Welcome to Director Watch! On this AwardsWatch podcast, co-hosts Ryan McQuade and Jay Ledbetter attempt to breakdown, analyze, and ultimately, get inside the mind of some of cinema’s greatest auteurs. In doing so, they will look at their filmographies, explore what drives them artistically and what makes their decision making process so fascinating. Add in a few silly tangents and a fun game at the end of the episode and you’ve got yourself a podcast we truly hope you love. On episode 5 of the Director Watch Podcast, they are joined by AwardsWatch contributor Zach Laws to discuss the latest film in their Todd Haynes series, Wonderstruck (2017).
Two years after Carol was released with worldwide acclaim, Haynes took a rather unpredictable turn in his filmography by crafting a multi-generational family drama aimed for young audiences. Working off a script from writer Brian Selznick (based on his novel of the same name), Haynes takes two time periods, the 1920s and 1970s, and melds two stories of two young deaf children who are searching for their parents in New York City. Working alongside actresses he’s worked with before in Julianne Moore and Michelle Williams, and discovering the breakout talents of Millicent Simmonds and Oakes Fegley, Haynes is able to takes us on an emotional ride through fifty years of family, as well as human history, to tell an earnest story about togetherness and sincerity. Ryan, Jay, and Zach dive into the right turn for Haynes, the look of each time period shot by Haynes’s regular cinematographer Edward Lachman, the child performances, and if a less cynical approach for a Todd Haynes films makes this stand out in a good or bad way for his filmography.
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This podcast runs 2h13m. The guys will be back next week to conclude their Todd Haynes series with a look at 2019’s Dark Waters. Till then, let’s get into it. Music: MUSICALIFE, from Pond5 (intro) and “B-3” from BoxCat Games Nameless: The Hackers RPG Soundtrack (outro).