Oscar Preview: Chadwick Boseman, Carey Mulligan, Steven Yeun
Film critic Neil Rosen invites viewers to explore the movie industry with him each month, as he dives in to the latest releases from Hollywood and independent producers. Interviews with actors and other industry insiders, as well as commentary from fellow critics, provide varying perspectives on the ever-changing world of film.
Neil: This week on Talking Pictures with Neil
Rosen: the Academy Award nominations are out and
we're making predictions.
We'll tell you which best picture nominees have what
it takes to go the distance.
We'll let you know if there are any actors and actresses
who have the coveted gold statute all but locked up.
Plus, we've got the word on what director is out in front
with the best chance of winning.
We've got all that and many more Oscar picks,
and thoughts, coming up.
♪ [Opening Music]
Welcome to Talking Pictures.
I'm Neil Rosen and we're talking Oscars.
The Academy awards are on Sunday night, April 25th and
along with my panel of experts we're making predictions.
I'm joined by Rafer Guzman from Newsday.
How you doing Rafer?
Rafer: Good, Neil. How are you doing?
Neil: I'm okay. Perri Nemiroff from Collider.
Perri: I got dressed all fancy and you came and you can't even
see the cool part of the jacket. [laughing]
Neil: And Bill McCuddy from Gold Derby,
the Oscar prediction site.com.
Bill: Neil, I'd like to thank the Academy for
this paper index Oscar.
Neil: Well you're sort of a winner with that, Bill.
And let's start out with the Best Supporting Actor
category and let's take a look at the nominees.
>>> When I dedicated my life to the people I dedicate my life.
>>> Keep ‘em moving.
Dave and I, we're gonna stay and make Tom's bail.
>>> Back to the park.
>>> I don't carry money. You?
>>> [singing] ♪ But I know change gonna come.
Oh, yes it will. ♪
>>> Have you had any moments of stillness?
>>> The badge is like you got the whole damn army behind you.
Neil: All right. Best Supporting Actor, Rafer.
Who do you think will win and who do you want
to win in this category?
Rafer: Well, the guy that I want to win might
become an offbeat pick.
I'm going to choose Paul Raci from Sound of Metal.
He's the guy who plays the leader of the halfway house,
the deaf halfway house, that Riz Ahmed's character checks into.
I thought it was an amazing performance.
It was so honest and real.
I thought it must have been a non-professional actor.
I was stunned to find that this guy was a professional actor
for something like 35 years. I thought he was great.
I don't think he'll win obviously.
I think the guy who's going to win is Daniel Kaluuya for
Judas and the Black Messiah.
I think he's been kind of hovering around the
big time gold awards for a while and I think this
is going to be his year. It's the right movie.
It's going to resonate with people.
And I think, I think he's going to get it.
Neil: Perri? Who do you want? Who do you think?
Perri: I'm going with the same individual for my will
win and want to win and that's Daniel Kaluuya, who
I think is phenomenal in Judas and the Black Messiah.
And I know some folks are out there, out there saying that his
chances diminished by having a co-star from that movie in the
category as well with Lakeith Stanfield but I think Kaluuya
is just so far ahead of the pack in this case that that's going
to be a non-issue and I'm happy Stanfield got the nomination.
Bill: Well, I agree with everyone.
I mean, it's Daniel's to lose and the Lakeith thing is a
weird technical reason that happened because they voted
for him in both categories.
And it just came out that they're both in supporting.
I don't think that's going to hurt him.
He's the juggernaut that can't lose, but want to win?
I want to see Sacha Baron Cohen up there just to
give a speech and do great Rudy Giuliani jokes.
So I'm pulling for Sacha Baron Cohen, but I know it's Daniel
and I'll be very happy in what we should point out is
a newly inclusive year, I'm happy that he's going to win.
Neil: It's gonna be Daniel Kaluuya.
He's won the Critic's Choice.
He won the Golden Globes. He's winning everything.
There's no reason to believe that he's not
going to win the Oscar.
Although what I want is I want Lakeith Stanfield.
Listen, he was better than Daniel Kaluuya in the movie.
He plays three different roles.
