It’s an annual tradition! Joe and Chris (reunited for the first time in years!) are reporting on the films of the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival, including this year’s (Not Grolsch) People’s Choice Award winner: Steven Spielberg’s The Fablemans. And we’ve got bets against each other gaining some heat! This episode, we unpack our feelings about some of … Continue reading "Reunited at TIFF!"
We’ve got a personal favorite coming to you today starring one of our most beloved icons! After winning her Best Actress Oscar for Moonstruck, Cher then conquered the world with the album Heart of Stone, and didn’t return to the cinema until 1990′s Mermaids. With Cher as a mother of two rebuking societal expectations, the … Continue reading "211 – Mermaids"
We talk about a lot of films dealing with the social and political aftermath of 9/11 but few like this week’s episode: Spike Lee’s 25th Hour. Filmed in New York City in the months after and adapted by David Benioff from his own novel, the film captures that dysphoria while following a drug dealer played … Continue reading "210 – 25th Hour"
This week, Tara Ariano returns to us to talk about a forgotten and quite lovely independent film from 1999, A Walk on the Moon. The first feature directed by actor Tony Goldwyn, the film stars Diane Lane as a late 1960s housewife who has a sexual awakening with a hippie blouse salesman (played by Viggo … Continue reading "209 – A Walk on the Moon (with Tara Ariano)"
It’s time to sit shiva with a slew of stars and 2014′s This Is Where I Leave You. Adapted from Jonathan Tropper from his own novel and directed by Night at the Museum’s Shawn Levy, the film casts Jason Bateman as a man whose life falls apart at the hour of his father’s death. His … Continue reading "208 – This Is Where I Leave You"
We don’t know if we’re equipped to episode this much, but here we are. A bomb so fiery, we brought host of The Incinerator podcast host Billy Ray Brewton to help us unpack it all: 2018′s Life Itself. From This Is Us’ Dan Fogelman, the film assembles a large ensemble including Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, … Continue reading "207 – Life Itself (with Billy Ray Brewton)"
Before Bennett Miller’s Capote even arrived and made a steamroll Best Actor winner out of Philip Seymour Hoffman, there was an entire other Truman Capote biopic in the can. Charting the same portion of the legendary and controversial writer’s life as he wrote In Cold Blood, 2006′s Infamous cast Toby Jones as Capote along with … Continue reading "206 – Infamous"
Long-time listeners of the podcast will recognize this week’s episode as one promised from the very beginning! In 2002, The Four Feathers arrived with major Oscar follow-up and star-on-the-rise pedigree. The film was Shekhar Kapur’s directorial follow-up to the Oscar anointed (and Cate Blanchett launching) Elizabeth, and starred three of the biggest young would-be megastars … Continue reading "205 – The Four Feathers"
An episode long teased has finally arrived. Screen Drafts co-host (and proud Minnesotan) Clay Keller joins us to discuss the final film from beloved auteur Robert Altman, 2006′s A Prairie Home Companion. Based on and set within the eponymous radio show, the film follows the backstage goings-on during the show’s fictionalized final live recording, with … Continue reading "204 – A Prairie Home Companion (with Clay Keller)"
One of the major stories out of 2011′s Sundance Film Festival was the arrival of Elizabeth Olsen, a new actress who just happened to be the younger sibling of the Olsen twins. In Sean Durkin’s debut Martha Marcy May Marlene, Olsen stars as a young woman who escapes a cult and copes with her fractured … Continue reading "203 – Martha Marcy May Marlene"
Few filmmaking ascents have been as exciting and heralded as Jordan Peele’s with the arrival of Get Out in 2017. After creating lasting cultural importance and winning the Best Original Screenplay Oscar, Peele’s follow-up was one of the most eagerly awaited films before it was even announced. And in early 2019, the follow-up would be … Continue reading "202 – Us"
While not known for their love for comedies, the Academy has often proven a fan for the works of James L. Brooks. This week, we’re talking about his (likely) final film, the 2010 flop How Do You Know. The film stars Reese Witherspoon as a softball player grappling with the end of her career while … Continue reading "201 – How Do You Know"
We’ve made it to 200 episodes! And as long-time listeners are aware, there are few THOB-eligible films as beloved as Gloria Bell. In 2013, Sebastián Lelio delivered Gloria, a delightful Chilean character study of the everyday life of a single woman entering middle age played by an incandescent Paulina García. When Julianne Moore approached Lelio about … Continue reading "200 – Gloria Bell"
