5:13pm PT by Scott Feinberg
FEINBERG & FRIENDS, Ep. 6: Scott & Awards Daily's Sasha Stone on Awards Race (Audio)
I'm very pleased to bring you the sixth episode of "Feinberg & Friends," a podcast about the awards race that airs on The Race every week, usually on Tuesdays.
Each episode features a discussion between me and a different guest -- a film blogger, critic or journalist of some other variation -- about 10 different awards-related topics (which we list in the text accompanying the audio so that you know exactly what you're signing up for) and runs for approximately 30 minutes (so that if one topic is not of particular interest to you it will only be about three minutes before we're on to the next one, which hopefully will be).
I was delighted that my friend Sasha Stone, whose Oscar blog AwardsDaily.com was one of the first on the Web (it was established in 1999 as OscarWatch.com), agreed to join me for this episode. I really enjoyed our chat, during which we tackled the following 10 questions...
1. [This discussion was recorded earlier in the week, so we discussed the Brett Ratner/Eddie Murphy situation, but I have edited it out of the audio below because things changed in the following days.]
2. What were the highlights of the 25th annual AFI Fest, which took place in Hollywood over the past week and featured the world premiere of Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar and the first North American screening of Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin, among many other screenings?
3. What is the buzz on Martin Scorsese's 3-D family flick Hugo, which screened a number of times in recent days and has generated favorable reactions from everyone from Paul Thomas Anderson to Slash.
4. What might be this year's The Social Network and The King's Speech -- in other words, what might be the film that critics/pundits love more than the Academy and vice-versa? Perhaps The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Help?
5. What movie best captures the cultural zeitgeist of the moment? Might it be Moneyball or The Artist?
6. Could Hollywood-newcomer Jean Dujardin (The Artist) actually beat George Clooney (The Descendants) and Brad Pitt (Moneyball) and win the best actor Oscar, a la Roberto Benigni (Life Is Beautiful) over Tom Hanks (Saving Private Ryan) and Edward Norton (American History X) and Adrien Brody (The Pianist) over Daniel Day-Lewis (Gangs of New York) and Jack Nicholson (About Schmidt)?
7. Most people agree that the first three best actor slots will be occupied -- in one order or another -- by Clooney, Pitt, and Dujardin, and that Leonardo DiCaprio (J. Edgar) is close behind -- but who will capture the fifth slot? Michael Fassbender (Shame), Michael Shannon (Take Shelter), Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Woody Harrelson (Rampart), Ryan Gosling (Drive or The Ides of March), Ralph Fiennes (Coriolanus), Paul Giamatti (Win Win), and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (50/50) are among those in the hunt...
8. What is the latest news on War Horse and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close?
9. Do some eccentric-sounding contenders that are receiving awards campaigns actually have a chance? Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2 for best picture? Andy Serkis (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) for best supporting actor? Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids) for best supporting actress?
10. With the third annual Academy Governors Awards coming up on Saturday night, what do we make of this year's recipients: James Earl Jones and Dick Smith for honorary Oscars and Oprah Winfrey for the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award?
Give it a listen...