He plays an FBI informant who has to like convince
the Black Panther party that he's like one of them.
He has to, you know, he's a small-time con artist,
con, you know, car thief.
And he's also, you know, a tormented soul who is
wrestling with his own conscience on what he has to
do meeting with the FBI guy.
I think what Lakeith Stanfield is better and I don't understand
why that's not the performance that everybody's talking about,
as good as Daniel Kaluuya is.
But we all agree, it's going to be Kaluuya.
Let's move on.
Here's a look at who's up for Best Supporting Actress.
>>> He's gone to find his watch.
>>> I must say he's charming.
>>> Yeah. Not always.
>>> My exit.
>>> I already made my exit.
>>> You could've gone to jail, Beverly.
He's got loser friends and he's going to be a loser if
somebody don't do something.
Neil: All right, Perri.
In this category, who do you want?
Who do you, who do you think is going to win?
Perri: I'll give you my want to win first.
And that is Yoon Yuh-jung from Minari.
There's a lot to love about that movie, but I think one
of the most charming elements of the whole thing is her
relationship with Alan S. Kim.
And I think the two of them kind of just run away with it,
even though yes, Steven Yeun is phenomenal as well.
But I actually don't think she's going to take it.
I think this might be the time where we see Borat
runaway with a win and it couldn't be Maria Bakalova.
I feel like there's a lot of support behind her right now.
And this category in particular, I think is the biggest
question mark of the bunch so it could be anyone, but
she's got the slight edge.
Rafer: I don't know.
I think it is going to be Yoon Yuh-jung.
I think she's going to take it.
I think this will be the, probably the one place where
Minari will win the Oscar.
I'll just add real briefly, I think it's kind of too
bad that Hillbilly Elegy was such a bad movie because
I actually thought Glenn Close was pretty good in it.
I just want to say that unpopular opinion,
but there you go.
Bill: Well, I'd like Glenn Close to win.
She hasn't and it would be really nice for her not to
be the Susan Lucci again.
There are voters in the Academy that liked her in
that performance and even liked Hillbilly Elegy.
Don't count me in that please.
But I'll tell you what I think is going to happen
and that's Amanda Seyfried.
I know it's different than everything else, but I
think that's the only thing they're going to give Mank.
Remember Mank got the most nominations of any
and you know what I've always said, Mank Stank.
But she was good in it.
Most of the voting Academy members knew Marion Davies
personally so I have a feeling that this is the,
they always pick the ingenue.
This is the upset category.
Look for Mank to get one here and it's for Amanda.
Neil: I think that Maria Bakalova is going to win.
I want Maria Bakalova to win.
But understand something about this category, out of all the
categories every year, Best Supporting Actress is the one
that's the most unpredictable. Think Marisa Tomei.
Think Marcia Gay Harden.
People that nobody thought was going to win all of a
sudden are going to win. Could Glenn Close pull it out?
I mean, you know, eight times, this is her eighth nomination.
She's never won. It's possible.
You know, look for this category to be a surprise.
But, you know, I don't think that, you know,
I don't think that Amanda Seyfried, I don't know what
happened to her anyway.
She was the odds on favorite, you know, two months ago and
her stock keeps going down in this particular category.
As you said, Bill McCuddy, 10 nominations for Mank.
I don't think it's going to get much of anything.
I think Maria Bakalova --
Bill: No, it could absolutely be this year's Color Purple, but
I think they will give it one thing and I think this is it.
Perri: Mank's stock keeps going down.
Not specifically Amanda Seyfried.
Neil: Yeah. Well, I don't like the movie.
Most people don't either.
I'm going with, I want Maria and I think Maria
Bakalova is going to win.
Let's take a look at the nominees this
year for Best Actress.
>>> I live in there.
It's my home.
>>> But a second ago you were determined for me to stay.
You were pretty insistent actually.
>>> I'm a nice guy.
>>> Are you?
>>> They don't care nothing ‘bout me.
All they want is my voice.
[singing] ♪ That strange fruit. ♪
>>> That is what you want.
That is what you need.
That is, that is your way.
That is not my way.
That is what you need.
Neil: All right, Bill. Who do you like?
Who do you want?
