Circuit Breaker Episode 37: Moonlight/La La Land Rehash, ACCA 93 Recommendations, and Circuit Madness 16 Results

Welcome to the Awards Circuit podcast titled “CIRCUIT BREAKER!,” a weekly podcast from AwardsCircuit.com featuring host Clayton Davis along with panelists Sam Coffey, Mark Johnson and Joey Magidson. We discuss movies, television and all the awards shows that need predicting. New episodes are released every Monday. Find us on Twitter at @Circuit_Pod, email us at podcast@awardscircuit.com, and submit your comments and questions at the bottom of the episode.

On the agenda:

  • We are in the middle of ACCA 1993 and we offer up our recommendations including our most “overrated” and “underrated” films from the year.
  • After watching the newest trailer for “It,” we give our thoughts and share what we could all be in store for.
  • Thanks to a reader question, we ask who will “NO DOUBT” win an Oscar before their life has ended.  Guess who we came up with?
  • Another question from a reader has us asking, if there was a “straight 10” every year, would there have been a film that would have made the lineup and had the possibility to win Best Picture?
  • We get into another rehash about why “Moonlight” beat “La La Land” at the Oscars.
  • Circuit Madness results are in and it’s a doosy!

Comment and send in #CinephileShowdowns, #ChoosetheGold and #ACCircuitBreaker questions in the comment section below!

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About Clayton Davis

Clayton Davis is the esteemed Editor and Owner of AwardsCircuit.com. Born in Bronx, NY to a Puerto Rican mother and Black father, he’s been criticizing film and television for over a decade. Clayton is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association where he votes and attends the kick off to the awards season, the Critics Choice Awards. He’s also an active member of New York Film Critics Online, International Press Academy, Black Reel Awards, and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. Clayton has been quoted and appeared in various outlets that include The New York Times, CNN.com, Variety, Deadline, Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg Television, AOL, Huffington Post, Bloomberg Radio, The Wrap, Slash Film, and the Hollywood Reporter.
  • Cornelius Buttersby

    Enjoy!- Joey, any second now

    • Joey Magidson

      Don’t you dare steal my gig!

  • Cornelius Buttersby

    Food for thought for the next podcast: listening to Hamilton again, I was thinking about how when they inevitably make a movie of it, whoever is cast as Angelica will have to be the far out Supporting Actress frontrunner. I could easily see that being the role to win someone like Gugu Mbatha-Raw an Oscar.

  • Tee

    1. WHERE IS CHRIS JAMES?!
    2. I’ll go with Addams Family Values, and either Hocus Pocus or Mrs. Doubtfire
    3. I see Karen is once again willing to stir the pot, even if I partially agree with her.
    4. Everyone is stirring the pot, you are destroying childhoods Joey!
    5. I don’t think anyone is a “fan” of The Piano, and Rudy is an awesome film.
    6. I have not seen Carlito’s Way, so no hate or love from me.

    • Joey Magidson

      Hot takes all around!

    • My name translates to Stirrer of Pots in ancient Swedish.

  • Kevin

    I really don’t understand how winning Golden Globes and WGA means Moonlight was duking it out. That makes no sense. I fully agree La La Land wasn’t a guarantee to win, but it was the CLEAR favorite. You can’t be the obvious favorite and duke it out with another movie. If it was duking it out with Moonlight, then we’d have seen more people predicting Moonlight to win. But almost nobody did.

    An example of duking it out is 12 Years a Slave and Gravity. Because when people made their final predictions, there was no clear favorite. Many people had 12 Years, and many had Gravity. Either pick was a smart pick.

    Moonlight was a very surprising win. Just like Spotlight was. And some other films from past years that were brought up. But it definitely did not duke it out with La La Land. It’s easy to act like people could see it coming with hindsight. But in reality, nobody did. Which is fine. Surprising wins are great. And that’s what Moonlight was.

    • It’s true that basically no one predicted Moonlight. Our point is that if you go back and look at what happened along the way, the signs were there. We all collectively overlooked them. Also, a lot of people ultimately predicted La La Land and then immediately backed that up with, “But Moonlight could pull off the upset.” And then it did.

      • I still argue the signs were there for LLL to lose, but not for any one film to be the one to beat it, which nullified the signs to lose to begin with.

