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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.

332 Episodes
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
Awards season has officially begun with the New York and L.A. Film Critics handing out their annual awards over the weekend. Sean and Amanda talk about the winners and what they mean for the Oscar race (1:00). Then they look at 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom,' Netflix's adaptation of the August Wilson play that stars Viola Davis and in one of his final performances, the late, truly great Chadwick Boseman (13:00). And then we'll be giving out some hardware of our own: naming the 20 best movie performances of 2020 (25:00). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins
Nolan's controversial time-inversion saga is finally available to watch at home. Chris Ryan joins Sean and Amanda to break down the movie on a second viewing, celebrate its extraordinary action, and discuss Nolan's future after his comments about Warner Bros.' 2021 HBO Max strategy (1:00). Then, Sean is joined by director Steve McQueen to discuss the making of his exceptional anthology film series 'Small Axe' (54:00). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guests: Chris Ryan and Steve McQueen
The fallout from Warner Bros.' HBO Max announcement is still rippling through Hollywood. Sean and Amanda talk about the responses from Christopher Nolan, Denis Villeneuve, producers at other studios, agencies, and fans. Then, they use the announcement of a glut of new film and TV projects at Disney to talk about the future of streaming, the projects they're excited about, and more (0:45). Finally, Sean and Amanda look back on a year of takes and pick the movies and the opinions they got wrong. They blew it! (39:22) Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins
Acclaimed filmmaker and 'Big Picture' hero Steven Soderbergh returns with a new film on HBO Max, 'Let Them All Talk.' Sean and Amanda discuss his new movie, the news that he will be one of the producers of next year's Academy Awards ceremony, and rank his 30-plus films and TV projects over the years (0:45). Then Soderbergh himself joins Sean for a wide-ranging conversation about his career, Hollywood, HBO Max's big decision, and more (52:00). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guest: Steven Soderbergh
The Top Five Movies of 2020

The Top Five Movies of 2020


This has been a strange year for movies, most of which were seen at home. But we didn't struggle to find some that lit up our imagination and reflected the times. Sean and Amanda are joined by Chris Ryan and Adam Nayman to pick their top five films of 2020. Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guests: Chris Ryan and Adam Nayman
After great anticipation, ‘Mank’ has arrived. Sean and Amanda look at David Fincher’s 11th feature film from every angle. What’s it really about? How does it play? Will it live up to the billing as Netflix’s great Oscar hope? All that and a lot more in this deep dive. Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins
Major news in Hollywood: Warner Bros. has announced it will stream all of its new films in 2021 on HBO Max, including 'Godzilla vs. Kong,' 'In The Heights,' 'Space Jam: A New Legacy,' 'The Suicide Squad,' and 'Matrix 4.' Why did this happen? What does it mean for movie theaters? Will other studios follow suit? Amanda and Sean do their best to parse a historic day. Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins
This week marks the arrival of David Fincher’s long-awaited 'Mank,' which chronicles the screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz’s life and work on the script for 'Citizen Kane.' Sean and Amanda are joined by Chris Ryan and Adam Nayman for an expansive chat on all things 'Kane,' Orson Welles, the fight over the film's authorship, and classic Hollywood. Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guests: Chris Ryan and Adam Nayman
The legendary documentarian Errol Morris has a new film called 'My Psychedelic Love Story' premiering on Showtime this week. He returns to the show to talk with Sean about a wide array of topics, from psychedelics to psychotics. Host: Sean Fennessey Guest: Errol Morris
It's time once again for a Movie Draft. Chris Ryan returns with hopes of staving off Sean and Amanda to claim his first draft victory (15:00). Then, Sean is joined by Clea DuVall, an actress you may know from films like 'But I’m a Cheerleader,' 'Zodiac,' and 'Argo.' They talk about DuVall’s second film as a director, 'Happiest Season'—a charming holiday rom-com about a couple played by Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis—that hits Hulu on Wednesday (59:47). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guests: Chris Ryan and Clea DuVall
Ron Howard's adaptation of JD Vance's bestselling memoir hits Netflix this week—Sean and Amanda look at the film and the careers of stars Amy Adams and Glenn Close, including their chances at their first-ever Academy Award win (1:00). 'Hillbilly Elegy' also inspired a deep dive into the history of a tricky subcategory: Oscar Bait. What is it? When did it start? What movies count as Oscar Bait? Sean and Amanda break it all down (27:00). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins
With so many movies pushed to 2021, TV has taken an even bigger share of our viewing time this year. Sean and Amanda talk about the Netflix sensation ‘The Queen’s Gambit,’ Steve McQueen’s ‘Small Axe’ anthology series, and the best miniseries they’ve seen this year (1:00). Then, Sean is joined by Aneesh Chaganty, the director of 2018’s ‘Searching’ and a new thriller called ‘Run’ that hits Hulu this weekend (48:00). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guest: Aneesh Chaganty
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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