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David Poland

By David Poland

Gurus o Gold – 12 Wks From Noms

Susan Wloszczyna’s entry got caught in the e-mail and Scott Bowles turns out to be on vacation. So, this week’s GoG is now complete. The effect of The Woz’s entries were mostly felt in moving Ms Farminga up. And between Susan and a missed #5 entry from Glenn Whipp, Brad Pitt leaps over Jack Nicholson and into 2nd place this week.
Here are the final pulls. The set that was up earlier can be found after the jump.
The Rest Of The Charts

Pre-Woz Chart Pulls

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29 Responses to “Gurus o Gold – 12 Wks From Noms”

  1. James Leer says:

    Vera Farmiga? But…she had nothing to do! She even admitted in that NYT Hirschberg profile that she had no character to play! If she’s gonna get nominated for anything, I would think it’d be her supporting performance in “Breaking and Entering,” but I can’t see that happening either.
    Are you putting Blanchett down for “Babel” or “Notes”? Again, Blanchett said in EW that in “Babel” she really only had one scene to “act” in and wasn’t sure she should take the part. Her perf in “Notes” is a much more significant supporting role and she has a total Oscar freakout near the end.
    I’m surprised to see Barrazza over Kikuchi. But it was good to see Wahlberg make the Supporting list, I think he may creep up there.

  2. Nicol D says:

    While the whole movie was very flawed, Farmiga was fantastic in the sequence where she takes on the pedophiles in Running Scared.
    I can see why Scorsese wanted her. I like her style and hope she doesn’t fade away.

  3. Hopscotch says:

    Look for Alan Arkin to surge pretty soon. He makes the movie. Ask anyone what their favorite part of “Little Miss Sunshine” and they’ll say the ending or The Grandfather.
    “Flags” ain’t going to make it. They’re just leaving it there. No buzz around it whatsoever and the only thing people are discussing is how much money it’ll lose.

  4. Hopscotch says:

    I’m not sure why they’re counting out “United 93” so early. And I hear that “Children of Men” rocks.

  5. jeffmcm says:

    It seems like Flags is basically a place-holder until something more worthy builds steam.
    Nicol, I agree that Farmiga is great in Running Scared, and gives a better performance than she does in The Departed. I disagree, though, that the movie is ‘very flawed’, I think it’s one of the better movies of its type in years. The only serious flaw is Paul Walker, who really cannot emote worth a damn.

  6. Although I liked Arkin and LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, the grandfather is the only one with a true character arc in the whole damned thing. Every character has a beginning, a middle and no end…especially Carrel’s character.

  7. Wrecktum says:

    It’s time for a great comic character actor like Arkin to get his due.

  8. Wrecktum says:

    Oh, and I’m also still completely shocked that Jennifer Hudson, an American Idol reject with absolutely no film experience in a movie that no one has seen, is a near unanimous favorite to win the Best Supporting Actress award. I mean, that’s deranged, yo.

  9. jeffmcm says:

    Petaluma, I thought you had mis-typed but I realized you were serious. I would argue that the grandfather is the one character _without_ a character arc. The characters played by Carell, Kinnear, Dano, and Breslin all have proper arcs (poor Toni Collette’s part is so underwritten that I don’t think she has one either). They all get over their various issues by the end of the movie, while Arkin remains the same crusty comic-relief character from beginning to end.

  10. The Carpetmuncher says:

    For me, Arkin is a total no-brainer to get a nom. He was fabulous.
    But I am begging people to consider Carmen Maura for a Best Supporting Actress nomination for playing the ghost/mother in VOLVER, she was tremendous, hilarious, moving…
    Mr. Poland, love to hear your thoughts on Maura, and why she doesn’t even get a sniff in the ratings from any of the critics, and if you think her worthy or not…
    Also, a second (in vain) plug…for Chalo Gonzalez playing the wise good non-judgemental old man Tio in QUINCEANERA…at the big screening at Sundance, he got a tremendous standing ovation, and it was one of the more touching performances of the year…I know he stands no chance, but he should get his dap…
    And Wreck, I agree it’s sort of deranged that everyone’s predicting a first-time actress like Jennifer Hudson based on not having seen the film…and she isn’t really in the trailer much, is she? Not hating, just saying it seems strange…but then again, we always think the “next” thing could be the best thing, since we haven’t seen it yet…
    And FLAGS is this year’s MUNICH – it could get it based on it’s subject matter and the love of the director…though MUNICH for me is clearly a superior piece of work…

  11. James Leer says:

    I’m not really feeling Jennifer Hudson’s acting based on that trailer. Yeah, she has the main musical number all to herself, but…still.
    I also felt bad for Toni Collette in “Little Miss Sunshine.” Nothing to do but eat a fudgsicle and clap.
    Please, let’s not reward Alan Arkin for that film! JUST when I thought we’d gotten over the whole “old people saying naughty things is funny” trend…Ellen Albertini Dow would be so pissed!