  • John

    May I with all sincerity ask that in the future for ACCA, given the new nature of the nominations page, you ask readers to name any performances/films to include beforehand the list is made. And to be reasonable limit the amount to a few from each reader, just to name any important ones you just might miss. Like you forgot Kurosawa’s swansong Maadadayo for 93.

  • Ferdinand

    Actually, the nomination voting isn’t that different for the other categories than it is for best picture so one could say that the nominees in every category are in fact decided by a form of preferential balloting. The main difference is that in best picture the 5% rule cuts the redistribution of votes a bit earlier, after a few rounds and at that point the films that have 5% get nominated. In the other categories they keep redistributing the votes of the films that got less votes until no other film can get over any of the top 5 at that moment

  • Robby Poffenberger

    I feel like Clayton just likes to argue with Mark. Don’t get me wrong, I’m entertained, but give Mark some credit:

    1. When Brad Pitt is billed as “Academy Award-Winner Brad Pitt” in a movie that he’s only ACTING in, when his Oscar was for PRODUCING, it’s misleading even if it’s technically accurate.

    2. “Duking it out” means they were trading blows, but to my knowledge, Moonlight didn’t win in a single category all year if it was up against LLL. Hard to say they were trading blows that way when Moonlight didn’t land any.

    • Robby Poffenberger

      Also, Joey, you’re my favorite guy on the podcast, but you’re a heartless monster for not loving The Sandlot.

      • Joey Magidson

        I’m all about the first half of this comment. As for the second, I suppose I was due?

        • Robby Poffenberger

          Haha. You’re right, my verbiage is a little too strong. My bad.

          I grew up watching Rookie of the Year on VHS. Gary Busey is great but the movie hasn’t carried the way The Sandlot has for me.

          • Joey Magidson

            That’s fair. I actually think Little Big League has aged better, but I still love Rookie of the Year all the same.

    • Ferdinand

      Moonlight won the WGA, which is a surprisingly good precursor. And unlike La La Land it got nominated at SAG, even though it lost the extremely large and populist guild to a more crowd-pleasing film.

  • Luke McGowan

    Crikey I wanted to jump on the podcast to back Mark up at least twice this episode.

    1. Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Mel Gibson, Kevin Costner, Robert Redford and Brad Pitt aren’t advertised as “Academy Award winners” because that is misleading. It’s always used in the context of “starring”, and to say that a film “stars” Academy Award winner Brad Pitt is misleading. An Affleck movie like Live By Night could get away with saying “from Academy Award Winner Ben Affleck” is correct, because its “from” him – as a writer/producer. There’s a difference between being clever and downright misleading, and as much as Clayton may hate it, Pitt is not an Academy Award winning actor, so saying “Academy Award winner Brad Pitt” in the trailer for The Big Short and Allied is misleading.

    2. If you predicted Moonlight to win Best Picture, you were wrong to be right. As Mark kept trying to say throughout, Moonlight LOST everything, even the things La La Land didn’t win like actors and cinematographers. Karen is right to say we don’t know how close it was all season – and that’s how it DID eventually win- but Mark is even more correct to say if it really was that close, surely Moonlight would’ve upset La La Land at least once instead of La La Land winning 51-49 all season. How often can that happen?

    Also, i’m seriously wanting someone in my life who talks about me the way Clayton talks about KP. Damn. Let’s just say I’m not sure Clayton’s wife and kids make the cut on Clayton’s Life personal ballot anymore.

    • Hahaha! Trust me. Clayton WORSHIPS his wife and kids.

    • Best comment in a comment thread in the history of comment threads.

      • Luke McGowan

        It’s an honour sir.

  • RaulSGama

    1. Guys, you should know how great it is having diverse opinnions on your podcast, you should keep it and be proud of it. not for comparison, but other awards podcasts that are 5 people saying the same thing to each other, and worst.. when some of them is being shamelessly backlashing or being singleminded about a film or person, there’s no one to contradict.

    2. Agree with Mark about the LLL vs Moonlight.. only that i wouldn’t say that i couldn’t see the cenario of Moonlight winning, i could.. in the beginning of the race.. but for the wrong reasons to me, i hate when people put narrative over quality and specialy their taste, cause quality is usually very close in a BP line up. But it was crystal clear that LLL was the film to win the academy, as soon as everyone saw, on festivals and screenings, they declared the BP win, because there are decades of history telling how the acedemy likes their films. But i always felt that Moonlight could win, not because it’s more Academy’s taste than LLL or it was better, but because of the world we live in now, the internet is really lound, all the campaing against LLL was lound and clear not only on internet but tv and all that, quoting a guy from another podcast “No one would like to be seen as a person who dislikes Moonlight” (say that to a preferencial ballot filler).

