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David Poland

By David Poland

Guild Stuff

Sorry… early screening and a lunch meeting. Will be writing on this in the afternoon. Feel free to fight about it below in my absence.

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115 Responses to “Guild Stuff”

  1. bicycle bob says:

    i got the gloves on.

  2. Dr Wally says:

    Pleased to see that 40-Year Old Virgin got a WGA screenplay nomination, hope it can snag an Oscar nom for it’s screenplay. Best studio comedy of the 21st century so far……..

  3. bicycle bob says:

    after seeing crashers again i may have to go with crashers as better than 40 yr old virgin. it’s a toss up for me.

  4. metsys says:

    I thought Munich would end up being a Best Picture nominee no matter what but it is starting to look like that might not happen unless it does great at the Box Office with it’s expansion.
    Capote is back in play as an Oscar nominee.
    This is a big boost to Crash and puts it in the runner-up position to Brokeback’s clear lead.
    No one expects Capote, Matchpoint or Walk the Line to really compete for Best Picture.
    I think the Oscars noms will now end up..
    Brokeback Mountain
    Good Night and Good Luck
    Walk The Line

  5. Melquiades says:

    Munich shut out of both lists… can’t be a good sign.
    Ironic, as it’s Spielberg’s best film in years.

  6. James Leer says:

    I am surprised it didn’t make either list. I really liked the film, but it’s clearly not connecting with award voters in some way.

  7. James Leer says:

    Though I still can’t conceive of it not being nominated for Best Picture.

  8. Paul8148 says:

    Oscarwatch is reporting that no DVD screens were set out to the PGA for Munich or Kong. For what it worth.

  9. Wrecktum says:

    Uni just can’t get their act together. Souldn’t Munich be a guild slam dunk? Hell, Kushner’s name alone should have given it a few votes.

  10. Wayman_Wong says:

    I’m with James Leer. It’s hard to believe ”Munich” won’t be an Oscar nominee for Best Picture. I expect it to rebound tomorrow with the Directors Guild of America nominations. Spielberg is a 9-time DGA nominee and a 3-time DGA winner (he’s even been DGA-nominated for ”Amistad” and ”Empire of the Sun”). If he doesn’t make the cut there, it’ll be a shocker.
    Besides ”Munich,” today’s nominations were also bad news for two more movies that start with the letter ”M”: ”Memoirs of a Geisha” and ”Match Point.” The WGA omission in Original Screenplay is especially surprising for Woody Allen, given the rave reviews he’s gotten for arguably his best film in years. Since 1966, he’s been a 18-time WGA nominee. I’d still put money on him to get an Oscar nomination for his script (he’s been Oscar-nominated 13 times for Original Screenplay).
    Seems to me the real winners are ”Brokeback Mountain,” ”Capote,” ”Crash” and ”Good Night, and Good Luck,” which all scored both PGA and WGA nominations. ”Brokeback” and ”Good Night” were already locks for Best Picture nods, so it looks like ”Capote” and ”Crash” will get the biggest bumps out of this.

  11. Mark Ziegler says:

    Who called Good Night a Best Pic lock? George Clooney? Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.

  12. PandaBear says:

    Anyone else completely bored by these nominees and the movies the past year? What movie will anyone really remember from 2005? Wedding Crashers, 40 Year Old Virgin, Episode 3, Narnia and Batman Begins.

  13. MattM says:

    I would have called “Good Night” a “likely” before today. With PGA and WGA love today, along with the fact that it’s the most overt well-reviewed political statement of the year, I think it’s now moved into the “lock” category. I break it down like so:
    “Brokeback Mountain” (critics’ darling)
    “Good Night, and Good Luck” (small movie, political without being edgy/offensive)
    “Walk The Line” (the BO success with the solid performances)
    “History of Violence”
    “Crash” (will get recognized in screenplay)
    “Constant Gardener”
    “Match Point” (will get recognized in screenplay/supporting actress)
    “Capote” (will get recognized in Actor)
    In the distance:
    “The Squid and The Whale”
    “King Kong”
    As of now–my picks are:
    Pic: “Brokeback”
    Director: Ang Lee (Clooney could upset here)
    Actor: Hoffman
    Actress: Witherspoon
    Supporting Actor: Clooney
    Supporting Actress: Johansson
    Original Screenplay: Crash
    Adapted Screenplay: Capote

  14. Wayman_Wong says:

    Mark, I called ”Good Night” a ”lock.” Since others are offering their opinions here, that was simply mine. Since it’s won the NBR for Best Picture, received a Best Drama nomination from the Golden Globes, and was included among the PGA and WGA nominees, I’d say it’s a safe bet.