This episode, we return to the work of director Martin Scorsese, with one of his very few films to receive zero Oscar nominations, 2010′s Shutter Island. The film was Scorsese’s highly anticipate follow-up to The Departed after finally securing his overdue Oscar win, and reunited him with that film’s star Leonardo DiCaprio. Adapted from Dennis … Continue reading "199 – Shutter Island"
YA-YA!! This week, Christina Tucker joins us once again to discuss popular literary adaptation and TNT staple, 2002′s Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. The directorial debut of Callie Khouri, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Thelma and Louise, the film stars Ellen Burstyn and Sandra Bullock as mother and daughter feuding over the playwright daughter’s very public … Continue reading "198 – Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (with Christina Tucker)"
And we’re back to your regularly scheduled episodes! This week, we return to our non-EW episodes with one of the more divisive high-profile bombs in recent years, 2017′s Downsizing. A globalization satire from Alexander Payne and his Sideways co-writer Jim Taylor, the film follows an everyman played by Matt Damon who decides to join the … Continue reading "197 – Downsizing"
Whoopsie daisies, we have come to the close of our May miniseries taking a deep focus look back at Entertainment Weekly’s seasonal movie preview issues. And the closer was chosen by you, listeners! For your Listeners’ Choice, you have selected the Summer Movie Preview for Notting Hill. The film famously went head-to-head with grand behemoth … Continue reading "196 – Notting Hill (EW Summer Movie Preview – Listeners’ Choice)"
We move forward with our May miniseries this week by looking back at the 1993 holiday season with EW’s Holiday Movie Preview and The Pelican Brief. And this week, we have returning guest and Who? Weekly cohost Bobby Finger joining us to unpack all of the John Grisham vibes. Based on Grisham’s novel and released in … Continue reading "195 – The Pelican Brief (EW Holiday Movie Preview) (with Bobby Finger)"
What’s the one about a Best Director frontrunner who gets snubbed for a nomination only to have the star of his then-filming movie assume his frontrunner status all the way to a win. No joke, this is what happened with 1996′s Ransom, with director Ron Howard’s shockeroo miss for Apollo 13resulting in favor being showered … Continue reading "194 – Ransom (EW Fall Movie Preview)"
Our EW Movie Previews miniseries continues this week with a look at the summer season! After the ubiquity of the best-selling book, The Da Vinci Code was primed for a glossy movie adaptation even before it landed the Oscar pedigree pairing of Ron Howard and Tom Hanks. Considered prestigious enough to open the Cannes Film … Continue reading "193 – The Da Vinci Code (EW Summer Movie Preview)"
We’re kicking off our May Miniseries on EW Movie Preview cover movies at the beginning of the calendar with the Spring Movie Preview spotlight on Panic Room. David Fincher’s post-Fight Club foray into elevating a straightforward thriller with his stylistic perfectionism, the film almost starred Nicole Kidman as a recently separated mother who hides with … Continue reading "192 – Panic Room (EW Spring Movie Preview) (with Adam B. Vary)"
We have a special BONUS episode for you to kick off our May Miniseries looking back on Entertainment Weekly’s movie preview editions. We bid a fond farewell to the print edition of this formative, beloved publication as we set the stage for what’s to come in May: Spring Movie Preview – PANIC ROOM; Summer Movie … Continue reading "BONUS – EW Movie Previews, We Love Yous"
This week, we are returning to the work of the recent Academy Award winner Jessica Chastain. In 2017, the actress headlined the adaptation of the popular non-fiction book The Zookeeper’s Wife, detailing Antonina Zabinska and her husband Jan’s efforts to help Polish Jews escape the Nazis by hiding them within the Warsaw Zoo. Directed by … Continue reading "191 – The Zookeeper’s Wife"
We’ve talked before about the shaky Oscar history with Amazon Studios, and this episode we are talking about one of their unfortunate misses that happened in the year of their biggest success: 2016′s Love and Friendship. Adapted from the scabrous Jane Austen novella Lady Susan, the film had a much-ballyhooed premiere at the Sundance Film … Continue reading "190 – Love and Friendship"
After earning an Oscar nomination for his screenplay for The Squid and the Whale, Noah Baumbach followed up that film’s success by partnering with the recently Oscar-ed Nicole Kidman for Margot at the Wedding. The film cast Kidman opposite Jennifer Jason Leigh (then married to Baumbach) as verbally warring sisters, the youngest of who is … Continue reading "189 – Margot at the Wedding (with Kyle Buchanan)"