Bill: Well, I don't want you to think in any way that I'm
leaning towards one or the other, but I have to say, not
only do I like Carey Mulligan, I think if they can get over
the movie, which I don't think is going to win Best Picture.
We'll talk about that in a minute.
I think Carey Mulligan wins Best Actress here.
It's a tough race.
I want to point out that Viola Davis won and
Chadwick Boseman won.
It would be the first time I think in history where
two stars in a movie that wasn't nominated would win.
And that would be kind of a cool oddity, but
Carey Mulligan is amazing. I love her.
I'm team Carey so I hope that wins.
Perri: I am going Carey Mulligan for both.
I want to see her win.
I think it is an exciting opportunity for her to show
off more range than ever and her command over that role
and that story is part of the reason why Promising Young
Woman is so exceptional.
And I think she's going to win.
Again, a lot of competition here, but it does feel like
she currently has the edge.
Rafer: I mean, I think if you're talking about the actual best
performance outside of how the movie was or not, it's gotta
be Andra Day in The United States versus Billie Holiday.
I just thought that was such a stunning performance
from a first-time actress.
I couldn't believe how good she was in the role.
I thought it was really interesting that both the big
Billie Holiday movies both used first-time actresses to Diana
Ross in Lady Sings the Blues and now Andra Day and United
States versus Billie Holiday.
There's like some kind of rawness that's required
for that role I guess. I thought she was great.
I don't think she's going to win, even
though she won a Globe.
I think it's going to be Mulligan just like
everybody else thinks it is.
Neil: Well, Rafer, I agree with you that I actually think
that the best performance up there is Andra Day
because she was the living embodiment of Billie Holiday.
I mean, I couldn't even believe that it was her
voice that she was singing just like Billie Holiday.
She did the junky scenes really well.
That is the best performance.
But that said, I don't want her to win.
I want Carey Mulligan to win because I just love
that performance and I think Carey Mulligan will win.
I mean, she does, Carey Mulligan did a 180 from anything we've
seen in her previous work.
And she's evil in some sections, she's tender when she's with Bo
Burnham in some other sections.
She's very chameleon-like in this thing.
And I think she's terrific.
So I want her and I think that Carey Mulligan will win.
Okay, let's take a look at the nominees in the Best
Actor Category this year.
>>> I ain't like you. I got talent.
>>> Oh man. >>> It's always tight.
>>> I'm still great at it. I'll show you.
>>> Why not?
>>> You know I don't lie.
>>> And what's why he'd believe you.
Neil: Perri, who do you want? Who do you think?
Perri: This is a done deal.
This is Chadwick Boseman's award to win.
And I think he should be getting it.
I want to see him get it.
And I don't think anyone in this category stands a
chance despite how wonderful they all are as well.
Neil: Listen, it's the posthumous award.
I mean, and I want him to win.
And I think it's the lock of the evening.
I mean, this guy it's not only because sadly he passed
away, but I mean, this guy played Thurgood Marshall.
He played Jackie Robinson.
He played James Brown.
He was Black Panther and he's amazing in this movie.
So I want him and I think he'll win. Rafer?
Rafer: Yeah, you know, I think what's interesting is all these
figures that you're mentioning, all these sort of real
historical or fictional towering Black icons, I felt like this
was this place where you can see Chadwick Boseman, really digging
his teeth into just a real role, an average person, not one of
these larger than life figures, and he really ran with it and
I thought he was great in it.
And I remember thinking like, man, this guy
had an amazing career.
And I feel like with this performance, it was almost
like he was turning a corner and just getting started.
And I think he's going to win as well.
Neil: Bill McCuddy?
Bill: Well, he's won everything else.
And I agree with you guys, buy a farm and bed it.
He's absolutely gonna win.
But look, as far as the best performance of his career, no.
And also the best performance in this category.
For me, it's the unbelievable Sir Anthony Hopkins.
If there is any upset here and enough of the older voters
are getting their ballots mailed in, in time or learning
how to use their computer, I think Anthony Hopkins has a
chance to be the upset here if only because Chadwick
has won everything else.
Remember if they really, really loved him, he'd
have been nominated in two places, Supporting and Best.
