Kris Tapley and I reconvened over Skype for a mid-summer Oscar Talk (below). We covered quite a bit of ground. New Academy rules affect the top ten best picture ballot, VFX, documentaries and animation, but not foreign eligibility. New members may tip the scale as well on a more mainstream selection.
Will the movies that have played well with adults and critics so far last through the awards season--Woody Allen's career-topping hit Midnight in Paris, Terrence Malick's subdued The Tree of Life, Tom McCarthy's comedic Win Win and Cary Fukunaga's romantic Jane Eyre?
While it's too early, really, we speculate wildly about the films coming up in the fall and winter, from Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin and current Oscar front-runner War Horse, to Martin Scorsese's unpredictable and retitled 3-D effort Hugo. Will David Cronenberg, George Clooney, Roman Polanski, Lars von Trier, Stephen Daldry, David Fincher or Bennett Miller enter the Oscar derby? The last three of those films are produced by Scott Rudin, and many fall contenders, per usual, are distributed by the Weinsteins or Sony Pictures Classics.
In the best actress category, do Tilda Swinton, Michelle Williams, or Kirsten Dunst have a prayer against heavyweights Meryl Streep and Glenn Close, attempting an Oscar comeback two decades after her Hollywood heyday? Check it out.