  15. Angelus21 says:

    Clooney best director? Now you’re definately high. He has to beat out Spielberg, Cronenberg, Jackson, and Lee. Pretty tough to do.

  16. Mark Ziegler says:

    Well, Wayman, my point is I wouldn’t call it a lock. Wasn’t Munich a lock at one point too?

  17. Angelus21 says:

    All the volatility with award season makes me scared to say the word “lock” in regards to any picture. There is no “Titanic” or “Rings” this year. I don’t think anyone here would be surprised if any of about ten pictures got a nod.

  18. joefitz84 says:

    I’ve been saying “Capote” has a shot at the glory. It keeps chugging along especially with no powerhouse movie to knock it back a few pegs. It’ll probably play even better on dvd when members watch it.
    The Crash nom is terrible. These the Lifetime TV awards? Or are voters getting that “white man’s guilt” thing going again? It shouldn’t even make Top 20 lists let alone a top 5.

  19. Wayman_Wong says:

    Mark, I happen to think ”Good Night” is a lock for a Best Picture nomination. You don’t. So do you think it won’t make the cut at all? At any rate, we’ll know on Jan. 31. Yes, ”Munich” was a lock at one point, but things change. I still think it’s got a shot at Best Picture, but it’s shakier in the wake of the PGA & WGA news.

  20. Mongoose says:

    Oscarwatch reports that screeners for Munich and Kong did not go out to the PGA
    What Oscarwatch failed to report is that screeners did not go out for Capote or Walk the Line – but those two managed to get nominated.
    Maybe, just maybe, the PGA nominated the films they liked best and not what Oscarwatchers liked best.

  21. Rufus Masters says:

    There is no way in hell “Crash” should make it ahead of “Munich”. It is a travesty and really ruins the credibility of these awards.

  22. Wayman_Wong says:

    According to Tom O’Neil’s latest ”Gold Derby” column at The Envelope, Lion’s Gate blitzed award voters with more than 30,000 copies of ”Crash.”

  23. PastePotPete says:

    Am I the only one who felt like Munich was a subpar Bourne sequel?

  24. Blackcloud says:

    Dave, it’s “5-25-77”. Can you correct that on the MCN site? Thanks.

  25. Sanchez says:

    If Munich were a Bourne sequel it would be exciting, enjoyable, and not ponderous.
    I can’t see Crash making a the final five. Just not going to happen. You think the Academy is not going to reward Spielberg?

  26. qwiggles says:

    The nom for 40 Year Old Virgin bugs the hell out of me.
    I’m all for throwing a bone to good comedy, but there were long stretches in that film where I felt the cringe factor I usually get from watching too many jokes fall flat consecutively. Even the premise reeks of a rush-job; he remained a virgin for 40 years because at some point, he simply “gave up”? Come on. The movie establishes Andy as the kind of guy who doesn’t try enough or care enough to get laid to be in a position to “give up.”
    Seemingly tiny but significant character blips like that do not a great screenplay make.

  27. joefitz84 says:

    I thought it was funny too but one of the five best screenplays this year?
    What happend to standards?

  28. Mark Ziegler says:

    Defintion of Lock: A sure thing; a certainty.
    You want to go out on that limb for “Good Night, Good luck”? It has a good chance but it is no lock.
    Only lock you can talk about at this point is “Brokeback Mountain”.

  29. Rob says:

    40-Year-Old Virgin’s screenplay is hardly the travesty here, especially compared to the labored plot mechanics and earsplitting speechifying of Crash.

  30. DanYuma says:

    Obviously we have to wait until the DGA actually speaks, but if Clooney gets in there an Oscar nod seems likely, and then I’d predict him to be on the fast track to win. Remember, the bulk of Oscar voters are actors, and they love it when an actor is up for direction. If Barbra Streisand had ever been nominated in that category, then it would’ve been a good bet she’d win, although thank God the Oscar nominating branch realizes every picture she’s made is a hideous botch. (On the other hand I do think it might be pure sexism that Penny Marshall was not nominated for AWAKENINGS, which I watched again the other day and still find holds up very well, it’s more transparent than I remembered but still a good story well told; and on the other other hand, it could’ve been prejudice about her being originally not only an actor, but a TV STAR. I think that’s why her ex-husband Rob Reiner wasn’t nominated for A FEW GOOD MEN, although of the two I think Marshall is by far the superior director, or at least USED to be, now they’re both kind of bottom-feeders. Though if Ron Howard could break through, no reason they couldn’t at some point.)
    As for the WGA noms, very surprised that MUNICH didn’t make it in, nor MATCH POINT; but the Academy adores Woody and at least a Screenplay nod will be inevitable for the latter, and I think there’s enough residual retro-snotty awe about East Coast intelligentsia that Kushner will be up for the Oscar (in tandem with Roth, who’s already won).
    And as for the PGA nods, I don’t even know how they decide on this. Why should ROBOTS be up for anything at all?