  12. David Poland says:

    Mr/Ms Muncher –
    If you look at the big chart, Carmen M does get support from 4 of 14 voters.
    My reason for not really considering her is that I don’t think the movie will ever get that kind of traction with Oscar voters. And I really like the movie a lot. It’s the same reason I think Cruz is a much longer shot than some do.
    Terrific movie, but not a category changer. And for a foreign language film to get recognition from the actors’ branch, it generally has to be that. If Garcia Bernal was not nom’ed for Bad Education or Y Tu Mama Tambien or anyone from Talk To Her, how does it happen for Volver?

  13. jeff…
    granted, I haven’t seen LITTLE MISS in a few months, but I remember walking out of there liking it, but being sorta turned off by the lack of an arc. It didn’t seem like anyone really *changed*. I mean, yeah, they all basically had their dreams blow up in their face, but I was unsure if that closing scene was them “getting over it” or just saying “fuck it, we’re screwed so we might as well _____.”
    I loved QUINCENERA! Gonzalez was tremendous as was the gay cholo uncle guy. That movie got NO buzz after Sundance though. Shame too. Kinda reminds me of RAISING VICTOR VARGAS. Great buzz out the gate, then nada…so to speak.

  14. James Leer says:

    Well, Cruz is a bigger star now than Garcia Bernal was then. There weren’t very big actor pushes for Y Tu Mama or Talk to Her, either. And while Garcia Bernal was super beyond worthy for Bad Education, that was a REALLY crowded year for Best Actor.
    Best Actress is more crowded than usual this year, but Penelopze Cruz is one of the reasons that’s so.

  15. jeffmcm says:

    Petaluma, I think the ambiguity of the ‘arcs’ is one of the reasons the movie works as well as it does. If every character had a more standard feel-good resolution at the end of the movie, it would feel false. The arc of the movie is that (a) everyone gets over their obsessions, be it romantic, career-oriented, or whatever, and (b) they act like a family instead of a group of divided individuals.

  16. Jonj says:

    People are picking “Dreamgirls” on spec.
    It could fall rapidly once people start seeing the whole film, perhaps making room for “United 93” or “Little Miss Sunshine.”

  17. The Carpetmuncher says:

    Thanks DP, I swear I looked for Carmen Maura on that list three times…and missed her every time. I agree with your reasons for her not getting more dap, but I’m glad she is getting some. I think if more voters actually understood her place in Spanish cinema (where she’s really a national treasure) she’d get more run.
    I’d love to see both Carmen and Rinko sneak in there. Cate Blanchett is as good as any actress I’ve ever seen, but it’s for BABEL, I think Rinko and Carmen are much more deserving. Haven’t seen NOTES, so who knows. Cate is just awesome, pretty much all the time…
    And while it’s probably likely, if Abigail gets nominated over Rinko, it would be a shame. LMS was funny, and Abigail got all her laughs, but it was hardly great acting, at least not in the class of what Rinko did, which was stunning and heart-breaking…
    I thought Vera was really tremendous in THE DEPARTED, but not in an Oscar nom type of way. She just seemed like a great actress floating in a nothing part. But based on that work, you’ve gotta believe her time will come.
    Y Tu Mama Tambien…I still love that fucking film…damn, how good was that, huh? Just thinking about how much I liked that makes me smile…

  18. EDouglas says:

    Has anyone of the Gurus actually seem Dreamgirls yet? If so, that’s a lot of faith in a movie that no one has seen yet…and no love for the leads in the movie, just supporting? Mostly agree with the supporting though I’d go with Rinko over Adriana. I definitely think Vera will get in… when I saw the movie again, I was able to appreciate how she was able to tie the movie together as one of only two women in the film. Can’t believe Flags is in the top 5 still.

  19. MASON says:

    I gotta echo EDouglas here. Has anyone actually seen Dreamgirls? I know people in this town love Bill Condon (I’m a big fan), but the trailer didn’t exactly blow me away. Could expectations be too high?