But I think all of that is nay-saying needlessly.
He's going to win, but I wouldn't mind if it was Anthony.
Neil: Yeah. We all agree. It's Chadwick Boseman.
Well, here's the big category of the evening, Best Picture.
Here's a look at the eight nominees.
>>> Are you working here now?
>>> Yeah, first year.
>>> Yeah, sure.
>>> Do you have contempt for your government?
>>> I'll tell you Mr. Schultz,
it's nothing compared to the contempt
my government has for me.
>>> How old am I?
What are my hobbies?
What's my name.
Sorry, maybe that one's too hard.
>>> What's nerts?
>>> Nerts is Broolynese for nuts.
[singing] ♪ Hey. Hey, daddy.
>>> I am -- a revolutionary.
They can't never stop the party then they stop the people.
>>> You see, my daughter is of the opinion that I cannot manage
on my own so she's moved in with me ostensibly to help me with
this man she met not long ago.
Neil: Bill, what are your thoughts?
Bill: Well, first of all, as you pointed out, there
are only eight and the two that are missing obviously
are Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and One Night in Miami.
Those two being gone isn't really going to change
what's going to happen.
At Gold Derby we think Nomadland is the number one choice, and
I happen to agree with that.
But Minari is the close second.
And remember we have a preferential ballot system
here, so if in a first round, Nomandland doesn't win then
it goes to the second choices and the number two and number
three choices are important.
Now that's important for something like Promising
Young Woman, because if that gets, it's so divided,
if that gets put at the bottom of a lot of lists that
could affect what happens.
But everyone thought that was gonna happen to
Green Book and it didn't.
Green Book wasn't at the bottom of everyone's list
obviously that we know of.
So here's what I've done, Neil, I've come up with the two
movies I like, I've combined them, and I want everybody
to write in something called Promising Young Nomadland.
Now this is the story of a young woman who lives in
a van and goes around and kills everyone at Amazon.
[Neil laughing] So that would be my number one choice.
No, the truth is I want, I want Promising Young Woman,
but Nomadland is going to win.
Neil: Rafer, what do you want? And what do you think?
Rafer: I would like to see that movie, Bill.
But I think you're right.
I think Nomadland is gonna, is going to win.
I don't mean to be cynical about this, but the movie just really
checks all the right boxes.
It's about the forgotten America.
It's about capitalism. The gig economy.
You've got Frances McDormand who everyone in Hollywood loves.
It's directed by a woman of color.
I think it's a sincere movie.
I don't think it's trying to check all these boxes,
I just think it does.
And I think it's going to sort of hit this cultural
sweet spot that we're in. So I think it's Nomadland.
Perri: I think it's going to be Nomadland as well.
And listen, that was my number one movie of last year so I kind
of have to pick it as my want to win, but the one that I'm
going to suggest not to sleep on is Judas and the Black Messiah.
That was one of the very last ones to get a release.
And I think we've so far seen that work in the movies benefit
and I think it's only picking up more and more momentum as
we get through the season.
So don't be surprised if that one winds up being a surprise
winner in this category.
Bill: The only problem, Neil, that that movie has is that
the director wasn't nominated so that doesn't bode well, but
otherwise I do agree with that.
The surge clearly put pushed One Night in Miami and Ma
Rainey's out of the way.
So yeah, that could be, Perri's right.
That could be a big surprise.
Neil: Well, for all the reasons that Rafer
mentioned, I think that Nomadland will be the winner.
It's not what I personally want.
I'm with Bill actually on Promising Young Woman,
not Promising Young Nomadland.
But that's my favorite movie of the year.
I mean, it's darkly comedic in spots.
It's nail biting thriller in spots.
It's just a tremendous film. And I want it to win.
Could it win? I don't think so.
I mean, I think no Nomadland's got it sewn up, but as you
also said, Bill, it is a weighted system and Nomadland,
you know, the problem with that is some voters and some
people found it to be too slow.
So in this weighted system where people vote first place,
last place, which is why Roma didn't win and other movies
in the past haven't won.
You might find The Trial of the Chicago 7 sneaking in
there or something like that.
But if I'm, you know, betting, I'm going with
Nomadland and my heart goes to Promising Young Woman.