  31. qwiggles says:

    Ditto regarding Crash; it had all the subtlety of a jackhammer to the groin.

  32. Wayman_Wong says:

    Mark, I know the definition of a ”lock.” As I said, it’s my opinion. You think ”Brokeback’s” the only lock. Fine. I get it. That’s your opinion. Why you’re fixated on this, is beyond me.

  33. James Leer says:

    I just don’t think Clooney has the horsepower to beat Ang Lee in the Director race, despite his actor pedigree. Not to mention the other heavyweights that category is going to be filled with. They’ll give it to him in “Supporting Actor” or “Original Screenplay.”

  34. Wayman_Wong says:

    I agree with you, James. Assuming Clooney gets his three Oscar nominations, the Academy is more likely to reward him in Supporting Actor or Original Screenplay. Ang Lee did a masterful job directing one of the unlikeliest (and reputedly ”unproduceable”) scripts around, and the Academy also passed him over for his work on ”Crouching Tiger,” which earned him the Golden Globe and the DGA (but not the Oscar).

  35. PastePotPete says:

    “If Munich were a Bourne sequel it would be exciting, enjoyable, and not ponderous.”
    Hence why I said “subpar.”

  36. Mark Ziegler says:

    Not fixated, Wayman. But you just can’t go around calling so so movies locks. Kinda hurts all your other good points. Because I think we can agree its not a lock by any means.
    Crash was a horrendous movie but 40 Year Old Virgin deserves that nod.

  37. PandaBear says:

    I wonder if Clooney’s Liberal pals can get him two nominations.

  38. Wayman_Wong says:

    Mark, if you want to discount my opinions because I happen to think ”Good Night” is a lock, go ahead. And clearly, no, we can’t agree on what a ”lock” is. I’m hardly the only guy (or Oscar pundit) around who thinks that ”Brokeback” and ”Good Night” will make the Best Picture cut.
    All you have to do is look at the Gurus of Gold chart on this very site: 9 out of 10 experts put ”Brokeback” as the No. 1 for Best Picture; 6 out of 10 put ”Good Night” in No. 2. (David Poland is the only one who has ”Munich” in No. 1, followed by ”Brokeback” at No. 2.)

  39. jeffmcm says:

    Interesting to compare the Bourne movies and Munich, although they really are different creatures. Bourne Supremacy is certainly more ‘thrilling’ and Munich doesn’t have a kick-ass car chase…but I don’t think that’s really what Spielberg was going for. Kind of the opposite, in fact.

  40. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    “Clooney best director? Now you’re definately high. He has to beat out Spielberg, Cronenberg, Jackson, and Lee. Pretty tough to do.”
    Clooney is an ACTOR!!! You think he has a worse shot than someone like Cronenberg?
    All the Crash-hyperbolising is getting so old. Is it so hard to believe people think it’s a well-made movie? MOVIE.
    On the issue of 40YOV, in my WGA predix I had “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” as the oddball-but-actually-deserving pick that last year went to Mean Girls and has gone to movies like Clueless in the past. Haven’t seen the Virgin movie but if it’s good, funny and original then I’m not gonna dispute it.
    I’m proud of myself for not predicting Munich in either the WGA or the PGA.
    Hopefully Constant Gardener can get more momentum going. It’s really on a role right now. Same for BBM, GN&GL, Crash and sort of Capote. Capote is only “sort of” because while it’s (apparently) a great little movie, it doesn’t seem to have anything that usually gets a little art movie nominated. Great box-office, important issue, etc. If it does get nominated then it deserves to be applauded.

  41. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Oh, I must say, one thing that disappointed me about the WGA. They didn’t recognise Pride & Prejudice. It seems mind-boggling that that movie’s screenplay isn’t getting noticed ANYWHERE. Not just because it’s good, but because they actually made the book and the 6-hour-movie condensible into 2 hours and still maintained all forms of flow and energy and it proved to be a great movie. Strange then that even the WGA didn’t like it enough.

  42. Filmsnob says:

    I just saw the estimates for Tueday’s box office and it’s not looking good for Munich there either. Brokeback jumped up to the #9 spot passing Munich which is in twice as many theaters.

  43. MattM says:

    If Clooney were listed as a producer on GN&GL, he’d have three nominations in the bank. Since he opted not to take that credit, he’ll get two nods–acting and directing. And GN&GL is (IMHO) an excellently directed and photographed movie, showing that Clooney is a major directing talent.

