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Podcast: The Danish Girl, Youth, Macbeth, Chi-Raq

Nathaniel, Nick, Katey, and Joe all return for the latest episode of the podcast in which we discuss four new films that definitely bear their auteur's signature for better and worse. Listen in and continue the conversation in the comments. The more the merrier.

42 minutes 
00:01 NBR & NYFCC debrief
05:40 The Danish Girl
16:28 Macbeth's feeling of inevitability...or is it monotony?
22:56 Paolo Sorrentino's Youth, a bit of The Great Beauty and a lot of Jane Fonda
33:00 Spike Lee's new urgent joint Chi-Raq
39:45 Joe's new job & Nick's sudden activity

Further Reading for Context:
Nick's Danish Girl tweet
Nathaniel's Category Fraud Screed
Nick's "Favorites" Countdown

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes

Youth, Danish Girl, Macbeth

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Reader Comments (18)

Good to hear you all back together - it's been too long.

My favourite bit (32:50) "She was her father's assistant."

December 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBJT

Is the non-iTunes link missing?

December 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKieran Scarlett

kieran -- oops. fixing now

December 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

I haven't seen Macbeth so I can't comment on it. But it's a bit hilarious how Australia has produced so many directors in a row who are 30-something men that seem like they never got to beat anyone up in high school and now they're gonna compensate for it with incessant bleak extremely graphic explorations of masculinity and the nature of violence.

December 7, 2015 | Unregistered Commentergoran

As much as I love to see people pushing back against category fraud, I’m not sure it’s worth it costing Mara and Rampling (possibly even Blanchett too) a nomination. Probably my three favorite performances of the year... How are we all gonna feel if Mara gets nominated in lead and robs Rampling of a long awaited Oscar nomination... or worse, all three canceling each other out???

December 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTommy Q

Yay for the gang being back together! And yay for the hilarious observations on Youth!

December 7, 2015 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

Tommy Q -- it is exactly for this reason that it's hard to defeat. but why do people have no loyalty to hard working supporting players? If the argument is really "i want all the good leads to be nominated" shouldnn't people be fighting for expanded categories instead of acting like "supporting" is worthless unless we're allowed to use it as a drop catch for leading players who aren't strong enough to make it on their own in lead.

December 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

What Nathaniel said.

December 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

Youth: A film so bad Nick can't even imagine seeing it twice.


December 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

Nat: I would love two things: 1. Expanded categories for especially "gamed" categories (say 8 wide fields for both genders in both acting categories), to see what results. Category fraud would be curbed (definitely not stopped completely for the men, but vastly reduced. Possibly eliminated completely for the women.). 2. A medallist ceremony instead of a singular trophy. (Honestly, I think you're closer to the mark.)

Let's take the 2010 Lead and Supporting Actor categories as a proving ground:

As is? Lead Actor is Colin Firth, Javier Bardem, Jeff Bridges, Jesse Eisenberg and James Franco. Supporting Actor is Christian Bale (Cat Fraud), John Hawkes, Jeremy Renner (arguable Cat Fraud), Mark Ruffalo (arguable Cat Fraud) and Geoffrey Rush (cat fraud.)

After these rule changes? Lead Actor would be Colin Firth, Christian Bale and Jesse Eisenberg as the medallists, with Javier Bardem, Jeff Bridges, James Franco and Geoffrey Rush as definite additional nominees. The eighth slot is between Garfield (campaigners emboldened by the expansion to push him as a co-lead. Which he IS (Eisenberg is lead for minutes 0-55 and supporting afterward, Garfield is lead for minutes 55-110, supporting before that point) and Gosling. Supporting Actor would be Mark Ruffalo, John Hawkes and Jeremy Renner as the medallists, with Vincent Cassel, Tom Hardy, Armie Hammer, Miles Teller and Justin Timberlake joining them as additional nominees.

So, in closing: 2 counts definite cat fraud and 2 counts arguable cat fraud bargained down to just the arguable cases.

