Episode 139: Likely to Poop in the Future

The Overthinkers tackle the 2011 Oscars.

Matthew Wrather hosts with Peter Fenzel and Josh McNeil to overthink the Oscars and their cultural, economic, and historical implications.


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21 Comments on “Episode 139: Likely to Poop in the Future”

  1. cat #

    Hmn…I have to disagree. I found Anne Hathaway as lovely and poised and charming as always but I thought she regressed back to playing her “Princess Diaries”/”Ella Enchanted” role at times in an effort to be likable. Maybe I’m just used to seeing her in roles like that so I don’t read it as manic energy. She’s very good at it so it didn’t read as false but in my head I occasionally wondered if there was a bit of desperation behind it or it was some kind of coping mechanism she had decided to adopt.


    • cat #

      I was definitely getting the sense of the “effort” they were putting into the show this year though at the moment I wasn’t sure how to classify it. It seemed as though they were trying to class it up, to solidify their authority not by declaring it but…hmn…by reminding us of why we allow them to assert that authority over us and our common record of human achievement in film. Gone with the Wind seemed like a really odd way to start off and there felt like there were a throwbacks to things that didn’t fit with the modern, let’s appeal to a younger demographic vibe. The orchestral selections? Celine Dion? OK, maybe that was just me. The clothes also seemed to reflect the backward shift. I know that clothing styles tend to do that but this year it seemed almost thematic. I was definitely getting a lot of 50s/60s and sparkle and lightness but with a lot of Veronica Lake hair. It was like they wanted to go Old Hollywood but not run all the way back to the 30s/40s.

      Oh, also, I laughed so much more during this podcast than during the Oscars. Especially when you got to Hamlet. You always get me with the literary humor…and the fenzel rants.


  2. petrlesy #

    i feel like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NisCkxU544c needs to be posted here

    also, judging by the gregory brothers’ twitter, they worked for the oscar show.

    thanks for the analysis of why The King’s Speech won, it was really helpful as i tend to agree with McNiel, that yes, it’s a nice solid movie but nothing extraordinary (a lot like The Hurt Locker in this regard?).
    and could you please explain a bit that colin farrell joke? i mean did you actually dislike In Bruges?


    • fenzel #

      No, we don’t dislike In Bruges. I love In Bruges.

      It’s more like we’re inordinately fond of Phone Booth and tend to think of Colin Farrell as the Phone Booth guy, the Alexander guy, the Daredevil guy – the guy who is a celebrity for no reason and does a lot of really bizarre turns in terrible roles – not the actual solid actor who is in interesting stuff.

      Phone Booth supposedly takes place a block away from the apartment I used to share with Belinkie in NYC, and it includes one of film’s greatest “Meanwhile, In Space…” shots. So it’s definitely a love/hate relationship.


  3. andre #

    On discussion at the end of the podcast on the unions: Well actually there were two awardees on in the time before I fell asleep (why can’t the broadcast start at 6 or 7 EST?) that mentioned unions in their speeches (one was definitely a sound guy, but I can’t remember exactly who). It’s just that the shout outs didn’t come from the big names (writers, actors, directors).


    • andre #

      “We need to thank everybody at Warner Bros Post-Production and we need to thank all the hard working boom operators and utility sound people that worked on the production crew. Union, of course.” – Gary Rizzo, Sound Mixing acceptance speech.

      I can’t find the other one, but I’ll keep looking.

      It was a nice gesture I thought.


  4. Brian #

    This was a great episode. On the union point, there’s a Noam Chomsky interview about Hollywood’s anti-union slant and he cites ‘On The Waterfront’ as an example of the exploitative union leader archetype they developed to hype up anti-union sentiment. I forget what their end game was exactly, maybe just lower production costs. But I agree with McNeil’s comment about how the Oscar attendees are in a union and should have shown more solidarity for the unions under attack in Wisconsin.


  5. Brian #

    On Colin Firth being ‘like a boss’ and not at all calling to mind having to poop, I’m really interested in set toilet etiquette because it’s something you never ever hear anything about. I even play this game in my head when watching a movie where I try to imagine what the bathroom etiquette on the set was, like if the stars and crew had to use the same porta-potty, so you got the boom mic operator waiting for Scarlett Johansson to finish her dump and they exchange a joke when they pass, or is there’s this tense awkwardness.

    I always wonder about it because 10,12,16 hour days aren’t uncommon on sets, so has everyone in Hollywood developed this “everybody poops don’t stress about it” vibe or “I’m a star that’s too good to poop” air? I imagine the really good actors can do both, just turn on that ‘like a boss’ vibe when they need to in front of the camera but be human when waiting for the john. There’s a gag reel at the end of the horrendous awful movie you shouldn’t see ‘Year One’ with a clip of Jack Black farting accidentally, I wonder if that happens on all the sets with ‘bosses’ like Colin Firth?


