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« Oscar's International Race Pt 1 - The Female Directors | Main | Remembering "Ed Wood" on its 25th »
Monday
Oct072019

Podcast: Judy's Pain & Glory

with Murtada Elfadl & Nathaniel R

 

Index (58 minutes)
00:01 Pain and Glory - Pedro Almodóvar's career, the moment we fell for the picture, and Antonio Banderas tender dazzling homage/star turn.
14:50 Oscar's Best International Feature competition. How they vote, movies we love, and what might get nominated.
27:27 Renée Zellweger as 'The World's Greatest Entertainer' in Judy. The performance and the film.
43:11 The Best Actress Race: Scarlett, Cynthia, Renee, Alfre, and more...

Related Reading/Listening
Murtada's Pain & Glory Review
Nathaniel's episodes of Las Culturistas
Foreign Submissions you can stream right now

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

 

Pain and Glory, Judy

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Reader Comments (29)

Your blog made me convinced for years that the world hated Renee. I'm glad you liked her in Judy - what a relief.

October 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRyan

Gentle pushback against Murtada: The film didn't feel "all about sad Judy" to me at all. The facts are that Judy was facing financial ruin and the time bomb of premature death from drug addiction. So it's impossible not to at least engage with those circumstances.

A movie could easily define the character that way. This one doesn't: We mostly see Judy up-and-about performing, shopping, dating, cracking jokes, visiting with fans, interacting with her kids, etc. It's pretty generous in that way, almost painstakingly so. It's not harrowing.

October 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJF

I still don't think Renee is going to win. The nomination will be her reward, and someone else will emerge later in the season. Not only was A Star Is Born predicted to win 5 Oscars at this point last year, but Colman, Malek and Ali weren't really on the radar as potential winners in early October.

I love Moss's performance and would like to see Lupita nominated but look forward to Alfre, Saoirse, Scarlett.

October 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

I know it's been a hopeless cause from the start...but I still want to do what I can to include Mary Kay Place in the conversation.

October 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterWill

We saw Judy this weekend. I liked Renee Zellweger quite a bit, but felt the film needed some oomph and the director was just not coming through. It was plodding, with the pacing way off. Agree w/ Nathaniel that it was not a bad movie but limited. BTW, the excellent YouTube podcast Be Kind Rewind has a swell new overview of the movie newly up, which works as a nice companion piece to TFE's podcast here.

October 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRob

If Little Women or Bombshell are good I see a case for Charlize or Ronan winning. Ronan is extremely likable and has a strong filmography and has the overdue vote.
Theron while playing Megan Kelly, is a movie star, who has been looked over so many times for brilliant performances by Oscar when they were so very good. If theres a second oscar to be given here, I’d say Theron deserves it. She deserved it years ago with Young Adult.
The thing working for Renee though is that she is very very likable. I think she’s sort of reminded people in her press tour how much they like her. I don't think the same sentiment holds for SJ.

October 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRizz

I completely agree with JF, I didn’t just get sad tragic Judy.

If Renee gives the best performance of the year, as many think she has (at least this far in), why shouldn’t she get a second Oscar? She may not have had much of a career since her first but Bridget Jones, Chicago, Nurse Betty, Down With Love. She’s a beloved star doing the best work of her career. Go get it Renee.

October 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKeegan

I wouldn’t rule out Erivo for the win—I actually kind of suspect it’ll happen. It’s been almost 20 years since Halle Berry. Negga and Wallis barely got nominated. Sidibe and Davis were up against unstoppable winners (Bullock and Streep). And the culture has been turned upside down since 2011. If that race were held today I’m almost positive Streep would have lost to Davis. They were stupid to pass up the chance to make her a Best Actress winner then and it looks even less defensible in hindsight.

Whatever issues Harriet has, Erivo may have the clearest path to a win (Renee’s not overdue, Scarlett may not get the momentum) any black actress has had. Being in the middle of the pack quality-wise has never stopped a white actress from winning.

October 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJF

Nathaniel- I think a good example of the comparison you were looking for with Renée and Judy is Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (though most people haven't seen that). It's a performance where you're seeing both Tom Hanks and Mr. Rogers at the same time, or in my case, I felt like I was hearing Mr. Rogers through Tom Hanks' body and voice (he nailed the cadence and the mannerisms). I felt something similar with Renée and Judy, and while I agree the movie wasn't great, it's not bad and I do prefer my biopics to be more focused.

