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David Poland

By David Poland

Observations From The Critics Choice Awards

Amy Adams, Reese Witherspoon, and Rachel Weisz laughing and telling stories to one another during a break… and Weisz, still petite, towering over the other two by what seemed like an entire head.
Dennis Miller digging out an old joke about cyber-sex and how men will do nothing else when they can virtual sex with a supermodel for 20 bucks from the comfort of their couches when things weren’t going so good.
The little girl from Narnia looking more beautiful and every bit as poised as she played in the film.
Emmy Rossum, seated at an outside table, diving into the heated scene in the middle of the room and then running back to her seat between every commerical break. (And that dress was ok on TV, but a jaw dropper in person.)
The sense of relief coming from Paul Haggis and Bennett Miller that their perceived fortunes have changed so much in recent weeks.
The hum of disapproval of Mark Gill taking so much credit for March of The Penguins and getting in a shot at Spielberg to boot.
The joyous noise of the 40 Year Old Virgin group… especially Leslie Mann.
Rachel Weisz patiently talking to eveyrone who said, “hi” and taking photos… and not in a campaigning way at all, as she was the sole rep of The Constant Gardener.
Seeing Giamatti arrive and kind of knowing then that he would win.
Q’Orianka Kilcher wearing a gown involving no animal skins of any kind.
Three celebs announced as being in the room who were not in the room.
Terrence Howard as happy as a baby boy with a brand new toy.
Jim Mangold sitting front and center for Walk The Line… and still not getting the attention he deserves.

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75 Responses to “Observations From The Critics Choice Awards”

  1. grandcosmo says:

    In other words, the usual Hollywood circle jerk.

  2. Hopscotch says:

    I’ve never been turned on by Emmy Rossum before…until last night.
    Did Dakota Fanning give the most relaxed speech or did I imagine that?
    I noticed Dennis’ dug up joke too. He didn’t choke, but he certainly didn’t kill with any jokes. And what’s with the glasses man?
    Worst bit of the night, that King Kong award. God I hate simulated bits like that.

  3. Crow T Robot says:

    Finally caught Munich today. It’s certainly the most unsettling thing I’ve seen in a while. So messy, so much violence and such rhetoric being thrown at you. It’s hard to make sense of it. And maybe that’s the point. I’ve never seen Spielberg so clearly furious as an artist. The last scene with Marie-Jos

  4. Joe Leydon says:

    Craig: Man, are you ever right about that death scene! The most disturbing scene of its kind I have seen in a movie in a long, long time. Yes, the character is a villain. But damn! Reminds you of how much we have become jaded by murders — even graphic, sadistic murdres — in action flicks and slasher horror movies. Along comes Spielberg, and suddenly he puts the sting back into death. And it seems to take soooooo long for this person to die…

  5. palmtree says:

    I’m just really glad that Spielberg could finally end a movie without a hit-you-over-the-head happy ending. I hate watching a decent Spielberg movie only to be offput by a tacked-on sachharine ending. Besides just being rather brilliant, Munich goes out of his way to do things that he doesn’t normally do and it works.

  6. jeffmcm says:

    To be fair, and I’ve said this before, Spielberg’s last few movies only _seemed_ to have happy endings. I felt that the endings of Saving Private Ryan, AI, and War of the Worlds were all quite ambiguous. I just wish they had kept the original ending of Minority Report where they said that the murder rate shot up.

  7. etslee says:

    I can’t say that I’m a huge fan of Munich, but at least it was an intelligent discussion about violence and terrorism. What really sickens me is the exploitation of torture as entertainment in such films as Wolf Creek and Hostel.
    Returning to the critic awards, what an amateurish production. Poor Ang Lee was cut off in his speech. At least we were saved from another embarassing joke by Miller in the end.

  8. jeffmcm says:

    It seems like Poland should start up a Munich thread now that he’s written an analysis on The Hot Button…and we can turn the subject away from Brokeback and see some different sparks fly.

