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The Big Picture

Author: The Ringer

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The Ringer dives into movies as Sean Fennessey sits down with Hollywood’s biggest filmmakers, breaks down the latest industry trends, handicaps the upcoming Oscars race, and reviews new films with Ringer colleagues like Shea Serrano, Amanda Dobbins, and Bill Simmons.

251 Episodes
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Hollywood has officially canceled summer movie season, so we're going back to old favorites and exposing each other to new experiences. For their latest movie swap, Sean chooses James Cameron's epic sci-fi actioner 'Aliens,' while Amanda selects Richard Curtis's aggressively charming rom-com 'Four Weddings and a Funeral.' Will they love the picks? Hate them? Will they come to understand each other more deeply as humans?Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins
The Japanese superstar would have turned 100 years old this week, so for our 250th episode, Mifune's centenary is as good a time as we're ever going to get to celebrate his extraordinary career as a film actor. Sean is joined by Chris Ryan to walk through Mifune's life and work, including his iconic collaborations with director Akira Kurosawa, and analyze his mind-blowing physical and emotional power. They choose the actor's 10 essential performances and recommend the best hidden gems in his filmography.Hosts: Sean FennesseyGuest: Chris Ryan
New movie releases have slowed to a crawl, but we do have a quarter of a year's worth to judge. Sean and Amanda have scanned the results and decided to hand out some premature Academy Awards to spotlight the very best we've seen so far. Then, they do a little guesswork, peruse the year ahead, and make some blind guesses on the 2021 winners for the big six Oscar categories.Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins
With no new movies on the horizon, we have resorted to ridiculous rankings. First up, a completely unscientific but emotionally charged rundown of the 35 best, most exciting movie stars under the age of 35 working today in Hollywood. How did we choose them? Did your internet boyfriend make the cut? Is playing a superhero a prerequisite for this list? Tune in to find out.Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins
Suddenly, nearly every 2020 movie that's been released is available at home. Sean and Amanda break down our new (hopefully temporary) reality of home consumption, discuss the drawbacks of the VOD economy, and go in-depth on two new at-home releases, 'The Hunt' and 'Emma.' (0:32). Then, Bill Simmons stops by to talk about how excited he is for the future of seeing new movies from the comfort of his home, and why 'The Hunt' was the perfect movie for that experience (58:30).Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda DobbinsGuest: Bill Simmons
You asked and we answered. After diving into the mailbag, Sean and Amanda tackled all your questions and came up with dozens of movies to watch during self-quarantine. Plus: We discuss the future of the Oscars in light of the coronavirus pandemic, the postponement of the Cannes Film Festival, the watch-at-home problem, and the absolute disgrace of #ReleaseTheButtholeCut.Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins
With virtually every major new release pushed back and the box office recording a record low over the weekend, movie theaters have shuttered around the country to battle the coronavirus. And some studios are starting to make their movies widely available on streaming services and VOD platforms. Sean and Amanda talk about the brave new world of movies, what these radical changes could portend for releases both big and small, and whether the industry will ever be able to turn back to the old way of doing things. They also make some streaming recommendations for the self-quarantined and pick the one 2020 release they'd like to have in their homes right now.Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins
The coronavirus and new social distancing measures have led most major studios to delay their spring theatrical releases. With blockbuster titles like 'Fast & Furious 9,' 'Mulan,' and 'A Quiet Place: Part II' on hold and many people quarantined at home, streaming has become the movie lover's refuge. Sean and Amanda talk about the long-term ramifications of the delays and then they each pick three movies from three different streaming services to get you through a long weekend free of human contact.Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins
The spread of COVID-19 has struck virtually every part of communal life, including the movie theater. With more people staying home to watch movies, Sean and Amanda look at some of the short- and long-term ramifications that anxiety from the coronavirus has provoked (0:41). Then, The Ringer's noted dad Jason Gallagher stops by to discuss the latest Pixar film, 'Onward'; whether the company's movies are aimed at kids or adults; and where the studio is headed after 22 feature films (20:41).Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda DobbinsGuest: Jason Gallagher
Mark Wahlberg is one of the most unlikely movie stars of the century, mixing serious drama, comedy, action, and highbrow films across his long career. Sean and Amanda are joined by Chris Ryan to talk about his peculiar acting style, what makes him such a persistent figure in Hollywood, and his best roles over the years (1:23). Then, Sean is joined by writer-director Kelly Reichardt to talk about her new film, 'First Cow,' one of the very best of 2020 so far (55:28).Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda DobbinsGuest: Chris Ryan and Kelly Reichardt
As his new drama, 'The Way Back,' nears release, Ben Affleck is back in the spotlight and opening up about his struggles with substance misuse. It's the latest in a career that has collided the personal with the artistic in a way few writer-director-actors can claim. Sean and Amanda talk through Affleck's series of comebacks, his utterly unique brand of stardom, and the last decade of self-reflexive roles in movies both mega-successful and widely reviled (1:08). Then, Bill Simmons swings by to pick some nits in the weekend's box office champ, 'The Invisible Man’ (48:51).Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda DobbinsGuest: Bill Simmons
To celebrate the release of 'The Invisible Man,' Leigh Whannell's clever reimagining of the classic Universal monster movie, Adam Nayman joins the show to help construct a shrine to the greatest creatures, ghouls, aliens, oversized apes, and ineffable spirits in film history (1:03). Then, Whannell joins Sean to talk about the making of his new movie, casting Elisabeth Moss as the protagonist of the story, and the unlikely inspirations he channeled (47:30).Hosts: Sean FennesseyGuest: Adam Nayman and Leigh Whannell
The art of placing music in a movie is harder than it looks. 'Ringer' staff writer Rob Harvilla joins Sean to explore the rules of a great needle drop and the pitfalls of an obvious one, before sharing their five favorite music movie moments (0:42). Then, Sean sits down with The Band cofounder Robbie Robertson to discuss his collaborations with Martin Scorsese, the relationship between movies and music, and 'Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band' a new documentary about his life and musical career (39:25).Hosts: Sean FennesseyGuest: Rob Harvilla and Robbie Robertson
Movies have the February blues, so we enlisted a friend of the show to liven things up. 'Mr. Robot' creator and movie fanatic Sam Esmail joins Sean and Amanda and comes bearing a new game to play that reveals a lot about their favorite directors, personal taste, and how they view the long arc of film. Their sprawling conversations covers more than 80 years of movie history.Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda DobbinsGuest: Sam Esmail
The Oscars are a distant memory, but we are still trapped in February, a typically scary time for movie lovers. Sean and Amanda explore the good, the bad, and the ugly of the 2020 Dumpuary movie slate so far this season, including 'Sonic the Hedgehog,' 'Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey,' 'To All the Boys I've Loved Before P.S. I Still Love You,' and 'Fantasy Island' (1:11). Then Sean is joined by Oscar-winning screenwriters and directors Nat Faxon and Jim Rash to talk about 'Downhill,' their American remake of the Swedish film 'Force Majeure,' and working with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell (68:54).Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda DobbinsGuests: Nat Faxon and Jim Rash
Still awash in the 'Parasite' afterglow, we drill down on some of the lingering questions from the 92nd Oscars submitted by you, the listeners (1:17). Has 'Parasite' undone the wrongs that the Academy inflicted on Alfonso Cuarón’s ‘Roma’? What happened to ‘Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood’ and what are Quentin Tarantino’s future Oscar prospects? Which films are emerging as early contenders to be discussed for next year’s Oscars? Then, writer-director Céline Sciamma joins to discuss her wonderful film ‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire,’ which goes wide in the United States on Valentine’s Day (56:38).Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda DobbinsGuest: Céline Sciamma
In a shocking and exhilarating finale to the 92nd Academy Awards, ‘Parasite’ and Bong Joon-ho won Best Picture, capping off an amazing Cinderella run to the top. Sean and Amanda gather their emotions to recap a strange and often dull ceremony that was highlighted by some extraordinary bursts of greatness. They break down all the awards and the best presenters, speeches, and moments from the show. They also try to understand why there were so many damn musical performances.Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins
In our final show before the 92nd Oscars, we run down every category and predict what we think will win each award. Will it be a historic night for 'Parasite' and Bong Joon-ho, a sweep for '1917' and Sam Mendes, or a night full of curveballs we don't see coming? We also discuss whether the feeling of inevitability surrounding the acting categories has decreased excitement for the show overall.Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins
Now that we know how this weekend’s Oscar ceremony is lining up, we’re ready to share some ideas of our own. Wesley Morris joins Sean and Amanda for the first annual Big Picture Oscars to create some new awards for the telecast and find new nominees in the six big categories.Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda DobbinsGuest: Wesley Morris
'1917' has run roughshod over the preliminary awards shows, dominating at the BAFTAs over the weekend. Does a WGAs win for 'Parasite' create any daylight for the South Korean sensation? Amanda and Sean break down the film's chances with a deep dive into the preferential balloting system that the Academy uses to determine its Best Picture winner (2:15). Then, they make the case for 'Parasite' as the right pick for the prize, celebrating its writing, production design, performances, direction, and so much more (37:02).Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins
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Comments (9)