Murtada- "what is Scarlett's narrative?" If she's a double nominee this year (I think there's a good chance she'll also be nominated in Supporting for Jojo Rabbit, she steals every scene she's in there) then there's a narrative they can push, but they can also push the narrative of how this is the first time she's be nominated after more than 15 years of being on Oscar's radar (she really should have been nominated for Lost in Translation or Girl with a Pearl Earring in 2003), and it can also be considered a renaissance of sorts of her.

I'm also kind of surprised you guys didn't mention that Pedro has already been nominated for Best Director for Hable con Ella (Talk to Her... sorry, I can't with the English-language titles when the original Spanish-language titles are such works of poetry) and even won Best Original Screenplay for that film, which is rare for a foreign language film, so it may not be that much of a stretch to think he could be nominated again if Dolor y Gloria becomes a hit with critics groups and audiences (I've seen it twice already, I absolutely adore it, though there's a lot of Pedro's filmography I haven't seen, what I've seen I've loved with one or two exceptions).

October 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRichter Scale

The double nomination thing comes in a few varieties.

A. There’s “We loved you so much in X that we’re giving you a bonus nomination for Y.” See Jamie Foxx* and Holly Hunter*.
B. There’s “You were indispensable to this year in film so we’re honoring that with two nominations.” See Emma Thompson, Julianne Moore, Sigourney Weaver, Jessica Lange*.
C. There’s “You didn’t reinvent the wheel but we love/owe you on principle, plus the year’s not that competitive.” See Cate Blanchett and Al Pacino*.

A is the strongest position to win an Oscar. B works if there's an opening for a win. C only works if you're really overdue.

I'm getting B vibes from Scarlett. There may or may not be an opening.

October 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJF

I don't agree with Erivo winning cos it's been 20 yrs since Halle.

If she is the best fine but if someone's better give it to them.

October 7, 2019 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

Great podcast guys, thanks. I think I'm most excited for Scarlett this year when it comes to Actress, unless Theron wows us in Bombshell. But as y'all mentioned, it's looking to me like this year Supporting Actress will be the more exciting competition.

October 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterScottC

"Can we please not decide that Renee is winning the Oscar?! It's October! So much could happen!

5 minutes later

"Well, I think Laura Dern is winning the Oscar."

;)

October 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge

I think it is wholly possible for Lupita Nyong'o to slide into the top five because, aside from her performance:

1. People love her.
2. The movie was a massive hit AND cultural phenomenon.
3. She always slays the red carpet, which counts for a lot.

When the trailer for Harriet premiered, I got the sinking feeling that it wasn't going to be good, so I'm not surprised by that bit of perspective. If Cynthia Erivo doesn't make it into the race this year, I'm sure she'll get in for the Color Purple musical adaptation in which I assume she'll be cast because duh.

Having not seen most of the buzzy leading actress performances, I can't say at this point that I'd be upset with a Renee win if that were to happen. Truthfully, nobody needs a second Oscar, and as much as I hated her supporting actress win, one performance has nothing to do with the other.

October 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

Hate to say it, but I'm an Almodóvar stan who didn't love Pain & Glory. I miss his high energy films. If Banderas gets in, though, he's clearly overdue so works for me.

Loved the Judy discussion. Highly recommend everyone check out Be Kind Rewind's Judy Companion Piece. And sorry, but Renee's singing pulls it off *enough* but she still should have lip synced. I spent "The Trolley Song" playing Judy's real version in my head.

October 7, 2019 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

Also, I've seen Renee and Alfre - both solid picks - but nowhere near as good as Awkwafina in my book. Big hit, stellar performance... she should be there.

October 7, 2019 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

'02 Best Actress is the key to understanding Renee's "overdue" narrative. She almost won. She was the lead in a Best Picture winner. She had the Globe and the SAG. Then Nicole won "by a nose." It was a crazy competitive year where two women were always going to seem "robbed." They immediately gave Renee a consolation prize for Cold Mountain but BA ≠ BSA. Nicole got appreciated as a leading lady in '02 and Renee got sloppy seconds for playing second fiddle to Nicole in '03. You don't have to love Renee to see why that's an...unsatisfying...resolution to her Oscar history. That's a comedown. Especially when she fell off the map shortly afterwards.