  9. palmtree says:

    Jeff, I’ll give you that Spielberg hasn’t always done the unambiguous happy ending. But they sure felt tacked on. AI’s endless march towards its unnecessary conclusion. War of the World’s total destruction of the film’s thematic basis (during the movie Tom Cruise is supposed to learn to be a father to Dakota, but the end just has him deliver her to Miranda Otto like child visitation was over). Saving Private Ryan was okay for me, though the narrative bookends felt a little forced but still brought home the theme of sacrifice and band of brothers loyalty. Didn’t mean to be picky, but none of those endings were anything to write home about.

  10. Crow T Robot says:

    Some good observations there, Poland. I should have read your piece first before posting. It’s hard to see the film and not want to talk about it. A lot. Every little scene (and the little moments between even them) begs discussion.
    I’ll also mention the unsettling bits of home and family that colors the film: Kitchens… Food… Bedrooms… Sex… Birth… Children… The story may take place all over Europe involving guns, bombs and politics, but everything of impact seems designed to hit us right where we live. In our most intimate places. Our family places.

  11. palmtree says:

    Seems like the secluded bomb maker could have been killed in slightly less subtle ways if someone were inclined to do it…meaning why would someone go to such lengths to kill him. My vote goes with suicide as he indeed says he feels on the verge of losing his very soul. In keeping with his busy mechanical mind, the way he dies has the mark of his own hand.

  12. jeffmcm says:

    Palmtree, I think that the biggest problem with Spielberg’s endings have been the fact that they haven’t flowed properly as a classical ending should. I adore the ending of AI and could go on longer than anyone wants me to about how brilliant I think it is. War of the Worlds may have been about how Tom Cruise learns to be a father, which then makes the conclusion of the film (again, to me) more bitter, that he long-ago ceded his parental rights, thus making his newly-found adulthood poignant.
    Some could say that the ending of Munich is a mess, and it is indeed anticlimactic, but I would argue that it’s a part of Spielberg’s plan, as the film overall marks a movement from order to chaos and ambiguity.

  13. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    glad to see Rachel Weisz is so popular. Oscar here she comes.

  14. Melquiades says:

    My problem with the War of the Worlds ending was the son surviving. It completely undermined the very powerful scene where Cruise had to let him go.
    And what was with this brownstone appearing to be the only place in the world not affected by the aliens? The father-in-law was standing in a sweater vest holding a mug of coffee and the morning paper, as if the events of the past few days were simply riots in a far-off city and not the takeover of the world by hostile forces. It was absurd and unintentionally hilarious.
    I liked the ending of Munich quite a bit, especially the haunting final shot.

  15. Me says:

    I too finally saw Munich, and while I think it is an okay movie (as good as anything else that’s come out in this weak year), I have a number of problems with it, too. It felt very derivative and simple-minded.
    All of the “family” stuff felt way too much like a watered down Godfather.
    And Bana’s character’s obsession with the events at Munich were only dealt with in flashback and visions. If he spoke about Munich fervently, or dealt with it in any way other than in an offhand matter, I could justify his obsession, but the way it was dealt with seemed like an excuse for Spielberg to recreate the Munich incident.
    And the conversation with the PLO bodyguard was so simplistic and lacking in any substance that I actually laughed when I saw that that was it.
    This movie made Syriana look like the more intelligent movie about Middle Eastern troubles.

  16. Terence D says:

    The convo with the PLO bodyguard scene was obnoxious. WHy not hit us over the head some more?
    If Weisz is in the supporting actress category she should be a strong contender and probable winner.

  17. Rufus Masters says:

    One thing Spielberg doesn’t know how to do is end a movie. I blame the fact that he has final cut. No one is strong enough to tell him
    “Hey, Steve. It’s done. End this now, pal o mine.”

  18. Josh says:

    End the BBM love fest talk??
    You’d have half the people jumping off a bridge if that happend.

