January 06, 2012 12:16pm PT by Scott Feinberg
FEINBERG & FRIENDS, Ep. 11: Scott and Annette Insdorf, Columbia's Director of Undergraduate Film Studies, on the Race (Audio)
I'm very pleased to bring you the eleventh episode of "Feinberg & Friends," THR's weekly podcast about the awards race.
Each episode features a discussion between me and a different guest -- a film blogger, critic or journalist of some other variation -- about roughly 10 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 to 40 minutes (so that if one topic is not of particular interest to you it will only be about three or four minutes before we're on to the next one, which hopefully will be).
I was delighted that my friend Annette Insdorf, a noted film historian who serves as the Director of Undergraduate Film Studies at Columbia University and a professor in the Graduate Film Division of the School of the Arts, agreed to join me for this episode. I really enjoyed our chat, during which we tackled the following eight questions...
1. How can we explain the fact that, with just 50 days remaining until the 84th Academy Awards, the best picture Oscar favorite is still a black-and-white silent movie? And, along those lines, was last year's best picture win for The King's Speech (2010), an old-school film, actually unusual, or were the grittier best picture winners in the years before it -- Crash (2005), The Departed (2006), No Country for Old Men (2007), Slumdog Millionaire (2008), and The Hurt Locker (2009) -- the exceptions to the rule?
2. What can we deduce from the announcement on Tuesday of the nominees for the 23rd annual PGA Awards? Should we be taking Bridesmaids, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and The Ides of March more seriously in terms of the best picture Oscar race? And should The Tree of Life be worried?
3. What is the deal with Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close? It hasn't registered with many of the guilds (the Art Directors Guild being a notable exception), but then again neither did Stephen Daldry's last film The Reader (2008), another emotionally-provocative film released late in the year.
4. Is it crazy to expect nominations from little films with passionate fans, such as A Better Life, Drive, and Warrior?
5. Which five films are most likely to score nominations for the best foreign language film Oscar? And which films should have been eligible for the category but were not even subitted by their home countries?
7. What is the deal with War Horse? This week, it scored a PGA nomination, but was snubbed by both the WGA and the Art Directors Guild. It garnered best picture nominations from the BFCA and HFPA, but was denied any acting nominations -- and even an ensemble nomination -- by SAG. In many ways, however, it still seems like the sort of film that the Academy tends to embrace.
8. Which women are most likely to score best actress Oscar nominations at this point? Will it be the same lineup that SAG selected -- Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady), Viola Davis (The Help), Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn), Tilda Swinton (We Need to Talk About Kevin), and Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs) -- or have Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Charlize Theron (Young Adult), or someone else gained ground on them?
Give it a listen (above)...