    But i confess that the idea of Moonlight winning BP didn’t seem that palpable then, that the internet wasn’t yet so strong to influence a whole Academy, when the most rellevant awards began to be held..

    Golden Globes – Moonlight won best drama, but there wasn’t a real competition there, and at the globes it was LLL 7 x 1 Moonlight.

    Sag – LLL wasn’t nominated as ensemble because it wouldn’t. and as Mark said, LLL always won what it needed, Emma won, and she had huge competition, Ryan could’ve been out in Best actor at sag easily, cause they had options, so.. they didn’t dislike it as people say.. If Moonlight had won there, there would be no discussion.

    ASC – LLL won everywhere else in cinematography, including at the oscars, and again LLL lost to another film aside Moonlight, which could easily have won, had the quality for it.

    WGA – since the beginning people said that LLL wouldn’t win for wrigting, and most likely wouldn’t even get nominated, so, being nominated and winning in a bunch of other awards, shows stregh, and it lost to MBTS which is 100% the screenplay.

    and again, how sure it was the win, in the end the headlines were, “Yes LL will win, but the question is how many will it” and everybody said it’s worst day would be 9.

    And it won six.. to me those wins, specially Cinematography, Best Actress, Director shows how sure it was thought as the best from the academy, and it loosing in other caregories shows how the campaing to put it down worked, specially BP which people took as a statement for the election and the last years global causes..

    Sorry, a lot of words, you should consider audio/video conference with some readers some day :D, but again congrats on the diverse opinnions and another great podcast!

  • RaulSGama

    1. Guys, you should know how great it is having diverse opinnions on your podcast, you should keep it and be proud of it. not for comparison, but other awards podcasts that are 5 people saying the same thing to each other, and worst.. when some of them is being shamelessly backlashing or being singleminded about a film or person, there’s no one to contradict.

    2. Agree with Mark about the LLL vs Moonlight.. only that i wouldn’t say that i couldn’t see the cenario of Moonlight winning, i could.. in the beginning of the race.. but for the wrong reasons to me, i hate when people put narrative over quality and specialy their taste, cause quality is usually very close in a BP line up. But it was crystal clear that LLL was the film to win the academy, as soon as everyone saw, on festivals and screenings, they declared the BP win, because there are decades of history telling how the acedemy likes their films. But i always felt that Moonlight could win, not because it’s more Academy’s taste than LLL or it was better, but because of the world we live in now, the internet is really lound, all the campaing against LLL was lound and clear not only on internet but tv and all that, quoting a guy from another podcast “No one would like to be seen as a person who dislikes Moonlight” (say that to a preferencial ballot filler).

    But i confess that the idea of Moonlight winning BP didn’t seem that palpable then, that the internet wasn’t yet so strong to influence a whole Academy, when the most rellevant awards began to be held..

    Golden Globes – Moonlight won best drama, but there wasn’t a real competition there, and at the globes it was LLL 7 x 1 Moonlight.

    Sag – LLL wasn’t nominated as ensemble because it wouldn’t. and as Mark said, LLL always won what it needed, Emma won, and she had huge competition, Ryan could’ve been out in Best actor at sag easily, cause they had options, so.. they didn’t dislike it as people say.. If Moonlight had won there, there would be no discussion.

    ASC – LLL won everywhere else in cinematography, including at the oscars, and again LLL lost to another film aside Moonlight, which could easily have won, had the quality for it.

    WGA – since the beginning people said that LLL wouldn’t win for wrigting, and most likely wouldn’t even get nominated, so, being nominated and winning in a bunch of other awards, shows stregh, and it lost to MBTS which is 100% the screenplay.

    and again, how sure it was the win, in the end the headlines were, “Yes LL will win, but the question is how many will it” and everybody said it’s worst day would be 9.

    And it won six.. to me those wins, specially Cinematography, Best Actress, Director shows how sure it was thought as the best from the academy, and it loosing in other caregories shows how the campaing to put it down worked, specially BP which people took as a statement for the election and the last years global causes..

    Sorry, a lot of words, you should consider audio/video conference with some readers some day :D, but again congrats on the diverse opinnions and another great podcast!

