Circuit Breaker Episode 76: Golden Globe Winners and the Meaning for the Oscars


Welcome to the Awards Circuit podcast titled “CIRCUIT BREAKER!,” a weekly podcast from featuring host Clayton Davis along with panelists Sam Coffey, Mark Johnson, Joey Magidson, and Karen Peterson. 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, and submit your comments and questions at the bottom of the episode.

On the agenda:

  • The Golden Globes have come and gone and we’re talking about all the winners, the night’s surprises, and what it means to the Oscar race.

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

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  • Joey Magidson


  • Cornelius Buttersby

    Although this has been a great week for Three Billboards, I think Lady Bird will eke this at the last minute on the preferential ballot. Three Billboards is arguably the frontrunner now, and has peaked on Globes and SAG, putting it in the dreaded spot where it has to measure up to everyone’s expectations for what a ‘best movie’ is like. Three Billboards could easily take SAG ensemble and BAFTA, and even overperform on Oscar noms, but the #TimesUp narrative, a key WGA Original Screenplay win where Three Billboards is absent, and a lack of enemies could guarantee the Best Picture statue to Lady Bird in the same way Moonlight won last year.

    In Best Director, Guillermo Del Toro looks pretty good for the win – TSoW will undoubtedly lead the nomination tally, Dunkirk hasn’t come on as strong as many expected, and there isn’t a firm Best Picture frontrunner to sneak in a less established director a la The Artist/The King’s Speech. For the rest of the nominees, McDonagh looks good on the de facto Picture frontrunner, and has gotten in everywhere he needs to, while Nolan has the *other* director’s showcase, which should put him in prime position. Gerwig is probably next, due to the film’s Best Picture chances and the #TimesUp narrative and the attention placed upon this category as a result. For the final spot, I’ll lean on the stat that we haven’t had an all-first time line-up since 1997, and suggest Spielberg manages it in the end. Peele, and Baker are both strong contenders, while Scott or Anderson could end up in there as a lone-nominee to fulfill the veteran stat.

  • Cornelius Buttersby

    Two key patterns with SAG are; usually at least two acting winners come from ensemble nominees, and they will not give someone a second award unless the season’s narrative says they *absolutely have to*. The only times they’ve ordained someone a second time have been when the season had established them as the only choice – Day-Lewis twice, Davis for Fences, Blanchett for Blue Jasmine, etc. If they have a reasonable alternative, they’ll go to that instead – and their tendency to reward actors later for performances they passed over shows an awareness for who they give their awards to (as we see with Crowe, Washington).

    I think off the back of this Globes win, Rockwell becomes the representation for Three Billboards and the Supporting Actor winner – especially because he could well be SAG’s way of rewarding Three Billboards in an individual category without giving McDormand her second award (as they are historically averse to doing). Ronan, meanwhile, turns Globe momentum into a SAG win and a representation for Lady Bird.

    • Phill Milner

      After Mcdormand’s reception at the Golden Globes, I’d be vey surprised if she lost SAG. The crowd went absolutely gaga over her in a way that I didn’t really see for Ronan. Considering that crowd was full of actors… I feel like Mcdormand losing is a long shot. Could definitely happen, but I’m on the other side of the fence. I think Rockwell and Mcdormand win, with the ensemble choice going to Mudbound or maybe Get Out… this is the actors we’re talking about.

  • Phill Milner

    Alright. I need some help from the community. What is the deal with the Lady Bird praise? No, it wasn’t a bad movie by any means, but I’m not sure where the justification for these accolades is coming from…

    When I first watched it, I made it halfway through before I had the realization that it was a satire on the modern day California teenager. The self entitlement and the over dramatization of problems that every teenager faces in the world. I thought it was really great at that point, but after talking to some friends about it afterward, they told me that it wasn’t a satire and the movie was very serious… which really made changed my mind to thinking it was just an okay movie.

    What I wrong in originally thinking it was a satire? I loved Ronan’s performance in that light. Her continued pouting “woah is me” attitude fit really well with the theme, but If i’m looking at it as a serious performance… it just annoys me. I feel like she’s a kid who didn’t get any discipline when she was younger and is now reaping the rewards of her non-disciplined lifestyle. Jumping out of a moving car going down the road and breaking your arm… that’s just silly… that isn’t serious… right?