  19. Eric says:

    The problem is that Spielberg’s endings are often structurally untidy. The resolutions (or non-resolutions) of the multiple conflicts he’s established throughout the movie are accomplished in a very piecemeal way.
    The most satisfying ending to an audience is the one that accomplishes everything at once. It’s why these jagged endings in Spielberg’s later work just feel so dragged out– our perception is that they should be more concise. It’s not wrong to deviate from that guideline– but you’d better have a good reason for doing it.
    So the problem is that the scripts are just not tight enough. Spielberg isn’t writing them, of course, but when you’re as smart and have as much control as he does, you should be fixing those problems before filming even starts.

  20. Me says:

    Eric, I think you’re right, but the problems extend further than just the endings. The whole scripts aren’t as tight and interesting as they should be.
    Spielbergo (his non-union counterpart) seems to be rushing into production on all of these movies which should have been worked on a little bit more in the script stages. Could be a product of trying to get more than one movie out in a year.

  21. palmtree says:

    Jeff, those are very interesting and valid ways of looking at those movies. I just think viscerally they don’t work.
    AI feels like Spielberg is stretching just so the reunion can take place and pinocchio can become a real boy. And Melquiades hit WOW on the nose…we’ve just been devastated, through hell and back, and then the family walks out of a Folgers coffee commercial. I could probably go on with his body of work.
    But those past flaws make Munich somehow even more poignant, because I know Spielberg had to resist certain urges to tell this story uncompromisingly. He showed us that this man’s paranoia has become our collective paranoia in just one brilliant, and yes visceral, scene. It was moving in a way that Syriana was definitely not.

  22. Crow T Robot says:

    AI was like a chess match between Spielberg and Kubrick. Steven would concede in one scene, then allow Stanley authority in the next. Humanity and dehumanity going at it for two hours, as if each men were battling for the soul of this robot child David. The ending is often misunderstood as happy… the fantasy child, created to be loved, finally gets what he wants… his fantasy mother, now created for his pleasure, returned to him. And the last scene with both mother and son dying in bed together is much more Kubrick than Spielberg.

  23. bicycle bob says:

    ai was about as boring to watch as a chess match too.

  24. James Leer says:

    I agree with Crow. And I’ve learned to expect a sort of untidiness in Spielberg’s endings. Are they ideal? No, but many of Hitchcock’s masterpieces (Vertigo and Psycho to name just a few) had completely abrupt or drawn-out endings, too.
    I often regard “AI” as if Spielberg were Teddy and Kubrick decided to pull him open, letting all the stuffing come out. It’s like getting at Spielberg’s id and it’s totally messy and I have always found it fascinating.

  25. palmtree says:

    I agree with Crow that AI wasn’t a traditional “happy” ending. But it seemed that Spielberg tried his darnedest to make it feel like one, twisted though it was. Personally, I was hoping Kubrick’s vision wasn’t so compromised, but that’s probably because I’m a dehumanist (new word?). Which again is why I think Munich works so well…Spielberg doesn’t even try to give any inkling of an appearance of a happy ending.
    James, Vertigo is one of the all time great haunting endings, don’t think I’d call it abrupt or drawn out in any way. Psycho is a much better example of a seemingly botched ending (good thing everything else about it is so great that you can almost overlook it).

  26. BluStealer says:

    The ending of that movie went on forever. I only remember it because I feel asleep in the theatre and that never happens to me. LOL.
    I wish Kubrick was alive so he could have made it himself. It was his story. He needed to be the one to tell it.

  27. James Leer says:

    Hey, I agree that Vertigo’s ending is haunting, but to say it’s not abrupt? I don’t want to spoil it for anyone here who hasn’t seen it, but they’d never make that film today without a few more pages of aftermath. I saw it during its rerelease with a younger audience and there were people who actually laughed (despite being into the film) because the “The End” come up before you’ve even had time to process what just happened.

  28. jeffmcm says:

    Vertigo’s ending is almost a ‘fuck you’ to the audience. There’s your tragedy! Take that! No redemption! I’m outta here!

  29. jeffmcm says:

    Vertigo’s ending is almost a ‘fuck you’ to the audience. There’s your tragedy! Take that! No redemption! I’m outta here!

