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David Poland

By David Poland

What do The DGA Noms Mean?

It means one or two happy people today are not going to be happy when the Oscar noms are announced.

It seems unlikely that Scorsese, Payne or Eastwood will be upset.  So will it be Forster or Hackford?  And who will be the surprise addition?  Could it be Gondry?  Mann?  Nichols? Condon?  George?

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119 Responses to “What do The DGA Noms Mean?”

  1. bicycle bob says:

    mann gets no respect for some reason.

  2. PEPE says:

    I have a hunch it will be Amenábar

  3. PeppersDad says:

    Sorry, but I don’t see any surprises. Not one. Sure, there was an outside chance Mann or Condon might have supplanted Forster or Hackford on this list, but I think those would have been bigger upsets than the current nominees.
    It’s a list celebrating work that goes down fairly easily. Nothing too challenging there. Don’t be surprised if the Academy follows suit.

  4. Josh Massey says:

    Is there really a person out there deluded enough to think “Ray” was a better directed film than “Collateral?”

  5. Nathaniel R says:

    To Rays question: Apparently so. And they’re working directors. (sigh)
    It’s so odd that all of these groups seem to have the same communal mind. It’s as if there were only 6 or 7 movies released in 2004. And each group has to choose 5. There’s so little variation. Puzzling.

  6. Mark says:

    Welcome to Ray. The most overrated film of the year. Can the Times do that story next week?

  7. PeppersDad says:

    Josh Massey –
    In my opinion, I think it’s a closer call than you’re suggesting. Like a lot of people (perhaps including a lot of DGA members), I found Collateral brilliant and soulful for 3/4 of its running time, after which it completely and absurdly fell apart in the final quarter. I thought that Ray, in comparison, sustained its compelling tone from beginning to end. And while it wasn’t as flashy, I don’t think it’s fair to underestimate what a subtly effective job Hackford did with what otherwise could easily have been a conventional biopic.
    The nominee I want booted off the DGA list is Scorsese. Despite a few flashes of energy, I found The Aviator to be an astonishingly banal piece of work. When comparing biopics, Ray wins hands down in my book.

  8. PeppersDad says:

    By the way, I still haven’t seen Finding Neverland. Can someone please convince me it won’t be a chore to sit through? The reviews sure didn’t accomplish that.

  9. Mark says:

    Hackford over Scorsese? Yeah, Peppa might have lost it. Did we watch the same films? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills here.

  10. PeppersDad says:

    Yeah, Mark, this year it’s Hackford over Scorsese by a landslide.
    You’re not taking crazy pills. You were just born that way.

  11. Neal says:

    Scorsese’s banal is better than most director’s exciting. I can’t think of a film he made which wasn’t one of the 5 best directing jobs of the year, with the exception of Bringing Out the Dead (the strength was more in the script).
    But I’m amazed there’s not much rage against Finding Neverland. Is this 2004’s Chocolat or am I crazy? When are the guilds going to learn to really separate their respective crafts from the whole films themselves? How could something like Finding Neverland or Sideways ever be considered better-directed than every other film this year save three? That’s ridiculous. As much as I loved Sideways, let the damned Writer’s Guild award it. I don’t have a problem when a film wins Best Picture because of a superior script (Shakespeare in Love a most recent example), but by giving any well-written film a nomination in every other area just takes the Arts and Sciences out of the Academy.
    Granted, you can make a less-flashy film and still do a great directing job like Million Dollar Baby (whose shortcomings are more script-based), but something like Sideways is visually empty. Even Richard Linklater has more business being on the DGA list for Before Sunrise than Payne.
    It’s really a crime for Gondry, Yimou, Tarantino, and Almodovar to all be missing here, guys who contributed to the expansion of film grammar more than many others. Even Zach Braff showed more skill with a camera than a few of the DGA noms.

  12. Stella's Boy says:

    It is a crime that Michael Mann wasn’t nominated.

  13. PeppersDad says:

    Neal –
    I don’t think many people would agree that Sideways (far from my favorite film of the year) is all in the script. It’s very much a performer’s piece, with all of the actors receiving and deserving praise. And I disagree about the cinematography. I think for a low-budget film, it’s camerawork was exquisite.
    We’re also not just talking here about cinematography, screenwriting or editing. We’re talking about directing, about who helmed the entire ship. If the captain can’t get the ship all the way into port, then who’s going to give him/her top awards for some fancy maneuvers while out on the water?
    OK, I realize that some of the films mentioned are certainly more ambitious and complex than some of their competition. So it may not seem fair to compare huge productions like The Aviator or Collateral to smaller or more straightforward ones like Sideways or Ray. How dare anyone compare? Well, folks, therein lies the argument that the perpetual spotlight on these awards is an insulting waste of time. If you buy into that argument, perhaps this is the wrong page for you.
    As for Scorsese, he rose to prominence by portraying characters and stories that were truly gripping. Lately, though, he’s lost that narrative grip and has been coasting completely on big-budget technique. I haven’t given up on him, and think he may still have a masterpiece for us. If he just stopped chasing the Oscar, he might actually win one.

  14. Dan R% says:

    Hackford doesn’t bother me, but Forster does. I mean really does. I had no huge problems with ‘Ray’. Although it could have used a bit of editing, it’s a well crafted piece. But ‘Finding Neverland’ keeps on getting a shameless pass. I enjoy many things about Peter Pan, even ‘Hook’ which remains a guilty pleasure from my childhood. But FL doesn’t even have a pinky’s worth of imagination that Spielberg squandered in ‘Hook’. The film was a mildly entertaining boring, with some alright performances throughout – and even that’s a stretch for me to say.
    Was there anything in the movie that was more brilliant than Gondry’s direction this year? I thought there were supposed to be young hip directors on the up and come in the DGA…or do they just fall into line too? Then again this group did support Spike Jonze for ‘Being John Malkovich’ with a nomination, so it sorta leaves me scratching my head…traditional movies reign supreme this year eh?

  15. Stella's Boy says:

    While I disagree, I do know some people who feel that Gondry over-directed Eternal Sunshine. Then of course there’s the release date of the movie. We all know how short the Academy’s memory is.

  16. Geek, Esq. says:

    My money’s on Yimou replacing Hackford.
    Ironically, the DGA predicts BP better than BD. Go figure.
    Hackford won’t be too upset, though. He’s still getting his picture nominated.

  17. TheBrotherhoodOfTheLostSkeletonOfCadavra says:

    Don’t underestimate Hackford’s achievement. He did that entire film–period sets, costumes and all–on a budget of only $30 million. (I asked him why he shot it 1.85 instead of ‘Scope, and he said that money was so tight they couldn’t afford the post-production costs involved with anamorphic prints.) It may be a “standard” biopic, but it’s a damn good one, and he deserves the credit for sticking with it for 15 years and finally getting it made (independently, to boot).