    The opening quote of the movie about celebrating Christmas in Sacramento as some kind of special call out to the kind of movie we’re about to see struck me as a pretentious thing… because anyone who has celebrated Christmas with their family anywhere knows how that feels…

    So I would really like to hear everyone else’s opinions. Was it a satire or not? The answer to this questions makes all the difference to me in how I actually perceive and rate this film.

    • blake011

      Its absolutely not a satire and very serious. Then again I loved the film and felt it was very real even with her jumping out of the car.

      • Phill Milner

        That’s what my friends were saying. They loved it much more than I did. I just struggle to connect to someone who behaves that way and have no pity or feel sorry for them… and because I can’t connect with the main character, I can’t connect with the movie.

        Reminds me of 10 years ago when Juno came out and I absolutely adored it, but my older friends were telling me that she was so annoying and such a brat… and it didn’t make sense to me at the time… maybe that’s the feeling I have about Lady Bird. An unpopular opinion, i know, but man I feel so disconnected from it.

    • It’s not a satire, it’s a biopic about me.

    • Tee

      I do think there’s elements of satire- heightened personalities for comedic effect, modern trends be scrutinized- but ultimately it is of the mindset of a serious film.

      The attitude of “woah is me” is hilarious for older people, but very serious for teenagers at that timeframe. That’s why Tracy Letts is such an important character in the film; he is the adult in the situation that can see that this is Lady Bird going and “suffering” through the angst woes of being a teenager. Of course he knows that they’re small and hilarious problems, but he also knows that these problems are life altering for her.

      Look back, everyone has things that they remember having problems they thought were the center of the world and are barely things worth remembering. It’s one of those films that will depend on one’s own life experiences and what they can anchor themselves into that world.

      • Phill Milner

        You make some very fair points. I feel like this film would have really resonated with me 5 to 10 years ago, but as a 25 year old High School Theater/Film Teacher who has to deal with Lady Bird kind of kids on the daily, I felt more connected to Henderson’s character… and that’s probably not the character I’m supposed to feel super connected to XD

  • blake011

    Karen I saw Hostiles over the weekend. Jumped to my number one film of the year. I’m not usually a Scott Cooper fan but this was exceptional. Ridiculous its lost in the award race.

    • It’s so great, isn’t it?? You should read the interview that just went up with some of the crafts folk. I love how much they love this film, too. I think it would have done better if it had gotten distribution sooner.

  • Mike

    While I liked a lot of the speeches and the times up movement, some of these actors and actresses really need a reality check on their own hypocrisy. Justin Timberlake wore the Time’s Up badge, which is all well and good, but he also worked with Woody Allen just this year. Emma Stone wore black to support the movement, but she just worked with Woody Allen. I mean, Woody Allen wasgiven the same award Oprah got just a few years ago. Why is this never called out? Its hard to find sincerity for some of these people when they had no problems working with known rapists and sexual predators.

    Why not call out Ewan McGregor for working with Roman Polanski? Or Natalie Portman for signing a petition calling for his release after he was arrested in Poland? Or Meryl Streep for saying it was awful that Polanski was arrested in Poland and giving him a standing ovation? Too many actors act like Harvey Weinstein was the first person in movies to be a predator. I believe most people didn’t know what Harvey was doing, but they ALL knew what Roman Polanski did. Yet drugging and raping a 13 year old girl doesn’t seem to be a big deal to them for some reason.

    If you want to end sexual abuse and harassment, maybe start by not working with people who have always been known for doing those things. They can say time’s up all they want, but until they completely stop working with people like Woody Allen and Roman Polanski, it’s going to sound a little fake.

    • Phill Milner

      Reminds me of just a few years ago when Hollywood was voicing their opinions on letting Polanski back into the country with a pardon… I’m talking famous top billed actors who are now all against this sexual misconduct stuff. Definitely some hypocrisy on that room.

      And don’t get me started on Streisand shaming 5 great directorial efforts because they were men. Couldn’t believe she did that right before BP. Sexism hypocrisy is strong as well.

      • Mike

        Your first point I agree with. Far too many have supported Polanski. George Clooney said a few years ago he doesn’t know much about the Polanski case (which is a load of crap) but then said it’s terrible to target an old man like that. So he doesn’t know much about it, but thinks people are unfair to Polanski? Uh okay. Whoopie Goldberg said once that Polanski should be freed because what he did wasn’t “rape rape”. He was a middle aged man who DRUGGED a 13 year old and RAPED her, how is that not “rape rape”? What does that even mean? In what world is that not the definition of rape? And of course dozens and dozens of people signed that petition calling for his release, like the already mentioned Natalie Portman but also someone like Martin Scorcese.