  30. Angelus21 says:

    Just because that’s how they would do it today doesn’t make it right. That’s why Hitchcock is the man.

  31. palmtree says:

    Whoa…that’s a lot of exclamation points.
    Vertigo’s ending perfectly ties up the movie and you process it on your way out the theater. Unless of course you need a movie to explain itself to you before it finishes like Psycho. Was the Sixth Sense ending also a fuck you in your opinion?
    Have a nice day.

  32. jeffmcm says:

    I didn’t mean ‘fuck you’ as if it was a bad thing. Just very harsh and uncompromised and not offering solace to the audience. Sixth Sense is a Twilight Zone episode blown up to a two hour movie, so they’re hard to compare.

  33. Mark Ziegler says:

    Maybe Spielberg could have learned a few things from a master like Hitchcock. He has ruined a few movies lately with his ponderous endings.

  34. jeffmcm says:

    Minority Report is the most Hitchcockian movie made in the last four years. Spielberg has become more image-driven, and more Hitchcockian, ever since he finally won his Oscar.
    Or are you talking about the Hitchcock who also made Topaz and Torn Curtain?

  35. Mark Ziegler says:

    I liked Minority Report. His best movie of the past decade but it still could have been tighter. Didn’t like War of the Worlds, AI, Terminal and Amistad. All too long and needed 20-30 min cut.
    Thought Catch Me could have been a great movie. If he had an editor. Sometimes he gets overblown and forgets to make cuts. No director likes making cuts.

  36. palmtree says:

    Gotcha. I think a lot of classic movies end in ways that seem abrupt, but leave you with something to think about in a good way (maybe abrupt just sounds too perjorative for me). And even more recent films like Fight Club and Mulholland Dr do this well. I’m not trying to ruffle feathers but I don’t think every film needs a soft landing.

  37. joefitz84 says:

    No matter what Spielberg does, I’m still there opening weekend. He’s earned that level of trust from me.

  38. James Leer says:

    I didn’t mean “abrupt” as a pejorative, just as a fact. I actually think it’s very instructive to compare Hitchcock and Spielberg…both are among the most technically supberb filmmakers there have ever been, and both are dedicated to exploring certain themes over and over (though Hitch’s were more sexually charged). I definitely thought “AI” was Spielberg’s “Vertigo,” in that his abilities and obsessions reach their apex on-screen in all their messy glory.
    Is Spielberg now in what you’d call the “Topaz”/”Frenzy” state of Hitchcock’s career? Well, the films are more muscular and refined, but I have to say that when I saw all the boobs in “Munich” I thought of Hitch as he entered the sexually permissive seventies: “Oh, I can show tits now!”

  39. palmtree says:

    AI is Spielberg’s Vertigo? I feel it was too Kubrickian to be that. Hook or Close Encounters feels more like Spielbergian statements to me. Interesting theory though.

  40. palmtree says:

    Oh…and Spielberg’s tits usage first appeared in Schindler’s List. In Munich it works much better.

  41. jeffmcm says:

    Maybe he’s just in his mid 50s phase – like how Hitchcock released Rear Window and Dial M for Murder in the same year.
    Why do you like the frontal nudity in Munich better than in Schindler’s List? Because they’re on a younger, more attractive woman?

  42. palmtree says:

    Yeah and pregnant women are hot!
    In seriousness, in Munich it just felt like a healthy sex relationship in a loving couple, which is slowly eroded through the course of the film. In Schindler’s it felt kind of like he inserted it to say he was an adult now.

  43. jeffmcm says:

    I thought you were thinking about the boat-lady’s nudity, not the wife. And I don’t recall any nudity in Schindler’s apart from the very unsexy humiliation nudity inflicted on the Jews. Was there more than that?

  44. jeffmcm says:

    Speaking of awards: Bravo for the Academy giving an award to Robert Altman. Too bad it has to be honorary.

  45. palmtree says:

    I was referring to a scene where I believe Oskar is having sex when a delivery boy comes in. The nudity in the camps of course is a totally different situation and necessary to the story. Thanks for helping me clarify.

