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Time again for glamour, golden statuettes and speeches — the Oscars are Sunday

A MARTÍNEZ, HOST:

It's time again for glamour gowns, golden statuettes and speeches that thank your talent agency, your business manager, your mom, God or guru. That's right. It's the Oscars on Sunday. Now, to walk us through what to look for and even what to cook for your Oscars bash as NPR's very own Glen Weldon. Glen, so, OK, before we get into your Oscar party planning expertise, let's talk the actual movies. There's been a lot of award shows already. One film seems to rule them all, and that's Christopher Nolan's "Oppenheimer." Is it a done deal for Oppenheimer at this point?

GLEN WELDON, BYLINE: Well, let's just say that if you're making your Oscar ballot and the category includes anything "Oppenheimer" or "Oppenheimer" adjacent, if you check that box, it'll take you a long way. There's just such momentum around this movie. It's the kind of buzz that has all the makings of a sweep. I mean, best picture, sure, but also best director for Nolan, best actor for Cillian Murphy, best supporting actor for Robert Downey Jr., not to mention cinematography, editing, score. If they gave out an Oscar for best craft-services table, it would probably take that home as well.

MARTÍNEZ: I would imagine it would be all the bomb, I guess, right? OK, there you go. There's my "Oppenheimer" joke. So I know you're pulling for one of the underdog films, "Poor Things." It's streaming on Hulu ahead of the Oscars. Make your case. What stands out about this one?

WELDON: Oh, I love "Poor Things." This is a film by Yorgos Lanthimos about a woman in Victorian London, who's played by Emma Stone, who starts out as a kind of Frankenstein's monster but gradually becomes her own person. It's such a funny, gorgeous-to-look-at fantasy film that only Lanthimos could make. I mean, look, I really admire Nolan, and I'm happy he's going to have such a great night Sunday. But Nolan's a very meticulous filmmaker, right? He's a superego. Lanthimos is all id. He is a chaos agent, and I love him for that.

MARTÍNEZ: Can't wait to see who wins out. Now, a lot of first-time nominees this year. That's always exciting.

WELDON: Yeah, first-timers, but they've been putting in the work for a long time. So you've got Da'Vine Joy Randolph. She's going to win for supporting actress for "The Holdovers," and she's the heart of that movie. Jeffrey Wright makes everything he's in better, and he's giving a really subtle but multifaceted performance in "American Fiction." Colman Domingo is turning up in everything nowadays, as he should. He absolutely walks away with "Rustin," which is a conventional biopic about the civil rights activist Bayard Rustin. And, of course, you got Lily Gladstone, who is probably going to win for "Killers Of The Flower Moon." And if she does, she'll make history as the first Native American winner in an acting category.

MARTÍNEZ: All right. Fine. Now that we're through with the movies, let's talk about your Oscar party tips. Every single year, Glen, I know that you offer some Oscar-movie-themed snack ideas on NPR's website.

WELDON: Yeah. You're saying I make dumb food puns every year.

MARTÍNEZ: I'm not saying it.

WELDON: And that's true. And look, I know a lot of people hate puns, but it's become a venerable tradition, A, and we're all stuck with it now. So, you know, Stamberg's got her cranberry relish. I got this, so let's begin. If you loved "Past Lives," which is about a woman questioning her relationship with her American boyfriend after a man from her childhood in Korea shows up, why not try pasta lives? That's where you prepare a bowl of Hamburger Helper, and then you prepare a bowl of spicy gochujang noodles, and you force your guests to pick one. See, it's sort of conceptual there.

MARTÍNEZ: Yeah.

WELDON: Next up, best-picture nominee "Anatomy Of A Fall" is about a woman who may or may not have killed her husband. So this is a deconstructed snack. You lay out some lentils, vegetable broth, coconut milk, ginger, garlic paste, tomatoes, lime juice and spices. You place them next to a blender on the table. And of course, your guests are going to ask you what they're supposed to do with all that. You just tell them you don't want to supply them with easy answers. Just whisper, it's about the ambiguity, and then you leave them to fend for yourselves. I call that one anatomy of a daal - D-A-A-L - the Indian lentil dish. See what I did there?

MARTÍNEZ: Hey, I'm all for it, Glen. I'm all for what you do.

WELDON: Oh, I appreciate that. I got, like, eight more of these.

MARTÍNEZ: Nice. OK. That's great. That's NPR's Glen Weldon. He co-hosts the podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour.

WELDON: I got shrimp on the Barbie, right? I got poured things. Get it? I got the calzone of interest.

MARTÍNEZ: OK.

WELDON: Eh? Eh?

MARTÍNEZ: Yeah. Let's watch the show. Let's watch the Oscar show. That's Glen Weldon. Glen, thanks a lot.

WELDON: Thank you.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

So have you seen all the films nominated for best picture?

MARTÍNEZ: So, OK. You know, Leila, how normally we talk a lot about reality television? And lately...

FADEL: I mean, what are you saying? I'm too smart for that.

MARTÍNEZ: No, no. Lately, I haven't had much to say because I haven't been keeping up on my reality shows...

FADEL: Oh, no.

MARTÍNEZ: ...Because I've been watching the best-picture nominees. I'm trying to catch up. So I still have one that I need to go watch. That's "Poor Things," the Emma Stone movie.

FADEL: Oh, I saw that.

MARTÍNEZ: ...The one that kind of - yeah. You saw that one? OK. So that's still on the queue for me before I can get back to talking reality TV with you.

FADEL: Well, I haven't seen most of them 'cause I'm very busy 'cause I work all the time. So I don't know what you're doing, but...

MARTÍNEZ: I work too. I think so. So far, "American Fiction's" still my favorite, though.

FADEL: "American Fiction" is amazing.

MARTÍNEZ: It's good, huh? Yeah.

FADEL: It was so good.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

A Martínez is one of the hosts of Morning Edition and Up First. He came to NPR in 2021 and is based out of NPR West.
Glen Weldon is a host of NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast. He reviews books, movies, comics and more for the NPR Arts Desk.