Podcasts to check out before the 2020 Academy Awards

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Feb. 9 will mark the arrival of the 92nd Academy Awards, as well as the ending of what has been an abnormally short awards season for a year with a number of celebrated films. Nevertheless, the race to the 2020 Oscars ceremony has already been filled with snubs, surprises and the rise of some powerful front-runners across categories.

Don’t have time to see all the nominated films before the show? Along with The Daily Californian’s upcoming Oscars edition of “Reel Talk,” here are a handful of podcasts that you can check out to catch up with the contenders and fill out your ballots before the big night.


“The Big Picture”

Every week on “The Big Picture,” the Ringer’s Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins sit down to discuss recent releases and news in the film world, and what every new moment means for the Oscars race down the line. The hosts also frequently create lists of career “hall of fame” entries for a number of major industry figures, including recent episodes about Tom Hanks and cinematographer Roger Deakins, emphasizing how each year’s Oscars race can shape industry careers and the industry at large. Featuring interviews with directors, composers, screenwriters and actors with each discussion, “The Big Picture” is an essential companion for anyone catching up on the Oscars.

Highlight: “Was 2019 the Best Movie Year of the Decade?”


“Little Gold Men”

While Vanity Fair often seems like a staple for following red carpets and celebrities, especially during the most illustrious moments of awards season, the magazine’s “Little Gold Men” podcast offers a weekly analysis of the Oscars race. A panel of Vanity Fair contributors brings industry insights and creative perspectives on how film festivals, major studios and audience reactions can influence a film’s chances throughout awards season, offering a closer look at the many forces shaping Oscars night that aren’t quite so pervasive.

Highlight: “Is Parasite Surging in the Best Picture Race?”


“Five Things with Lynn Hirschberg”

Many may recognize Lynn Hirschberg primarily from W Magazine’s popular “Screen Tests” web series, which features brief, charming celebrity interviews against a signature dark backdrop. But the journalist’s new podcast “Five Things” offers a far more in-depth look at artists’ inspirations and processes when working on several new films. In each episode, Hirschberg sits down with a different artist — from “Little Women” director Greta Gerwig to “Bombshell” actress and producer Charlize Theron — and asks them about a person, a place, an object and the events that have shaped them most significantly. Out of this comes a personal conversation that offers new insight into several of the 2020 Oscars nominees.

Highlight: “Greta Gerwig”


“The Director’s Cut – A DGA Podcast”

There’s perhaps no other program that gives audiences the level of insight into filmmakers’ perspectives than “The Director’s Cut.” In each episode, directors sit down with other directors to discuss their own films; the conversations frequently convey greater levels of depth and authenticity than typical interviews. Episodes featuring directors Pedro Almodóvar, Sam Mendes and James Mangold — whose films are all nominated in various categories — are especially worth a listen before the ceremony. And while the Academy may have snubbed female directors altogether, “The Director’s Cut” gives listeners meaningful conversations with female filmmakers such as Mati Diop, Kasi Lemmons and Marielle Heller.

Highlight: “Knives Out with Rian Johnson and Denis Villeneuve”

Anagha Komaragiri covers film and podcasts. Contact her at [email protected]. Tweet her at @aaanaghaaa.