Who's nominated for Best Director?
I'm going to tell you.
In that category, we have Thomas Vinterberg for
the movie Another Round.
David Fincher for Mank.
Lee Isaac Chung for Minari.
Chloé Zhao for Nomadland.
And Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman.
Perri, what do you want? What do you think?
Give me your thoughts.
Perri: So for this one, I would really like to see
either Chloé Zhao or Emerald Fennell take the win.
I think again, like we discussed with Best Picture,
this is Nomadland's award to lose so while I do think
Chloé Zhao is going to run away with it, Emerald Fennell
is a great other option here. And so is Lee Isaac Chung.
Another Round is phenomenal too.
I was happy to see that be the surprise here.
I was a little surprised that the voters went for that one,
but the odd man out in my book at least is Fincher because as
we all well know at this point, I don't love Mank that much.
Neil: And Bill McCuddy? What do you think?
Bill: Well, funny enough, because of Thomas Vinterberg and
Another Round, Aaron Sorkin is at home getting drunk right now.
He's the spoiler in this category, which
is kind of strange.
I think it's absolutely Chloé's to win.
I understand Emerald Fennell and I think it's historic and
wonderful, but it's really Carey's movie not Emerald's,
even though she's the director.
So Carey will win here and Chloé will win for
Nomadland because they're going to tie up this year.
They're going to go together, director and film.
Perri: I need a big Bill no card right now.
Rafer: Yeah, I think it's going to be a Chloé
Zhao for Nomadland.
And I guess I would say it's such an interesting and
diverse, you know, category.
You know, two people of color, two women.
You know, you've got this indie director sneaking in and then
you've got sort of big Hollywood heavy hitter like David Fincher.
I think it's kind of a cool category.
It kind of sort of says something about, I think where
Hollywood is, or at least maybe where it's trying to go.
Neil: It's the first time in Oscar history that two
women are nominated in this particular category.
Only five women previously in the entire history of the
Oscars had been nominated for Oscars for Best Director.
I think it will be Chloé Zhao for Nomandland.
But I'm with Bill.
If I had to pick, because I love Promising Young Woman so much,
I would pick Emerald Fennell if I was making the decision,
but it'll be Chloé Zhao.
Very quickly, Original Screenplay.
What do you guys think? Rafer? Bill? Anybody? Perri? Go.
Rafer: Well the Chicago 7.
Gotta be The Trial of the Chicago 7.
I liked that movie. I think I think it's smart.
I think it made an old legal case feel relevant again.
I love Aaron Sorkin and I think this might be the one place that
he gets a little love this year.
Bill: Yeah. The Academy doesn't like him as a director.
They didn't nominate him as a director.
They think he's a writer. They picked him as a writer.
But if Promising Young Woman is not going to win Best
Director, I think this is the screenplay and so I'm,
I'm going to pick that one.
Perri: Yeah, Trial of the Chicago 7 just isn't nearly
as refined as Promising Young Woman, but I would actually
give it to Soul or Palm Springs, neither of which were nominated.
Neil: Look, I think it's going to be Trial of the
Chicago 7 because I think that's Aaron Sorkin's
constellation price because he got snuffed not getting
a Best Director nomination.
But of course I want Promising Young Woman as I've mentioned
previously, because I just love that movie so much.
All right, Adapted screenplay. Bill, what do you think?
Bill: Well, Borat is the one that everyone says is so great,
but it was largely ad libbed. It's sorta like an SNL thing.
One Night in Miami would be a nice nod here, but I
think it's probably going to be Nomadland because
those things will line up.
Best Picture will also get Best Screenplay.
Neil: Yeah, I agree with you.
I think it's going to be Nomadland.
It'd be nice, you know, if you know, One Night in Miami got it.
But even though it was based on a play and most of the dialogue
was taken from the play, but I think Nomadland's got it.
Perri, what do you think?
Perri: I'm rooting for the underdog here.
I want to see White Tiger win.
Ramin Bahrani was a professor of mine and I'm very grateful
for everything he taught me.
So I can't help but to root for him.
Neil: Yeah, that's never happening, Perri.
