Matthew Wrather hosts with Peter Fenzel, Mark Lee, and Josh McNeil to overthink Academy Award Nominations, with detours into what makes an Oscar-worthy performance, the meaning of meaning, and movies Fenzel has always wanted to make.
We’re still livestreaming the podcast recording on Ustream (on the Overthinking It Podcast Page, where it will return next week on Sunday at 9:15pm ET (6:15pm PT). (In two weeks, we’ll be watching the Oscars.)
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Update Feb 22, 2010 10:49am: Oscars are two weeks from today, not one week. We’ll be livestreaming like normal next week.
Great episode guys! I’ve never thought of Link that way. When I’ve always thought of a Zelda game, I thought of it as an Orlando Bloom led action epic rather then the Orphan 2!
Tommy Lee Jones not only was nominated for The Fugitive, he won for that role.
Maggie Gyllenhaal has never won an Oscar, and I believe this is her first nomination.
Penelope Cruz won last year for Best Supporting Actress last year for Vicky Cristina Barcelona
48 hrs is awful. I recently watched it on Netflix streaming and didn’t even make it an hour in. I know that isn’t related to this year’s Oscars, but it was mentioned in this podcast.
Can you believe that they thought that movie was good enough to make a sequel?
Generally I don’t really care for any of the awards shows as either they’re given out by the Industry Elite (or in the case of the People’s Choice Awards, people with no taste). I stand by Heath Ledger’s quote as the Academy likes to give awards to people who have been in the business for a long time and do some good acting (but not neccessarrily great acting).
With the Best Picture field expanded from 5 to 10 films, I am very interested as we have quite a few Dark horses in the race that I’m personally rooting for (namely Inglourious Basterds and District 9) as opposed to the usual overdramatic Oscar bait that is nominated (I’m looking at you, Precious).
As for your grimdark reimaging of Zelda, the band The Protomen are doing a cyberpunk rock opera of Mega Man 1 that may interest you and the listeners.
Re: 48 Hrs
The existence of Another 48 Hrs is quite puzzling, particularly given the premise of the original. Though I didn’t make it through the entire thing, I know that gruff cop Nick Nolte gets smooth talking criminal Eddie Murphy out of jail for 48 hours (titular reference!) to help him solve a crime. They insult one another and what have you, and I presume in the end they solve the case. However, I don’t know what happens at the end. Does Murphy go back to jail, and thus need to be sprung for another 48 hours to solve another crime? Does he commit a new crime? Either way, I see no way that the sequel could possibly be anything other than basically the first movie rehashed, which is the worst kind of sequel. At least throw in a wrinkle or two and have some originality. Even the Mighty Ducks sequel changed things up by sending the team to the Goodwill Games to represent the USA and gave them a Latino, a girl, an Asian, and a jive talking, showboating black kid from the mean streets.
So who actually said that you shouldn’t make Inglourious Basterds?
Me, I would never say “Don’t make that film”, but I just didn’t quite like it – though it’s difficult to say, why. It has something to do with how in my view the Nazis are instrumentalized as movie villans. In any, let’s say, James Bond movie, I don’t have a problem with stereotypical bad guys (that are genuinely bad/evil and you as a viewer like it when they fail or even suffer). But with the Nazis in Basterds, I don’t know… I guess it’s because as a German, I don’t like it when Nazis are portrayed in such a stereotypical, simplistic way. It distorts history too much. I realize that Tarantino did this intentionally, but it just left an uneasy feeling nevertheless.
Lee, you’re treading treacherous waters, man. I mean, “Best Fanbase” depends on what you mean by “best.” Does that mean most enthusiastic? Most loyal? Most obsessive? All signs point to _New Moon_ fans this year, imo, and I would *hate* seeing them get any sort of award. Would you want the award to go to Terminator fans that still went to see T:S and defend it whenever possible? Think about it. ;)
I haven’t seen it, but I’m suspicious about Stanley Tucci’s performance. He’s an actor that gets lots and *lots* of props all the time, and has won a few Golden Globes and Emmys, but this is his first Oscar nomination at all. I’m not saying I’m positive he’ll win, but I do think if he does, it would be because of what Wratehr said, “It’s time for Stanley Tucci to win.” His is a career that probably does deserve it, and he’s one of those dependable actors that you know will do a good job with their character, even if the movie they’re in is terrible. (I started typing all that before y’all started talking about him specifically, but I guess I can’t prove it because I wasn’t in the chat. Damn.)
Fenzel, your little rant at the end was great, but I’m going to have to say that sure, in our society, it’s okay for film makers to try to take a “stewardship” over a particular message, but that there is always lots of risk involved. But I don’t think it has to do with luck. It’s about skill. To use the current pop culture phenom, _Avatar_. For all of the good intentions Cameron et. al. may have had, it still offended (or at least came across as offensive to) a *lot* of people. It just wasn’t done well enough to get all of those messages across properly and/or with the impact they were supposed to have. It’s disappointing, but not unlucky. _Avatar_ is an example of how serious films trying to make a serious point can and do fail at their mission- and about how the filmmakers are betting on their own talents and not against any sort of “odds” or ratios. They aren’t rolling dice on a table in the hopes for the right number, they’re choosing what team to put their money behind because they think that team has the skills to win the game.
@Gab: you know what? The level of dedication that Twilight fans show to their franchise is actually deserving of some recognition. The publishing house/movie studio behind the franchise had not only a highly exploitable product, but they knew how to maximize its potential.
Years from now, they’ll write case study after case study about how to create a rabid legion of fans on a fairly low budget. Think about the cost:fan intensity ratio here.
Star Trek/Star Wars = expensive, special-effects laden movies/serial TV show creates/caters to a large fanboy base and a large general audience.
Terminator = expensive, special-effects laden movies/serial TV show creates/caters to pockets of fanboys here and there and some of the general public.
Twilight = low budget (first movie only cost $37 mil) but ZOMG EDWARD ZOMG EDWARD fanbase. Huge box office take, PLUS a bona fide subculture and subeconomy created around the franchise.
That’s lightning in a bottle. I mean, it’s not necessarily deserving of positive accolades, but it’s a truly notable achievement.
Yeah, which is why the award shouldn’t exist- so Twihards don’t get one. ;p