We’re cracking the seal on our Class of 2020 films and somehow manage to do it without miring ourselves in the depression that was the first covid year! And as promised, we’re talking about Wild Mountain Thyme, the oddball romantic comedy from Moonstruck Oscar winner John Patrick Shanley, adapted from his Tony-nominated play Outside Mullingar. … Continue reading "188 – Wild Mountain Thyme"
Adaptations of uberpopular novels are always ripe for awards prestige, but this week’s episode is for a film that fizzled quickly. 2011′s Water for Elephants assembled an impressive crew for the circus-set period romantic drama along with a starry cast at tricky career moments: Robert Pattinson breaking from the Twilight franchise, Reese Witherspoon on a … Continue reading "187 – Water for Elephants"
This week, we’re looking at another surprise Golden Globe nomination that fueled minor Oscar talk, 2015′s Danny Collins. An assemblage of fedoras, silk scarves, and one catchy original song, the film stars Al Pacino as a washed up singer in the vein of Neil Diamond who ingratiates himself to the family of his estranged son. Written … Continue reading "186 – Danny Collins"
We’re taking flight this week with the “women don’t belong in balloons!” heard round the world. In 2019, The Aeronauts’ awards hopes took flight by reuniting The Theory of Everything’s Oscar winning-and-nominated duo of Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones in the quasi-true story of a hot air balloon expedition that launched modern day weather forecasting. The film … Continue reading "185 – The Aeronauts"
This week, we’re looking at the less fondly remembered half of Shirley MacLaine’s 2005 buzzed grandmothers (after praising In Her Shoes in a previous episode) with Rumor Has It. Starring an immediately post-Friends Jennifer Aniston as a woman who believes her grandmother was the inspiration The Graduate’s Mrs. Robinson, the film assembled a prestigious cast for its conceptual take … Continue reading "184 – Rumor Has It"
#TeamMargaret, your day is here! This week, we are joined by actor Patrick Vaill to discuss the contentious backstory and reemergence story that is Kenneth Lonergan’s Margaret. Originally filmed in 2005, the film follows Anna Paquin as Lisa Cohen, a New York City teenager who witnesses a horrific accident and her search for restitution when she … Continue reading "183 – Margaret (with Patrick Vaill)"
Adapted from the lauded UK miniseries of the same title, State of Play had a labored journey to the screen. Appearing on the 2006 Black List and originally intended as the screen reunion for Brad Pitt and Edward Norton, the American film adaptation weathered several delays, recastings, and creative setbacks, including the 2007 WGA strike. Once in … Continue reading "182 – State of Play"
We finally have this year’s set of Oscar nominations, so that means it’s time for our Class of 2021 episode! This episode, we look back on the almost-was of the past awards season with films that received zero Oscar nominations, including in categories of Most Forgettable, Happiest Miss, and Saddest Snub. We also add a … Continue reading "Class of 2021"
This week, we are once again returning to the diminishing returns of George Clooney’s directorial career with 2008′s Leatherheads. The directing follow-up to his Oscar-nominated Good Night and Good Luck, this lighthearted film about the early days of American pro football stars Clooney as a player opposite Renée Zellweger as a journalist trying to break the story of … Continue reading "181 – Leatherheads"
We’re finally talking about one of our most requested films, Johnathan Glazer’s 2004 sophomore feature Birth. Starring Nicole Kidman as a woman grappling with a young boy’s assertion that he is her reincarnated dead husband, the film was initially controversial and critically maligned upon release, even with stunning work from composer Alexandre Desplat and cinematographer Harris … Continue reading "180 – Birth"
We’re bringing you a special bonus episode to recap our time with year’s edition of the Sundance Film Festival! We discuss some of the biggest prize winners from the US Dramatic Competition winner Nanny and the US Dramatic Audience Award winner Cha Cha Real Smooth, and other award recipients like Descendant, Dos Estaciones, and Fire of Love. We also discuss the … Continue reading "BONUS – Sundance, I Say"
Saoirse Ronan came on strong at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival with two films that had the opposite experience: the immediately beloved Lady Bird and the misfire On Chesil Beach, which cratered after world premiering on the first day of the festival. The film reunited Ronan with Ian McEwan, the author of her Oscar-nominated breakthrough performan in Atonement, … Continue reading "179 – On Chesil Beach"
Moving along from Maggie Gyllenhaal’s breakthrough last week, this week we are dis cussing her brother Jake’s! Senior Entertainment writer for Thrillist Esther Zuckerman joins us to talk about middle school classroom mainstay and union-agnostic true story, 1999′s October Sky. The film starred Jake Gyllenhaal as Homer Hickham Jr., as young West Virginian who bucked the … Continue reading "178 – October Sky (with Esther Zuckerman)"
