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« Live Announcement: Nominations for the 91st Academy Awards | Main | Beauty vs Beast: Queen Anne's Choice »

Podcast Special: Lots and Lots of Reader Questions Answered

Nathaniel R and Murtada Elfadl answer your questions this week

On this special edition of the podcast we ONLY answer reader questions. As many as we could get to in an hour. We had soooo much fun doing this one so we hope you enjoy, and thank you for the diversion.

Index (60 minutes)
00:01 Who will win SAG's Supporting Actress + fixing category fraud?
06:50 Original screenplay nominations + buying DVDs
12:00 Characters wardrobe, female directors, and films that define 2018
22:30 "Shallow" + "If you saw this... than why?" + replacing Oscar lists
31:35 Nominee presentations + Oscar Hosting 
35:45 Ben is Back and Roma questions
41:40 Nomination balloting procedures + Fav scenes of the year
52:00 Mandatory Best Actress diversion
57:00 Changing opinions on previous top 10 lists?

Further Reading / References
• Nadine Labaki (Capernaum) interview
Smackdown of 1943
Oscar Charts
Kyle Buchanan on the hostless Oscars article

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunesContinue the conversations in the comments, won't you? 

Special Episode: Reader Questions!

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Reader Comments (28)

My bitchy question! I'm getting a kick out of that. I would replace the supporting actress category of 1956 with: Helen Hayes in Anastasia, Terry Saunders in The King and I, Anne Baxter and Nina Foch in The Ten Commandments, and Brenda De Blazies in The Man Who Knew Too Much.

January 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTom G

I'd also consider switching Eileen Heckart to get nominated for either Bus Stop or Somebody Up There Likes Me.

January 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTom G

Helen Hayes was nom as Lead at the Golden Globes. I wonder issit bcos of category confusion tt cos her to miss a supp nod.

Talking o Bus Stop, I wld nom Marilyn in best actress over Hepburn in The Rainmaker.

January 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterClaran

thank you for considering my question! it was an honor to be, etc. etc...

January 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterCharles O

Julia Roberts’ performance in Ben is Back deserved so much more love than it received this Oscar season. It is one of her very best - next to her performances in Erin Brockovich, My Best Friend’s Wedding and Closer.

January 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMiguel

It's nice to hear you liked my game!

The one person I am especially thinking of this year is Nicholas Hoult, who, as with "Mad Max: Fury Road", is being completely ignored. You'd think that he would have gotten some traction, given the leading ladies in "The Favourite" keep all getting nominated.

January 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterChris P.

Great podcast. And I love that Nathaniel mentioned that "I've Never Been to Me" scene. I was mixed on You Were Never Really Here when I saw it, but the more I've thought of it, the more I've liked it, I think that's primarily because of what that scene added to the film.

January 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterScottC

I love the Coen brothers and I just couldn't with the Ballad of Buster Scruggs. (I did really like Zoe Kazan's performance, though.)

With regard to Tom G.'s bitchy question (ha), I immediately thought of Best Supporting Actor 2012. I believe I was pulling for Dwight Henry (Beasts of the Southern Wild), Matthew McConaughey (Magic Mike), Ezra Miller (The Perks of Being a Wallflower), Samuel L. Jackson and Leonardo DiCaprio (Django Unchained). And I agree with Nathaniel regarding Best Actress 2011 - there were so many great options that year, and the lineup was so disappointing.

January 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne


I know right?? I feel that people are going to discover it in a few months on DVD, and be like wow why did we pass this up?

January 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDAVID

Thanks for answering my question!!

January 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSad man

Original Screenplay is my favorite category most years as well (I'm reminded of the 2008 lineup, which had Frozen River, Happy-Go-Lucky, In Bruges, Milk and Wall-E, that was a haven of a lineup in the year of the Benjamin Button-Slumdog Millionaire-Dark Knight dominance). It's also the category responsible for making Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind an Oscar-winning movie (the last Screenplay winner to not also be a Best Picture nominee to date), so it's definitely a category I look forward to every year (it's also the category where Oscar-winning directors like Peter Jackson, Steven Soderbergh, and even Alfonso Cuarón were first nominated).

I think Supporting Actor 2012 is one where I would replace most, if not all of the nominees (even though the performances were good, the lineup was made up entirely of past winners and there were more exciting performances elsewhere). I would keep Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln, and probably put in Dwight Henry for Beasts of the Southern Wild, Matthew McConaughey for Magic Mike, Ezra Miller for The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Bruce Willis for Moonrise Kingdom (and maybe swap one of these out for Jason Clarke in Zero Dark Thirty). Though while we're on the subject of 2012, I will never understand why so many people were arguing that Christoph Waltz was a Lead in Django Unchained (he may have been in a large part of the movie, but the film was never about his character).

