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Oscar Talk: DiCaprio vs. Clooney, J. Edgar, Muppet Movie, Young Adult’s Theron, War Horse

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood November 4, 2011 at 10:06AM

Oscar Talk: DiCaprio vs. Clooney, J. Edgar, Muppet Movie, Young Adult’s Theron, War Horse

On this week’s Oscar Talk, Kris Tapley and I air our reactions to AFI FEST opener J. Edgar, directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Leonardo DiCaprio in a tour-de-force performance as J. Edgar Hoover, young and old. We agree that DiCaprio could move into the lead in the Best Actor category, and Armie Hammer, Judi Dench and Naomi Watts could be in the running for supporting nominations too. It may not be best picture, although some categories could go with a period film from the respected and popular Eastwood, from art direction and cinematography to makeup. Oscar-winning Milk screenwriter Dustin Lance Black enters some speculative territory, here; depending on critical reaction, he could be rewarded with a script nod.

Kris loves both The Muppet Movie and Jason Reitman’s Young Adult (TOH covered that Q & A). We explain why Young Adult and Steven Spielberg’s War Horse are taking the secret screening route around the country. We get into the Brit Effect on the Oscars, and parse the Weinsteins’ rerelease of Sarah’s Key. We debate the wisdom of putting Keira Knightley in the lead for A Dangerous Method and campaign the ensemble as supporting actors for Carnage. Could Fox Searchlight’s current release Martha Marcy May Marlene wind up making more Oscar noise than summer release Tree of Life?

Here’s the podcast.

This article is related to: Oscars, Clint Eastwood, Leonardo DiCaprio, George Clooney, Charlize Theron, Jason Reitman, comedy

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.