October 7, 2019 | Unregistered Commenteranonny

I will admit - it would be weird for Zellweger to join the likes of Streep, Blanchett, Hayes, Lange, Bergman, and Maggie Smith as actresses who have won both the leading and supporting Oscars.

October 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

George -- OMG. guilty as charged. whoops

Anonny -- but doesn't falling off the map sort of mitigate any need to be recognized as a leading lady. There are MANY unOscared performers that are more important leading ladies than Renee, so why two? It's rubbing me the wrong way that the internet wants it to happen.

Eurocheese -- it's true that his films are lower energy than they once were but for this film, that's what's called for I think.

October 7, 2019 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

"There are MANY unOscared performers that are more important leading ladies than Renee, so why two? It's rubbing me the wrong way that the internet wants it to happen."

I don't follow the logic. Renee doesn't deserve to win because...people you like haven't won?

Believe me, if Michelle Pfeiffer ever snatches our wigs with a guns-blazing Best Actress vehicle, I'll be right there with you. This is not that year.

In the meantime I can't pretend I didn't love Renee's performance—or that I wouldn't be delighted to see her win for it. And I'm not gonna hang my shit about the Academy's past mistakes on her.

October 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJF

JF, she did. In 1989. ;-)

October 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

I don’t follow the “but other actresses deserve to win!” logic either. Everyone is calling this a weak year, and they had their chance to give it to Glenn Close last year and they didn’t. If Renee was up against Close, Pfeiffer, Dern and, say, The Ghost of Irene Dunne, then I’d be listening. Otherwise... so what?

October 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

Nathaniel - I'm only seeing the everyone wants Renee narrative from you, to lessen the blow if it comes to pass I guess. Everyone else is just filling up Oscar race articles with a wide released known entity at the moment. Self care my friend, if you can't take her eventual losing nomination just sub in team experience when it's too much.

October 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterNightingale

The elephant in the room Nathaniel resents Zellweger beating Kidman to Oscar two.

October 8, 2019 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

It's true /3rtful. People can hate on your 'give the award to the most overdue' stance and wanting to abolish the 'individual achievement of a particular calendar year' part, but you are transparent about it. If Zellweger's better than your faves Nat, sorry babes.

October 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBolanle

Oh come on everyone, be nice. Nat, you make a good point about how “we bring ourselves into the theater.” That’s very true and honest. I’m not surprised to hear you have mixed feelings. And I appreciate your giving Renee credit for the performance where it’s due.

As a Renee fan, I bring *myself* into the theater too. I think she’s great, and Judy is her greatest performance to date. Her absence from the screen has made her seem underappreciated, or at least underutilized. Many actresses had a rough patch between 2003 and 2010 (Nicole, Charlize, Annette, Julianne) and they found great Hollywood/Oscar “comeback” opportunities from 2010 onward while they eluded Renee. Sane minds can differ on why that was. You see a lack of talent (her fault), but plenty of people see a lack of opportunity (Hollywood's fault). Meanwhile, she was on the receiving end of nastiness in the media that seemed to signal she was gone for good. Not because of her work, but because of her looks. That felt very unfair.

So this moment (a comeback, full stop, with or without a second Oscar) feels surprising, earned and welcome. I’m not saying you have to agree with this rationale. But if you genuinely want to understand the case for Renee, that’s it.

October 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJF

Hey guys, any news on when the 1957 smackdown will be held or has it been cancelled?

October 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterIshmael

P.S. Don't know if you guys saw the Danish film, Queen of Hearts yet, but Trine Dyrholm has irrefutably given one of the most complex and quietly shattering performances of the year. Not that she would ever get nominated, but I think the scene where she gives an unsimulated blowjob to a 16 year old teen (the character, not the actor), would cancel her chances faster than the mouse spinning in Trump's head!

October 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterIshmael

Speaking of supporting actress and overdueness: how do you measure The Bening's chances with The Report?

October 8, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

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