Oscar Podcast Episode 9 has been unleashed upon the world for your gratification. Once again I join Awards Daily team Sasha Stone and Ryan Adams and we share our enthusiasm for Ang Lee’s beautiful and moving Life of Pi, Kathryn Bigelow’s fantastic hunt for Bin Laden thriller Zero Dark Thirty. Somewhere in between we sit on the outside looking in at the highly anticipated musical drama adaptation Les Miserables. Sorry to say this one just wasn’t Sasha’s or my cup of tea, but neither of us can think of any reason why fans of the stage production won’t be thrilled. Anyway, this week we actually keep it right at one hour!

3 Responses to “Oscar Podcast, Ep. 9: Life of Pi, Les Miserables, Zero Dark Thirty”

  1. I have been waiting for the discussion on LES MISERABLES with baited breath, and just today was eminded by my 16 year-old daughter Melanie who absolutely adores the score how she can hardly wait to see it on Christmas Day. While I am admittedly bummed out that Craig and Sasha are not fans of Hooper’s film (and to be honest I do NOT think that Sasha is piling on Hooper because of THE KING SPEECH’s win over THE SOCIAL NETWORK) I understand that neither has a history with the landmark Broadway/West End production that I have seen three times, and have revered for decades. I consider the Schonberg/Boublil score the most beautiful written for a show in the past 40 years, or reeally since the Golden 60’s when Kander and Ed and Harnick and Bock wrote masterpieces. This would include the reign of Andrew Lloyd Weber, whose PHANTOM released around the same time as LES MIZ. I would have to agree with Sasha, Craig and Ryan that there is a passionate bulit-in fan base for this film amongst the Broadway clientele, but I suspect that base will be more formidable than the trio here believes. Sorry, I realize Ryan is actually more optimistic as to the clout of this group. Someone said over the past week that Hollywood will ‘always go for the musical.’ This is most assuredly false since the only musical film that won since OLIVER! way back in 1968 is 2002’s CHICAGO. And even the reasonably successful DREAMGIRLS, defied the pundits by missing out on a Best Picture nomination. The Academy voers are not quichk to go the musical route, though of course not all that many are made. However, when it’s done right, they seem hot to trot. I am speculating sight unseen (but knowing the music by heart, having seen all the trailers) that the film is a certainly to gain multiple nominations to the tune of almost a dozen (I think Taply is right!) and it’s a serious threat to LINCOLN for the Best Picture prize. Serious. I don’t think there can be any doubt of this. My LES MIZ obsession was dominant through the late 80’s and early 90’s, a time I took on Victor Hugo’s novel, and declared it the greatest single novel I have ever read in my entire life. I stand to that position today, and was so ravished and emotionally overwhelmed that I read it again even at that length, and have tracked down and seen every film version. I would speculate that both Sasha and Craig are right that it’s a downer for Hathaway to exit that early, but that’s what Fantine is all about. The proposed ‘love it or hate it’ expectation by the group is fair enough and probably true, as there are a good number of people out there who just don’t dig musicals. Great to hear that Barks and Siegfried are terrific, though I can’t say I am surprised at all. I much enjoyed the discussion on Broadway successes, and just will add here that THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is now the #1 longest running musical in Broadway history. Was pleasedhat Sasha is a PHANTOM admirer, as I was to learn that Ryan is a big CABARET fan. The group’s meaningful disclaimers not withstanding, for a number of comepelling reasons, I feel this will probably be on even ground with LINCOLN, and could well emerge the winner. I muist say I do adore LINCOLN like the others here, and will never try to play one against the other, though if SILVER LININGS comes into the discussion, all bets are off. Ha! But right now I am in the same boat as Ryan, and won’t be seeing the film until the evening of the same day Santa will be stopping over.

    It was thrilling to hear all the effusive praise for the exhiliarating THE LIFE OF PI, and I tip my cap to Ryan especially, who has read the novel multiple times. I have not read the novel even a single time. Great comparison analogy by Ryan on “songs” and terrific point by Craig on the fallacy of some thinking the film should be thought of less because it’s “simplistic.” I couldn’t agree with Sasha more when she rightly dismisses that bizarre Christianity angle, instead stressing the life is beautiful presense throughout and the compelling ‘survival’ context. And yes, the tiger has no sense of morality! Ha! I also agree with Sasha that LINCOLN will win the ‘scripter’ award Ryan seemingly makes a fantastic point about the ‘expansion of the screenplay’ and of the employment of the framing device.

    I would have to strongly agree with Craig that HOLY MOTORS is the film that is so much more ‘unlike’ and other film seen this year.

    Sasha is right to downsize the forgettable light weight SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK.

    Craig’s presentation in discussing ZERO DARK THIRTY is truly superlative. Sasha makes great points abvout the scenes concerning the fultility of war, the torture as being a neutral entity, and the brilliance of the Bin Laden raid (I have not of course seen this film yet). Astated, Craig follows up ever point with his own fascinating embellishments. This is another film that could seriously challenge the others, as the early reviews have been spoectacular.

    You people keep getting better and better. I am wondering if you have THE HOBBIT on your sights.

  2. Sasha is apparently seeing The Hobbit very soon and I’ll be seeing it on the 10th. What’s strange is I loved Lord of the RIngs and couldn’t give two shits about The Hobbit. I’m appalled that Jackson has turned a nice bedtime story into an epic three parter and I feel a strong sense of been their, done that. All of this smacks of greed and an attempt by Jackson to get his career back on track.

    Be that as it may, I still hope it’s good! lol.

    Sam I won’t be surprised if Oscar goes apeshit for Les Miz and honestly I’d be fine with that. My heart is with Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty and Life of Pi, but as long as SIlver Linings doesn’t win, I’ll be pretty happy.

    The only thing I think that could go sour for you with Les Miz is if it’s somehow different than the production in a way that rubs you the wrong way. I highly doubt that, but it’s possible.

  3. Craig as I just earlier today answered another blogger, the greed equation is very persuasive. Jackson is in this for the money and the three part presentation is laughable. Still, like you I loved LOTR (especially RETURN) and I will give it a fair assessment. But I completely agree with you.

    As to LES MIZ, it is possible that the film won’t capture the theatrical magic as was largely the case with PHANTOM (a film I still liked more than most) in which case I would be disappointed.

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