After a few minor roles in American indies, Maggie Gyllenhaal broke out in a big way with Sundance hit Secretary in 2002. The story of a young woman who copes with her mental health issues while entering a BDSM relationship with her boss (played by James Spader), Secretary was praised for its dark wit and daring, and immediately put … Continue reading "177 – Secretary"
And we’re back with the conclusion of our mailbag! This time, we are talking about a few Oscar What Ifs: what new categories should Oscar adopt? what if a different actress had won Supporting Actress in 2005? what if there was a Best Actress season of Survivor? We also answer your questions about the podcast, … Continue reading "Mail Bag: Vol. 2"
It’s our annual year-end tradition! You’ve sent us your questions on Oscar past and present, but this year’s mailbag brings a special surprise: you’ve asked us such fun and thoughtful questions that we’re splitting the mailbag into two instalments! [Cue “Battle Without Honor or Humanity”] This mailbag, we’ll be answering questions about what might be Glenn … Continue reading "Mail Bag: Vol. 1"
Just in time for the holidays, we are doing The Holiday. Nancy Meyers followed-up her smash hit Something’s Gotta Give with this story of two women (played by Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet) who swap houses over the Christmas week in order to get away from their romantic disasters. Naturally, new love finds a way and … Continue reading "176 – The Holiday"
This is an episode about control. We’ve tallied up the votes for our Listeners’ Choice episode and in a landslide victory, 2019′s Hustlers emerged quite victorious. One of our favorite films of 2019, the film (based on Jessica Pressler’s expose in The Cut) stars Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez as two exotic dancers who team up to … Continue reading "175 – Hustlers"
In 2018, perhaps the only audience that noticed All Is True were our belove AARP Movies for Grownups awards. The film is directed by and stars Kenneth Branagh as William Shakespeare returning home to his underappreciated wife and daughters after his Globe Theatre burned to the ground mid-production, reopening wounds of unspoken family tragedy. The period drama … Continue reading "174 – All is True"
With the release of Criterion’s retrospective box set, film lovers have been revisiting the work of living master Wong Kar-wai. But this week, we’re going to be talking about his least celebrated (and one omitted from that treasured collection). His first film in the English language, My Blueberry Nights is an episodic movie about a woman who … Continue reading "173 – My Blueberry Nights"
Our Thanksgiving tradition continues this year, with Vanity Fair’s Katey Rich joining us as a guest, this time to talk about quickly forgotten prestige thriller Money Monster. Premiering out of competiton in 2016 at the Cannes Film Festival to middling reviews but embarrassing no one involved, the film stars George Clooney as a cable news financial … Continue reading "172 – Money Monster (with Katey Rich)"
This week, we are talking about Sharon Stone and The Mighty. Adpated from the young adult novel Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick, the film follows a burgeoning friendship between a silent giant teenager Max (Elden Henson) and a King Arthur obsessed neighbor with a rare metabolic disorder Kevin (Kieran Culkin). But the film’s real … Continue reading "171 – The Mighty"
We have two exciting returns this week! First, entertainment writer and Bad Romance co-host Jourdain Searles is joining us once again. Second, we return to the work of Jane Campion, this time for 1999′s divisive and sexually charged Holy Smoke. The film premiered in competition at the Venice Film Festival with a high pedigree: Campion … Continue reading "170 – Holy Smoke (with Jourdain Searles)"
“Volk” intensifies this week, because we’re talking about Luca Guadgnino’s 2018 Suspiria remake! Diverging greatly in style and story from the Dario Argento original, Luca Guadagnino followed up his Oscar success with Call Me By Your Name with this riff on witches, post-WWII Germany, feminine power, and the art of dance. Guadagnino’s mounting pedigree stirred some to expect the … Continue reading "169 – Suspiria"
This episode, Extra Hot Great co-host Tara Ariano returns to us to talk about another much-requested film, 2010′s Never Let Me Go. An adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s incredibly lauded science fiction novel, the film stars a post-nomination Carey Mulligan opposite Keira Knightley and breakthrough Andrew Garfield as clones raised for the sole purpose of harvesting their … Continue reading "168 – Never Let Me Go (with Tara Ariano)"