  • Ryan

    Cinephile Showdown:

    Beauty and the Beast OR Brokeback Mountain
    Star Wars OR La La Land
    Jaws OR E.T. the Extra-terrestrial
    The Lion King OR The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

  • RaulSGama

    1. Guys, you should know how great it is having diverse opinnions on your podcast, you should keep it and be proud of it. not for comparison, but other awards podcasts that are 5 people saying the same thing to each other, and worst.. when some of them is being shamelessly backlashing or being singleminded about a film or person, there’s no one to contradict.

    2. Agree with Mark about the LLL vs Moonlight.. only that i wouldn’t say that i couldn’t see the cenario of Moonlight winning, i could.. in the beginning of the race.. but for the wrong reasons to me, i hate when people put narrative over quality and specialy their taste, cause quality is usually very close in a BP line up. But it was crystal clear that LLL was the film to win the academy, as soon as everyone saw, on festivals and screenings, they declared the BP win, because there are decades of history telling how the acedemy likes their films. But i always felt that Moonlight could win, not because it’s more Academy’s taste than LLL or it was better, but because of the world we live in now, the internet is really lound, all the campaing against LLL was lound and clear not only on internet but tv and all that, quoting a guy from another podcast “No one would like to be seen as a person who dislikes Moonlight” (say that to a preferencial ballot filler).

    But i confess that the idea of Moonlight winning BP didn’t seem that palpable then, that the internet wasn’t yet so strong to influence a whole Academy, when the most rellevant awards began to be held..

    Golden Globes – Moonlight won best drama, but there wasn’t a real competition there, and at the globes it was LLL 7 x 1 Moonlight.

    Sag – LLL wasn’t nominated as ensemble because it wouldn’t. and as Mark said, LLL always won what it needed, Emma won, and she had huge competition, Ryan could’ve been out in Best actor at sag easily, cause they had options, so.. they didn’t dislike it as people say.. If Moonlight had won there, there would be no discussion.

    ASC – LLL won everywhere else in cinematography, including at the oscars, and again LLL lost to another film aside Moonlight, which could easily have won, had the quality for it.

    WGA – since the beginning people said that LLL wouldn’t win for wrigting, and most likely wouldn’t even get nominated, so, being nominated and winning in a bunch of other awards, shows stregh, and it lost to MBTS which is 100% the screenplay.

    and again, how sure it was the win, in the end the headlines were, “Yes LL will win, but the question is how many will it” and everybody said it’s worst day would be 9.

    And it won six.. to me those wins, specially Cinematography, Best Actress, Director shows how sure it was thought as the best from the academy, and it loosing in other caregories shows how the campaing to put it down worked, specially BP which people took as a statement for the election and the last years global causes..

    Sorry, a lot of words, you should consider audio/video conference with some readers some day :D, but again congrats on the diverse opinnions and another great podcast!

  • Luke McGowan

    Question: whose Oscar nomination trajectory seems clearest to you right now? And no cop out answers like Blunt. Honestly I would say Rebecca Fergusson is doing all the right things to move in that direction

    • This came through after we recorded, so I’ll try to make sure Clayton gets it for next week.

      • Luke McGowan

        Always a risk – don’t worry I’ll stick it on this weeks podcast

  • Calvin Damon

    Driving Miss Daisy actually won PGA, WGA, and the National Board of Review as well as the Golden Globe. It wasn’t nominated for the DGA though. In fact, the only nomination it ever got for its directing was at the BAFTA’s, which is quite interesting. Braveheart also won the WGA as well as awards for directing at the Golden Globes and Broadcast Film Critics. It also won a special acheivement award for Mel Gibson at the National Board of Review. Maybe we should be paying more attention to WGA than we have in the past. Also, Gladiator actually did fairly well for itself. It won at PGA, the Golden Globes, the BAFTA’s, and the Broadcast Film Critics, as well as a few smaller guilds. The interesting thing though is that Ridley Scott never won for directing, though he was the runner up at the Broadcast Film Critics. That year was definitely a three-horse race though, much like a couple years ago with The Revenant, The Big Short, and Spotlight duking it out. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon won DGA as well as winning for directing at the Golden Globes and the BAFTA’s. It also won picture and director at the Independent Spirit Awards. Traffic won at SAG, CSA, and WGA. It also won picture and director at the Satellite awards and won director at National Board of Review and Broadcast Film Critics.