  44. James Leer says:

    In a move that some will no doubt interpret as a big, sloppy French kiss to certain, er, conservative members of this talkback, word is now leaking out all over that Jon Stewart has been hired to host the Oscars.
    I’m sure we’ll get a blog post to quarantine the vitriol soon.

  45. djk813 says:

    Clooney’s most assured nomination is for writing.

  46. Joe Leydon says:

    Texas just whipped USC in the Rose Bowl, thereby silencing all the know-it-alls who gave it to USC in a cakewalk. And you know what? “Crash” may not actually WIN the Best Picture award, but I bet it silences a lot of other know-it-alls by getting a Best Picture nominations. So there.

  47. jeffmcm says:

    Crash may actually have the edge on Capote in getting a nomination, being a bigger, contemporary film. But UGH! Ironic that you should use the phrase ‘know-it-all’ since I found Crash to be relentlessly smug. Did you like it, Joe?

  48. Wayman_Wong says:

    KamikazeCamelV2.0, I read somewhere that the writer who adapted ”Pride and Prejudice,” Deborah Moggach, is not a member of the Writers Guild of America, and therefore, not eligible for a WGA award.

  49. Wrecktum says:

    USC was hardly “whipped.” They lost it in the last 30 seconds of the game.
    At least the USC cheerleaders looked better than those barbies from Texas. Love the sweaters.

  50. Blackcloud says:

    41-38 over a sloppy USC team which should have been up 21-0 in the first quarter is a whipping? Vince Young was clearly the best player on the field, and his team won because of it. But neither team looked as good as they did in the regular season. People complain about the two weeks before the Super Bowl, but the college bowl games are much worse in that respect.

  51. Joe Leydon says:

    Wrecktum: Scoreboard, baby, scoreboard!
    And the Texas cheerleaders are pretty dang hot, let me tell you!

  52. Joe Leydon says:

    Oh, and BTW: Yes, I really, really liked “Crash.” It’s one of the few films I saw last year that actually tried to deal with the way we live now. I love escapism as much as the next movie geek. But I also love movies that try to do more, give more, see more, say more. And I know that every time a movie tries to do this — whether it be “In the Heat of the Night” or “The 25th Hour” or whatever — there will be people who will condemn the movie as smug or simplistic or leftist or whatever. Know what? I don’t care. The dog barks, but the caravan moves on.

  53. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    That’s what I think, but from the sounds of a lot of people it makes me think they they’re above it all. a “I’m not racist, why should I be lectured on it” type of thing.

  54. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    btw, I think people only thought Munich was a “lock” because Dave said it was weeks before it was ever released and people followed him like big fat greedy sheep.

  55. bicycle bob says:

    4th and 2 with 2 minutes left and u don’t give the ball to ur heisman winning, all world running back? now i realize why pete carroll is coaching college kids.

  56. Josh says:

    “Crash” was unbearable to sit thru. We all get it. Racism sucks. But do be hit over the head with it? Not my idea of entertaining. If it wasn’t for the great cast I would have walked out after a half hour.

  57. Terence D says:

    The two best college teams in the country and not one of them can play any defense. Good game though even though it took about 9 hours to play.
    There are no “locks” when it comes to the Oscars. Anything can happen and usually does. Everyone that called Paul Giamatti a lock last year had egg on their face. Myself included.

  58. CleanSteve says:

    Is it reasonable to thin that maybe Spielberg is getting ignored so far not only because the film “may not be conencting,” but also because of the “yawn” factor?? I.e…”ywan, another Spielberg movie. ” The movie isn’t getting the across-the-board praise that SCHINDLER did. Cronenberg, Ang Lee, Judd Apatow, Clooney…these are guys who have perhaps done career-best work this year. Can’t ignore them. Cronenberg especially. Goddamnit am I rooting for him. Not only an all-time filmmaker but one of the classiest and most interesting human beings alive. That he didn’t win an Oscar for DEAD RINGERS one one of those “loss of innocence” moments for me in teen years.
    That’s pathetic but, sadly true.
    Would love to see CINDERELLA MAN get a surprise spot, too. Pure entertainment. Best work of Opie’s career by far. I thought he was dead after ED TV. Probably should have been.

  59. Josh Massey says:

    There are only two locks as far as this year’s Oscar nominations go: Pic for “Brokeback Mountain” and actress for Reese Witherspoon. Everything else is at least a little bit questionable (it would be shocking to see Ang Lee and Philip Seymour Hoffman not get nominated, but it could happen).

