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Here’s What Critics Groups Can Tell You About This Year’s Weird Awards Season

In this week's Screen Talk, we explain the impact of critics groups. Plus: Sundance's January lineup doesn't have as many big, buzzy titles as usual. Should that matter?

What the Critics Group Tell Us

This year’s Oscar season may look different from other editions, but one factor remains unchanged: Critics groups continue to play a role in the conversation… and sometimes play against it. This week, IndieWire announced the winners of its annual critics survey, with 231 critics voting from around the world. The 15th edition of the critics survey found “Nomadland” in first place, but “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” was just behind it, and “First Cow” settled into third place. The week ended with “First Cow” winning the New York Film Critics Circle, while “Never Rarely” won prizes for its screenplay and actress Sidney Flanagan, and “Nomadland” took home the best director prize for Chloé Zhao. How might these wins impact the months to come?

While this week’s episode of Screen Talk was recorded just before the NYFCC vote, Eric Kohn and Anne Thompson could read the tea leaves, using the critics survey as a starting point for assessing how critics are playing a role in this awards cycle. The hosts also debated the Sundance Film Festival lineup, which has a lot of exciting movies but may not have the same kind of marketplace impact we’ve seen in the past. Or…will it? Opinions vary. They also touch on “Tenet,” which they both finally got a chance to see (with subtitles, of course).

Watch the full episode above or listen to it below. 

Screen Talk is available on Apple PodcastsStitcher, and SoundcloudYou can subscribe here or via RSS. Share your feedback with Thompson and Kohn on Twitter or sound off in the comments. Browse previous installments here, review the show on Apple Podcasts and be sure to let us know if you’d like to hear the hosts address specific issues in upcoming editions of Screen Talk. Check out the rest of IndieWire’s podcasts on Apple Podcasts right here.

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