  6. Amanda #

    Totally agree about the Aaron Sorkin speech being disappointing. When I heard his name being called I was excitedly waiting for a political speech about any of the following topics: the Inside Job people who are still free (thanks Charles Ferguson for talking about that btw), the recession, the government, Planned Parenthood, the unions, anything. And there he goes, he, the writer of great speeches and political fiction, wasting his precious few minutes listing people to be thankful for. As nice as it is, if those people deserved to be thanked at a ceremony like that, they probably already know you’re thankful. Big missed opportunity.


  7. Sylvie #

    Aaron Sorkin had a discussion about why he hates the Writers Union he is force to be a part of on a panel with the Hollywood reporter. I can’t remember exactly what he said about unions in general but he wasn’t against them but he is certainly against his own since he feel he has more barganning power than the union.


  8. Chris #

    I thought Anne Hathaway was really charming, and I am not necessarily a fan of hers. I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing her host the Oscars by herself in the future, or perhaps with Hugh Jackman.

    James Franco was indeed obnoxious in his aloofness. He was the living manifestation of Paul Rudd’s comically aloof pose in the series finale of Strangers With Candy. It felt like he agreed to host the Oscars for the experience, which seems like something he would do, and then once it started he wasn’t really digging it and just checked out, which, if true, was highly unprofessional. That, or OMG James Franco was soooooo high!

    I didn’t like In Bruges, and I reserve judgement on The King’s Speech winning it all until I see it. True Grit is my heretofore favorite film of 2010, but I didn’t think it was great. I saw no great films in 2010, or at least no great new films. I did watch Repo Man again, and that is certainly a great movie. Anyway, the way I feel is that as long as the film that won was good, I don’t get too disappointed. For example, I thought Up In The Air was the best film of 2009, but I thought The Hurt Locker was good so I accepted it as a winner. Although, even if a film I actively dislike wins, I don’t get all that disappointed either, because award shows are tremendously frivolous things.


  9. Wade #

    Does anyone else look at the new episode title and immediately think, “Okay, who’s responsible for that one?” I had an inkling this week’s title was a Fenzel, and I was not disappointed.

    Along with the montage of best picture nominees being narrated by The King’s Speech, it also struck me as intentional foreshadowing that Natalie Portman’s Oscar clip was of her Black Swan character winning an important role. If it weren’t three hours long, I’d kind of like to rewatch the show and see if there were any other incidents like those.


    • fenzel #

      If there’s a creepy, strange or wildly inappropriate podcast episode title, I probably had something to do with it. It’s the diet root beer talking.


      • Matthew Wrather OTI Staff #

        Come off it — I’m TWICE as creepy as you! Take this lollipop and step into my panel van and I’ll show you.


        • lee OTI Staff #



  10. neubauer #

    The podcast didn’t mention this, but I have to bring attention to Luke Matheny who won the short film Oscar with his NYU MFA project, which is kind of ridiculous if you think about it. His school assignment (which I read was pass/fail) won an Oscar! He also had the funny line about how he wished he’d gotten a hair cut.

    Also, reports suggest that James Franco’s attempts to live tweet and video tape from backstage while hosting were the reasons for his poor performance. He did slur his speech and have heavy eyelids at the end, though, so I am not convinced that he was not intoxicated.


  11. Redem #

    I think the oscar become mostly about who they ignore for movie observer more than who they chose :D


  12. Sylvia #

    I think the Scarlett Johansson question had more to do with how did she make sure that she looked skinny and not bloated in her gown over her future bowel movements.


    • fenzel #

      When we’re talking about how the gross realities of the human body break the illusions of formal dress, I’m going to go ahead and say gastrointestinal bloat is close enough ;-)


  13. Howard #

    I was listening to another podcast (Bill Simmons, who usually talks sports but crosses over into pop culture sometimes) where they talked about pushing the Oscars back 5 years to gain some historical perspective. So this year, they’d be deciding the awards for the 78th show, when Crash won over Brokeback Mountain. It’s an interesting idea, which gets into a topic that you guys have talked about, namely what is the “best” that the Oscars are awarding. In this view, the Oscar would be awarded for historical excellence; ie what movies/performances will we remember most down the line.


  14. Dave #

    Another great episode.
    But guys, please leave the politics at home. I mean you’re entitled to your opinion, and also to say whatever you want on your own podcast, but Josh’s remark just makes him seem silly… Trying to rein in the deficit by cancelling certain rights that have been opposed historically even by (private sector) unionists, and suddenly ‘they’ are gonna take away week-ends?… really?
    For all I know, Josh you might be an expert in macroeconomics, fiscality, and organized-labour history, in which case we could agree to disagree, but please abstain from this kind of off-hand comments. It’s relly Michael-Moore-ish


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