes.

3 Responses to “Oscar Podcast #5 – Best Actress, Cloud Atlas Post Mortem, Politics”

  1. I will make a concerted effort to listen to this during the course of the evening, since I’m pretty much grounded with the family.

    If the talk is pro-Obama as I’m sure it is I’ll be most pleased!

  2. Oh yeah, we’re all about Obama and we’re all pretty pissed off how the media is covering the campaign. Less than a week and it’ll be all over, thank God.

  3. I just finished listening to the entire two-hour podcast and must say it was perhaps the most brilliant of the series to this point. Everyone was opinionated, impassioned and often inspiring in both the Oscar talk and in the all-important discussion on Tuesday’s presidential election.
    I totally agree with you all that ARGO looks like the film to beat (box office success, Hollywood at its best, well-reviewed, Americana, heroic) and that Spielberg’s LINCOLN is the only other film that could win the day. The others films that are named as front-runners (Silver Linings Playbook, Life of Pi, Les Miserables, The Hobbit, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Moonrise Kingdom) are hard to argue too. I continue to feel that Beasts is one of the year’s most overrated films (stylized but oddly distancing) but agree with Sasha’s high praise of Moonrise Kingdom. I am extremely excited about Lincoln and Les Miz, though both The Hobbit and Life of Pi more than intrigue me. In any event I concur with the esteemed trio completely on ARGO’s excellence and wide popularity.

    I know Ryan particularly loves The Master, a film I believe has some brilliant sequences, but this is one that won’t appeal to all the voters in the same way that last year’s TREE OF LIFE didn’t. But a nomination for the top category in view of the expanded number is definitely a likelihood, especially when you consider what Sasha said tellingly about a number of voters placing the film #1 on their ballot in the weighted system the Academy employs.

    The longest segments in the podcast’s first hour were undoubtably the ones where CLOUD ATLAS and THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL. I must emphatically disagree with Sasha when she argues or at least implies that the reason why CLOUD ATLAS has gotten such divided reviews from critics is that they “just didn’t get it.” I have tried myself to use this argument in the past, but it’s really unfair and untrue. Uhlich, Stevens, Lane, Scott, Pinkerton, Turan all “got it” I am sure, they just didn’t like it. The film is maddeningly incoherent, scattered, and unable to make the emotional connection that it’s supporters are claiming it does. In my opinion it deserved the poor reviews it has received. I have always had big problems with the Wachowskis. Back in 2006 I named Aronofsky’s THE FOUNTAIN as the best film of the year, yet as was the case with CLOUD ATLAS the film got a divided reaction, with the haters bashing it mercilessly, some saying it was unwatchable. It connected with me emotionally in a big way. I did not deem to suggest that critics who did not like it just “didn’t get it” because they “disagreed” with my opinion. All three of you offered impassioned defenses of the film and while you felt it came together in the actions/consequences equation, and how it was a life-affirming experience. I applaud that reaction and truly wish I could agree. But it all comes down to the individual personal reaction. I felt it with THE FOUNTAIN, but didn’t with CLOUD ATLAS, which was sketchy, and unable to connect the dots. Nonetheless, I’d be hard-pressed to contest the erudite presentation and the personal reactions, all informed with impressive grasp of the film’s essence. It’s just different perceptions, nothing more. But yes, this is not an Oscar kind of film either, and that point I agree. I never was a huge fan of MARIGOLD HOTEL, but liked it better on DVD, and know many fellow teachers and older bloggers -especially women-who absolutely adore. Agree with you all that it has made it’s mark big-time with this age group and is poised to make a surprise run at some nominations. Yes the acting by Dench, patel, Smith, Wikinson all wonderful. Smith had some of the funniest lines, but you almost feel guilty at laughing at them. It’s beautifully mounted for sure. And yes Craig, I fully understand what you say when you mention it’s your mother’s kind of film, and I’m aware it did great box-office and that John Madden rather has the Midas Touch on the art house circuit. Great discussion by Sasha on the matter of death hovering over this film, LIFE OF PI and AMOUR, and how this is often a fascinating subject to broach in film.

    And yes Rex Reed is obnoxious, smug, impatient and dismissive and I agree with you that he should hang up his cletes. I’ve read his stuff all the way back to the 70′s and he’s rather laughable, and surface gloss. The same goes for Kyle Smith of The York Post.