  18. jesse says:

    I’m actually surprised by all the dislike here of Finding Neverland. Not the flashiest directorial work, and Forster wouldn’t be in my top 5 for the year, but a good film and a lot more enjoyable and better-made than a lot of Oscar/award type movies.
    I haven’t seen Ray, but if those other four DGA nominees make it to the final 5 for best picture, that alone will make it the best group in several years, maybe more. The Aviator, Sideways, Finding Neverland, Million Dollar Baby… only the latter makes my personal ten best, but the other three are all strong runners-up.
    And all four are a damn sight better than the middling nominees (and winners!) of recent years past like Seabiscuit, The Hours, Chicago, A Beautiful Mind, Gladiator, Chocolat, Erin Brockovich, and The Cider House Rules.
    So if it’s those four plus Eternal Sunshine or The Incredibles, I’d be pretty much floored. (Unlikely, I guess, but one can hope.)
    I accept that a lot of the edgier or more experimental or more independent or pure-popcorn movies will not make it to the Oscars. What vexes me is how they’ve been ignoring best-picture candidates that should be easy for Oscar voters to like. Almost Famous, Adaptation, Cast Away, Road to Perdition, and Cold Mountain were good enough for some major nods but not best picture?? Why?! Yet something like Chocolat makes it in? And Big Fish– a sentimental movie that’s actually really good– got completely shut out? They’re looking gift horses in the mouth, over and over.

  19. Jake says:

    Gondy should be there. Unreal film.

  20. Neal says:

    You’re right about Sideways being more than just a script. But the actors will get nommed for awards they deserve–you can’t give a guy a directing nom mainly because he got some great perfs. Mike Nichols, on the other hand, isn’t just a great director of actors. He has a great eye, even if it’s not an extravagant one. I think Payne definitely “steered the ship into port”, but we’re not talking rough waters here–that script could have been directed just as well by a lot of people. I thought About Schmidt and Election both featured better camerawork.
    Can a shitty film have a truly great directing job? I ultimately doubt it. But you can have some seriously flawed films that have great directing jobs, like some of Brian DePalma’s work. There’s a lot of visually engaging films with weak scripts. And I’m saying some of those films should be deserving of directing nods. I’ve said it before–why have a separate award for Picture and Director if we’re not going to judge them differently? While many hated the 1999 decision, I applaud the Academy for giving Shakespeare in Love the top prize, because it had a fantastic original script and all-around superb performances. Saving Private Ryan had cardboard characters and scores of war movie cliches despite its technical brilliance, which it won mostly deserved awards for (tho I still think Spielberg’s Oscar should have gone to Malick).
    I wouldn’t begrudge Taylor Hackford a nom this year; Ray’s music gives the film a lot of its life, but Hackford keeps pace with his alternately exciting and tender visuals. The flashback stuff was nicely done as well. He’s not the problem here. I can handle smaller, less-flashy fare being recognized. Closer would easily be worthy of DGA recognition, or even Kinsey. What we need to see are less nominations for films simply because of their “prestige” status like Finding Neverland, and make way for more genre brilliance like Collateral (a poorly written third act is something that Mann could share the blame for, but it doesn’t reduce the quality of his directing accomplishment). And when there is an indie breakout, they should be looked at case-by-case. Sofia Coppola brought a real gift to her work last year, whereas Payne just seems to be documenting. And that’s not enough for me.
    And a last word on Scorsese, you can accuse him of losing his narrative grip with Gangs, which to me was a brilliant mess, but how anyone could level those charges at The Aviator is beyond me. It’s probably his most straightforward film to date. I think it’s unfair to mistake a valentine to the studio system with “Oscar chasing” (just as Gangs was a career-long dream, not award bait). You do a great film lover a disservice with that accusation.

  21. Clay says:

    Neal, do you think a movie like Sideways — given its script — should by definition not be in the running for a direction award? I mean, it’s not the sort of story that requires fancy camerawork. I think it’s fair to say the film was directed exactly as it needed to be in order to succeed. Which is why Payne has been singled out.

  22. Paul says:

    Well it looks like the UNI campign is working for Ray. I do not get it. Do not get Neverland too. Still think Mann or Gonrdy (Since I think ESOTSM will get BP nod.) can come back for an Oscar nom.

  23. Mark says:

    Put McG behind the camera on Sideways and see what you get. The talent is there with Payne. Not his fault he works with great scripts. Actually it is. He helps write them.

  24. J.E.R.M.S. says:

    I think the DGA is waiting for the Miami Vice movie to give Michael Mann his dues.

  25. Neal says:

    Clay, I’m not saying Sideways shouldn’t be in the running because it’s smaller in scope. I’m just saying, when the award is Best Achievement in Directing, you don’t think there’s 5 films more impressive in that department? Out of all the films directed by DGA members last year? Come on. You say it was directed as it needed to be. About Schmidt was very similar yet I felt it was much better shot. You can make a great grilled cheese sandwich but next to a souffle it’s not going to look too impressive.
    Why do people have such a hard time with the notion that a great film can have only serviceable direction? Look at Michael Curtiz’s career. I’m not saying Payne is talentless, I’m just saying there’s at least 5 people that did better work. That’s it.

  26. JT says:

    i think Mann did his best with Heat, one of the greatest films ever made. All this Sideways bashing doesnt do anyhting to dislodge its place as being one of the best two or three films of this or any year. Frankly, i think it was well directed. It was a film about the little moments. Few directors would know where to emphasize this, but Payne knew what he was doing and saw the drama and comedy in the book and knew how to translate it to the screen perfectly. He deserves the nod. still, come Oscar time, look for CE or MS to win the award. My money is on MS. Not my pick, but that is the vibe. Only CE can beat him.

  27. PeppersDad says:

    Neal –
    As I’ve said on these pages a number of times before, Sideways is not my favorite movie of the year and, like you, I appreciated About Schmidt a lot more. (And I uninhibitedly loved Election, one of the great, most underappreciated comedies ever!) I guess a lot of people here, including me, just don’t agree with you that Sideways is this year’s grilled cheese sandwich. Sure it’s more stripped down than something like The Aviator. Then again, strip down The Aviator and pretty much all you have is a vapid film about a gazillionaire with some tics. Me, I’ll always take the tasty grilled cheese sandwich over a flavorless souffle any day, especially when the souffle has obviously collapsed before it’s been served.
    As for Payne’s direction, I had the chance to speak to him right after an early studio screening of Sideways. I told him that the tone, cinematography and performances all reminded me of films from the early ’70s, my favorite movie era. He lit up and thanked me when I said that, and responded that he had aimed exactly for that. Bullseye.
    I don’t think it’s a stretch to say, therefore, that criticizing Sideways for uninteresting direction is akin to attaching the same flaw to a lot of ’70s films – including some by Scorsese. It’s kind of like saying Lumet, Pakula, Ritt, Cassavetes and their other contemporaries (hell, even George Lucas with American Graffiti) were merely “serviceable” directors IN THEIR PRIME. Even if theirs may have been all-around better films than Sideways, I suspect your criticism could neatly attach to the direction of their movies as well.
    Sorry, but I don’t agree. To me that’s too symptomatic of our present short-attention-span culture, where the masterful direction of a heartfelt movie not loaded with a lot of flash and pop is considered, at best, “serviceable.”

