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David Poland

By David Poland

And by the way

Today is the day that people who don

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94 Responses to “And by the way”

  1. waterbucket says:

    I love Brokeback Mountain. How about you?

  2. David Poland says:

    I love a Gershwin tune…. how about you?

  3. Goulet says:

    Don’t like it, even after watching it twice.
    A thought: how cool is it that Newsweek got the directors of the five Best Pictures together the week before the nominations?

  4. waterbucket says:

    Gershwin tune? Sorry, I was born in the ’80s. What are you, 40 or something?

  5. Josh says:

    Who can honestly say what was 5th and what was 1st? The numbers aren’t released. NO ONE KNOWS. BBM could be the 5th for all we know.

  6. Mark Ziegler says:

    Who takes Wells seriously as an Oscar writer? He still hasn’t acknowledged Lord of the Rings winning. It was dumb to call Munich dead in December. To go out on a limb like that against Spielberg and a capable film was just stupid.

  7. jeffmcm says:

    I don’t understand why Poland continues to hang out with Wells…he keeps breaking up with him, but they keep getting back together again.
    Meanwhile, isn’t Kris Tapley an employee of Poland’s or is he freelance or what? I sure would hate if they guy who ran my writings said that I ’embarrassed’ myself in any column.

  8. Alan Cerny says:

    I’m rooting for MUNICH to win Best Pic, and BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN for Best Director. Although I think MUNICH’s the better film, no other director got the performances they did out of their cast like Ang Lee did.
    But this taking sides entrenchment bullshit is silly. Although I don’t like CRASH, I’m happy for all the films nominated. Would have liked to see A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE up there, but oh well. I think people have too much invested in the Oscars. Great is great, and gold statues have fuck-all to do with it.

  9. Melquiades says:

    Wells is the one embarassing himself with his ravings about Munich. He’s particularly obsessed with the sex scene toward the end (which I agree was jarring, but far from the travesty he cals it).
    And it seems Dave is going to risk breaking his arm by patting himself on the back so much here. Yes, the Munich call was a good one — one a lot of other people made, too. But predicting Bana and Lonsdale nominations was a stretch. Most “amateurs” I know did better calling the Top 8 categories than Dave.

  10. Hopscotch says:

    very few people had William Hurt as “genuine” likely nominee, and not just throwing names out there, but DP did and he deserves kudos. Bana was a stretch. But not Lonsdale, Academy goes for that king of bizarre figure all the time. Not this time, but some of the time.
    So much of this predictor game is jumping on people’s backs when theres don’t work out. DP and Wells do this every year.

  11. palmtree says:

    I’m not so sure about the Crash revival. Yes, the SAG win was pretty big, and the 130,000 screeners will no doubt help. But it is loathed as much as it is loved. Also I remember all the Walk the Line revival talk after the Golden Globes and then look at it now…

  12. joefitz84 says:

    Will Universal support “Munich” enough to make a real race?

  13. Angelus21 says:

    “Walk the Line” is further proof that the Globes are meaningless.

  14. Hopscotch says:

    Universal has supported Munich plenty…people just aren’t lining up for it. yeah the Globes are meaningless. Everyone knows it. And Crash did good today, and it’ll pick up Original Screenplay and Original Song…but that’s it.

  15. PandaBear says:

    I haven’t seen any ads for “Munich” touting it’s virtues. Print ads? Maybe now they will.
    I still think it’s going to surprise and win.

  16. Hopscotch says:

    I’m not seeing a second-coming of Munich. A lot of people I know weren’t too thrilled with it. I see Crash, or maybe even Good Night and Good Luck taking down the Mountain. But that’s looking really unlikely.

  17. Roxane says:

    I love it. Munich was able to get four major Oscar noms with very little precursor support,no oscarwhoring campaign and so-called low boxoffice. Munich clearly has more support in AMPAS then some people think.I would love to see Munich pull off a come from behind victory to take the big prize.That really would make my day.

