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Oscar Season Is a Battle Between Mainstream and Arthouse Movies

From "The Fabelmans" to "TÁR," this year's awards season is shaping up to be a showdown between two very different types of cinema.

Oscar Season 2023: A Battle Between Mainstream and Arthouse Movies

Every few weeks, the Oscar season narrative gets a little more complicated. Coming out of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans” seemed like the obvious Best Picture frontrunner, the kind of celebratory Hollywood achievement that awards voters love to rally behind. Weeks later, “Fabelmans” is still in the game — but it hasn’t hit theaters yet, unlike “TÁR” and “Triangle of Sadness,” two movies that have injected optimism into the arthouse market with their strong theatrical performances.

Meanwhile, another crowdpleaser with commercial potential lurks around the corner, as writer-director Martin McDonagh’s “The Banshees of Inisherin” (above) comes out next week and star Colin Farrell threatens to disrupt the momentum of Brendan Fraser’s comeback campaign for “The Whale.”

All of which is to say that, at this juncture, nobody can predict which type of contender has the upper hand. Commercially-viable movies and riskier artistic gambles are going head to head. The only way to assess the race at this stage is to take into account the full scope of contenders that have already made a mark on the season.

That means this week’s episode of IndieWire’s Screen Talk podcast is the perfect moment for Anne Thompson to return to the fray.

The co-host joins her colleague Eric Kohn to summarize the past several months while anticipating some developments around the corner. Stay tuned for next week’s episode, when international and documentary contenders will receive a closer look.

Watch this week’s episode above or listen to it below.

Screen Talk is produced by Azwan Badruzaman and available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Spotify, and hosted by Megaphone. Browse previous installments here, subscribe here, and be sure to let us know if you’d like to hear the hosts address specific issues in upcoming editions of Screen Talk. 

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