  28. Dan R% says:

    I have to agree with Neal on GONY…it’s a beautiful mess. I’d still take it over most films that were put out this year. The Aviator is definitely the most easy of all his films to swallow (at least that I’ve seen). I really hope he wins this, and then moves on to more personal movies. Either way, win or lose, he should move away from the big big budget and tell another story like Mean Streets or Goodfellas…something true and gritty. And if we get another Raging Bull sometime soon? Awesome…that’d be rad.
    As for Mann and Miami Vice…to be honest that would be the most awesome thing if he got nominated for it. Was Jeff Wells source right about the script being more like Heat and Collateral? Has there been any follow up proclamation.

  29. Neal says:

    Well Payne may have made several really good films, but as a director, no I wouldn’t put him on the same level as Pakula, Lumet, or Lucas, especially in their prime. Lucas has a gift for composition that Payne couldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole, and I’m including the Star Wars prequels. Could Payne make a film with the electricity of Dog Day Afternoon, Serpico, or Network? Or the atmospheric, layered thrills of Parallax View, Klute, or All the Presiden’t Men? Not from what I’ve seen. I would NEVER call any of those guys serviceable. Ritt maybe, but then again I haven’t seen anything from Payne that equals the directing in Hud or Spy Who Came in From the Cold. Cassavettes is probably more important from a groundbreaking standpoint, but I doubt you’d find a lot of buffs who would bestow that status on Payne.
    Sure, Payne may have hit upon a style from a freer period in film history. But if you want to talk about a film from 2004 that REALLY emulated the style of the 70’s, from a director who has directing talent to spare, try David Gordon Green’s Undertow. Not overall a better film necessarily than Sideways, but give him the damned directing nomination.

  30. bicycle bob says:

    neal boy, the guy has made four movies. how can u compare him to guys like that? guys in their primes? i think hes pretty solid for four films. election a near classic. schmidt boring but ok. citizen ruth never seen it. and sideways about to win an oscar. yell to me when he hits his “prime”

  31. Sandy says:

    While you all are arguing about the merits of Payne, I must say that it’s been amusing seeing Finding Neverland going as far as it has been — much to the chagrin of many on the internet boards and on this blog. I chuckle each time Poland doubts the film’s merits….first it won the NBR, and he says it means nothing. Now FN has the GGs and the BFCAs noms for Best Actor, Director and Screenplay. After FN’s PGA and DGA noms Poland still says one or two will miss out on the Oscars. Mo doubt he means (or hopes) Neverland will miss out. All we need now are the SAGs to see if FN’s streak continues.

  32. bicycle bob says:

    neverland just isn’t a top 10 film this yr. defend it all u want with some awards its won. the fact is it isn’t a top flick.

  33. Martin says:

    Neverland is in the Cider house rules slot. Movie that no one really likes, but it has a prestige and marketing behind it to get things going at the awards. Won’t win a single Oscar, but it will definitely be in the running.

  34. Martin says:

    I can’t believe someone would actually try to compare George Lucas and Alexander Payne. Payne is doing what Lucas wishes he had the talent for.

  35. Neal says:

    b bob, I wasn’t the one who dragged those 70’s directors into this. PeppersDad said that if I was calling Payne merely serviceable then the same would go for those other guys. I disagree. Also, why not think Payne is in his prime? He’s just come off of what I consider 3 great films. Election is one of my all time favs. I just don’t think he’s a phenomenal director. You know, the guy writes too.
    Michael Curtiz made a bunch of really good films, but you’re not going to hear a lot of critics, buffs, or historians call him a great director (despite his Oscar for Casablanca). He was “serviceable”, a craftsman, a hack. I wouldn’t call Payne a hack because he’s initiating his own projects, but in terms of directing talent he just doesn’t stand out By comparison, look at Woody Allen, who also writes his own screenplays and operates on a small scale. Do you think Payne could shoot something like Manhattan, Stardust Memories, or even Sweet and Lowdown? When Woody won his directing Oscar it was justified because Annie Hall was really fresh when it came out–he added to the grammar of the profession. Payne hasn’t.

  36. PeppersDad says:

    Neal –
    Yes, I’m the one who compared Payne’s Sideways to great productions of the ’70s because, as noted above, THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT PAYNE WAS AIMING FOR.
    Your whole criticism of Payne is that he is merely “serviceable” because he doesn’t “add to the grammar of film.” But you never once explains exactly what that statement means or how it applies to Sideways. You acknowledge that Sideways has a fine script and terrific performances, so your critique seems to have something to do with your unwavering belief that Payne just plunks down the camera wherever it may land and shoots. If that’s the standard, don’t you think a lot of people might view the stark, plain realism of films from the ’70s just as coldly? What was so distinctive about the overall look Woody Allen went for in Annie Hall? Or Sidney Lumet in Dog Day Afternoon? Bob Rafelson in Five Easy Pieces? Alan Pakula in Klute? Milos Forman in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest? George Lucas in American Graffiti? My belief is that the director’s grammatical contribution comes from the distinct, unmistakable personality and sensibility he/she contributes to the annals of filmmaking. And Payne, in my opinion, is certainly a unique voice. You don’t need to be aware of or watch the credits to know you’re watching an Alexander Payne film.
    In that sense, you don’t do yourself any favors by comparing Payne to Michael Curtiz, who was under studio contract and did not write nor develop his own projects. But what’s your beef with him, anyway? You actually called the director of Casablanca “a hack”!!!
    As far as your comparison of Payne to Woody Allen, I absolutely think Payne has the talent to equal or surpass Allen’s work. For example, About Schmidt may not have been everybody’s cup of tea, but I have no problem arguing that Payne’s take on midwestern American life and values has as much artistic worth as Allen’s neverending parade of navel-gazing Upper Westsiders.
    And where, pray tell, is the unique film grammar contribution provided by any of Payne’s current competition?

  37. devincf says:

    If they only gave awards to those who contributed to the grammar of film, we’d see these shows held every four or five years, tops. And no one would have a clue who any of the nominees were.

  38. Sandy says:

    It doesn’t matter that FN is not a top quality film in your opinion, the awards are about marketing. I just happen to like FN but it is not in my top 5 of the year.

  39. Null says:

    PeppersDad, why do you always need to turn a discussion into an argument?