  60. Bruce says:

    I’ll agree with those 2 locks.
    Brokeback for a best pic slot and Witherspoon as Best Actress. After that it could be anything.
    The Academy isn’t like these critic/awards groups. They love to reward big Hollywood pictures and not those small indie films.

  61. Rufus Masters says:

    I’m rooting for Cronenberg to a get a nomination. He did a fantastic job.

  62. bicycle bob says:

    how many movies ahve gotten across the board praise like schindlers list did? tough when that is the standard u are compared on.

  63. Joe Leydon says:

    The SAG award noms are out, and they’re already being studied by Oscar handicappers, since actors make up the largest percentage of the Academy membership. It’s a very good morning for Matt Dillon, Don Cheadle and everyone else involved with “Crash.”

  64. BluStealer says:

    You mean to tell me Matt Dillon didn’t get it for “Herbie”?

  65. Rob says:

    I’m seriously gobsmacked at the guilds’ love for Crash.
    Munich’s continued absence from nomination lists – although I guess it’s not really an “actors'” movie – continues to shock.

  66. Melquiades says:

    I’d say Crash has to be considered a favorite for the fourth Best Picture slot at this point (giving the other two to Brokeback Mountain and Walk the Line). If Haggis turns up in the DGAs, even more so.

  67. Wayman_Wong says:

    It’s fascinating how these three different guilds (writers, producers and actors) can all vote, and come up with roughly the same choices: ”Brokeback,” ”Capote,” ”Crash” and ”Good Night, and Good Luck,” and at the same time, seemingly dismiss ”A History of Violence,” ”King Kong,” ”Match Point,” ”Memoirs of a Geisha” and ”Munich.”
    The two biggest surprises among SAG nominations to me: 1. Amy Adams made the cut for ”Junebug.” 2. ”Hustle & Flow” is up for Best Ensemble, but not ”Walk the Line,” nor starrier ensembles like ”Syriana.” And though Russell Crowe and Paul Giamatti were remembered for ”Cinderella Man,” what about its female lead, Renee Zellweger? She got pretty terrific reviews, too.

  68. MattM says:

    The surprise to me is “Hustle And Flow” getting the ensemble nomination without Terrence Howard getting an individual nomination. “Walk The Line” not getting an ensemble nod doesn’t shock me because beyond Phoenix and Witherspoon, there wasn’t a whole hell of a lot in the way of performances to recognize there (arguably Ginnifer Goodwin, but that’s pushing it).

  69. MattM says:

    Also somewhat interesting is the lack of love amongst actors for “Match Point.” It’s hurt a little by the generally non-starry cast, but Johansson would seem to be the sort of turn that SAG might bite on.

  70. Crow T Robot says:

    I would be tickled pink if David Cronenberg walks the red carpet this year. Think he could be convinced to wear that “Nightbreed” slasher mask to the ceremony?

  71. djk813 says:

    With regards to Dave’s “8 Weeks to Oscar” column, I found it interesting that the Johnny Cash cover of “Hurt” is being used in the commercials to promote “The Shield,” a Fox show. It works for the show, but it’s also some nice synergy. I can’t hear the song without thinking Cash and then Walk the Line.

  72. RP says:

    DGA noms are in, per Variety…
    George Clooney, GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK
    Paul Haggis, CRASH
    Bennett Miller, CAPOTE
    Steven Spielberg, MUNICH

  73. Wayman_Wong says:

    As I said yesterday, Spielberg’s very popular with the DGA, and so he picked up his 10th DGA nomination. Besides solidifying ”Brokeback” and ”Good Night’s” status as Best Picture nominees, the DGA also emphasized how much support ”Capote” and ”Crash” have. And what happened with ”Walk the Line”? Did the DGA originally announce James Mangold, and then correct themselves and take his name out? Gee, what a cruel thing to happen to anyone.

  74. Wayman_Wong says:

    I stand corrected. Evidently, OscarWatch made the boo-boo about Mangold, not the DGA.

  75. Josh says:

    Wayman, are you one of the financers or producers of Brokeback? Because you are obsessed with the film.

  76. DannyBoy says:

    Glad to see Lee made it (not that it was much of surprise), and Miller for

  77. Terence D says:

    Hold up now. “Cinderella Man” looks like its revitalized here. It’s back in the game especially in the acting category’s. I thought it was going to be huge when it opened. Maybe the dvd will help people rediscover it. Big Hollywood film. Lack of other big films. It’s too bad Crowe beat up a bellboy or I think it would have even more of a chance.

  78. LesterFreed says:

    How does T Howard not get a nom but the ensemble does?
    I’m scratchin my head here about this.