  18. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    I was thinking its going to be 1994 all over again with gay themed PHILADELPHIA up against worthy Speilberg – SCHINDLER’S but then checked and saw that PHIL wasn’t even a best pic nom that year… how did THE FUGITIVE get in the 5 that year? PIANO, IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, REMAINS OF THE DAY, SCHINDLERS LIST and THE FUGITIVE?! what the f**k!
    If GRAND CANYON can get a nom then CRASH could be the only major upset.

  19. palmtree says:

    The Munich print ad features a quote from Time Magazine calling it a masterpiece. But if I’m not mistaken, that quote comes from the headline of the cover story (which is chosen by the editors and not the writer). In fact, the first paragraph of Richard Schickel’s article says “it is a very good movie–good in a particularly Spielbergian way.”
    Mr. Poland, are you saying that Uni is supporting Brokeback at the expense of Munich?

  20. Richard Nash says:

    Why wouldn’t Universal support MUNICH? And BBM? The more the merrier for them. The better the race is for them, the more money they will make. The more interest it will drum up. You don’t think ABC wants a horse race? Otherwise, they’re ratings are going to sink.

  21. bipedalist says:

    You are so full of shit, David Poland. Jeez, you have one good year at predicting the top five and suddenly you’re the Word of God where the Academy is concerned. Munich does not DESERVE to be there. THAT is the bottom line. It is a weak film that just gets weaker as it goes along and finishes with two of the lamest shots in cinema history. Spielberg rushed the ending and flubbed the whole thing as a result. Just because most of us missed its nomination doesn’t mean ANYTHING except that you got lucky, for once. You really shouldn’t rub it in.

  22. Telemachos says:

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if MUNICH was the “little film that could” that steals the Best Picture statuette from the “film that everyone expects to win”, given how SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE did exactly that to Spielberg’s SAVING PRIVATE RYAN?
    Since I loved BBM, though, I’d love to see it hold through till the end. I’ll be catching MUNICH soon, and I’m looking forward to seeing it.

  23. bipedalist says:

    Well, it would be ironic if Munich was half as good as either Shakespeare in Love or Saving Private Ryan (which was crappy at the end just like Munich). Munich was almost a good movie. It is a decent enough movie-going experience. But it’s Godfather III to me – there because of respect for Spielberg. The other films are MUCH better. But if it wins it won’t be the first time the Academy did the wrong thing. Brokeback is far and away the better film and godfuckingdamnit Ang Lee deserves to win.

  24. David Poland says:

    Thanks for making my point, quadraped.

  25. waterbucket says:

    If Brokeback loses, then just another prime example of the Academy not recognizing the right thing at the right time. Brokeback Mountain is probably the only movie from this year’s crop able to withstand the test of time besides King Kong.

  26. waterbucket says:

    Dave, who’s quadraped?

  27. Telemachos says:


  28. waterbucket says:

    why not? King Kong is a popcorn movie of substance that parents will continue to rent on movie nights for their kids. It will be remembered as one of the better monster movies and will in time replace the original version as the definite version.

  29. Hopscotch says:

    King Kong stand the test of time??? IT IS the test of time. If you watch three times in a row you’re already into the middle of next week. It was a fun movie, I enjoyed it. But Jurassic Park wasn’t a serious Best Picture contender and neither should Kong.

  30. Chucky in Jersey says:

    The Oscar people are a gang of snobs and reactionaries. “Munich” got the “Israel Right or Wrong” vote and the “Goodbye to DreamWorks” vote.
    I don’t see the latest Stvn Splbrg epic improving at the box office. In fact, the UA East Hampton on Long Island will drop “Munich” on Friday to pick up “Mrs. Henderson Presents”.

  31. Chucky in Jersey says:

    I take my last post back. “Munich” moves from the UA East Hampton to the UA Hampton Bays on Friday.