  40. Mark says:

    Peppa gets off on confrontation. Funny thing is he never knows what hes blabbing about.
    Payne is a throwback to the great directors. And hes a new guy here. My guess is they pass him over this year to reward Marty S.

  41. PeppersMom says:

    George Lucas is a hack and so is Michael Curtiz. Sorry, hubby.

  42. PeppersDad says:

    Null, Mark, PeppersMom (who are all one and the same anonymous person) –
    This is a discussion board. When somebody presents a position I don’t agree with, I may ask them to make their case more substantively, just as I try to make mine. I believe that kind of challenging “argument,” if you want to call it that, is healthy and enlightening. It’s what free speech is really all about and, ideally, it should be what this website accomplishes. It’s truly a disgrace that anyone might have a problem with that.
    In the immediate situation, I think Neal’s comments so far have shown a lot of firsthand knowledge and educated intellect, and I’m prodding him here because, even where I disagree, I respect where he’s coming from. If that hasn’t come across, then maybe it’s my bad, and I do apologize.
    And Mark, I ask you again to stop sending me harassing e-mails. You can go to federal jail for that. (OH NO! I brought up the reality of the law again!)

  43. Film Student Grad says:

    Payne not a great director? Compare his film against his indie-counterparts: O’Russel for Huckabees, Anderson for Acquatic. Those guys are too busy hanging out with celebrites and posing for magazine articles. I’m glad they are all “finding their voice” in the system, but Payne steered clear of that route and I applaud the guy.
    I think it’ll be Terry Geoge who gets the surprise, and I think Hotel Rwanda will get that last Best Picture slot too. “Important movie about a tragedy nominated while another kind of tragedy takes place…” that sounds like a good pitch to me.

  44. joe says:

    Here in México the only good movie that has come to theaters is ETERNAL SUNSHINE (one of the best things Ive seen on a big screen ever) and THE INCREDIBLES (good first act, brilliant-couldn´t be better- second act, but a CHEAP, WEAK third act that looked like any cortoon episode) And it is hard to believe that FINDING NEVERLAND and RAY have a better direction than Gondrys.
    I think he should get an oscar nom…I wish I see that coming, but I dont.

  45. Josh Massey says:

    Speaking of awards, I just saw the trailer for “Cinderella Man,” and feel confident Russell Crowe can start writing his 2005 speech now. Sure, an out-of-left-field Jamie Foxx-like performance can come along… but WOW, Crowe looked amazing (his performance’s apparent depth, as well as his physical appearance).

  46. Null says:

    Actually, PeppersDad, what I said has nothing to do with free speech and everything to do with civility. You’re incredibly confrontational on what would otherwise be a very friendly message board.

  47. PeppersDad says:

    Null –
    This is not a “message board,” as you put it. It’s a discussion board, where people present, support and often challenge opinions. In particular, it’s an opportunity for people to engage each other in a dialogue about film. Some contributors have stronger opinions than others. When people disagree here, sometimes it’s enough to just write it off to differing tastes. But when an opinion is unclear, incomplete, bizarre, factually inaccurate, or just plainly unsupportable, it deserves to be confronted. That’s all part of civilized discourse – and it can often get a bit intense. (Take a look at any roundtable debate, like the e-mails currently discussed on another thread.)
    If you can’t stand that much heat, you don’t belong in this kitchen. Don’t ever forget that the right to free speech includes the right to challenge the speech of others.
    None of which is to say that the sub-human postings by people like Mark and Bicycle Bob should be tolerated.

  48. Neal says:

    I haven’t been in whole lot of discussions on this blog but I don’t feel PeppersDad is being overly argumentative. It’s definitely a spirited debate, but no one’s taking any cheap shots.
    PD, I don’t think I need to explain the film grammar comment. It’s just nice to see something I haven’t seen before, instead of just solid service of a script. That’s all. I think the best directors are ones that you could identify just by watching an uncredited scene. Scorsese is obviously a very kinetic director, but he’s at one end of the spectrum.
    As for throwing the term “hack” around, let’s know what we’re talking about. A studio shill is the definition I’m talking about. Say what you want about George Lucas, but he’s definitely not a hack. He pays for his films himself. And while the SW prequels are easy targets, it’s really sad that no critics (and few viewers) bothered to recognized the various references to John Ford (The Searchers, in Episode 2) or Akira Kurosawa (Kagemusha, in Episode I), among others. The man is a terrible writer and director of actors that need it, but he can compose a shot with the best of them, and is still one of the best action directors. Curtiz was, as you said, on the studio payroll. And he directed some great films. But he was marginally talented. Captain Blood and Robin Hood were great because of Errol Flynn, not him. Casablanca had two of our greatest movie stars, and a damn good script. Victor Fleming is credited with Gone With the Wind and Wizard of Oz, is he a genius too?

  49. Null says:

    PeppersDad, whether you call it a message board or a discussion is mere semantics. My point remains: This is a forum, and your consistently negative attitude lowers the signal-to-noise ratio considerably.
    Again, this is not an issue of free speech. It is an issue of civility.
    If you’ve got something to prove, the internet is really the worst possible medium in which to do it. Your searing insight is precisely as valuable as everybody else’s in a forum filled with pseudonyms.
    You can cry censorship, threaten litigation, and disparage others all you like, but nobody is yet sweating from the “heat” you bring to this “kitchen.”

  50. KamikazeCamel says:

    I kinda skipped a lot of those replies cause I was getting bored.
    But, I do agree that someone like Michael Mann or Michel Gondry should have been on there, but, whatever. What’s nominated is nominated.
    But, we have hope! Remember in 2002? Only 3 of the best picture nominee’s got their director a nomination (Baz Luhrmann (grr) and, er, In The Bedroom’s director were replaced by David Lynch (yay) and Ridley Scott) and I’m actually predicting that will happen this year.
    I think the best picture nominees will be
    -The Aviator
    -Finding Neverland
    -Million Dollar Baby
    -Ray/Phantom of the Opera (actual, they could cancel each other out and allow something else in! Eternal Sunshine maybe?)
    with the director nominees being
    -Clint Eastwood
    -Michael Mann
    -Alexander Payne
    -Martin Scorcese
    -Zhang Yimou
    I have a feeling about Yimou. A big feeling (…ew)

