With IndieWire’s Eric Kohn on paternity leave, in this week’s episode of Screen Talk (number 359), editor-at-large Anne Thompson and her fill-in guest, IndieWire Chief Film Critic David Ehrlich, parse the annual December awards voting, from the mainstream National Board of Review, which gave Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Licorice Pizza” (MGM/UA) three top awards and Will Smith of “King Richard” Best Actor, to the more prestigious New York Film Critics Circle, which surprisingly anointed Japanese Oscar entry “Drive My Car” as its Best Film of the year, and awarded Jane Campion Best Director for “The Power of the Dog.” Her stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Kodi Smit-McPhee took Actor and Supporting Actor, respectively.
Another shocker: Lady Gaga won Best Actress for her either over-the-top or masterful turn on “House of Gucci,” depending on how you look at it, while London thespian Kathryn Hunter won Supporting Actress for Joel Coen’s Shakespeare movie “The Tragedy of Macbeth.”
And where is Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” in the Oscar race? We weigh the NYFCC’s cinematography prize for his longtime collaborator Janusz Kamiński, as well as the overall success of frequent Spielberg collaborator Tony Kushner’s adaptation, which moves around key songs like “Somewhere,” and is expected to open soft at the box office. How much will that impact the well-reviewed movie’s Oscar hopes?
Neither idiosyncratic group reflects the wide swath of Oscar voters, but they do throw contenders into the spotlight for consideration. Up next on Monday, the Golden Globes and Critics Choice nominations, followed on Tuesday by the Indie Spirits and the following weekend, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association.
Stay tuned for more guest IndieWire staffers over the coming weeks. Check out the podcast below.
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