  32. lawnorder says:

    First off: I loved CRASH. It seems like Poland’s site just attracts CRASH haters. Unlike MUNICH and BROKEBACK, I find CRASH a deeply emotional experience with several powerful “money” scenes that hit all the right buttons. Maybe there’s one coincidence too many, but the film still works on so many levels. I’d rather take the emotional intensity of CRASH over the quiet simmering of BROKEBACK (which ultimately saddens and depresses – and, yes, is a good film, just not one I care to revisit anytime soon) and MUNICH (which wants to be so much more effective than it really is.) I agree with Wells, that sex scene in MUNICH completely derails the last act of the film. At the very least, Avner should have been thinking about the people he killed and not the events of Munich, which he was not personally a witness to. For a filmmaker of Spielberg’s talent and stature, it’s like fumbling the ball in the last 30 seconds of the big game. Spielberg also suffocates moments in sentimentality (which he can’t seem to avoid). Another scene that bothers me is Avner seeing the reflections of his team in the window, to soon be replaced by his information broker. Such a Spielberg moment and one that just rips me out of the film. That being said, overall it is still very well photographed and directed.
    But for all you CRASH-trashers, your opinion really doesn’t count. The Academy digs the movie in a big way. We’re talking about a group of the most talented actors, directors, writers, craftsmen and musicians in the business. The cream of the crop — because gaining membership in the Academy is no walk in the park. No one gets in without having made a significant artistic contribution to the film industry (other than some agents, publicists and executives – and they don’t get to vote for anything other than best picture in the initial round – if I’m not mistaken). So do you really think CRASH pulled the wool over their eyes? I doubt it. Just like the legions of audience members and viewers at home, they’re looking for a deeply connective emotional experience and CRASH delivered. It got under their skin – as it did mine – and it resonated on a human level. None of the other nominees have individual scenes in a single movie that are as powerful as the “magic cloak” moment, or Matt Dillon saving Thandie Newton under the car, or Terence Howard’s attempt to take himself out via suicide by cop. Those three scenes alone earned CRASH all it’s Oscar kudos. You can intellectualize film all you want, but unless it connects on an emotional level, it’s a dead duck. We’re all so quick to deconstruct a film and point the finger at why it doesn’t work or why this filmmaker failed at taking a huge risk with shooting a scene a certain way — but how many of you have actually been behind the camera on a film set making a hundered judgment calls a day and knowing that for the most part, you’ll not be able to go back and do it over? We can blog and pontificate all we want at no risk to ourselves, but a guy like Paul Haggis is putting himself out there and actually contributing something signifcant to the cultural dialogue. I can’t believe how so many of you can so casually label his efforts and his vision mediocre and trite. And quite frankly, with his several noms in hand, I think he’s past giving a shit. Between the stellar box office (both theatrical and DVD) and the nominations and awards, he’s holding a winning hand. It must be really shitty to feel that you’ve intellectually got it over the guy and still he comes up roses. Something must be truly fucked up with this world that it doesn’t see it your way. I would also be incredibly pissed off to find myself holding the extremely alien and minority view about something so deeply popular that you’ll never accept. Kinda like every day I wake up and find myself living under George W. Bush’s presidency. But at least those fuckers haven’t found a way to buy the Academy voters. At least not yet!

  33. Cadavra says:

    Best Picture will be TRANSPORTER 2 on a write-in.

  34. David Poland says:

    Love ya, Cadavra… and your sequel.

  35. palmtree says:

    Lawnorder, I think your argument is totally not valid. Not the Crash part (you can like or dislike any movie for any number of reasons). But it’s the idea that you can’t artistically judge a movie just cause you haven’t made or haven’t done anything as culturally significant.
    Paul Haggis is putting his work out there precisely to be judged. That’s why they sent out all those screeners. That’s why they invite critics (many of whom have not necessarily participated in the filmmaking process) to write reviews. Just because a film has a profitable box office run and some awards doesn’t mean people can’t still criticize it for its flaws.
    A film, like you say, is a collection of choices that have to be made at every moment of production. But that applies to each and every film that is trying to get nominated or get box office. As viewers, bloggers, fans, we are allowed and invited to judge whether those artistic choices were the best ones or not. Even if Haggis loves his own work, I doubt he knows everything and could learn from some of his detractors (isn’t the whole point of his film to reach beyond our racial/stereotypical limits?).