  51. PeppersDad says:

    Null –
    I will respond in the same order as your statements.
    1. This is a minor but revealing point: The difference between a message board and a discussion board is not “mere semantics.” They are two wholly different things. It’s become a standard, pathetic cop-out to blame “semantics” when a person refuses to simply admit that he/she used the wrong word(s). My point here is not to nitpick. I mention this only because, before you attack someone for THEIR civility, you might want to look in the mirror and consider whether YOU are civilized enough to ever admit when you made a mistake.
    2. A number of people have gone out of their way to endorse my stances here and the approaches I have used. But since you are holding yourself up as our resident paragon of civility, please explain why you are targeting me instead of all the lowlifes who constantly blanket these boards with the most sickening personal aspersions. Is it because I refuse to bend over and accept that kind of subhuman conduct in an extremely public forum like this? Am I just the most open target you could choose? Are you a coward as far as confronting their type of reckless, vindictive behavior? Or, most likely, are you just a big hypocrite?
    3. What “consistently negative attitude”? When did I ever in my life say that my “searing insight” (your words, not mine) was more valuable than anybody else’s? That’s just conveniently made-up, desperate BS. As I’ve said before, I’m sorry if my opinions don’t fit neatly into the three- or four-sentence sound bites a lot of people (perhaps you) are most comfortable reading. I repeatedly, openly compliment many of the contributors here. Furthermore, on several occasions I have graciously conceded that someone else’s position is stronger than mine. How many other people here have done that?
    4. For crying out loud, I’m not trying to make anybody sweat. I am only trying to converse, perhaps at times debate. You really ought to learn how to do that before you attack another person’s civility. If that kind of intellectual discourse makes you or anybody else here uncomfortable, please return to the frat house and go back to sniffing your armpits. Because you don’t seem to have gotten past that phase of your Civility coursework.
    5. I have stated endlessly that I have no intention of pursuing litigation against anyone here. But that doesn’t mean when someone brazenly violates my legal rights that it shouldn’t at least be pointed out to them. Have you been libeled here? Have you received repeated, daily harassing e-mails? Has anyone adopted your e-mail address for their own malicious purposes? If not, where the f–k do you get off judging others who have had to endure these personal violations? Or is it that your notion of civility does not include any respect for the law or the established rights of others?
    All of that makes you a lot worse than just Null. You’re morally Void. And I have nothing to learn about civility from the likes of you.

  52. Null says:

    By countering my argument with personal attacks, you prove every point I’ve been making here. So thank you.

  53. Josh Massey says:

    Thank you all for officially making this the most boring thread ever.

  54. PeppersDad says:

    Null –
    Sure, try to make others think that all I did was counter your “argument” with personal attacks on you. Unfortunately for you, most of the people on this site can actually read (although many choose not to). I addressed every aspect of your entire “argument” in exhaustive, as-objective-as-possible detail. And what exactly was the entire substance of your “argument”? Could it possibly have been nothing more than…AN EXTREMELY INSULTING PERSONAL ATTACK ON ME?????
    Kind of proves what a self-denying hypocrite you are. Then again, I guess we’re not allowed come to that objective, indisputable conclusion. Why? Because it reflects so miserably on your true character. And, heaven forbid, it might therefore be labeled “a personal attack.”

  55. barry says:

    I come in here about once a day and its always the same assholes with nothing interesting to say. Get a fucking life you boring motherfuckers.

  56. SRCputt says:

    To address David’s original question: The PGA and DGA have absolutely locked up the big three in both Picture and Director (Aviator, Million Dollar Baby, and Sideways). The chances of Finding Neverland getting in one or both races has definitely been raised. And the chances of a fifth film getting in and a different director being nominated.
    I’ve felt for a while Michael Mann would be nominated but not his film. I still believe that will happen.

  57. Dan R% says:

    KamikazeCamel –
    Out of curiosity, what do you think Yimou’s nomination will come for? Hero or House of Flying Daggers?

  58. gomobro says:

    Wow. What a lot of crap to read through to get to the bottom of this thread. Grow up, folks. As for the original question, I’d say that Marc Forster is the most likely to be offed the Oscar short list for someone else, and Mann is a good possibility. Remember, however, when the directors branch diverts from the other organizations (or from the Best Picture noms) it’s ususally to reward something edgy: LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST, LAST TANGO IN PARIS, BLOWUP, MULLHOLAND DRIVE, BLUE VELVET. Expect the same this year. If that holds true, it might be Almodovar, Moore, or Condon.

  59. gombro says:

    And Mark and bicycle, you don’t need to say: “I hate that Michael Moore!!!!!” We already fucking know you do.

  60. KamikazeCamel says:

    DanR%, I predict Yimou for House of Flying Daggers.
    Hero is disqualified from the race this year, is it not?
    Because it was previously nominated for Best Foriegn Film means that it is ineligable. Which is why it was a good thing City Of God missed out in 2003 because if it had been nominated it would be inneligable in 2004 and we all know what happened in 2004 with City of God!

  61. Mark says:

    I cannot see Forster getting one. Such an average movie. Tell me how the direction changed that movie. I don’t see it unless its a Miramax favor.

  62. Martin says:

    FN has somewhat of a shot, it feels like Cider House Rules to me. No one really loves, but overall decent critical/audience/box office response. Flying Daggers is way too niche and with a title like that I honestly doubt much of the Academy will even watch it. About as likely as a Kill Bill 2 nomination.

  63. gombro says:

    I’ve been thinking today that it’s not beyond the realm of possibility for Alexander Payne to be left out of the Oscar final five for director. Why? The director’s branch isn’t much for rewarding subtle self-effacing direction in movies. They do often go for the flashier stuff. Remember how DRIVING MISS DAISY, which was ALWAYS the film to beat for best picture in its year, wasn’t nominated for director? Both AWAKENINGS and CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD, two other films with rather “style-less direction, didn’t get nominated for director. I wouldn’t bet money on this theory, but I think it is a real possibility for a film that many say rises and falls on its script and performances alone. )(By the way, before you yell at me, I do think SIDEWAYS was great and that Alexander Payne is one of the best directors we have right now, and if it was me, I’d nominate him.)

  64. bicycle bob says:

    no way payne gets left out. can u name 5 guys who were better this year? no. and what movie gets 3 acting noms, screenplay, picture, and the director gets the shaft? none

  65. PeppersDad says:

    gombro –
    I’ve heard it from others here, but I still don’t agree with the assertion that Sideways had “style-less direction.” Alexander Payne brings a very distinct personality and sensibility to all of his films, and it’s not just in the scripts he writes or in the performances he gets. I don’t think the same could be said for any of the for-hire, comparatively bland Oscar-snubbed directors you cited.
    Still, I don’t think Payne is going to win. And, while you may be right that the Academy often votes for films with a lot of visual razzmatazz, I’m just not feeling a whole lot of love out there for Scorsese’s remarkably impersonal The Aviator. My guess is that Eastwood’s strikingly tender direction of M$B is the front-runner with Academy voters right now.

  66. TheBrotherhoodOfTheLostSkeletonOfCadavra says:

    What movie gets 3 acting noms, screenplay, picture, and the director gets the shaft? none
    –Posted by: bicycle bob
    Um, ever hear of a little pic called DRIVING MISS DAISY?