  79. Wayman_Wong says:

    Josh, to answer your question, I have no affiliation or financial interest in the film.

  80. DannyBoy says:

    Oh, and PandaBear, sorry to disagree, but your statement is pretty ludicrous: “Anyone else completely bored by these nominees and the movies the past year? What movie will anyone really remember from 2005? Wedding Crashers, 40 Year Old Virgin, Episode 3, Narnia and Batman Begins.”
    The movies you’ve listed as all that people will remember are this year’s equivalents to: Hold That Ghost, My Favorite Blond, Ghost of Frankenstein, That Night in Rio, etc., etc.
    Brokeback Mountain, Capote, Syriana, Good Night, and Good Luck, etc. are our generation

  81. LesterFreed says:

    “Brokeback Mountain, Capote, Syriana, Good Night, and Good Luck, etc. are our generation

  82. jeffmcm says:

    Woo hoo! Nice derision, there! High five!

  83. LesterFreed says:

    Actually most of the dumb stuff comes from jeffmcm. He never fails to disappoint. Maybe you two can watch the new “Citizen Kane” together. You know. “Good Night, Good Luck”.

  84. jeffmcm says:

    Your comment would have more sting if Good Night and Good Luck was a bad movie (or perhaps you were referring to “Good Morning, Night” but I don’t think so).
    Anyway, one also has to remember that some of those movies (Crash, Capote, Syriana, whatever) are also the equivalents to such movies of the past as Wilson, The Song of Bernadette, San Francisco, etc.

  85. Bruce says:

    I have a feeling not many people are going to remember Syriana if Clooney fails to win a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for it. Even then I doubt it. One of the most nonsensical and incoherent films ever released.

  86. DannyBoy says:

    Okay, I may have exaggerated a bit to make a rhetorical point, nonetheless, your responses are still close to that of a true philistine. He or she can recognize classics of the past–usually because some college professor annonced it in a film class and he or she took notes–but can’t see what’s really remarkable and artistic in the present. (I will concede that many of the so-called “quality films” of today–Crash, Million Dollar Baby, will go down in history as our Wilson, Song of Bernadette, Guess who’s Coming to Dinner, etc.)

  87. LesterFreed says:

    I don’t think any of them are bad movies. I liked them. Thought they were decent to good. But to say they’re going to be considered 5 of the greatest films of all time?
    You are high. As a kite.

  88. DannyBoy says:

    By the way, I didn’t mean to conflate jeffmcm with LesterFried, which is how it sounds. In short: Jeff, you’re right. LesterFried, grow up.

  89. Joe Leydon says:

    Actually, I would say “San Francisco” is more like the equivalent of “The Day After Tomorrow.”

  90. LesterFreed says:

    Just keep making points and comments like that DannyBoy and I’ll keep laughing and calling them out. How can you actually say that with a straight face? There is exaggerating and there is just flat out ridiculous. You fall into the latter.

  91. Hopscotch says:

    Syrianna is one of those movies where I “respect its intentions”, but I felt distanced by it and even kind of burned by the end.
    My underdog pick is Constant Gardener, I watch it on a plane this weekend and that movie is as riveting as any thriller from the 70’s. I hope it comes from behind to pick up stuff. But I think Focus is mainly handling BBM.

  92. DannyBoy says:

    I have to say I really liked Syrianna and understood it well enough by the end. And a lot of great movies are hard to follow; try following “The Big Sleep” or “L.A. Confidential” without scratching your head a few times. As for “Constant Gardern,” I was with it until the end action scene with the characters rushing to the airplane. I thought that was about as unimagintively directed as a final chace scene in an old “Rockford Files” episode.

  93. PandaBear says:

    You’re kidding yourself if you think the average moviegoer will remember any of those films in 6 months and not remember The Wedding Crashers and the 40 Yr Old Virgin and Batman Begins. Just check out the box office totals. They may be good movies but no one has seen them. Kind of a sign that it won’t be remembered. They’re not even in Shawshank territory.

  94. Bruce says:

    Please don’t use “LA Confidential” as your comparison of “Syriana”. We’re talking one of the best films of the past ten years. LAC was as coherent and well put together as any film. Something Syriana should have used as a template or model. It actually had a story and each thread that was used played a part in it. Shocker. By the end, you knew exactly what was going on and everything made sense. Unlike Syriana.
    The problem with Syriana is Gaghan thought he was Soderberg which he clearly isn’t. He tried to make a “Traffic in Oil” but he fell far short.