  36. bipedalist says:

    King Kong is a great film.
    Begrudging respect + Godfather III (times MCN harping on an hourly basis) = Munich.

  37. bipedalist says:

    Oh and yeah, five noms for Munich? Nothing. Look how many Geisha got. For that matter, look how many Godfather III got. More than Munich.

  38. Sanchez says:

    Munich could have received 10 nods and the anti Munich forces would have found a way to bash the movie and Dave Poland at the same time. If it wins what will you say then? It’s making me stay interested in the horse race.
    Jason Statham for Best Actor?

  39. jeffmcm says:

    They (the Academy and the whole media-awards complex) need for there to be a horse race, to keep people interested, no matter what. The race now is actually the race to see which movie will be perceived as having the best chance to knock off Brokeback: Munich or Crash. Because it’s highly unlikely that Capote or GNGL have any chance.
    I actually prefer Munich to Brokeback, which is why I find Chucky’s constant “Israel Right or Wrong” posts amusing. Chucky, do you have a blog or something so we can learn about your views in detail or is it all slogans?

  40. Fades To Black says:

    The reason you see a lot of anti-Crash things is because it’s not a great movie. It has some good scenes. Some fine performances from some really fine actors. But overall, it is not a great movie by any stretch. An Oscar movie?
    This race is between the two we all knew it was between. “Munich” and “Brokeback”.

  41. lazarus says:

    King Kong was a good film, but that struggle to get to $250 mil makes me wonder if it will be legendary in the future. Not so sure.
    Also, don’t know if you’re considering Sith part of this year’s “crop”, but by brand alone it will be remembered long after the others have fallen by the wayside. The fact that it satisfied the majority of the audience and took in an assload of money doesn’t hurt either.
    And I think Brokeback will be remembered for the same reason it’s getting so much love now–it didn’t try to be groundbreaking, it just tried to be great. And a well-made tragedy will echo pretty far down the line. It looks like a classic, feels like a classic, and will wind up being one.

  42. palmtree says:

    Munich remains the wild card. It hasn’t been proven in precursors but it hasn’t been disproven either as it can still get 5 important nods. A large part of the Academy will consider this as Spielberg’s grand statement or something just as “important.”

  43. Fades To Black says:

    If my memory serves me correctly, “The Pianist” wasn’t a big winner in the pre-awards time either. Momentum builds. Now that the field is cut people start really watching and rating and voting.

  44. Melquiades says:

    Lawnorder… what great artistic contribution did Steve Gutenberg deliver in order to gain entrance to the Academy?
    Please don’t pretend that a Best Picture nomination is an automatic sign that a movie is a great artistic achievement. Ghost? Chocolat? The Green Mile? Scent of a Woman?

  45. jeffmcm says:

    You get into the Academy just by hanging around long enough and making some profitable movies, which Guttenberg certainly did in his day. But it’s a shame that they never let in Rodney Dangerfield.
    But yeah…Lawnorder, go hang out with Roger Ebert, because Crash still isn’t a good movie.

  46. Rufus Masters says:

    Just because a movie gets a nomination doesn’t mean its a great movie. Even some winners aren’t great movies. Who’s renting “The English Patient” this weekend?

  47. David Poland says:

    I’m not fan of Crash, but I wouldn’t underestimate its potential here. Many of us don’t like it, but those who like it, love it.

  48. palmtree says:

    Let’s give some credit to Paul Haggis for an amazing career and stellar body of work. He did create Walker Texas Ranger and write/produce The Facts of Life after all.

  49. jeffmcm says:

    Learning that both Haggis and Clooney worked on The Facts of Life at the same time was wonderful.

  50. JBM... says:

    That post by lawnorder is one of the most bizarre things I’ve read on this board in a while. I don’t think Crash is the hot shit you make it out to be so I’m jealous of Paul Haggis? Whatever you say.

