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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.

344 Episodes
Sean and Amanda do the illogical: They try to predict how the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will hand out the Golden Globes on Sunday (26:39). Then, Sean talks to Lee Isaac Chung about ‘Minari,’ one of the best films of 2020, which is now finally widely available (1:08:23). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guest: Lee Isaac Chung
A front-runner for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, Chloé Zhao's 'Nomadland' arrived on Hulu this weekend. Chris Ryan joins Sean and Amanda to discuss one of the year's most powerful films (0:30). Then, the trio head back to 1984 for a throwback movie draft, selecting their favorites from one of the greatest cinematic years of their lives (19:45). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guest: Chris Ryan
We kicked off our ranking of the top movie stars over 35 years old earlier this week. Now comes the hard part. Sean and Amanda drill down to make the tough choices. Hanks? Sandler? Streep? Denzel? Charlize? Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins
Last year, Sean and Amanda bravely and controversially ranked the 35 best movie stars under 35. They’re back at it, only this time, they’ve trained their attention on the geriatric stars. This is the first of a two-part mega-podcast series highlighting the 35 best movie stars over the age of 35. Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins
After discussing the Oscars shortlists, Sean and Amanda dive deep on biopics, share their top five favorites, and break down how the new HBO Max film ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ effectively subverts the formula (0:47). Then, Sean is joined by Shaka King, the writer-director behind ‘Judas’ to talk about his telling of Black Panther party leader Fred Hampton’s story (53:19). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guest: Shaka King
Sean and Amanda celebrate the life and work of the late actor Christopher Plummer, including a discussion of his most famous film, ‘The Sound of Music’ (0:47). Then, Sean is joined by ‘Malcolm & Marie’ writer-director Sam Levinson and co-star John David Washington to discuss their controversial new Netflix film, which was written and produced during the COVID-19 pandemic (59:00). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guest: John David Washington and Sam Levinson
Stonks, SAG Awards, and streamers: Amanda and Sean break down a roller coaster of a week in the movie business (0:36). Then, they’re joined by Adam Nayman to discuss a virtual Sundance Film Festival, the big acquisitions, and the very best films that just might be coming to a streamer near you (30:30). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guest: Adam Nayman
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is up to its old tricks again, so Amanda and Sean are here to break down the nominations for the Golden Globes, some of which are truly ludicrous (0:52). Then, they’re joined by journalist, author, and film historian Mark Harris to talk about this strange award season and his new book, ‘Mike Nichols: A Life,’ a biography of the famed film and theater director (32:00). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guest: Mark Harris
With the release of ‘The Little Things' on HBO Max, Denzel Washington's first starring role in almost three years, it's time to celebrate one of the world's greatest living actors. Joining Sean and Amanda is Ringer staff writer and Denzel superfan Shea Serrano to break down his remarkable career and share their top five Washington performances. Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guest: Shea Serrano
We draft once more! After a triumph at the 1995 draft, Sean attempts to fend off Chris and Amanda as the trio select the very best movies from the year 2015 (20:00). Then, Sean is joined by Amanda Seyfried, now appearing as screen legend Marion Davies in David Fincher’s ‘Mank’ and getting the best reviews of her career. They talk about how to make decisions as an actor, portraying a real person, and the perils of impostor syndrome (1:02:00). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guests: Chris Ryan and Amanda Seyfried
Historically, January is a dumpster fire for new movie releases, but this year holds a few surprising gems. Sean and Amanda recommend 10 new movies you can watch at home right now (1:00). Then, Sean is joined by Derek DelGaudio and Frank Oz, the performer and director behind the extraordinary stage show ‘In & of Itself,’ to discuss the movie version of the show, which can now be seen on Hulu (42:00). Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guests: Derek DelGaudio and Frank Oz
After concluding their discussion of Part 2 of HBO’s Tiger Woods documentary series, Sean and Amanda dive back into the MCU by taking a close look at the first two episodes of Marvel’s first Disney+ series, ‘WandaVision.’  Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins
Inspired by Regina King's directorial debut 'One Night in Miami,' Amanda and Sean share their top 10 stage-to-screen adaptations: five musicals and five plays each (0:45). Then, Sean is joined by Kingsley Ben-Adir, one of the stars of 'One Night in Miami,' to talk about portraying Malcolm X and the actor's quick rise to fame (1:07:30). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guest: Kingsley Ben-Adir
It was a busy streaming weekend. Sean and Amanda break down Part 1 of HBO's 'Tiger,' Netflix's Martin Scorsese and Fran Lebowitz series 'Pretend It's a City,' and a wave of award-season updates (0:40). Then, they dig into the mailbag to answer your questions about Cary Grant, Oscar do-overs, and our dream director interviews (38:45). Finally, Sean is joined by 'Tiger' directors Matthew Hamachek and Matthew Heineman to discuss their miniseries (1:18:00). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guests: Matthew Hamachek and Matthew Heineman
Movies are back! Sorta! With dozens of releases delayed in 2020 due to COVID-19, this year figures to be one of the busiest in history. From Marvel's return to 'Dune' to a Beatles documentary to surefire Oscar contenders, Sean and Amanda have lots to look forward to. They break it all down in this episode. Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins
In December 2020, Francis Ford Coppola oversaw the release of 'The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone,' a reconfiguration of his film 'The Godfather: Part III' and the latest in a long line of director's cuts. What is a director's cut? What is its purpose? And what are the best in movie history? On today's episode, Chris Ryan and Sean break down the truth behind International Immobiliare and why filmmakers return to their work over and over again. Host: Sean Fennessey Guest: Chris Ryan
Sean and Amanda look at the early reactions to DC's latest film, which arrived on HBO Max on Christmas Day, and discuss what the ramifications could be to backlash against the film (0:43). Then, they discuss one of the year's best films, Pixar's 'Soul' (41:00). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins
The 1995 Movie Draft

