Having finally recovered from last year’s Best Picture snafu, Devin and I are back with our best guesses for this year’s Oscar winners. Here are our respective ballots, compiled separately.
(Devin and I discussed several of this year’s nominated films on our podcast. Do us a favor and check out our thoughts on Get Out; Baby Driver and Dunkirk; Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; Lady Bird; Molly’s Game and Call Me By Your Name; and Star Wars: The Last Jedi and The Post. Subscribe to The M&M Report on iTunes and Spotify, and check your feeds Monday morning for our fifth annual post-Oscars recap, to be recorded just minutes after the telecast ends.)
West Coast correspondent Erin Vail returns to nerd out with me and Devin over Star Wars: The Last Jedi (0:00-23:20). Then they poke gentle fun at The Post for being, well, not unsubtle (23:20-38:50). Before she leaves, Erin drops a few pop culture recommendations of her own (38:50-end).
For more Erin content, check out her podcast, writing for The Prompt and consistently delightful Twitter feed.
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Each day this month (assuming I don’t get busy or bored!), I’ll reflect on a tiny sliver of pop culture that I enjoyed or appreciated this year — scenes, shots, gestures, verses, sights, sounds, moments. Today: on three of the best “prestige” dramas, women rule the roost.
Better Call Saul and Mr. Robot are as driven by their respective leading men as shows can be, a fact the titles make abundantly clear. The Americans has a dual focus on its central couple. But on new seasons of each this year, the MVPs were the women.
Nothing against Bob Odenkirk or his character Saul Goodman, a slippery con man who’s constantly caught between good intentions and material desires. Nothing against Rami Malek, who brings aching vulnerability and disaffected sensitivity to the role of Elliott Alderson, a hacker struggling with mental illness and revolutionary impulses. And nothing against Matthew Rhys, who deserves far more than the one Emmy nomination he secured this year for the shape-shifting masterstrokes on display as Philip Jennings, the KGB operative who always has going straight deep in the back of his mind.
Fairy tales come to life, and some die, in Into the Woods, Disney’s long-awaited screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s beloved Broadway musical. Director Rob Marshall struggles with the trickier second part of that equation, but for the first hour or so, he conjures an engaging blend of Brothers Grimm fairy tales, soaring musical numbers and lively performances.