And the winner of this week’s Film Stories British movie podcast feature is – Best Pick! Here’s why it’s worth a listen.

It was an edition of Celebrity MasterMind that was the catalyst for the creation of the podcast Best Pick. Jessica Regan (Best Newcomer at the 2015 British Soap Awards, no less!) was invited to appear on the programme, and chose her specialist subject to be the films of Quentin Tarantino. Friends Tom Salinsky and John Dorney decided to help her prepare for the show, by dissecting and discussing Tarantino’s back catalogue, and realised they’d happened upon a great idea for a podcast they could all do together. 

The idea to watch and discuss all the Academy Award Best Picture winners seemed like the obvious choice and, to be honest, it was a blindingly brilliant choice too. The Oscars are seen as the pinnacle of filmmaking excellence. It basically means that as far as the content of Best Pick is concerned, it’s all killer, no filler.

That doesn’t mean that Tom, Jessica and John always agree on whether the Academy got it right, though. None are afraid to challenge the other’s views, and it’s very clear these three individuals highly respect and admire each other’s points of view. So far they’ve only agreed that 14 Best Picture winners should have won. Those films are Wings, All Quiet on the Western Front, It Happened One Night, Casablanca, From Here to Eternity, The Apartment, Lawrence of Arabia, The Sound of Music, The Godfather, Platoon, Slumdog Millionaire, 12 Years a Slave, Moonlight and Parasite. If you’re looking for a film to watch tonight, look no further than one of those “best picks”. 

It’s safe to say that not all Oscar-winning material holds up to a modern lens, though. The great thing about Best Pick, is that any controversial material is discussed and held up to those contemporary values, while also respecting the picture’s achievements. It’s not just the film’s achievements that are discussed though, but the industry in general including the technology of the time. At its heart, Best Pick is a truly fascinating insight into filmmaking, that’s enthralling, insightful and witty. Since finishing all the Best Picture winners, they’ve moved on to “follow their bliss”, and include fan favourites, underappreciated gems and favourite films that bypassed the Oscars, of which there are many!

Not only is Best Pick a truly exceptional podcast, all of the research they’d amassed through 92 episodes of the history of Hollywood has also ended up as a book. Best Pick: A Journey through Film History and the Academy Awards details one decade per chapter, was co-authored by all three and edited by Tom. The book was released in February 2022, and you should definitely grab yourself a copy!

Best Pick may be an outstanding podcast adored by its fans, and co-authors of a brilliant book, but this podcast is also double-award winning too. In 2020, Best Pick won the bronze award in the Best Arts and Culture category at the British Podcast Awards, and in 2021 won Bronze at the 2021 Lovie Awards for Best Arts and Entertainment Podcast.

Best Pick. The name says it all so we don’t have to (but we did!)

Recommended episode: Episode 206 – Brazil – (20 October 2021) – https://bestpickpod.com/episodes/episode/?episode=118 

Best Pick can be found at: https://podfollow.com/the-best-pick-movie-podcast 

And followed at:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bestpickpod 

Best Pick: A Journey through Film History and the Academy Awards is available at all good bookshops and online (https://linktr.ee/bestpickpod)

All episodes of Best Pick are available and can be listened to or downloaded from Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts from.

Are you a British movie podcast who would like to be featured on Film Stories? We welcome all suggestions and requests, but we especially want to hear from you if you’re female, BIPOC, non-binary, LGBTQIA+ or have a disability. Email Em – verbaldiorama at gmail co uk (Just remove the spaces and add the ‘@’ and the dots, but don’t send spam. She’s vegetarian.)

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