Oscar Season Hits Movie Theaters, from ‘Across the Spider-Verse’ to ‘Past Lives’

With the Cannes Film Festival in the rearview, the summer movie season has begun. Yes, “The Little Mermaid” and “Fast X” are already out, but this week, two more releases add another variable to the theatrical calendar: Oscar potential.

With the release of “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” the long-awaited sequel to the animated sensation that became the first (and so far only) superhero movie to win an Oscar has landed. Critical acclaim proves that the lengthy delay wasn’t in vain. As IndieWire’s Kate Erbland writes in her review: “In a genre built on the literally super and special, these films are unafraid to stand out and do something truly different, something that pushes the limits, to show the genuine range available to this subset of stories and feel damn good in the process (and look, dare we say, even better).”

The movie is poised to perform well commercially and follow its predecessor into awards season, but moviegoers looking for a quieter option this weekend don’t have to stay home, as A24’s Sundance hit “Past Lives” hits theaters as well. The acclaim debut from playwright Celine Song is an autobiographical riff on her own experiences as a Korean immigrant reconciling with a companion from her past. As IndieWire’s Anne Thompson wrote earlier this week, the great surprise of the movie is that Song proves she’s just as talented at filmmaking as she is with the stage.

In this week’s episode of Screen Talk, Thompson and Eric Kohn reunite to discuss these new films and why they inject fresh energy into the release calendar. They also look ahead to the release of Wes Anderson’s “Asteroid City,” and touch on several other highlights from Cannes this month, including Palme d’Or winner “Anatomy of a Fall” and Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon,” both of which have awards prospects of their own.

Watch the full episode above or listen to it below.

Screen Talk is produced by Azwan Badruzaman and available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Spotify, and hosted by Megaphone. Browse previous installments here, subscribe here, and be sure to let us know if you’d like to hear the hosts address specific issues in upcoming editions of Screen Talk. 

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