Good Works

First things first: Sarah Polley’s Women Talking is nominated for Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, and while awards are dumb and you should like what you like, this does mean more people are going to seek out the movie, and Sarah will have an easier time getting her next project made. So, fucking A. Same goes for the Daniels and Domee Shi and everyone else whose work I like, really; still surprised that Elvis did so well, but it’s technically an Old Hollywood picture so I guess those are still catnip to the Academy.

And still, to quote a friend’s favorite line in Magnolia: But it did happen. Women Talking made it to the final round of awards season, and while I doubt this can actually happen I will remind y’all that screenplay and picture noms can sometimes be enough. (See also: Spotlight and CODA.)

Oh, and speaking of Magnolia: Sarah and I were both guests on the  blowout final episode of Podcast Like It’s 1999 that covered Paul  Thomas Anderson’s masterpiece; it dropped late last year and I totally forgot to mention it here. So here it is.

Now, to the other stuff: This week’s episode of Someone Else’s Movie just so happens to feature an Oscar nominee too! It’s Jesse Eisenberg, whose work in The Social Network got him a Best Actor nod, and who now makes his debut as a writer and director with When You Finish Saving the World, which was our Secret Movie Club premiere in December and opens at the Lightbox this Friday. It’s good and prickly, with expertly abrasive turns from Julianne Moore and Finn Wolfhard as a mother and son who are perfectly matched for short-tempered narcissism. You should see it!

Jesse picked another actor’s first turn behind the camera: Richard Ayoade’s Submarine, the 2010 coming-of-age drama that owes to Badlands and Taxi Driver than to the films it was associated with at the time. (Ayoade and I talked about that back when, as it happens.)

Wanna listen? Who wouldn’t? Subscribe on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcher and/or Spotify,  or download the episode directly from the web and be all indie like Wolfhard’s character. It’s shorter than usual, but Jesse and I both talk very quickly so we packed like a Maron’s worth of conversation into half an hour.

And then you can catch up to the latest editions of Shiny Things, in which I spin up a trio of new Criterion releases — The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (hi again, Sarah), The Velvet Underground and This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection — and explore the retro anxieties of Cloverfield and WarGames through their new 4K platters. Go subscribe, would you? Thanks kindly.

Finally, it’s Canada’s Top Ten week down at TIFF, and I’ll be hosting intros and Q&As for a few of the films we’re celebrating: I’m currently down for VikingRiceboy Sleeps, Black Ice and Crimes of the Future, so if you’ve been meaning to catch any of those this would be a good time to do that.

Really, though, the whole slate is worth your time; come check something out, hear the filmmakers talk about it, celebrate homegrown cinema. And before anyone asks, Women Talking wasn’t eligible because it’s an American production. But we’ve celebrated it plenty, I think.

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