  95. Sam says:

    What’s with the pissing match? Some of you might figure out how to hold a conversation without being insulting about it.
    About the question itself, first, PandaBear, I think the question is what will be remembered eons from now, not six months from now. In six months, the films that are big box office now will still be the ones people remember in six months. In 20 or 40 years, that may not necessarily be true anymore — some of the biggest hits will have long since fallen by the wayside, and some relatively obscure films will emerge. As DannyBoy said, time will vindicate art.
    But I think the reality is somewhere in between what the two sides to this are. Of Munich, Crash, Capote, Syriana, Constant Gardener, Match Point, Good Night, and so on, there will surely be one, two, or even a few that will rise to the stature of the classics in decades to come. Maybe it’s exaggeration to suggest that there’s a Citizen Kane in there, but a Mr. Smith Goes To Washington or a Treasure of the Sierra Madre? Hell yeah, and if you don’t think so, you don’t understand how art ages over time. You think in 1941, anybody thought Citizen Kane was the Greed of the new generation? No way. Meanwhile, there are also surely big 2005 awards movies that will fall out of favor as the years go by.
    On the other side of the coin, it is likely that some of today’s blockbusters will remain on the radar in the decades to come. I think “Batman Begins” and “King Kong” have pretty good chances, whereas I tend to think Wedding Crashers and 40 Year Old Virgin will be forgotten amidst too many gross-out comedies. Maybe I’ll be wrong, but you’re twice the fool if you think that in 20 years, the movies best remembered from 2005 will be the same as the ones on the top of the year’s box office charts. Some of them, probably most of them, will disappear off the radar entirely.
    Someone on this blog, quite a long time ago, did a rather interesting experiment of picking a random year in the golden era of Hollywood and listed the top 5 box office hits and compared that with the top 5 rated movies on the IMDb for that year. I can’t remember if there was one title on both lists or none at all — either way, that speaks to the folly of using box office to prognosticate longevity.
    An interesting experiment would be to look at some decade — say the 40s or the 50s or so — and compare the IMDb Top 5 for that year with the top 5 box office hits from that year *and* the 5 Best Picture nominees from that year. The flaw in the plan is that the IMDb ratings are a very arguable barometer of what’s remembered and cherished; still, I think that comparing the degree of overlap would be an interesting thing to see.
    My guess is that, while the truth is somewhere in the middle of this debate, DannyBoy’s position is more correct.

  96. Joe Leydon says:

    Consider this: According to Variety, the highest grossing movies of 1952

  97. DannyBoy says:

    Thanks for your thoughtful and well-written response, Sam. Just a few quick thoughts: “Road to Rio” was the biggest box office hit of its year, I doubt anyone would now consider it a true classic. As for Bruce’s claim that “LAC” is better than “Syriana”, fine that you think so. To me, “LA Confidential” was needlessly complicated, in a way that seemed to point to its own desire to be “smart” more than anything else. “Syranna”, on the other hand, had a labyrinthine plot for a reason, to show how deeply entangled politics, business, war, and intelligence are, in ways that elude even most of the participants. I’d throw “Syriana” in my time capsule.

  98. joefitz84 says:

    If you think Syriana is a fact based movie, you should really stop drinking the Kool Aid.
    Make sure you dust off that copy of Fahrenheit 9-11 in that time capsule while your filling it.

  99. PandaBear says:

    Why don’t you relax and take a deep breath there Sam? Can’t we have a discussion without people like you calling it a “pissing match”?
    You ask one hundred people on the street what their fav film of the year is and you’re going to hear Crashers, 40 Yr Old Virgin, Batman, and Narnia a lot more than you will hear GNGL, Brokeback, and Capote. That’s just the facts. You can rant and rave about how much better they are and what not but that’s not the question. Just because some movie gets nominated or wins an Academy Award doesn’t mean it will be remembered 20 years from now. And GNGL won’t be remembered like 40 year Old Virgin will. Unless you’re an ivory tower elitist. Which is fine.

  100. Stella's Boy says:

    So liking GNGL means you’re automatically an elitist? I liked Wedding Crashers, Batman Begins, 40 Year-Old Virgin, GNGL, BBM and Capote (haven’t seen Narnia). Does that make me elitist?

  101. Josh Massey says:

    Go back 20 years – what are the 1986 movies that have stood the test of (a relatively short) time? What are we still enjoying today?
    “Top Gun,” “Aliens,” “Platoon,” “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “Stand By Me,” “Hoosiers” and maybe “Pretty in Pink” are the ones that stand out to me. One Best Picture nomination (a win) in the bunch.
    When was the last time you watched – or even thought about – the other nominees? (“Children of a Lesser God,” “Hannah and Her Sisters,” “The Mission” and “A Room With A View”).

