All hail the debut of “Little Gold Men“, a twice-monthly podcast from Vanity Fair‘s Katey Rich, Mike Hogan and Richard Lawson. They mainly focus on the two biggest Toronto Film Festival flicks, Spotlight and Room. Following the first press-and-industry screening of Spotlight everyone was saying “this will win Best Picture,” Lawson says. “It’ll win?” Rich replies. Soon after she opines that Room, winner of the Toronto Film Festival audience award, is small and sentimental and quite affecting. No mention of any XY chromosone pushback but there’s a brief derogatory mention of yours truly — “the Jeff Wellses of the world and the notorious Hollywood Elsewhere.” That’s the only critical remark heard in the podcast. I don’t know about these guys. They’re no one’s idea of ruthlessly honest, but every so often they’re ruthlessly accommodating. Can’t give those award-season advertisers anything to get pissy about.

The title of the piece that accompanies the podcast is “So, Is Johnny Depp Finally Going to Win That Oscar?” Answer: No, but he might be nominated because of the Alaskan husky contact lenses and hair-sprayed Bulger wig. Rich asks if Johnny Depp‘s performance in Black Mass will be an Oscar-level thing, and mentions that she “really love[s]” Joel Edgerton in Black Mass…c’mon! His Bahhstun accent is grating and he slightly (and sometimes oppressively) over-emotes in every scene. Rich admits later on that the film probably isn’t good enough to deliver a serious springboard bounce for Depp, but says that Depp’s performance might keep the film alive in a conversational sense.

One of the guys (they sound somewhat similar) believes that The Martian‘s Matt Damon deserves a Best Actor nomination more than Depp. Nope — too quippy, too congenial, too much of an audience backrub performance. One of them also calls Anomalisa “awesome”…really? The puppet thing is appealing and the tone inevitably doleful in a Charlie Kaufman-esque sense, but “awesome” it’s not. Somebody also says that Sandra Bullock delivers a “pretty great” performance in Our Brand Is Crisis — get outta town. Lawson predicts that Bridge of Spies might win Best Picture, Hogan says he’s “throwing down” with The Revenant (although one of the guys says he’s feeling irked by the prospect of the Leonardo DiCaprio-for-Best Actor thing yet again), and Rich thinks it might be David O. Russell‘s Joy.