  51. TheGaffer says:

    “I was thinking its going to be 1994 all over again with gay themed PHILADELPHIA up against worthy Speilberg – SCHINDLER’S but then checked and saw that PHIL wasn’t even a best pic nom that year… how did THE FUGITIVE get in the 5 that year? PIANO, IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, REMAINS OF THE DAY, SCHINDLERS LIST and THE FUGITIVE?!”
    –Bah. Philadelphia was lousy. Overwrought, melodramatic and overrated. Fugitive was a cracklin’ good yarn and deserved the nomination. Besides, if not that movie, then throw in Short Cuts or Age of Innocence, or Naked, or hell, even Army of Darkness.

  52. Fades To Black says:

    Do you think Mrs Garrett and Nancy McKeon get invited to the awards now?

  53. DannyBoy says:

    Lawnorder, I

  54. Angelus21 says:

    The only nerve it’s touched of mine is that I don’t think it’s that good. I can’t see it beating out any of the other four.

  55. lindenen says:

    How much has Brokeback Mountain cost to market?

  56. jeffmcm says:

    I can’t speak for others, but for me any rage against Crash is purely due to how incredibly overrated it has become; I’m all for confrontational movies and touching nerves, but when an issue so big and important is addressed by a film so crass and manipulative…it bugs me. Much more than the mere boredom inspired by Narnia or Mrs. Henderson, for me, which are bad movies but more innocuous.

  57. waterbucket says:

    Brokeback Mountain is awesome.

  58. Blackcloud says:

    “King Kong is a great film.”
    It is, but it isn’t eligible for this year’s Oscars, since it came out in 1933.

  59. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Well as people probably know, I am one of Crash’s biggest supporters on here, but even I can see that Paul Haggis did not deserve that Best Director nomination. As much as I absolutely loved the acting, the music, the cinematography, the editing, the inidividual moments of cinematic marvel (the car rescue scene and Sandy Bullock’s breakdown) the flaws the film does have is because of Haggis. It is very preachy, it does have an annoying screenplay. While it doesn’t bother me because I can still appreciate the film on a bigger level, I don’t really get his nomination over people such as Meirelles, Cronenberg, Kar-Wai, Allen, Heneke, Wright, etc. – I still haven’t seen Violence or Match Point mind you. They’re not out here til the very week of the Oscars – FUCK YOU DISTRIBUTERS.
    On to the original point, I do think though that the final spot was a battle between Munich, Capote and Walk the Line. I wouldn’t be surprised if they magically decided to release the figures, and Munich was fourth and Capote was fifth.
    “None of the other nominees have individual scenes in a single movie that are as powerful as the “magic cloak” moment, or Matt Dillon saving Thandie Newton under the car, or Terence Howard’s attempt to take himself out via suicide by cop.”
    I’ll show you your car crash scene (my now second fave moment of the year) and raise you the final farewell scene between Jack and Ennis. Watching Heath Ledger break down into Jake’s arms was just a beautifully tragic moment.
    I’m rooting for Brokeback (i do realise the comedy in that statement). I saw it yesterday and cannot stop thinking about it. Especially when listening to the score. Just beautiful.

  60. jeffmcm says:

    [Wong Kar-Wai’s surname is Wong. The above list should have read Meirelles, Cronenberg, Wong…]

  61. palmtree says:

    If there’s any movie out there that’s trying too hard to change its audience for the better and cram its message down our unwilling throats, it’s not Brokeback. It’s Crash.

  62. Terence D says:

    I don’t think Munich was in a battle for the final spot. I think it came down to Crash and Walk the Line. You don’t get a Best Dir nod and fight it out for Picture. Maybe the 5 nominees won handily.

  63. steve4992 says:

    As to Munich, for you Oscar statistics gurus, when was the last time that a movie that did not win any of the major precursors (no DGA, no PGA, no SAGs, no Golden Globes, no Broadcast Film Critics Awards, and no awards from the other major film critics groups) go on to win the BP Oscar and defeat a movie that had dominated the precursors in the way in which BBM has? And I’m not talking about movies such as “The Pianist” in 2002 (one of Polands examples), which did not win the BP Oscar anyway. (In that year, when Polanski won the best director Oscar, the precursors for best picture and director were split among several films.)