But what do you think, what's going to happen, what do
you think's going to win.
Perri: I think it's going to Nomandland.
Neil: And you agree, Rafer, it's going to go to Nomadland?
Rafer: I agree, yeah.
But, you know, a quick shout out to Kemp Powers, the guy
who wrote One Night in Miami and a co-writer on Soul,
That guy's really on a roll.
Neil: Okay. And very quickly Best Animated film.
Do we all agree that Soul is going to win?
I think Pixar kind of owns the Best Animated Feature category.
It's no matter, almost always, no matter what
they put up it wins. And it's a pretty good movie.
Rafer: I disagree.
I didn't think it was that good actually.
Bill: Yeah, I didn't either. I didn't love it.
And, you know, do you remember any of the songs from it?
Bill: Unlike most of America right now I'm humming the
Oscar nominated original song Husavik from Eurovision Song
Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.
This is a weird year in songs and it's also a
weird year in animation.
I didn't love, love Soul, but I think it's gonna win.
Perri: Yeah yeah, ding-dong. Rafer: Yeah yeah, ding-dong.
>>> I'm going to make you wish you never died.
>>> Most people wish that 22.
>>> Up you go. Bye.
Neil: Before we go, my favorite part of this show, what do
you think is the biggest snub by the Academy this year?
The person or picture that didn't get nominated
that should have? Bill.
Bill: Well, Regina King should have been nominated for a One
Night in Miami, but that didn't get nominated for Best Picture
so that was kind of a big snub.
Also, Ben Affleck worked really, really hard.
I liked his performance in The Way Back, and
then he did a ton of Zoom interviews with everybody.
I wanted that to happen and it didn't.
>>> All right, look, let's just get to the playoffs all right?
Just don't do this.
Rafer: I don't know if it was ever gonna make it to
the Oscars, but I would put a little plugin for The Outpost,
a movie that I really enjoy, that I thought was probably
the first Afghanistan war film that seemed really successful.
Scott Eastwood, based on the book by Jake Tapper.
I liked that movie. It was compelling.
It was empathetic. It was realistic.
And, you know, I knew it wasn't really going to make it all the
way to the Oscars, but I would have liked to have seen it get
a little more acknowledgment.
Bill: And Rod Lurie who wrote and directed it
used to be a critic. So it gives us some hope.
Rafer: That's right.
>>> We're going to win by getting their hearts and minds.
>>> We want their hearts and minds and they want
our blood and guts.
>>> Sorry pal. But that's life at Camp Keating.
Neil: Perri, what's your biggest slight, snub of the year?
Perri: The ultimate snub of beer is Delroy Lindo not getting
a nomination in Best Actor.
I have some thoughts and theories on why that
might've happened, but if we're just narrowing it
down to the quality of a performance, it is absolutely
absurd in my book that his name is not on that list.
Neil: What is one of your theories as to why that
didn't happen, Perri?
Perri: I just wonder if Netflix had a lot on their
plate and focus was put on more more movies, on some
movies more so than others.
And I think that they got back around to Da 5 Bloods a
little too late in the game.
Bill: Spike Lee will get great revenge though because
he's now the jury head at the Cannes Film Festival so he
gets to pick movies instead of being told he's not good
enough to be in the run.
>>> I see ghosts y'all.
I see ghosts.
>>> Happens to all of us, man.
Neil: My biggest snub of the year is this movie called
The Nest, which kind of completely went under the radar.
Carrie Coon gave a phenomenal performance and it might've
been Jude Law's best performance that he's ever given.
Nobody saw this movie. It's a terrific film.
And the movie didn't get any nominations and
nobody saw the thing. So that's my snub.
Perri: I cannot believe that's the movie you just name dropped.
Neil: Well, there you go. That's it.
>>> There's an opportunity.
>>> This will be our fourth move in 10 years.
But money's fine, right?
Neil: Well, there you have it.
The Oscars are on Sunday, April 25th.
Check them out to see how we did.
I want to thank my panel, Rafer Guzman, Perri Nemiroff,
and Bill McCuddy.
I'm Neil Rosen and we'll see you next time on Talking Pictures.
♪ [Closing Music]
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