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Podcast: Cannes + Oscar + Listener Questions

by Murtada Elfadl & Nathaniel R


With the weekend bringing so few movies to theaters we opted for an all listener questions episode of the podcast. You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunesWe hope you enjoy our answers and provide some of your own in the comments.

So many good questions, thank you. Comment party in 3...2...1... Go! 

Listener Qs: Cannes, Oscar, More

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Reader Comments (17)

Thanks for answering all of our questions!

For religious films, I have to point out Jesus of Montreal is really, really great. I think it was up for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars that year.

April 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJames from Ames

Nathaniel, I remember Men Don't Leave w/ Jessica Lange and (in a small part) Kathy Bates! Cried my eyes out each time I saw it.

April 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRob

This was a great podcast! I enjoyed hearing all of the responses to the questions. Bravo to you both.

It is really difficult to find Anna now. I wish I could see it. I love that 1995 Best Actress lineup. I probably would have nominated Julianne and Alicia Silverstone, but it's hard to find fault with any of the nominees.

Paul Newman is my choice for the GOAT. He was a great movie star and a great actor Unfortunately, he was undervalued as an actor because he was so good-looking - witness how long it took the Academy to give him an Oscar, and his only major critics' awards for acting came when he was older, and his career could be assessed at a distance.

April 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

I'll never understand Jennifer Jason Leigh agnostics.

April 22, 2019 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

I've had significant technical difficulties with the new Criterion Channel. I usually mirror from my phone's app to my appleTV to see on my TV, but I've tried with 2 different phones and on 2 different days, but the connection is never stable. It conks out after about 2 minutes. Very frustrating. My other apps stream/mirror this way not problem (Kanopy, Mubi, Amazon, SFFILM, etc).

Is anyone else having problems with the new Criterion?? I'm not interested in watching these movies on my phone or tablet :-(

April 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSFOTroy

The Stanwyck film whose title I struggled to remember is Ball of Fire, sorta based on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs not beauty and the Beast.

April 22, 2019 | Registered CommenterMurtada Elfadl

Thanks for answering my question about New York film locations, guys! I had two answers which both of you mentioned. My question was inspired by the "You've Got Mail" screenshot on the post where you asked for questions. I moved to the UWS recently and constantly think of that film. I also used to live on the UES and I can't see any of the East Side bridges without thinking of Manhattan.

Re: the 2014 Best Foreign Language film lineup, I'm afraid that Tangerines *is* the dud. It's basically a late Clint Eastwood film -- a very gray drama about a crotchety old man who learns to quit holding grudges when he runs across people who need help. Zzzzz...

April 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

And one more (slightly long-winded) thing:

Re: Green Book and the preferential ballot, I think people are incorrectly assuming that the preferential ballot was the reason it won. Correlation does not equal causation, folks. I would argue that Green Book won *in spite of* the preferential ballot. It had its share of detractors, it had its share of controversy, and it’s hard to imagine many of the new Academy members ranking it highly (can you imagine Lea Seydoux, Bela Tarr, Lee Chang-dong, Alice Rohrwacher, or Roy Andersson voting for Green Book?! LOL! I would pay to watch some of those folks watch Green Book). All of these facts should have hurt the film’s chances under the preferential ballot. That they didn’t is probably a sign of how dominant it was at the top of the ballot. Because remember, if you have enough #1s, it doesn't matter how many #2s or #3s you've got. I would guess that between mainstream Hollywood folks who just loved it (optics be damned) and an anti-Netflix contingent, I think Green Book probably just had more top votes than Roma. As a result, it didn't matter that some folks rated it lowly.

I find it a little funny that this notion has gained so much traction among Oscar watchers because the Academy's voting procedure is constantly a source of confusion for people. One of my favorite Oscar podcasts is constantly reminding themselves how the voting procedure works, oftentimes getting it slightly wrong. Yet, in their first podcast after the Oscars, there they were blaming the preferential ballot for Green Book's win as if they knew exactly how the voting played out...

I think it's important to note this confusion because, ironically, nixing the preferential ballot would probably lead to more wins by films like Green Book. If you get a year where there are relative few generally accessible films against relative many more challenging films, the accessible films more easily win a plurality and become your automatic winner.

April 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

One, thanks for answering my question. I know it's tough off-the-dome.

So glad you mentioned Newman in terms of Best actors ever. I just find his mix of movie star charisma and serious actor bonafides such a devilishly heart melting combination.

April 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDrew C

You answered my question!

April 23, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

@Nathaniel R

Kathy Bates is only overrated to you because you never truly appreciated her particular gifts. You like your less polished character actresses to be camping queens and she's not that.

April 23, 2019 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

/3rtful -- i have no idea what that sentence means. I dont like the characterization of great character actresses as "camping queens"... even though there's nothing wrong with those either.

April 23, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Speaking of unsolved Hollywood mysteries, Natalie Wood’s in particular, there’s a good one about this very subject that dropped today: Personally, it’s the Black Dahlia case that haunts me the most, although Natalie Wood’s is really more “Hollywood” and Robert Wagner sure looks more and more sneaky suspicious as time goes on.

April 23, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

Not gonna lie, Nathaniel, I have your FilmBitch nominees memorized but not the winners. But Bill Crudup is amazing in Jesus' Son.

April 23, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

Great podcast as always. I'm always here for any appreciation of Dolores Claiborne, which I've revisited often as a big Stephen King fan and believe it to be the best recreation of his peculiar mixture of melancholy, camp and grotesque. Dolores shares the same homespun turns of phrase as Annie Wilkes, but they're presented so differently in Dolores Claiborne, a very particular kind of armour against the world. And as you say, Murtada, Judy Parfitt is to die for.

April 24, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterben1283

Kathy Bates often tips into camping queen territory, so let’s not get delusional.

April 24, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterFdr

Great podcast. Greer Garson should be on the tip of everyone's tongue, every day, all day. A great star and unique presence.

Thank you, Nathaniel, for defending Ben-Hur. It's truly a masterpiece that is not appreciated as such. We saw it a few weeks ago on the big screen, and what an experience. What you said about people needing to see it this way is absolutely the gospel. Not pardoning the pun.

Love what you said about Newman. His performance in Hud is one of the best by a leading man of that decade. I also believe Gregory Peck doesn't get enough credit. I know some critics find him wooden and self-serious, but I disagree. His screen presence is magnetic and his style of acting can be quite effective.

Murtada, your laugh is the best.

April 25, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

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