    On the Best Actress race I agree with you all on Jennifer Lawrence as the frontrunner, though I haven’t yet seen the film that she is the favorite for. Her work in HUNGER GAMES was impressive. Dench, Wallace, Chastain, Knightly, Watts all seem like smart predictions. I know Wallace is quite young for the nomination and I nodded while listening to the discussion on that. Sally Field for Lincoln, eh? Wow. Most interesting. Field has done it before, and this supporting actress role as Mary Todd will no doubt be loved. Didn’t realize Craig that Marion C. was in the race, though again, great talent. Adams, Hathaway, Weaver all seem to be excellent predictions.

    Got the Halloween movie choices, though sad to say ours was wiped out by this terrible hurricane. Agreed Craig on the quality of the american re-make of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN. Agree with Sasha’s recommendations of Carpenter’s film and Carrie.

    Then the extraordinary talk on the election! Sasha and Ryan really took off the gloves, and Craig was there as well, and I smiled and applauded throughout! Yes, 25% of Americans are racists, yes, the Gallup poll is an outlier, yes, the right wing press and talk show people are seriously dellusional, yes Romney is a puppet of the financial gods, yes much of the media believes that there is money to be made by supporting the right, and yes Obama would surely have been roasted if 9-11 happened on his watch. Ryan I quite agree that Romney is a “cult” candidate and with Craig with his telling “everybody is wealthy” argument. And Sasha is dead-on with the ‘born into privelege’ talk. I am extremely disgusted with Pitt, Damon and Affleck for their criticisms, and agree with all three of you that it was be cataclysmic if Obama were to lose. I have been following the election everyday, having long daily talks with my two brothers and friends after virtually every new poll has been released and watch for every slight change. I am also a huge Nate Silver devotee, and his system is seemingly flawless or close to it. I would not write off Florida yet, but pretty much agree with the concensus here that the following with go with Obama:

    Ohio
    Iowa
    Wisconsin
    Nevada
    New Hampshire
    Wisconsin
    Colorado

    and maybe Virginia.

    Yes Ryan, the Electotral vote is all that counts, and in one sense wouldn’t payback for 2000 be poetic justice. Back then when Bush beat Gore in the chad debacle despite lose the popular vote by almost a million votes, the GOP proclaimed that ‘the Electoral vote was all that counted” and then the Dems knew this all along. Throwing this scenario back in their face would be divine. But Obama may carry the day in that vote as well. Sasha hit the bullseye when she said in exasperation that “America hates black people more than they hate Mormons.” Still like you all I see Obama winning on Tuesday and everyone breathing a collective sigh of relief.

    One thing you all did NOT broach though is the complications from Hurricane Sandy. Word is that some vital areas in Pennsylvania, Virginia and even Ohio have been adversely affected by the storm and these are heavily Democratic bastions. The ground game organizers will have to be in top form to make sure the lion’s share of voters cast ballots. I don’t mean to suggest that there will be a major or insurmountable problem, but it is at least a matter of concern.

    Incidentally I agree with Sasha (though I respect that Ryan does not agree) that Obama didn’t win the first debate and that he was listless and perhaps as Sasha suggests was purposely off his game. Obama himself admits that he had a bad night and even all the major Dem supporters on NBC and James Carville himself conceded with great disappointment that he never showed up. However, as we all know, and as all three of you say here, the next two debates were a different ballgame. Still, as was the case when Kennedy bested Nixon in the first debate in 1960, but then lost to his GOP opponent in the next two (the fourth was by concensus a tie) the most lasting impression with voters (unfair as it is) is the first debate. But it does appear that Obama has made up some of thjose first debate losses and is poised to win on Tuesday. Biden’s win over Ryan was another Democratic advantage, but I know few will factor that in.

    Ryan is 100% right though when he leads the charge here that Romney is a major liar, a motion both Sasha and Craig second. When he was talking in the first debate I told my kids that his nose was getting longer! Ha!

    I am confident we will all be smiling and celebrating Tuesday night, and I much appreciate this inspiring show of erudite California liberalism tonight. (OK Ryan resides in Kentucky). I could imagine how he gets frustrated, but he holds down the fort!

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