The 1995 Movie Draft


Happy (almost) New Year, 'Big Picture' listeners. Sean and Amanda are ringing it in by going back in time to 1995, and they are joined, as always, by Chris Ryan to draft the very best movies of that year and talk about their personal experiences from that time. Will the CR Army continue to dominate or is it due for a downfall? Tune in to find out. Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guest: Chris Ryan
'Wonder Woman 1984,' the latest installment in the DCEU, has arrived on HBO Max after a controversial decision by Warner Media. Sean and Amanda break it all down, from the '80s time jump to the additions of Kristen Wiig and Pedro Pascal to the HBO Max launch (1:00). Then, Sean is joined by filmmaker Paul Greengrass for a conversation about his new Western, 'News of the World' (60:30). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guest: Paul Greengrass
The iconic movie star directed and stars in a new Netflix film, 'The Midnight Sky.' To celebrate, Amanda and Sean build a Hall of Fame in his honor, where they enshrine 10 movies from his long career, and 10 only (1:00). Then, Sean is joined by writer-director Emerald Fennell and Carey Mulligan for an interview about their fascinating, divisive, must-see new film, 'Promising Young Woman' (1:10:00). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guests: Carey Mulligan and Emerald Fennell
Comments (17)

Whitney Ivanoff

Short answer: Obviously, yes. Who wants to pay upwards of $10 a person (double that if you visit the concession stand) to watch a movie with a bunch of strangers who may or may not talk through important scenes, text the whole time, or just otherwise mess with your experience entirely?? You're better off shelling out the $20 to catch the movie on VOD in the comfort of your own home, where you can eat/drink whatever you please. You have a perfect view of the screen; you can pause or rewind on a whim...

Aug 5th
Reply (2)

Michael Koontz

does anyone listen to this podcast?

Aug 1st
Reply (1)

Brian Norberg

Cool insight though Edgar's audio quality is unfortunately shit

Jul 28th


I don’t understand the lack of show notes! Write you films that are mentioned.

Jul 23rd

Sean Smith

These two are pathetic. Please never leave your houses.

May 19th

Adam Westerholm


Feb 21st

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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