  64. Lynn says:

    I admire Crash for what it attempts to do, and there’s no arguing that it’s reasonably well-crafted, despite the coincidences, and very well-acted.
    But what bothers me about Crash is that it’s so sledgehammerlike in its depiction of racism that it’s very easy for most people to say, “Well, that isn’t me. I’d never do that, or use that word.” And I think that makes it easy for people to ignore the kind of racism that’s much worse than a Latina calling an Asian woman a bad driver (or whatever other blatant example you like from the movie) — the subtle, deeply entrenched, insidious kind that’s much harder to identify and address. By painting racism in such broad terms, I think Crash does a disservice to the very issue it’s trying to address.
    (I wouldn’t have picked Haggis either for best director — I’d have chosen either Meirelles, who lifted what could have been a very by-the-numbers thriller well above its form, or poor David Cronenberg, who will probably never have a better chance than he did with HoV.)

  65. Wayman_Wong says:

    I will leave the pop psycho-analyzing of the various Oscar pundits to the American Psychiatric Association, but I think all of us are human and none of us can be truly ”objective” when we make predictions. Whether we like or dislike a film HAS to be a factor. It would be hard NOT to say David Poland is pro-”Munich.”
    As of Jan. 5, he had Eric Bana as one of the five Best Actor nominees – even though Bana hadn’t won any precursor awards or even been nominated for any. As of Jan. 19, Poland even hung onto the hope that Michael Lonsdale would score a Best Supporting Actor nomination over Jake Gyllenhaal and Matt Dillon. This despite the fact that Lonsdale hadn’t scored a single award NOR nomination as a Supporting Actor throughout the entire awards season.
    Every pundit has made his share of good calls … and bad ones. And thanks to the Internet, it isn’t so hard to keep track.

  66. Kambei says:

    There seems to be a slim grasp on the concepts of causality and correlation. That the DGA, PGA sometimes (or often) predict the Oscars, does not mean that they affect the Oscars per se. A far greater portion of the “guild effect” is probably due to the fact that the SAME MOVIES were eligible. Statistics cannot tell you whether causation is occurring. There will always be reason to question the contribution of the guilds when they don’t get a chance to see (or as much of an opportunity to see) the same movies as the Oscar group. Also, past discrepancies in Film Editing/Best Pic line-ups, or DGA/PGA/Best Pic line-up are meaningless for this race. If one tosses a coin that comes up heads 8 times in a row, the next time the coin is tossed, the probably of heads is still 50/50.

  67. palmtree says:

    I don’t agree, Kambei. Clearly PGA or DGA awards will position the film as a frontrunner or as an underdog. And that will affect you feelings about the quality of the film. And yes, there is overlap between the guilds and the Academy…they are working in the same industry after all. The DGA nominees were the exact same Oscar ones. The awards are far from random though that doesn’t mean we can’t be surprised from time to time.
    I for one will be surprised if Munich walks away with any award. It has no context for winning even though on paper it is a viable candidate. But as we’ve seen from Harvey’s effective work is that sometimes the Academy is catered to differently than us civilians are and their conclusions can also be attributed.

  68. ZacharyTF says:

    QUOTE: very few people had William Hurt as “genuine” likely nominee, and not just throwing names out there, but DP did and he deserves kudos.END QUOTE
    I did too. From the moment I left the theater, I was confident that he would be nominated. It is the weird and wacky performance that everyone remembers.

  69. steve4992 says:

    “There seems to be a slim grasp on the concepts of causality and correlation. That the DGA, PGA sometimes (or often) predict the Oscars, does not mean that they affect the Oscars per se.”
    Kambei: In the 57 years that the Director’s Guild Award has been given, the winner has gone on to win the Oscar for best director 51 times. We’re not dealing with causation here; we’re dealing with the issue of whether certain Oscar precursors can serve as an accurate predictor of what who will actually win the Oscar. And the clear answer is that the precedents do no matter and cannot be ignored by someone who is trying to predict who the winner will be–as opposed to someone who is simply stating their opinion as to who or what should win. I get that Poland thinks that Munich should win. But, as far as I can determine (and I don’t claim to be an expert on Oscar statistics), there is no historical precedent for a film that has gotten no attention whatsoever from any of the precursors but has gone on to defeat another movie that has dominated the precursors in the way that BBM has.