  102. PandaBear says:

    Case in Point:
    From 1978 what do people remember and watch more? Animal House.
    Or Coming Home, An Unmarried Woman or Heaven Can Wait?
    Caddyshack in 1980
    Or Tess, Coal Miners Daughter or The Elephant Man?
    Austin Powers in 97
    or Elizabeth or Thin Red Line?
    Having an award nomination is great but it’s not a guarantee that the film will be remembered or watched or respected.

  103. DannyBoy says:

    Ahhhh, Joefitz. I’m surprised people like you have enough time to turn off your Rush Limbaugh, get out of the SUV and actually log on here… =)
    As for these comparisons, going back thirty years really isn’t much. Go back fifty and the low-brow yuk-yuk comedies and testosterone-driven action films start to look pretty poor and the films made with integrity start to seem better. I just watched “In a Lonely Place” the other day and you know, I have a feeling that had I been alive and seen it at the time, I would have given it a big yawn: “Bogart playing the same role he can do in his sleep, a downer ending, predictable in many ways at that. Pretty slight.” Looked at today, however, it blows you away.

  104. Richard Nash says:

    It may be a great film and garnering all kinds of praise but “Brokeback Mountain” has no buzz to the general audiences out there. I’m looking forward to seeing how it does when released wide into circulation.

  105. Lynn says:

    What makes you think it will be? It’s an art house movie with an art house budget… I’d be surprised if it ever hits 1000 or even 800 theaters. Hardly a “wide release” by today’s standards.
    It’s grossed more than its budget (which was already reportedly covered by foreign sales). And it’s going to do fine on DVD, too. A lot of women whose husbands and boyfriends didn’t want to go see it will be renting or buying the DVD when it comes out in early March.
    Financially and critically, it’s done just fine for a film of its budget. Hardly the catastrophe some were predicting.

  106. jeffmcm says:

    Let me just say something that seems extremely obvious: that many people like to receive validation that other people like the same movies/TV shows/whatever that they like, and that the movies that they like are the same ones that will be remembered through the years. There are plenty of reasons for this psychological phenomenon.
    Anyway, who ever said that popular = good? I already have shunted most of Shrek 2 out of my head, and it’s the third highest-grossing movie of all time.

  107. qwiggles says:

    “When was the last time you watched – or even thought about – the other nominees? (“Children of a Lesser God,” “Hannah and Her Sisters,” “The Mission” and “A Room With A View”).”
    I watched “Hannah” and “A Room With A View” last week. So…?

  108. DanYuma says:

    Hmm. About half surprised Bennett Miller made it in over Cronenberg, but I can only guess that Miller has a longer history of kissing the right butts, whereas Cronenberg remains proudly and permanently as Canadian-based as he can manage (same reason that his usual composer Howard Shore was ignored for years until he did the Rings pictures), and probably a bit less surprised that Paul Haggis made it in; Angelenos love nothing more than dire-toned movies made about that city, be it L.A. CONFIDENTIAL, CHINATOWN or BOYZ IN THE HOOD to name merely three, and CRASH is nothing if not of the identical genre (if FALLING DOWN, a dozen years back, had been released at awards time and, say, been directed by anyone other than Joel Schumacher, it would’ve been reaping the same rewards CRASH is now. I know, CRASH came out around the same time in 2005 as FALLING DOWN did in 1993, but there’s a difference of pedigree).

  109. DanYuma says:

    scuse me, “BOYZ N THE HOOD.” And to think I have won spelling championships.
    I actually think FALLING DOWN is a damn good movie, by the way. Wanna fight?

  110. bicycle bob says:

    who ever predicted that brokeback wouldn’t make back its 15 mill budget? i think that was a pretty safe bet by focus. they’d do cartwheels if it gets to 60.

  111. Bruce says:

    Falling Down is a great movie.

  112. Skyblade says:

    You guys have a good point about what films manage to remain popular with audiences over time–but I don’t think “The Elphant Man” is one of those acclaimed in its time but forgotten by the public examples.
    Ironically, the only best picture noominee to not having even the same culutral cachet of Austin Powers is the strongest–“L.A. Confidential”

  113. BluStealer says:

    Just because a movie happens to receive a few Oscars doesn’t mean it’s a great movie for the masses. Big difference between Oscar and public love. They don’t always merge.

  114. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    PandaBear, I’d argue that Elephant Man is indeed very popular and remembered well. Not as much as Caddy Shack, sure, but it’s silly to make that argument.
    The highest grossing films or most popular with audiences rarely make the Top 5 with Oscar. those movies don’t need awards to get noticed, however.
    I’d never have seen Coming Home if I didn’t know it was nominated for a swag of awards and such. I’m glad I knew.

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