  20. Spigster says:

    ADAM BEACH, ADAM BEACH. No matter what you think of FLAGS, his performance was astonishing,heartfelt and powerful. I dont see, from a prediction standpoint how the movie and Clint can get nominated, and the voters not remembering and honoring Adam???

  21. David Poland says:

    High expectations are always too high.
    However, four numbers – about 15% of the film – has been seen. And it doesn’t include any of the really big moments.
    Testing on the movie has been remarkably strong.
    People I trust have offered strong opinions. (One of the few media people who has seen the unfinished version lurks on the blog. He need not expose himself now.)
    It is possible that it will be soft or wrong or whatever. Every year, there are movies that seem locked that are not. We have already experienced that with Flags. But every year there are also movies that seem locked that are locked. So we are all dealing with that as best we can. Comes with the territory.

  22. EDouglas says:

    I thought Beach’s performance rang false to me, and i’m sure that real actors will see through it as well… he wasn’t very convincing.

  23. BostonGuy says:

    At some point, supporting categories have apparently become havens for big name actors who can’t hack it in the leading categories where by influence and roles they should belong.

  24. Unison says:

    Beach was my biggest letdown about Flags… Nothing about his story arc worked for me. I find it surprising he’s got any buzz about all.
    This Dreamgirls buzz seems entirely undue. I find it astonishing that the Cannes footage was so beloved, yet the trailer is as bad as it is. I can’t help but feel it will turn into this year’s Memoirs of a Geisha.

  25. Cadavra says:

    “Testing on the movie has been remarkably strong.”
    I recall about 30 years ago, Fox held test screenings on a new film that blew away anything else in the studio’s history: something like 96% excellent. They immediately moved it to a summer release slot and preapred for the onslaught of cash.
    The movie was 11 HARROWHOUSE. Anyone else remember it?

  26. Richard Nash says:

    So, basically we are giving DREAMGIRLS every major award? I wouldn’t want to be the favorite right now because look at how well thats worked out in recent years. Especially when not many people have seen it.
    But I’m glad Eddie Murphy is finally going to get some credit for being a genuis. It’s about time he put an end to the whoring and money grubbing and took some great (ie less paying) roles.

  27. jeffmcm says:

    Between Norbit, Starship Dave, and Untitled Brett Ratner Project, I’d say it doesn’t look good for Murphy to regain the title of ‘genuis’.

  28. David Poland says:

    No, Nash… they are much stronger in supporting than in lead. I like Scorsese to win Best Director this year. Condon will probably get smacked on screenplay too. But BP is enough for him, I’m sure.

  29. “And I hear that “Children of Men” rocks.”
    You heard correct, it’s amazing. But it’s Oscar prospects lie in the techs and possibly a lone director spot.
    “that’s a lot of faith in a movie that no one has seen yet…”
    er, all of these movies were unseen at one point. That’s why they’re predictions. If everyone knew what would be nominated there wouldn’t be much fun. Would there?
    “Oh, and I’m also still completely shocked that Jennifer Hudson, an American Idol reject with absolutely no film experience in a movie that no one has seen, is a near unanimous favorite to win the Best Supporting Actress award. I mean, that’s deranged, yo.”
    Lest we forget that quite a few nominees and winners are first timers. If you got buzz, you got buzz. It’s the way these charts work.
    Yes, nobody’s seen Dreamgirls (well, not that many anyway) but it’s people making PREDICTIONS FOR NOMINATIONS. Winning is completely different. Just cause Dreamgirls is at the top doesn’t mean it’s gonna win everything. It’s just people making educated guesses. And considering the year so far, I find it strange that people wouldn’t consider it one of the stronger advanced titles. When it’s released it may slip away and die in a ditch, but before that…
    And on the Volver front, the performance by Cruz is being touted (my essentially everyone) as this huge breakthrough. And you CANNOT bring up Gael and the other Almodovar films. Bad Education was so far from an Oscar film that it was funny, and the guys from Talk to Her weren’t famous in the slightest, making it very hard to break through. Penelope is famous. She’s young and she look gorgeous and she’s out there pimping her film.
    Plus, consider this: Out of the main nine ladies in contention at the present time – Streep, Mirren, Cruz, Winslet, Blanchett, Dench, Bening, Knowles and Gyllenhaal – only Cruz, Knowles and Gyllenhaal will be first time nominees. And I see them nominating someone like Cruz for a film that seems up their alley, over someone like Knowles (who has the problematic singer-actor thing) and Gyllenhaal (tiny film, underseen, unlikable)

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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