  70. Kambei says:

    My point is that those statistics may seem meaningful, but are, in fact, meaningless. How a film wins Best Picture, is by 8000+ people voting for their favourite picture out of a list of 5. Precursors have little to no effect on how they vote. I understand the temptation to use those precursors as a “test of the water”, in that they are sub-sample of the 8000+ people. However, those sub-populations are not randomly chosen from the 8000+ and suffer from selection bias. Anyway…getting carried away with science “shoptalk”. Suffice it to say that giving BM a 51/57 chance of winning Best Pic based on DGA or a 100% chance based on PGA/DGA would be an overly simplistic analysis of the data. A balanced poll of a subpopulation of the 8000+ members would give you the winner (+/- some standard deviation)–I understand that that is really what we’re trying to predict. I’m just not sure that the precursors “mean” too much now that nominations are in. (and for the record, I believe BM will win Best Pic)
    I guess I’m just nit-picky about the incorrect use of statistics. Too many stats classes. 🙁 My apologies for the rant.

  71. steve4992 says:

    Kambei: “Precursors have little to no effect on how they vote.” I completely disagree. If a particular director has won the DGA, for example, then at least a significant portion of the AMPAS voters will certainly consider that in casting their ballots. If precursors don’t have any effect on the way AMPAS actually votes, then why does the DGA winner almost always go on to win the Oscar? The correlation can’t be pure chance.

  72. palmtree says:

    Okay, Kambei. It’s true people’s predictions do not reflect sound statistical methods. But this blog is not about science. It is about our collective antennae trying to figure what’s the trend. The precursors do not “prove” an Oscar win, but it’s also wrong to say they have no effect at all. The same people voting on the DGAs, SAGs, PGAs, etc. are some of the same people in the Academy. It’s not a Gallup poll, but it does tell you something about the way they will vote in the future.

  73. Mark Ziegler says:

    Statistics are only meaningless to the people that don’t want to take the time to understand them. Are they foolproof? No. But they give a good understanding of what is to come. It’s a tool.

  74. grandcosmo says:

    >>>> How a film wins Best Picture, is by 8000+ people voting for their favourite picture out of a list of 5.<<<<
    I don’t believe that for a second. The are many other reasons why people vote for a particular nominee for an Academy Award. These reasons include but are not limited to – their favorite, who they think is going to win (people often want to go with a winner), who they think “deserves” the award based on the entirety of their career (Best Actor awards for John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Paul Newman, Al Pacino being examples), what type of political or social message they want to send, who they like personally that is nominated, who the critics and/or guilds say should win, etc.

  75. Kambei says:

    Grandcosmo: Good points! I was not meaning to imply the AMPAS members were only voting their favourite, but that they were choosing one film out of a choice of 5 for whatever reason. I also think herd mentality plays some kind of role, but how much of a role is impossible to quantify? Which leads me to palmtree: I think DGA is the only relevant precursor this year, because it is the only one to match 5/5 Best Picture (or best director). Maybe all the PGA people wanted to vote for Munich? Or maybe Crash’s vote was split with WTL? Unless the DGA change their minds, the majority are going to vote for Ang Lee again, and probably BM for best pic (unless they think best dir/best pic are synonymous). But how well do they reflect the rest of the academy? And I agree that i’m being overly vigorous and boneheaded here on this point! It is clear there is a lot of support for BM, and unclear how much support the other films have.

  76. Kambei says:

    oops! “aren’t synonymous”

  77. Josh says:

    If you feel the need to send a political message or a social message, you probably shouldn’t be voting for the Oscars.