  46. James Leer says:

    Also, Ralph Fiennes has sex with a nude woman before shooting a prisoner from his balcony.

  47. jeffmcm says:

    Yes, that sounds like Spielberg saying ‘here are some boobs…you’ll see more later (but you won’t like it).

  48. Richard Nash says:

    You guys need to get a room with all the boob talk and sexual innuendo you have going here. It’s romantic.

  49. jeffmcm says:

    Do you have anything to add or do you just like to fag-bait?

  50. Richard Nash says:

    What do you have against homosexuals? I don’t even know if you two are men or women. Someone is a little touchy and unsure of himself now.

  51. jeffmcm says:


  52. Richard Nash says:

    Whatever you say, homophobe.

  53. jeffmcm says:

    You’re the one who said “you guys need to get a room” which is hardly what you say when you are comfortable with a discussion of sexuality.

  54. Bruce says:

    Jeff hates gays??? I wouldn’t believe it if I didn’t see it. He’s usually so warm and nice and generous. It pains me to see this.

  55. Lota says:

    For goodness sake. What an interesting thread…from Hitchcock to mammaries.
    I really like the way Hitch has ended his movies…don’t like things tied up in easy bundles. Was very pleased to see Hitch’s stuff on the big screen, recently. I had never seen The Birds in a proper theatre before ~10 dys ago, and it is impressive on the big screen. I had to look away unexpectedly a couple times. Also for that movie, not a belaboured ending.
    At any rate…was pleasantly surprised by Munich in a way I haven;t been by Steve-o in a really long time. I liked Minority Report but the ending stank so much the audience boo-ed in London when they saw the “estranged” wife’s bump. PKD wouldn’t have liked that. But I do love Max von Sydow. If he’s acting til 100 he’ll scare me.
    I don;t know if Munich deserves to rock-out at the Oscars, but it’s worthy of being in a top ten 2005 list, for sure.
    It actually pains me to see what Dave wrote about James Mangold above. I think he’s a good director. I rather see him or Cronenberg take home the statuette, even though I like Ang Lee very much too. The strengths of Walk the Line was the acting, but you have to get a good director to orchestrate that little dance doncha. I liked Walk the Line way more than Ray.

  56. jeffmcm says:

    Bruce, I actually do consider myself quite nice and generous. The only, only people in the world that I have a problem with are the willfully ignorant.

  57. Mel F says:

    Lota if you are talking about a director orcherstrating fantastic acting you gotta hand it out to Ang Lee. Every small role in BBM was well cast and fantastically acted , 2 examples Roberta Maxwell as Jack’s mother & Anna Faris as his talkative neighbour. Great small turns. Not to mention all the leads. It takes a great director for that.

  58. Rufus Masters says:

    I think Cronenberg deserves it. He did fabulous work this year. And actually thru the years. He’s a very underrated director.

  59. Bruce says:

    Jeff, you’re as nice and as generous as OJ Simpson is to his ex-wives.
    Walk the Line was better than Ray on the whole. But maybe that’s because the two fer of Phoenix and Witherspoon outshines the one in Foxx.

  60. palmtree says:

    I agree Mel. Like I said in previous posts, I fell in love with these women. My fave: Linda Cardellini.
    A body of work Oscar for Cronenberg would be great except if Scorsese can’t even get one…good thing Altman’s getting his honorary one though.

  61. jeffmcm says:

    Walk the Line wasn’t just two good performances, it was generally a better story than Ray. And it didn’t end with the lead character being applauded by The World, as Ray did.

  62. Lota says:

    I don’t disagree Mel…I think BBM will get the noms. I guess I don;t think BBM is the best thing Lee ever did although I shouldn’t be thinking in terms like that I guess, rather in terms of what was the best, eligible for this year.
    Yes Cronenberg should get a lifetime award for something–directing or lifetime of unusual stories etc, but I wish Jules Dassin would get the lifetime award first. It;s a disgrace he hasn’t been so honored already.

