A few months ago I interviewed writer-director John Lee Hancock about his work on The Rookie, The Alamo, The Blind Side, and Saving Mr. Banks. We also spoke about his latest film The Founder, which stars Michael Keaton as Ray Kroc, the business man who turned McDonald’s into a world-wide brand. The film was about to come out when I first did the interview, but the release got pushed back a few months. It had a limited release in December and opened nationwide on January 20.
I recently watched The Founder, and it made enough of impression that I decided to re-release the episode. For one thing, I believe that the film was snubbed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It didn’t get a single nomination, but in my humble opinion it is at least worthy of consideration for best picture, best director, best actor, and best production design.
The film also has some striking parallels to the story of Donald Trump’s rise to power. In the concluding comments that I added for this episode, I elaborate on why I believe it is a film worthy of award consideration and why it relates to the Donald Trump story. Those comments start about 50 minutes into the episode.
Some of the topics that come up in the episode include
- John’s shooting approach on The Rookie, The Alamo, The Blind Side, Saving Mr. Banks, and The Founder
- How John convinced Nick Saban and other SEC football coaches to be in The Blind Side
- How far some people will go in pursuit of success and the impact that has on society
- Weathering the ups and downs that come along in a filmmaking career
- The research that goes into portraying historical figures on screen
- Why the anti-Disney bias from certain cultural elites is not fair
- When it is appropriate to include a sense of faith in a story
- Why The Founder relates to Donald Trump’s presidency
Listen to the Episode
Sponsor for this Episode
- John Lee Hancock’s IMDb page
- Police officer Montrell Jackson’s Facebook message
- This is the original podcast episode with John Lee Hancock. Original commentary for the episode starts around 49 min and 30 sec in.
- Michael Keaton interviewed about The Founder on the Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast
- Details about how The Founder’s production team recreated the first McDonald’s with a functional kitchen
- John Lee Hancock discusses Oscar snubs for The Founder
- Guardian article where Nick Offerman suggests a connection between the subject of The Founder and Donald Trump
- Why the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Association dinner might have fueled Donald Trump’s presidency according to The New York Times and The New Yorker
- Notable connection: The Blind Side features a reference to the New York Giants, my favorite NFL team. Robert D. Siegel, the writer of The Founder, also wrote Big Fan, which tells the bittersweet story of a passionate New York Giants fan, played by Patton Oswalt, who has an anguishing encounter with someone he idolizes.
- The Alamo
- The Blind Side
- The Founder
- The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence
- Meet John Doe
- The Rookie
- Saving Mr. Banks
- Shoe Dog by Phil Knight