        I disagree with your second point. She wasn’t shaming the nominees, she’s shaming the HFPP for rarely ever nominating women directors, let alone giving them the win. One woman winning best director in 75 years is absurd. Which is a problem with Hollywood. Women directors are barely given any bigger movies, and if they are and the movie fails, their career suffers. While male directors are obviously given almost every movie made, but are given numerous chances even when all their movies suck. Look at Brett Ratner, before the rape allegations came out. X-Men 3 is one of the worst superhero movies ever, but he still got to do a bunch of movies after it. If Wonder Woman sucked, do you really think Patty Jenkins would get a bunch more opportunities?

        • Phill Milner

          I agree that woman don’t get many opportunities, but I can’t think of many times throughout history where a woman was shunned out of the directing category for a worthy effort. Catherine Hardwicke for Lords of Dogtown comes to mind, but that movie didn’t get any love at all, so it’s less surprising. She was in my top 5 for that year.

          Gerwig doesn’t deserve to be top 5 in my opinion… maybe not even top 10. I don’t like the developing narrative that she is not being nominated because she is a woman when the reality is that Lady Bird isn’t a very memorable directing effort. I feel like there are far superior efforts this year, and all of those efforts come from males. I don’t think that make me a misogynist, it’s just an opinion that I think holds water this awards season and in previous awards seasons. I honestly believe it is not a gender thing. It’s a merit thing and it always has been. Bigelow won an award 8 years ago, and I know that seems like a long time between female nominee and female winner, but as you’ve already stated, there isn’t many female efforts, let alone GREAT female efforts to go around. Just because one came along that is getting praise, doesn’t mean it should automatically jump to the top 5 of anyone’s prediction card.

          I’ve said in the past that nominating a woman because she’s a woman is just as bad as NOT nominating a woman because she’s a woman. Gerwig’s effort speaks for itself, and her gender shouldn’t cloud that fact, for better or for worse. If she isn’t nominated come oscar morning, it’s because there were 5 better efforts in the opinion of the academy. Calling the academy misogynist and sexist for leaving her out would make me just as guilty apparently… because she’s not in my top 5 either.

          • Mike

            Nobody is saying to nominate her because she’s a woman. They’re saying it’s ridiculous the HFPA apparently thought the movie was so good, they gave it Best picture and Best Actress, yet the director of the movie apparently wasn’t good enough. They clearly loved the movie, but Greta’s direction wasn’t even deserving to be nominated? Meanwhile Ridley Scott gets nominated for a movie that is average at best.

            You don’t really like Lady Bird, so you wouldn’t nominate her. That’s fine. But the HFPA did like Lady Bird, liked it so much it won two major awards, but they don’t see her direction as nomination worthy. With there being so few women ever nominated, you have to wonder why. And it goes to the overall view at how few women are even given chances to direct in Hollywood. Not one person has said, “Only nominate her because she’s a woman!”. That’s a made up point.

            And the same type of outrage happens to male directors too. People freaked out when Ben Affleck wasn’t nominated for Argo.

            • Phill Milner

              The picks for best director were all represented in the best picture category over in drama, so one could argue they simply liked the drama pictures more than they liked the comedy pictures. This isn’t anything new. Drama seems to trump comedy most of the time.

              And Gerwig’s loss in screenplay shows, maybe the movie didn’t have as much support at the globes as originally thought? It won the best comedy category against a fairly weak lineup and it won’t the best actress category in a comedy category without Mcdormand or Hawkin competing against it.

              I see where you’re coming from, but there are more reasonable conclusions to draw from this than not nominating a woman because she’s a woman. If Three Billboards was placed in comedy (as some guilds seem to be doing) then Lady Bird doesn’t even win there. I don’t think the HFPA cared for it THAT much to warrant a director nod IMO.

