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, 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 [email protected], and submit your comments and questions at the bottom of the episode.

On the agenda:

  • We react to the Los Angeles Film Critics Association awards as they’re announced.  What does it do for the Oscar race?
  • National Board of Review and New York Film Critics Circle also announced and launched some names into the thick of the race.
  • We’re discussing some of the big names we have feelings about including Tiffany Haddish (“Girls Trip”), Willem Dafoe (“The Florida Project”), Timothee Chalamet (“Call Me by Your Name”), Meryl Streep (“The Post”), Guillermo del Toro (“The Shape of Water”), and more.

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

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  1. I’m actually more passionate about films this year than I’ve been the last couple years. There are movies I’d fight for passionately from what I’ve seen this year, but the last couple years by this point I couldn’t really find anything to be passionate about. Examples:

    *Lady Bird


    *Ex Machina

    • I actually feel the reverse, but to each their own. I actually have a handful of movies each year by the end I’m passionate about, it’s just that half of them don’t do well with the awards at all and then the other half are in the thick of the conversation. That seems to be how it always goes for me.

      • Don’t get me wrong, the overall landscape of past years is significantly better than this year from what I’ve seen so far. What I’m saying is that when it was at this point in the year over the last two years (AKA when I started to really follow film), not as many films had the personal passion this year does.

  2. I usually like Karen a lot but her saying that the critics are giving Chalamet wins to push him into the Oscar race, not because he’s actually worthy is one of the silliest things I’ve ever heard on this podcast. GIRL, if they are “pushing” something, it means they think it is worthy! And he totally isn’t the most raved actor in the most raved film of the year or anything, no.

    Chalamet is clearly in (he’s #2 actually!), but I get it, Clayton. You took a hard stance against his chances months ago, when it made more sense, and now you’re committed to trying to pretend that Bale in a film that almost nobody will see, by an unproven studio, and with no promotion/campaigning is in a better spot than him.


    • I personally think he’s the coin flip of the season. On one hand, he’s got such a gigantic fanbase and critics are raving over his performance. He certainly has the love and desire to get him a nomination. But contrast that with so many historical factors going against him (coming of age drama, LGBT, European-esque, age bias, and the stats). Until the season develops, it’s impossible to say anything for him is locked one way or the other.

      While he may be fourth on my predictions (AKA not my personal ballot), I can see where Clayton is coming from. I doubt he’s actively looking to find reasons to not put him on the predictions, even if I do agree that Bale isn’t in the top ten (I have Steve Carrell as my 6th).

  3. I’m with Clayton’s wife. The Florida Project is terrible. I actually like Willem Dafoe’s character and breathe a sigh of relief when he’s around, so maybe that’s it. I also agree with Mark that Lady Bird is just fine. Get Out and Three Billboards are fantastic though.

  4. Lady Bird definitely seems more like a critics group winner rather than a major award/guild winner. Same as Florida Project, definitely NY/LA people type movies.

  5. That conversation about Greta Gerwig as a first time director was beyond ridiculous, though you certainly can tell Sam is a lawyer with all that “logical” nonsense he can spout. That would be like saying Sergio Leone’s first film was A Fistful of Dollars because no one has ever heard of the The Colossus of Rhodes or that Emeric Pressburger never directed a film because he only ever co-directed with Michael Powell. Ladybird is the second film she’s directed simple as that.

  6. Okay, so with regards to the strength of Lady Bird and the possibility of it winning Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, here’s the Oscar history of when it has happened before:

    1938: Bette Davis & Fay Bainter for Jezebel*
    1939: Vivian Leigh & Hattie McDaniel for Gone With the Wind**
    1942: Greer Garson & Teresa Wright for Mrs. Miniver**
    1951: Vivian Leigh & Kim Stanley for A Streetcar Named Desire*
    1962: Anne Bancroft & Patty Duke for The Miracle Worker
    1966: Elizabeth Taylor & Sandy Dennis for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?*
    1976: Faye Dunaway & Beatrice Straight for Network*
    1987: Cher & Olympia Dukakis for Moonstruck*
    1993: Holly Hunter & Anna Paquin for The Piano*
    1998: Gwyneth Paltrow & Judi Dench for Shakespeare in Love**
    (* Best Picture nominee, **Best Picture winner)

    All the films above were nominated for Best Picture, with the exception of The Miracle Worker. So Best Picture was in play 90% of the time, with six films being nominated and three films winning.

    Each decade from the 1930s to the 1990s included at least one example of a winning Best Actress/Best Supporting Actress combination. The 20-year stretch since Shakespeare in Love is definitely the longest period of not seeing a win for two women from the same film. In this current age of male-dominated films, the possibility might feel slimmer than in years past. However, the statistics above prove that it is possible.

  7. When you were talking about Dafoe’s “nothing role” in Florida Project (which i haven’t seen), i was screaming for someone to bring up Mary J.Blige in Mudbound, which i have just watched and remeber some of you had praised her, guys, she has absolutly nothing to do in that role, she’s not bad, it’s just that she has no considerable amount work to do to be judged as a performer, nothing that requires acting skill, and it’s not subdued acting, she had no scene to play subdued. It’s sad to see the hard pulling narrative of diversity when you have no work to support, while she gets praised for narrative, Carrey Mulligan gives a full peformance and is not getting any mentions. IMO no metter how well intended you are about a cause, it gets tainted if you pretend to like, overestimate a performance, and pretend not to see good given work right next to it in order of any narrative.

  8. Cinephile Showdowns: Pixar theme

    Toy Story or Toy Story 2
    A Bug’s Life or Monsters Inc.
    Finding Nemo or WALL-E
    The Incredibles or Ratatouille
    Cars or Cars 2
    Up or Inside Out
    Monsters University or Finding Dory
    Brave or The Good Dinosaur
    Toy Story 3 or Coco

  9. Question for podcast:

    Guys, I haven’t seen LadyBird yet, but i put It winning BP in October as the I winning reference I could make for it was Annie Hall, so can this year be like 1978 as Annie Hall (LadyBird) beating StarWars (Dunkirk, The Shape of Water)?


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