  67. SRCputt says:

    Driving Miss Daisy was a shoo-in by the time the awards rolled around, but it was not the early favorite that year. Born on The Fourth of July was, with Stone returning back to Vietnam after Platoon and Tom Cruise proving he could be a serious actor. Driving Miss Daisy was an amazing winter hit, and the momentum switch after the nominations was amazing.
    The director’s branch nominates auteurs. Scorsese, Eastwood, and Payne all fit easily. The DGA nominee who is most likely to be passed over is Hackford, who it is impossible to label an auteur. The auteur definiton was what hurt Beresford, as Driving Miss Daisy was seen as the producers’ picture by most people in Hollywood.

  68. bicycle bob says:

    lets face it, driving miss daisy didn’t even deserve any awards

  69. SRCputt says:

    Jessica Tandy deserved best actress.

  70. Mark says:

    Payne won’t be denied. The guy deserves it for Sideways. Who you going to put ahead of him? Taylor HACKford?

  71. TheBrotherhoodOfTheLostSkeletonOfCadavra says:

    My point was not whether DAISY was deserving or not. My point was that Bob said that no movie had ever gotten nominations for Picture, Screenplay and three actors without Director, and I proved him wrong.

  72. Neal says:

    You know, while I didn’t feel Ray was a masterpiece, I think it’s a little unfair to take potshots at Hackford. The movie was a long time project of the guy, and he really did a great job. I think it should also be mentioned that Ray Charles personally endored this project and worked closely with Hackford. Certainly there’s nothing in his past filmography that has risen to this level, but give credit to a journeyman when he manages to rise above commercial studio assignments. You could have said the same thing about Phillip Noyce before he suprised everyone with Rabbit Proof Fence and The Quiet American. Ray had a nice visual touch and Hackford directed the musical scenes perfectly.
    That being said, I’m not going to be upset if he fails to get a nomination because of Zhang Yimou, Gondry, Almodovar, or whoever. I just think he’s belongs there before Payne and Forster.

  73. Joe Leydon says:

    Ok, Dave: “Fahrenheit 9/11” just won the BFCA award for Best Documentary. You want to tell us how he scammed this one, too?

  74. gombro says:

    I’m not saying a Payne snub is going to happen or even that it’s likely. I just think that it’s in the realm of possibility. If there is one “jaw-dropping, no-one-can-believe-it snub”, that, my friends might be it and for just the reasons I said. By the way, I don’t think SIDEWAYS is style-less, which is why I put the word “style-less” in quotation marks. I just know that among a certain type of thinker, including a lot of directors in the Academy, directors with more subtle styles, Renoir, de Sica, etc., for example, are often devalued against flashier people like Fellini, Welles, and Kubrick, when they are every bit as good and often better.
    as for bicycle bobs notion that payne will get nominated because he deserves it all i can say is thats a typical comment from him
    doesnt he know anything about film history
    do we have to make a list of all the people who deserved to get nominations over the years who didnt
    For example:
    Hitchcock for VERTIGO
    Bergman for PERSONA
    Scorsese for TAXI DRIVER
    Spielberg for JAWS
    Godard for CONTEMPT
    DeSica for UMBERTO D.
    Renoir for RULES OF THE GAME
    Kubrick for PATHS OF GLORY

  75. KamikazeCamel says:

    That list, gombro, is very scary! But soon enough there’s going to be another name to add to that list. It may very well be this year… who knows.
    I still have a hard time accepting that BOTH Forster and Hackford will make it. Either 1 will or neither. I don’t really know why, I just have that feeling. Plus, if they went 5/5 with Best Picture nominees that’d be extremely boring. The director’s branch like to throw a spanner in the works.
    And I think we all remember the shock that was heard around the Oscar-loving world when Fernando Mierelles got nominated!
    Here’s hoping someone can do the same this year.
    I still have a hunch the director catagory will got 3/5 with best picture.
    just my feeling…

  76. Mark says:

    I just don’t see Forster and HACKford both getting a nom.
    locks. I think they’ll make one shock choice then go between Forster and HACKford.

  77. Neal says:

    Well I guess I’ll comment on that Scorsese win tonight at the BFCA, surprising to say the least. I assumed the cynical, bitter critics had no sympathy for the Oscar-less Marty, and would let Payne in on the sweep, or give it to Eastwood.
    This might not affect the Oscar outcome (especially if the Golden Globe goes to someone else), but it definitely keeps Scorsese afloat. After all, if this group is willing to give it to him, why not the Academy?
    Also, I’m having a lot of reservations about Michael Mann getting nominated. The film doesn’t really have anything going for it at this point. It’s hard to imagine Collateral getting a directing nom when the only other award it’s likely to be up for is cinematography. How often does that happen? Mierelles’ nomination was accompanied by three others, incuding screenplay if I’m not mistaken, which goes a long way in proving a film’s worth.
    Besides, I think City of God had a profound effect on the people who managed to see it, while Collateral, as much as I liked it, is a slick genre exercise that the Academy is not likely to reward. I’m even doubtful about Zhang Yimou’s chances–are the voters as aware of this guy as they were of Almodovar? As pretty looking as HOFD is, perhaps it will be considered too lightweight. If you want to talk sleeper, I still think Gondry has to be considered, if only because Eternal Sunshine will most likely be up for Best Actress and Best Screenplay, which are two high profile categories. Then again, if HOTD gets enough tech nods, the sheer total might help the director’s chances.

  78. bicycle bob says:

    gondry isn’t getting even a sniff right now. people have forgot eternal or its over their heads or both.

  79. SRCputt says:

    It is growing increasingly likely that Collateral will get a nomination for Foxx in supporting actor. The director’s branch has proven quite independent over the years. (just one example: Robert Altman’s nomination for Short Cuts was the film’s only nomination)
    Reputation does mean a lot in the director’s branch. If Zhang Yimou gets nominated, which is starting to look very possible, it is not just for House of Flying Daggers, but also for To Live, and Raise the Red Lantern, and The Road Home, and Shanghai Triad, and Hero, and …
    Mann has a reputation as a true artist. Eastwood and Scorsese too. Payne, not quite as strong, but a definite reputation after four films. Forster, on his second film, not quite as strong, but getting there.
    Hackford, I believe, is seen as a solid craftsman, but not a true artist. The director’s branch has a habit of ignoring craftsman for artists.

  80. Joe Leydon says:

    According to, the BFCA awards show stiffed in the overnight ratings. Columnist Marc Berman wrote:
    “On the WB, the presence of stalwart 7th Heaven was sorely missed, with the 10th Annual Critics Choice Awards left at the starting gate with a 2.8/ 4 in the overnights (#5), 2.70 million viewers (#6) and a 1.0/ 2 among adults 18-49 (#6). Yes, Eric McCormack, we know you don’t have a film lined up during your hiatus. Based on your performance last night as host, I can’t imagine the offers will start coming in.”
    The question arises: Did the show fare poorly because of possible “awards fatigue”? (The People’s Choice Awards scored disappointing numbers for CBS on Sunday.) Or did viewers simply fail to tune in because they weren’t excited about the nominees? (Yeah, I know “24” was competing in the same timeslot, but come on!) Either way, it may be revealing to see what the ratings are for Golden Globes this Sunday night. If that show also posts disappoitning numbers, I think we’re going to start hearing less about awards fatigue, and more about nominees’ lacks of marquee allure.