Adam Westerholm

SAM ESMAIL!

Feb 21st
Reply

John Simpson

Great episode

Dec 9th
Reply

Yves-Langston Barthaud

can you publish this list please?

Dec 7th
Reply

Harry Parsons

how could you only talk about Mark Hamills Joker portail as the joker for about 10 seconds ? disgraceful

Nov 9th
Reply

Vasilis Tsompanidis

Great, but how could you miss talking about Bo Peep, maybe the best female icon in recent Pixar movies? She mostly drives the action plus she saves Woody like 10 times.. In a very male actiony way too.

Jun 23rd
Reply

Choi

finally some Free Solo love from the Ringer

Feb 7th
Reply

Dave Courtney

if it's not on Netflix it doesn't matter? Seriously? That sort of rhetoric makes it hard to take any of this conversation seriously. You do realize that of the close to 150 2018 new releases I saw last year, 98 percent were not Netflix originals and a good 85 percent were not on Netflix at all? There is plenty to watch that is not on Netfkix, and of the stuff I saw, its worth noting that 6 of them were in my bottom 10 of the year.

Feb 3rd
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Mary Dobrian

I LOVED seeing Angela Lansbury at the end of this film. She is the same age as Dick Van Dyke (93) and also an icon of at least one live action Disney film of the Mary Poppins era (Bedknob and Broomstick). Seeing her was a delightful surprise for me. I also highly doubt that DvD's dancing was CGI. He is still a very spry guy, and the sequence was very brief. (I wouldn't be surprised if he still dances at home every day. 😁) On the whole, I thought you guys were overly harsh on this movie. My family and I are all big fans of the original, and I expected to be quite critical of this, but I mostly found it sweet and charming. I liked the Meryl Streep sequence too. My biggest criticism was the villian(s) - Colin Firth and his animated coynterpart - who seemed to just be evil for evil's sake. The original film didn't really have that: the capitalist bankers came off as misguided, but not really evil, and there was a sense of redemption for Mr. Banks at the end. As far as Emily Blunt is concerned, I felt she made the role her own and did a great job. I wish there had been a bit more of her in the film.

Jan 14th
Reply

Pooriya Sarhadimoghadam

https://t.me/joinchat/FDVpcEQnmz8x80f3VFg-Xg

Oct 30th
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