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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.

215 Episodes
The grand master of ridiculous action movies is back and he’s teamed up with Netflix. Sean and Amanda are joined by Chris Ryan to break down every aspect of Michael Bay’s latest, ‘6 Underground’ (0:37). Then, Sean and Amanda analyze the Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations and what they could mean for the Oscar race (56:19). Finally, Sean is joined by ‘Richard Jewell’ leading man Paul Walter Hauser to discuss the new Clint Eastwood drama and his long road to Hollywood stardom (67:00).Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda DobbinsGuests: Paul Walter Hauser and Chris Ryan
The Golden Globe nominations are here, and they're as dumb as ever. But will they matter come Oscars time? Amanda and Sean break down all the nominees and who was left out in the cold (1:08). Then they discuss the Academy Awards chances of Netflix's 'Marriage Story' and 'The Irishman' now that both films have debuted on the service (50:02). Finally, Sean is joined by Oscar-winning documentarian Alex Gibney to talk about his new film, 'Citizen K' (62:30).Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda DobbinsGuests: Alex Gibney
Chris Ryan and Adam Nayman join Sean and Amanda to rank their top five movies of 2019, which got off to a slow start but has been flooded with great films over the last two months. The quartet discuss masters of their craft like Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese making late-period career retrospectives, as well as internationally renowned auteurs like Bong Joon-Ho and Claire Denis stunning American audiences.Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda DobbinsGuests: Chris Ryan and Adam Nayman
We're less than a week away from the official start of awards season: Golden Globe nominations. Amanda and Sean share their best guesses in the major categories and defend the honor of Martin Scorsese's 'The Irishman' (4:00). Then, resident 'Frozen' fan Jason Gallagher joins to break down why the sequel has become the fall season's juggernaut at the box office (41:10). Finally, Sean is joined by director Todd Haynes to talk about his new film, 'Dark Waters,' a chilling legal thriller that isn't always what it seems (66:10).Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda DobbinsGuests: Todd Haynes, Jason Gallagher
Sean and Amanda are joined by Chris Ryan to discuss, debate, and ultimately crown the 10 best films of the decade as they see them.Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda DobbinsGuest: Chris Ryan
We convene to share our top five murder mystery films and judge the category with ranging specificity (1:15). Then writer-director Rian Johnson joins to discuss ‘Knives Out’—the whodunnit vehicle featuring Chris Evans, Daniel Craig, and Ana de Armas—and how he landed on this film after his role in the 'Star Wars' franchise (32:00).Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda DobbinsGuest: Rian Johnson
The Spirit Awards typically act as Oscars counterprogramming, rewarding outliers and underseen indies in the race. Sean and Amanda break down the 2020 nominations and what they could mean for the big show (1:09). Then, with 'A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood' hitting theaters, we discuss the long and brilliant career of America's Dad, Tom Hanks, by constructing a hall of fame with his 10 most essential performances (16:15). Finally, Sean is joined by director Marielle Heller to talk about Hanks and how together they captured the essence of Fred Rogers (1:09:49).Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda DobbinsGuests: Marielle Heller
The Oscars are closer than you think—just 82 more days!—so Sean and Amanda take a closer look at the chances of 'Ford v. Ferrari,' 'Waves,' and five more potential contenders (2:40). Then they break down the dismal box office performance of Elizabeth Banks's 'Charlie's Angels' reboot (48:02) and discuss the unlikely boost that 'Joker' received over the weekend (59:23). Finally, Sean interviews writer-director Scott Z. Burns about his new drama 'The Report' (68:41).Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda DobbinsGuests: Scott Z. Burns
With the release of the Christian Bale–Matt Damon racing two-hander, we look back on Damon’s best performances, including the iconic ‘Good Will Hunting’ and the lesser-known ‘Dogma’ (0:45). Then, James Mangold joins to discuss ‘Ford v Ferrari’ and the threat that a changing movie industry presents to movies like it (58:30).Host: Sean Fennessey and Amanda DobbinsGuests: Chris Ryan and James Mangold
The launch of Disney's new streaming service raises fascinating questions about the future of streaming and awards season. Sean and Amanda dive in by looking at the launch slate and whether it will change how we think about the Oscars (1:37). Then, 'The New York Times' culture editor Gilbert Cruz joins to discuss the confusing 'Shining' sequel 'Doctor Sleep' and why the Stephen King adaptation struggled at the box office (28:05). Sean's little sister Grace makes a special appearance to break down her three favorite movies of 2019, and dunk on her older brother (46:50). Amanda and Sean break down this year's Best Original Song slate, which is historically one of the worst categories at the Oscars (1:05:24). And finally, Sean interviews writer-director Trey Edward Shults to discuss one of the year's most moving films, 'Waves' (1:19:11).Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda DobbinsGuests: Gilbert Cruz, Grace Fennessey, and Trey Edward Shults