  81. bicycle bob says:

    i love collateral but foxx as best supporting actor? i don’t know about that. isn’t he more the lead in it anyway??

  82. Stella's Boy says:

    I agree. Foxx is a lead in Collateral.

  83. PeppersDad says:

    Of course Foxx is the lead in Collateral. He is in almost every single scene and has more screen time than anyone else in the film. If he is outrageously nominated in the supporting category, look out for the charges that will be justifiably heaped against the studio and the Academy.

  84. Stella's Boy says:

    But Dreamworks is campaining for Supporting Actor for Foxx aren’t they? They must think it’s his only real shot since Ray is a lock for Best Actor.

  85. PeppersDad says:

    Stella’s Boy –
    Maybe so, but it’s still an outrage. There’s no justification except that they think (probably correctly) that they can get away with it. Perhaps they should put him up for Best Actress – it’s a bigger honor and a pretty weak category this year!

  86. bicycle bob says:

    that supporting actor nom should be tom cruise’s. whats it gonna take for him to get some respect? scientologists aren’t all bad. are they?

  87. PeppersDad says:

    There are a lot of people who will perceive a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Foxx as racist. Here’s part of the argument: Did anybody suggest last year that Sean Penn be put up for Best Supporting Actor for 21 Grams? If Foxx allows this to go forward, he might be perceived by many in the community as taking whatever scraps the white establishment is giving him, even when he’s indisputably entitled to credit for a lot more.

  88. Stella's Boy says:

    What is Foxx supposed to do about it? I think that is overstating it a bit. I agree that he’s the lead in the movie and shouldn’t be in the Supporting Actor category, but let’s not go off the deep end here.

  89. Joe Leydon says:

    Putting a “lead” in a “supporting” category isn’t exactly unprecedented. Anyone out there remember Tatum O’Neal in “Paper Moon,” or George Burns in “The Sunshine Boys,” or even Geena Davis in “The Accidental Tourist”? And last time I checked, all of these people are of the Caucasian persuasion. (Well, except Burns — he’s very seriously dead. But he was white when he won his Oscar.)

  90. Mark says:

    Why do you always have to bring race into it, Peppa? You have something against black actors or something?

  91. PeppersDad says:

    I am trying to promote a black actor, not bring him down. I am saying he deserves more credit, not less. Exactly how would anybody of any common sense and decency conclude from that that I have something against black actors???
    The real question is why you so consistently and compulsively need to apply baseless labels to so many contributors on this site?

  92. PeppersDad says:

    Joe –
    No argument that a case could be made that the white actors you’ve used as prior examples were cheated, but their roles were certainly more marginal than Foxx’s in Collateral. Do you have an example of a white actor/actress who was in almost every single frame of the film for which they were nominated in a supporting role? Maybe if Tom Cruise had gotten the Supporting Actor nomination he was expecting (but didn’t get) for Rain Man…

  93. Joe Leydon says:

    Pepper: Sure, Tatum O’Neal in “Paper Moon.” If ever a lead got screwed, she’s the textbook example.

  94. PeppersDad says:

    Stella’s Boy –
    “What is Foxx supposed to do about it?” How about open his mouth? How about protesting to the studio heads? Do you think he doesn’t have the clout right now?
    To say this that any of this is going off the deep end is to be in deep denial of the practical reality of racial politics. In case you haven’t noticed, African-American groups have justifiably targeted the Oscars for decades as a symbol of how blacks haven’t risen above second-class status in Hollywood. Denzel Washington’s and Halle Berry’s wins certainly quieted the storm. But how do you think such groups will react if, hypothetically, Foxx loses as Best Actor for Ray and then wins as Supporting Actor for Collateral? Do you honestly think no one will forcefully contend that black actors have been sent back to the woodshed again?
    I’m not trying to make the case for either side. I’m just presenting the argument we can expect to hear.

  95. Stella's Boy says:

    I have noticed. I am not in denial. I don’t need a lesson in racism, thank you very much. Maybe someone needs to step down from their high horse? I just don’t see Foxx running as a Supporting Actor for Collateral as racism. Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems like a typical studio move to me. They want their actor nominated for something, and so they go with the category that gives him the best odds.

  96. PeppersDad says:

    Joe –
    While she was unquestionably the lead actress in that film, I still don’t recall Tatum O’Neal being as omnipresent in Paper Moon as Foxx is in Collateral. Besides, my primary point is about the sensitivities at play here. I think a lot more people are prone to getting their hackles up when an African-American is given second-tier status than when a child is.

  97. PeppersDad says:

    Stella’s Boy –
    I understand that you don’t see nominating Foxx in the supporting category to be an act of racism. I may even agree with you. But that doesn’t mean everyone else will.
    You might want to re-read my previous note to you because I think it’s pretty clear that I wasn’t talking so much about actual racism as I was about the sensitivities of racial politics. And, like I said to you above, “I’m not trying to make the case for either side. I’m just presenting the argument we can expect to hear.” If simply raising a possible point of contention is perceived as being on a high horse, then we’re all in worse trouble than we know. Instead of conveniently labeling me as some kind of elitist (a bicycle bob/Mark ploy), why don’t you address the specific questions/hypotheticals I posed in my note to you.

  98. Stella's Boy says:

    I don’t think you’re an elitist, and I certainly don’t think you’re like Mark or bicycle bob. Not even close. I do think you can be a tad condescending at times, to be perfectly honest, but maybe that’s just a case of me misunderstanding the point you’re trying to get across. I apologize if I’m asking you to repeat yourself, but what are the racial politics at play in terms of Foxx falling in the Supporting Actor category for Collateral? I really haven’t even considered that. I always considered it a matter of the studio playing the odds and knowing that he doesn’t have a shot at Best Actor for the role.

  99. PeppersDad says:

    Stella’s Boy –
    Rather than repeating myself, please just re-read what I wrote above.
    For the record: I respect you a great deal, SB. I hope you understand tha it’s very hard to challenge someone’s argument in writing without coming off at some point as condescending. Unfortunately, readers tend to apply a subjective tone that typically is different than the one the writer intended.

  100. Mark says:

    Its not racism. It just gives him his best shot I guess for the movie. Cause hes not getting a lead actor nom for Collateral. But he has a chance in supporting. Why do you always bring race into it?
    There have been hundreds of guys who have bigger roles but have regulated to supporting. Did anyone say anything with Sam Jackson in Pulp Fiction? Foxx has more of a complaint because it is mainly his movie.

