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FROM THIS EPISODE

Noah Oppenheim thought he was living a screenwriter's dream when Darren Aronofsky agreed to direct Jackie, the first film Oppenheim had ever written. But the project stalled for years until Aronofsky handed it off to Chilean director Pablo Larrain. Now the film is out, and Natalie Portman is on the short list for her portrayal of the first lady. Oppenheim tells about his experience with Jackie, as well as his exceptionally varied career. He worked in TV news, quit to work as an executive in reality television, quit that to be a full-time screenwriter, and then went full circle back to TV where he's now in charge of NBC's Today show.

Photo: Noah Oppenheim, Jackie screenwriter and NBC senior vice president, in charge of Today.

Hollywood news banter 6 MIN, 29 SEC

It's a great year for movie-lovers, though the gap between what critics and the Academy likes and what the movie-going masses like has never been wider. Scott Feinberg, awards analyst for the Hollywood Reporter, joins Kim Masters for a special awards-season banter. Feinberg walks us through his Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress front-runners at this point in the season.

Guests:
Scott Feinberg, Hollywood Reporter (@scottfeinberg)

Screenwriter Noah Oppenheim on 'Jackie' and 'Today' 20 MIN, 57 SEC

In the new film Jackie, Natalie Portman portrays First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in the week following her husband's assassination. The movie depicts her trauma and her iron-willed planning of a funeral that would cement his legacy. Then she works to burnish the legend of Camelot in a magazine interview that she carefully controls.

Jackie was the first screenwriting effort from Noah Oppenheim, whose career has taken some interesting twists.

A Harvard graduate, Oppenheim landed a job out of college with Chris Matthews' show Hardball on MSNBC. He spent his 20s at NBC News, co-creating Mad Money with Jim Cramer and putting in a stint at the Today show. Oppenheim left for Hollywood in 2008 to work first as a television executive and then as a screenwriter. But in 2015, he circled back to the East Coast, taking the helm at the Today show. So strangely, he is now in that job while in the awards conversation for his Jackie screenplay.

We talked to Oppenheim about this unusual career, which this year included the hiring and firing of Billy Bush, and the experience of watching acclaimed director Darren Aronofsky hand the Jackie project over to Chilean director Pablo Larrain.

Guests:
Noah Oppenheim, writer and Emmy-winning TV producer (@noahoppenheim)

CREDITS

Host:
Kim Masters

Producers:
Kaitlin Parker

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