January 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRichter Scale

Thanks for answering my question!

re: Best Actress. I said before I even saw The Favourite and ASIB that both those performances would have to be *considerably* better than Close to win. I don't think Gaga will have achieved that feat in the minds of most Academy members. I'm doubting Colman will have quite enough either, but it's possible. That performance did surprise me in its range: before I saw it I thought it was just going to be a basic comedic thing. But I think as long as people watch The Wife to make sure the performance is legit, they'll go with Glenn.

January 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBruno

I really just want to curl up in Melissa McCarthy's chunky cardigan from "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" because that number looks cozy af

January 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Neither GaGa or Colman are monumentally undeniable that's how Close wins,now if Emily Blunt had been undeniable for anything this year she'd have won.

January 21, 2019 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

Disappointed my marriage proposal didn't make it in.

January 21, 2019 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

A great listen!

January 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBushwick

/3rtful: Hats off to your running gag! - mentioning it in the questions and then in the responses here. I love running gags - which might be why I love Bullets Over Broadway, which is full of them!

Nathaniel and Murtada: Thanks for a fun podcast, and a great listen on Oscar nomination eve while I do some late-night work. On the subject of Stanley Tucci, 2009: I think the explanation as to why he got nominated for The Lovely Bones rather than his wonderful performance in Julia & Julia is to do with the roles: voters think of a serial killer in a serial killer movie as a 'supporting actor type' role to nominate, while I don't think they are in the habit of thinking of 'supportive husbands' the way they think of 'supportive wives'. I wonder also if there was much of a campaign for Tucci in Julia & Julia. And, I wonder if Meryl pulled all of the focus that season for that film. Just a few speculations!

January 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

If You Saw It Then Why? - Rosemarie DeWitt for Rachel Getting Married.

January 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBushwick

Correct me if I'm wrong, but when an actor has multiple roles up for consideration in the same category, one is often put to the side so the actor doesn't compete with themselves. I seem to recall something like this being done for Julianne Moore for Still Alice rather than Maps to the Stars. I imagine whoever (perhaps Tucci himself?) felt that the serial killer was a more "showy" role than the husband.

January 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBruno

/3rtful -- Murtada is already married. sorry about it.

Bushwick -- good one!

Chris P -- perhaps Hoult will have to do mediocre work in a generic oscar baiting role to win his first nomination?

January 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

My questions were amazing. Thank you all.

January 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I'm Glenn Close in Dangerous Liaisons demanding everyone get out while at weep at the news Murtada is someone's hubby.

January 21, 2019 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

I think Nebraska holds up pretty well actually! I watched it recently for the first time since 2013 and I thought it was even better than I remembered.

January 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBrad

With future podcasts - can there be a trigger warning if someone is about to remotely disparage Before Midnight? (far and away the best in that trilogy! grr..)

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered Commentergoran

Nathaniel, I just want to applaud you for a well-stated and 100% correct answer to the “Why aren’t women directors getting nominated?” question. It’s so easy for someone to fire off a snarky tweet about sexism at work in the Oscars but, like when people claim so-and-so was “snubbed,” if you wanna say that X sort of work should have been nominated, you have to be able to state an example that *realistically* could have gained Oscar traction and also say what it should have taken the place of.

CYEFM or LNT would never have gained major Oscar traction under any director— The Rider even less so— and I’d posit that had either bumped Pawlikowski, who is probably the most vulnerable nominee (or even if they had beaten someone like Jenkins to McKay’s horrid spot), then that wouldn’t be a great result either.

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

Yay, my screenplay question!!! I don't even think I have an answer! I think I like that comedies are occasionally nominated (BRIDESMAIDS, MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, WHEN HARRY MET SALLY...)

January 23, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJakey

About the "Have you ever gone 0/5 with Oscar?" question, my Supporting Actor and Film Editing picks for 2018 have zero crossover with Oscar.

January 23, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

I listened to this belatedly as I’m on vacation, but thank you for answering my question and for another super fun podcast.

If They Saw It The Why: Alfre Woodard in 12 Years A Slave and Lena Olin in The Reader. Both such small roles, which is probably the reason, but they cast such long shadows over their respective films.

January 25, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterben1283

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