  101. Stella's Boy says:

    Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction is not a good example. That is a textbook supporting role. He’s not in huge chunks of the movie.

  102. gombro says:

    Actually, Samuel Jackson was, in fact, quite offended that Miramax promoted him for Supporting Actor for PULP FICTION and complained about it. One could make a case that racism had something to do with that. (I do think he’s on screen about as much as Travolta was in it)
    As for Jamie Foxx, the reason he’s being put up for supporting for COLATTERAL is quite simple. He’s being put up for Best Actor for RAY and nobody (Not Fox, not Dreamworks, not Universal) wants to see him cancel himself out in the Best Actor race by having his votes split into two different films. They want his performances in the films themselves split into separate catagories so he has a fair chance for each films. This was done a couple of years ago with Julianne Moore being promoted for Actress for FAR FROM HEAVEN and Supporting Actress for THE HOURS. I think it was also done with Meryl Streep (pushed for Actress for THE HOURS and supporting actress for ADAPTATION.)

  103. PeppersDad says:

    gombro –
    You’re probably right (although none of your prior examples carried their whole film to the degree Foxx does in Collateral). Still, I remember everyone having the same exact “canceling himself out” concerns about Sean Penn’s two films last year, which of course proved to be meritless. So is it really reasonable for the studios to expect a meaningful number of people to vote for Foxx in Collateral over his work in Ray?
    Also, assuming that winning the awards is the prime objective, look at how all of that maneuvering worked out for Streep and Moore: they both lost in both categories. By trying to double-stack their decks, they may have actually split their own votes. Conversely, not going that route may have helped Penn last year.
    To me it’s all just another example of how tainted and bizarro these awards have become. Compare it to any other line of work. Suppose the widget industry gave out awards for best company president and for best vice president. Would any company tout its president for the VP award just because the top prize seems unwinnable? Would any such president agree to it? Would the industry even allow it?

  104. Stella's Boy says:

    Jackson may have been upset, and he may have had good reason to be, but in my mind his role in Pulp Fiction is without question a supporting role. Much more so than Foxx in Collateral. One is an ensemble and one is a two-man show. I don’t really think you can compare the two.

  105. Joe Leydon says:

    On the subject of “leads” who received Oscar nominations as “supporting” players — what about Ethan Hawke in “Training Day”? Granted, Denzel Washington had the flashier role. But wasn’t Hawke on screen just as much, if not more?

  106. jesse says:

    While I do think the racial implications are interesting (and, to that extent, troubling), it’s really more of a case of Hollywood star-worship than race. Cruise is the top-billed movie star in Collateral, and Foxx is the relative newcomer (at least in terms of clout), so the studio pushes them both at their “status” levels, reversing their actual roles in the movie. I mean really they’re both leads, but if you *had* to put one in each category (actor and supporting), it would really have to be Foxx for best actor and Cruise for best supporting actor.
    And, as everyone has mentioned, there’s no advantage in pushing Foxx for best actor when he’s already a lock for Ray. What puzzles me is why DreamWorks and Cruise didn’t go for a supporting nom. It’s a way less competitive category than best actor– almost always, and especially this year. And Cruise’s most recent Oscar nom was there.
    Of course, then the only real option would be to not push Foxx in either category (for Collateral)… but unfortunately, wouldn’t that kinda make sense? The only reasons Foxx in Collateral is seen as a viable supporting chance are (a.) the attention he’s getting from Ray and (b.) it’s a strong, lead-sized performance, which gives it more depth/development than a lot of supporting performances (so in that sense it has an unfair advantage over a lot of *actual* supporting roles).
    I’m not saying his performance wasn’t good — in fact it was *very* good, at least as good as Cruise’s and maybe better– but I’m puzzled by the star politics more than the race politics. The whole reason, it seems, to push Foxx in the supporting category is to make way for Cruise in the lead category… but putting Cruise there probably costs him a nomination. Putting Foxx in the lead category would leave him with only one real possible nomination, but I doubt Foxx would mind, given that he didn’t actually *have* any genuine supporting performances to his credit this year.

  107. bicycle bob says:

    if i was black i’d be suing pepper for racism
    in pulp fiction who was the lead? u can make a case that sam jackson was cause his character had an actual arc and changed.

  108. Joe Leydon says:

    Jesse’s on to something with the status factor. After all, didn’t then-newcomer Al Pacino (Supporting Actor nominee) have more screen time, and a more complex character to play, than living legend Marlon Brando (Best Actor WINNER) in “The Godfather”?

  109. Stella's Boy says:

    Good point about Ethan Hawke in Training Day. You could definitely argue that he’s the lead. And excellent post Jesse. Very good points.

  110. Joe Leydon says:

    In the spirit of good fellowship and polite discourse, I would like to say that Mr. Bicycle is very perceptive to bring up the “character arc” factor. In fact, that is precisely why I’ve always argued that Tom Cruise actually gave the better performance in “Rain Man,” even though it was overshadowed by Dustin Hoffman’s undeniably impressive work. Hoffman’s character remained, because of his condition, pretty much unchanged at the end. But Cruise’s character grew and evolved.

  111. SRCputt says:

    Another example of playing with categories is last year with Patricia Clarkson. She was pushed as a lead actress last year in Station Agent when she wasn’t (Peter Dinklage is the title character). I always suspected that was not because she was truly seen as a lead but instead so she wouldn’t split votes and could get a supporting actress nod for Pieces of April (which she did).

  112. bicycle bob says:

    hey leydon, is it that hard to say i’m right? seriously.
    cruise gave the best actor performance in rainman. but i’ll disagree on the godfather. the whole story and movie was based around vito corleone. everything that went on in the story and every action vito did effected everyone else. he was the catalyst. the one everyone else fed off. i guess u could say they were co leads. pacino definately deserved a nomination in either category there.

  113. Joe Leydon says:

    Mr. Bicycle: Yes. Next question.

  114. bicycle bob says:

    thank u, mr leydon. see, that wasnt so hard now was it?

  115. Mark says:

    Ethan Hawke is definately the lead in Training Day. But Denzel gave the more dynamic performance. The subtle ones always get the shaft come award time.

  116. Stella's Boy says:

    Like Bacon in Mystic River?

  117. Gombro says:

    Another example of lead nominated for suppporting and vice versa is ORDINARY PEOPLE. Mary Tyler Moore was nominated for lead and Timothy Hutton won for supporting even though Hutton was clearly the lead and Moore supported him. Jessie’s right to say this has to do with status more than anything else.

  118. Joe Leydon says:

    Actually, “Ordinary People” person REALLY shafted by the Academy was Donald Sutherland, who didn’t get anything. Nada. Bupkis.

  119. bicycle bob says:

    how ordinary people won an oscar over ragin bull i’ll never know but timothy hutton was definately the lead in the movie.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon