FEINBERG & FRIENDS, Episode 1: Scott and THR's Tim Appelo on the Awards Race (Audio)

I'm very pleased to bring you the first episode of "Feinberg & Friends," a podcast that will air on "The Race" blog every Tuesday. Each episode will feature 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 will list in the text accompanying the audio so that you know exactly what you're signing up for), and lasting around 30 minutes each time (meaning 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'm delighted that Tim Appelo, my friend and colleague at The Hollywood Reporter, where he reports on film both in print and online, agreed to be my guest for the podcast's kickoff edition. Tim is a pro who has covered the awards race for years, and I really enjoyed our chat, which touched upon the following 10 topics...

  1. With the Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Telluride, and Toronto film festivals already in the books, and the New York Film Festival well underway, have we already seen a film that could conceivably win the best picture Oscar? Midnight in Paris? The Artist? The Help? The Descendants? Moneyball? Something else?
  2. What film could get the biggest awards bounce out of the aforementioned New York Film Festival? Carnage? My Week with Marilyn? Something else?
  3. Is it really that surprising that The Ides of March, a film about American politics, didn't go over especially well at its first screenings in Italy and Canada? And can it rebound now that its screening stateside for American journalists and audiences?
  4. We're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but many have formed and voiced judgments about War Horse based on its recently released poster, J. Edgar and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close based on their trailers, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo based on 8 minutes of footage from it that was screened for the press, etc. Can we really read anything into the quality of a film from such things?
  5. How will the best supporting actress category -- perhaps the hardest to read at the moment -- shake out? And will there be room in it for any of Jessica Chastain's many fine performances from this year -- in The Tree of Life, The Help, Take Shelter, Coriolanus, or The Debt?
  6. What is going on in the best animated film (feature) category? Five years ago, Happy Feet beat Cars; now their sequels are up against each other... but Paramount's two contenders, the more traditionally-animated Rango and the less traditionally-animated The Adventures of Tintin, may be even stronger contenders.
  7. Fox Searchlight has pulled a lot of rabbits out of hats in recent awards races, but can they really turn Shame -- the sure-fire NC-17 film about a sex addict and his mentally disturbed sister that includes scenes of full frontal nudity from both Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan -- into an Oscar contender?
  8. Was Eddie Murphy a good choice to host the Oscars?
  9. Were Oprah Winfrey, James Earl Jones, and Dick Smith good choices to receive honorary Oscars at next month's Academy Governors Awards?
  10. What feature, documentary, male performance, and female performance are not getting the awards traction that they deserve?

We ran a little longer than 30 minutes this week, but I think it was all time well spent. You can decide for yourself by tuning in below...

(Please share constructive feedback about this week's episode and questions/suggestions for next week's episode in the comments section below!)