  63. jeffmcm says:

    Jules Dassin is still alive?! Jeez. The Academy should have given him an award to balance out the award they gave to Kazan.
    Cronenberg will probably get an award in 2024 when he’s as old as Altman. The great thing is that Altman is still a working director.

  64. Sanchez says:

    Best thing Lee ever did was Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

  65. Lota says:

    While CTHD was good sanchez, I think i would see it more GREAT in the romance elements and just fair-to-good in the action compared to the vast number of Asian action movies I have seen.
    I would say ANg Lee most impressed me with Eat, Drink, Man, Woman.
    ALl in all, romance/drama is his forte.
    Jeff…I think Dassin still lives and breathes on his own. Long may it continue so he can get a frickin award.

  66. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Man, Jules Dassin needs SOMETHING from the Academy.
    And, I definitely see Cronenberg as a career achievement type of guy. I actually think Scorsese could win it eventually. He just needs the right year. And they aren’t going to give him the award for a remake (“The Departed”). Or, that’s what I think anyway. If not…
    Am definitely more excited about Prairie Home Companion that The Departed.
    Ray was awful. I still can’t believe they ended on such a “and then he told millions of records” note in the form of a bad Powerpoint presentation.

  67. jeffmcm says:

    Oh yeah, reminds me, for all of you who dislike it when the Academy Awards get ‘political’ or ‘slanted’ or ‘preachy’…best to go out to the kitchen for a snack when Altman comes up to accept his award this year.

  68. Crow T Robot says:

    Palmtree it’s funny you say that. I finally caught Brokeback tonight and the big thing for me were those adorable actresses. Williams is getting all the (well deserved) press but Cardinelli is given my favorite line of the film (“Women don’t fall in love with fun”). She’s really an actress to watch for. As for Miss Anna Faris, well, she’s my first official crush of the new year. Always popping up in the strangest places. (It’s hard to believe the tens of millions this character actress is raking from the Scary Movies) And Anne Hathaway didn’t get much from the reviews I read but her last scene with Ledger, the way she seemed to catch on, was really brilliant. How interesting that Lee would allow the women in the film to be so sexy. It would have been easy to cast them to look like their character names.
    As for the movie itself… well outside of the homosexual thing I didn’t find it terribly challenging. In fact it’s surprisingly traditional and, to be frank, pretty much an extended version of the trailer. I think a little more humor would have helped warm it up. Heck, even Schindler’s List had a joke or two.
    (“Alma Junior.” Gotta love that one.)

  69. jeffmcm says:

    I agree about the humor thing…Ang Lee tends to be rather dour and narrow in his conception of drama. But he must have had some sense of humor, or he wouldn’t have allowed Hathaway’s hairstyles to do what they do.

  70. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    I think that’s the point Crow. It is indeed very traditional. The only thing that’s getting up people’s noses is the “gay thing”. But, yes, from what I’ve heard, Ann’s hair (And Jake’s mo) is indeed the comedic highlight of the movie.
    But the short story isn’t exactly a barrel of laughs, so…

  71. bicycle bob says:

    altman acceptance speech? get ready for king of the windbags.

  72. LesterFreed says:

    It will be highway robbery if Cronenberg doesn’t cop at least a nomination this year.

  73. Joe Leydon says:

    I realize I am a bit late in saying this, but… Hitchcock actually did film a scene that would have “explained” things for “Vertigo.” In fact, it was going to be the final scene in the movie. But he (wisely) discarded it. You can see it as one of the “extra features” on the DVD edition. If memory serves me correctly, this alternative ending was used during the UK release, because the Brit censors wanted it to be made clear that a certain character was brought to justice.

  74. palmtree says:

    Better late than never…

  75. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    lol, i suppose in those days…
    But then I also love it that just last year you guys (er, Americans) had to have a special ending tacked onto the end of Pride & Prejudice that showed them living happily together instead of the almost-kiss that ended the film in the UK and elsewhere. Which is odd cause it was already a happy ending.

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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