Writer-director Noah Baumbach's latest is one of the year's best and most emotionally devastating films. The Netflix release stars Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson as a young couple reckoning with the dissolution of their relationship and the separation of their intertwined lives. Sean and Amanda take a long look at this story; how it will make you feel about your marriage; Baumbach's catalog of erudite, entertaining movies; and the history of divorce movies (1:25). Then, Baumbach joins Sean to talk about the making of 'Marriage Story,' transposing autobiography onto creative work, and the genius of composer Randy Newman (61:15).Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda DobbinsGuests: Noah Baumbach
Martin Scorsese's 'The Irishman' is already being hailed as a sophisticated masterwork—by Sean and Amanda and dozens of critics—that will challenge for Oscars in nearly every major category. But it isn't easy to see in theaters. The battle between Netflix and theater chains to show the movie at multiplexes around the world reveals the perilous future of the movie business (3:00). Then actor Antonio Banderas joins Sean to discuss making the transition from Spain to America; his decades-long collaboration with director Pedro Almodóvar; and their latest film, 'Pain and Glory' (62:20).Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda DobbinsGuest: Antonio Banderas
'The Irishman' opens in theaters this weekend, so Sean has convened two Scorsese fanatics, Chris Ryan and Adam Nayman, to share their top five favorite Marty movies. The trio discuss Scorsese's signature themes and visual style, his approach to genre, and what makes him such a historic figure in the world of filmmaking (3:00). Then, Edward Norton joins Sean to discuss the making of his latest film—which he wrote, directed, and stars in—'Motherless Brooklyn' (61:00).Host: Sean FennesseyGuests: Chris Ryan, Adam Nayman, and Edward Norton
The nominations are flowing and we're already drunk with takes. Amanda and Sean look at the Gotham Awards noms and the Academy's Governors Awards and predict several key questions about the Oscars, including all six major categories (1:10). Then, Sean is joined by writer-director Bong Joon-ho to talk about making his extraordinary new movie 'Parasite' (65:03).Host: Sean Fennessey and Amanda DobbinsGuest: Bong Joon-ho
The '10s are nearly over, and horror has been one of the decade's most dominant genres. Chris Ryan teams up with Sean to break down the very best the genre has had to offer and where it's going in the coming decades (2:08). Then, Sean is joined by screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski to talk about their new, Eddie Murphy–starring film, 'Dolemite Is My Name,' and their long history capturing what they call "the fringe history of America" in their screenplays (52:21).Host: Sean FennesseyGuests: Chris Ryan, Scott Alexander, and Larry Karaszewski
We did it—200 episodes in the can. To celebrate, Sean and Amanda are tackling reader questions that run the gamut from Francis Ford Coppola's Marvel throwdown to the worst Oscar travesties of the decade (1:00). Then, Sean is joined by 'The Lighthouse' writer-director Robert Eggers to discuss how he made his stunning, flatulence-laden, Robert Pattinson–starring new film (1:11:40).Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda DobbinsGuest: Robert Eggers
Political subtext is everywhere, even at the movies. The weekend's four big releases—'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil'; 'Jojo Rabbit'; 'The Laundromat'; and 'Zombieland: Double Tap'—all have surprising and occasionally confounding nods to the fractured nature of the United States. Amanda and Sean look closely at each movie and the circumstances that led to their messages (2:00). Then, Sean is joined by 'Zombieland: Double Tap' director Ruben Fleischer to discuss the sequel to his 2009 hit, his work on 'Venom,' and more (53:00).Host: Sean Fennessey and Amanda DobbinsGuest: Ruben Fleischer
After winning the Palme d'Or at Cannes, soaring to international box office success, and riding a wave of extraordinary festival buzz, Bong Joon-ho's 'Parasite' has finally hit U.S. theaters. Donnie Kwak joins Amanda and Sean to break down Bong's career, what makes his latest so special, and the movie's chances come Oscar time (1:52). Then, Sean and Amanda break down the evolving conversation around 'Joker,' two unusually bad trailers that premiered over the weekend, and the complex race for Best International Feature Film (28:56).Host: Sean Fennessey and Amanda DobbinsGuest: Donnie Kwak
As Ang Lee's hyperreal new action movie 'Gemini Man' hits theaters, Sean and Amanda look back at the long, fascinating career of rapper, sitcom star, screen legend, and Instagram icon Will Smith. They discuss the flaws and innovations of Lee's work with 120 frames per second 3-D 4K and the future of how we see movies (0:50). Then, they share their top five Will Smith performances and whether or not he will ever win an Oscar (21:33).Host: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins
Todd Phillips's 'Joker' is one of the year's biggest hits and most controversial films. Chris Ryan joins Sean and Amanda to talk about the film's success and whether all the hubbub was worth it (1:07). Then they take a close look at Joaquin Phoenix's Oscar chances, the Best Actor race, and Martin Scorsese's comments about Marvel movies (32:20). Then, Sean is joined by The Ringer's Shea Serrano to talk about his new book, 'Movies (and Other Things)' (55:08).Host: Sean Fennessey and Amanda DobbinsGuests: Chris Ryan and Shea Serrano
Comments (8)

John Simpson

Great episode

Dec 9th

Yves-Langston Barthaud

can you publish this list please?

Dec 7th

Harry Parsons

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

Nov 9th

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


finally some Free Solo love from the Ringer

Feb 7th

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

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

Pooriya Sarhadimoghadam

Oct 30th
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