Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Julia Roberts and Russell Crowe at the 73rd Annual Academy Awards

Revisit the 73rd Oscars of Gladiator and Erin Brockovich with the Little Gold Men podcast

Julia Roberts and Russell Crowe at the 73rd Annual Academy Awards
Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc. (Getty Images)
PodmassPodmassIn Podmass, The A.V. Club sifts through the ever-expanding world of podcasts and recommends the previous week’s best episodes. Have your own favorite? Let us know in the comments or at podmass@avclub.com.

Little Gold Men
2000 Oscars Flashback: Gladiator, Steven Soderbergh, Julia Roberts, and Everything Else We Were Thrilled to Remember

Illustration for article titled Revisit the 73rd Oscars of iGladiator/i and iErin Brockovich/i with the iLittle Gold Men /ipodcast
Screenshot: Apple Podcasts

The episode description for this installment of Little Gold Men, Vanity Fair’s podcast on how the red carpet sausage gets made, ends on a disclaimer: “This episode was pre-recorded before Election Day, and contains exactly zero discussion of 2020 politics.” But having dropped on November 4, it was a perfectly timed distraction just the same. Joining the hosts on this trip to yesteryear are Joe Reid and Chris Feil of the This Had Oscar Buzz podcast, two experts on the films that failed to make it to each year’s Academy Awards. This time out, they cover the Oscars of the year 2000 (which actually aired on March 25, 2001). “[In] 2000, the Oscar year that we got was partially a function of the fact that all of the big, hyped, Oscar-buzz stuff bombed,” they explain. Remember Men Of Honor? The Legend Of Bagger Vance? Or, most dreadfully, Pay It Forward? As each would-be prestige picture underperformed or outright flopped, the studios scrambled to champion second-stringers, mounting FYC campaigns for everything from Chocolat to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. But it was a move that arguably served up more memorable films in the process, including Erin Brockovich, which won Julia Roberts (in an unforgettable Valentino dress) the award for Best Actress. It’s a fascinating glimpse at cinema history, but more importantly, it’s a 90-minute distraction from just about everything else. [Marnie Shure]


Love + Radio
The Story of the Box

Illustration for article titled Revisit the 73rd Oscars of iGladiator/i and iErin Brockovich/i with the iLittle Gold Men /ipodcast
Screenshot: Apple Podcasts

From Luminary and Radiotopia, Love + Radio has been going strong since 2005 and has only continued to grow and develop. Hosted by Nick van der Kolk and designed to be listened to over headphones, each installment tells a story formed from personal interviews, elevated by ethereal audio design. In “The Story Of The Box,” this year’s Halloween episode, Chicago-based writer and musician Eiren Caffall is the subject of the story: After being accepted into an important residency while in the middle of a major book proposal, Caffall learns her mother has been hospitalized with cancer. While in her residency, Caffall finds a mysterious box hidden away inside a precarious apple tree, a box that is more than it appears—a time capsule for the dead. Upon handling it, Caffall feels suddenly aware that she has unleashed a ghost. As the story unfolds, this haunting audio experience reveals itself to be one that evokes a sense of loss and vulnerability, the way energies and sensitivities can coalesce to follow us around until we are able to let them go. [Jose Nateras]


The Pet

Illustration for article titled Revisit the 73rd Oscars of iGladiator/i and iErin Brockovich/i with the iLittle Gold Men /ipodcast
Screenshot: Gilded Audio

This new production by Gilded Audio occupies a strange and horny corner of the podcast world. Actor Mara Wilson voices Heaven, a salvage shop worker who kidnaps her grungy ex Lyle’s forlorn cat, Cindy, and heads out west. Heaven is cool af, DTF, and is the kind of character we need more of in our fiction: a tough woman who knows exactly who she is. It’s hard to imagine feeling sorry for Lyle, with his cum-stained couch and his two-timing, no-good heart, but somehow you do, just a bit, when Heaven gives him the slip. This audio western is for sure NSFW, and surprisingly crusty, hovering on the gross but sexy sex no one ever gossips about over brunch. The story moves seamlessly from cringey to tender tones, affording tons of airtime to blowjobs and descriptions of cats, both of which Wilson makes more entrancing than they have any right to be. The story is framed by music from Brad Smith of Blind Melon, establishing a vibe most aptly described as erotic shoegaze. The Pet is densely atmospheric, like molasses, coating the story in a mythological Americana. [Morgan McNaught]

Marnie Shure is editor in chief of The Takeout.

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