            • Raul Gama

              You might not be saying Gerwig should be nominated cause she’s a woman, but many ppl are, directly or indirectly, you see in sentences like “this year was so important for women one should get in”, “With all the harassment scandals, a woman should get in”, and Some, as Natalie Portman are direct in their statement, which i think Phillip misspoke, i think he wasn’t trying to say that she embarrassed the Directors, but kinda wrecked their moment. that’s a one in a lifetime moment for most of the nominees, and to do that comment right before their “glorious” moment, as you must have seen kinda ruinned it. She surelly wouldn’t have liked if her Black Swan Oscar win was annouced followed by a protest like “Here are the five white, privileged, rich phisically perfect nominees… (as it was).
              I Love Lady Bird, and i’ve been a fan of Gerwig and Ronan, but i completely see why she’s only in the Directors conversation for her gender, specially this year with so man directorial achivments, because Frances Ha is an amazing picture as great as LB, but it never got the directors atention, the same with films like Blue Jasmine, The Mayrowitz Stories.. all of those pictures have their strenght in their screenplays, with very “little” stories with no “hard” or inovative direction. And you can see where the Direction awards Always goes to in the Globes’ noms this year, The Shape of Water, Dunkirk, All the Money in the World, The Post and TBB, and what shows better who gets the Director award, is the fact that Three Billboards was so loved by the AFPA with, Picture, Actress, Screenplay, Sup. Actor, but the Direction went to Del Toro, who did the FIlm Direction Spectacle.

              • Phill Milner

                Yes. Streisand had her little rant at the end of the night, but I completely missed Portman for her ridiculous grasp at attention at the expense of the 5 men nominated. She completely belittled them and destroyed their moment because they were men. Poor Del Toro gets up there to accept and award that he worked hard to earn, but only after hearing Natalie Portman call him out for being a dude. To imply that Del Toro, Nolan, Speilberg, Mcdonagh, and Scott didn’t deserve nominations for their films is ludicrous… especially when one of them went out of his way to reshoot a movie in 2 weeks. Not all of those 5 men are my first choice for director this year, but I’m not gonna stand in front of a microphone and try to cut them down because they’re men. It was the most ridiculous moment on the night.

                If Natalie and Streisand want to criticize the director race, do it like most these people do and post a tweet and get your 5 to 10k likes, but don’t do it right before you are about to give someone an award for an exceptional job. That just makes you look like the bad guy. I (probably) won’t ever take her seriously again.

                • Jason

                  Portman wasn’t belittling or criticizing any of the directors nominated. She didn’t say they didn’t deserve it. She was calling out the HFPA for as usual only having male nominees for director. You’re deliberately twisting the message. “And here are the all male nominees” isn’t a dig at the directors, it’s a dig at the HFPA as a whole.

                  And really, if any of those directors couldn’t handle one sentence criticizing the HFPA, that’s pathetic. Poor Del Toro? He just won a globe, I don’t think he’s crying because she made a point, whether it was right or wrong.

                  • Raul Gama

                    Everyone got that she was calling out the globes, not the directors, but no matter who she was calling, the moment got wrecked. And yes, Del Toro Still got a globe, but not the way one expects nor deserves. Do you think the Moonlight producers liked the way they won an oscar because they got an oscar anyway?

                    Plus: to call out the HFPA for not nominating a woman in a quick undiscussed way is easy, she didn’t have to argue why a woman should be nominated over one of those directors. Whose films are obvious directorial achivments and clearly loved by them. If they had nominated Zack Snder for Justice League, Matthew Vaughn for Kingsman 2, Doug Liman for American Made, David Leitch for Athomic Blonde and Luc Besson for Valerian.. then she had all the right to say the HFPA is obsessed with the male gender, exclude women no matter the masterpiece they make and those guys were only there because they were men.

          • Raul Gama

            Couldn’t agree more!

          • Oh, please do NOT make me go on an angry rant about female directors vs male directors and whether women have earned nominations.

  • Michael R

    Do we feel the recent allegations against Franco will cost him an Oscar nomination?

  • Ryan

    Power Hour Question:

    What is the best scene in a bad movie from 2017? What about worst scene in a good movie?

  • Eric

    Question for Circuit Breaker:

    For the following actors who won in the supporting category that some people believe to be lead performances, do you think they still would have won if they went in the lead category.

    -Christian Bale for The Fighter (Colin Firth won)
    -Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight (Sean Penn won)
    -Viola Davis for Fences (Emma Stone won)
    -Alicia Vikander for The Danish Girl (Brie Larson won)
    Jennifer Connelly for A Beautiful Mind (Halle Berry won)
    Benicio Del Toro for Traffic (Russell Crowe won)