December 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Volvagia - I see what you're going for, but that'd be just bonkers. Yes, 5 nominees can be a VERY limited slate in good years. But at the end of the day art is not meant to be measured, categorised or ranked. We all find it unfair when someone we like doesn't make the cut, but it is what it is and I think expanding the acting categories that much could be as disruptive as expanding the Best Pic one to 10 and then 5-to-10 was years ago. Maybe they could do with 6 nominees like at the Emmys. But I'd just leave it as it's been for almost 90 years now and take the Oscars for they are.

December 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCarlos

Great Podcast - I love it when the band gets together again. Danish Girl is self erasing? The best description of "Danish Girl" was Amy Nicholson at LA Weekly
"One day, she begs him to pose for her in stockings and heels, and suddenly a woman, Lili, bursts from his heart like the monster from Alien, killing its host."
Tom Hooper isn't exactly adept at explaining characters.

December 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLadyEdith

The acting categories must NEVER be expanded. There will always be years when deserving actors fail to get Oscar nominations. But that is the nature of the beast and what makes winning an Oscar nomination so special. You expand the categories and you kill the prestige of the award. Let us not dilute the honor of earning an Oscar nomination.

We need to put a positive spin on this situation. This year, we are experiencing a rare wealth of great performances by actresses, so the tradeoff is that some will get left behind come Oscar nomination morning. It is sad, but I would much rather have it like this than years when we have struggled to come up with five worthy nominees for Best Actress, as has been the case in many years past. The five ladies who get in this year will have something special to call their own.

December 8, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

I actually have a question for Nick, so I don't know if he will see this. Given the sort of mixed responses that Nathaniel and Katey had about the performances in Macbeth I was wondering what Nick found sound wonderful about them in the film since he never actually made it apparent? I personally thought they were fantastic to but it seems they aren't getting as positive of a reception in the US as the are in the UK.

December 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

Brookesboy - I completely agree. And it leads me to the point that Rampling and Mara would only be strengthened by a 'snub'... the raves for their performances ensure that they continue to work, the goodwill earned by being 'snubbed' puts them in a strong position next time the circus rolls into town.

Can anyone think of legitimately 'snubbed' performances (ie. a Globe/SAG/BAFTA nomination but failing to get the Oscar nomination) where the actor didn't get across the line in the next 2-10 years?

I'm thinking Cameron Diaz and not many others (and let's not pretend that Diaz isn't in a strong position the next time she nails a good role in a baity film).

December 8, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterkermit_the_frog

@Peter: Thanks for asking! At risk of cliche, I found Fassbender and Cotillard very adept at reciting Shakespearean text as though it were plausible self-expression, sometimes as spontaneous conversation, sometimes as painstaking meditation, but always with the pace and texture of genuine thought. Neither was afraid to be quick, quiet, or steady with it, rather than slowing down into histrionic underscoring or flaunting their facility with the language. At the same time, each found moments, especially Fassbender, to take interesting risks: his reading of the line about feeling a scorpion inside his mind, complete with grinning cackle, was a real chiller. And language aside, I appreciated their ability to strike poses and expressions totally in sync with Kurzel's tableau-based and sculptural photography, while also seeming spontaneous, responsive, and fully in the moment with each other, plausibly surprised by each other's verbal and physical maneuvers. I was just wowed, all the more so since I wasn't expecting Kurzel to be a nuanced steward of such intricate language, and because I'd been hoping to feel wowed again by Fassbender after starting to take him a bit for granted. I never do that with Cotillard, yet still she astounds me almost every time in ways I can't predict. Thanks for asking!

December 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNick Davis

@kermit: As much as I hate to go near this word, maybe Jim Carrey, twice over?

December 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNick Davis

Tilda Swinton never recovered from being snubbed for Kevin. Poor thing stuck in the Mercedes Ruehl lane of one and done in supporting actress.

December 8, 2015 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

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