  78. steve4992 says:

    “If you feel the need to send a political message or a social message, you probably shouldn’t be voting for the Oscars.”
    LOL. AMPAS currently has over 6,000 members. If they applied that rule, they could probably hold the Oscar balloting in a phone both.

  79. Josh says:

    I must have missed the memo where it said “Best Film doesn’t win. The film with the best socio-political message wins”.
    Make sure I get the memo’s next time.

  80. palmtree says:

    Come on. If you think that voting for a certain movie will somehow make the world a better place, of course you may be tempted to vote that way. Doesn’t make it right, but it’s hardly something you can deny if you were put in the same place.

  81. Josh says:

    Again. I thought they vote for the BEST. Not the movie that can make the average person accept something or make the world a better place.
    There job isn’t to help society. It is to vote the best film.

  82. palmtree says:

    Yeah, but “best” at doing what? At entertaining? At educating? At featuring high quality craft? At providing a moral message? It’s ambiguous and the people who vote have a right to “use” it the way they want to.

  83. jeffmcm says:

    Their ‘job’?
    They vote for whatever they want. I don’t think The Life of Emile Zola or The Greatest Show on Earth were the best pictures made in 1937 or 1952, they just ran the best campaigns and seemed to the voters of the time to be ‘important’. Maybe in 50 years Brokeback will look quaint but right now it’ll win because it feels like the best combination of a well-crafted and -acted story with the right kind of social relevance. A perfect combination.

  84. DannyBoy says:

    Palmtree is exactly right: “Best” at what? The very idea of ranking things presupposes a criteria of judgement that is determined by the values of the people making those judgements. An Acadamy voter has every right to decide if “best” means “makes the world a better place” or “best” means “makes me say ‘wow’ the loudest” or “best” means “made the time pass quickly”…

  85. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    oh god, we’re getting into the “what makes it the best” debate again. Wasn’t this one old before I was born?

  86. palmtree says:

    I don’t think we’re having a “what makes it best” debate. I think we’re having a “shouldn’t voters be allowed to decide what critirea they use to declare it the best” debate.

  87. DannyBoy says:

    I think what Josh was saying was, correct me if I’m wrong, that the Oscar voters should use his critera to decide what makes a picture best, not their own.

  88. steve4992 says:

    Regardless of what the AMPAS voters “should” or “shouldn’t” do, it is clear that at least some of the voters DO consider things other than artistic merit in casting their votes–it has always happened and always will happen. For example, as to voting for the BP Oscar, what percentage of the AMPAS voters will actually have seen all of the nominees when they cast their ballots?

  89. Tcolors says:

    I love this comment by a fellow blogger at the “Carpetbagger’s Blg”;
    “I wanted to like Munich. I

  90. jeffmcm says:

    I agree that the film ends on an anticlimax in the scene at the compound where Bana and Craig are snipers. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, because there’s the story inherently trails off and cannot have a definite conclusion.

  91. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Clearly AMPAS likes artistic merit. If it didn’t how could a movie like “Capote” get nominated?

  92. Tcolors says:

    Those are very good points Jeffmcm and KamikazeCamel.
    I’m a novice at this and appreciate any input you all have. Did I just say “you all” (lol).
    Hey Kamikaze, that’s my feeling on all this Oscar hoopla. It may not mean money in the bank for the Oscar telecast that blockbuster movies aren’t running for best pic but, aren’t the Oscars “at best” about awarding artistic excellence? I mean it’s their awards show not the publics. It’s like if I won the Lottery. Some peolpe might say “He doesn’t deserve it.” but in actuallity…..I didn’t play for them. So what does it matter? It’s the movie industries way of recognizing their own.

  93. jeffmcm says:

    K.Camel: in my opinion your post is contradictory, because I thought Capote is the second-worst Best Picture nominee (after Crash). Just dreary and self-important.

  94. Tcolors says:

    This review is a very good follow-up to some of David’s comments;
    Alot can be learned about how people review, and mistakes that quite possibly are made due to lack of understanding.

Quote Unquotesee all »

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