Awards Circuit Power Hour Episode 66: Ambiguous Endings, Prisoners, and Emmy Predictions


POWERHOUR_LOGO_NEW1Welcome to another edition of the Awards Circuit Power Hour, our weekly podcast diving deep into all things film, television, and entertainment.

We’re a day early this week due to tonight’s Emmy Awards.  We wanted to give you a nice dose of the best of television and what we think will win.

We kick it off with the news of the week.  We get into the discussion and problems with Pixar and the firing of their directors every few films.  Also, Leonardo DiCaprio playing a President?  Some of us are done with it.  Finally, why haven’t we seen a trailer for “Labor Day” and “Foxcatcher?”  Can we get on that?

We get into Denis Villenueve’s “Prisoners” which opened at #1 this weekend.  Our gripes with the film as well as the things it does right especially Jake Gyllenhaal.  What did you think of the film?  Do we think it has chances with Oscar?

The talk about Villenueve’s film gets us into a discussion about “cliffhanger endings” and what it does for a film.  We of course, touch on a few from the past few years including Christopher Nolan’s “Inception.”

We also touch on Alfonso Cuaron’s “Gravity” – of course, spoiler free, and what it can do in the major Oscar race.  Can it be the first Science Fiction film to win Best Picture?  Is Sandra Bullock the threat for Cate Blanchett in Best Actress? We discuss.

Finally, we end with our predictions about who will win the Emmy tonight in various categories.  It’s split across the board which makes for an interesting night.

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Written by Clayton Davis

Clayton Davis is the esteemed Editor and Owner of 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 also founded the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association, the first Latino-based critics’ organization in the United States. He’s also an active member of the African-American Film Critics Association, 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,, Variety, Deadline, Los Angeles Times, FOX 5, Bloomberg Television, AOL, Huffington Post, Bloomberg Radio, The Wrap, Slash Film, and the Hollywood Reporter.


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What’s ambiguous. Hospital scene – “Will you find him – Yes” “Will he go to jail – probably” – Night time scene – whistle once twice third time – turn and head for car – “Prisoners – across screen”. Despite minor quibbles with some of the side plots, I truly enjoyed the film as did the audience I was with. A great deal of lobby discussion about mythological / religious elements which may go over the head of much of the audience because it really isn’t about just a kidnapping/torture. Lots of stuff going on. – Oscar noms might go… Read more »


On Jackman character – Take into consideration that he is a “dry” alcoholic. His name is Keller which means “cellar”. He has substituted “preparation for the worst with cellar full of safety” for his alcoholism – one obsessive addiction for another. Then there is the matter of his father’s suicide and the destruction of security and his obsessive protection of his family.

Cute bit that may have been inside joke – Favorable reading of “Monkey” in Chinese restaurant – Both Jackman and Gyllenhaal were born in Monkey years – 1968, 1980


Two ambiguous movie endings that I want to bring up from recent memory are Zero Dark Thirty and The Place Beyond the Pines. I don’t think that Zero Dark Thirty could have ended in a better way, but I always wanted to know what happened to Chastain afterwards. Same goes for DeHaan’s character in Pines, who just left with almost zero implication of what would happen to him next. In both endings, it is implied what will happen to the characters, but it is fun to leave the rest to your imagination. In my opinion, Inception had the greatest ending… Read more »


Terrance… it’s like you watched every third scene from Prisoners. I can’t believe how frustrated I got listening to your review of the film. The movie never suggests Hugh Jackman’s actions are justified. The whole time you can relate to what he’s doing but you also know he shouldn’t be doing it. I also can’t grasp how you don’t understand Melissa Leo’s motivation. She is punishing God by making people lose their faiths by taking their children away just like hers was. Also why do you assume the film was setting up Jake Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman as counterpoints just… Read more »


First I want to apologize. When writing my comment I had literally just come from seeing it and also I was up way later than I should be (adult life…) I was just getting my daily dose of awardscircuit and was really put off by a lot of what was said in the discussion which is usually not the case for me on this site. However, Terence I really feel like I overdid it criticizing you. Even if I disagree with what you said I can’t judge you as a movie critic based off one film. Plus the whole point… Read more »

Andrew from Denmark

Interesting discussion about a sci-fi ever being able to win Best Picture. I think it can be done. For example, if you took the plot from American Beauty and put it on Mars and made Mars look exactly like planet Earth and only a couple of times mentioned that we were on Mars; in such a case I think we could have an Oscar-winner. Technically the film would be a sci-fi, but the Academy-members would be able to embrace it, as the sci-fi elements would be almost invisible.


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