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David Poland

By David Poland

Guruing… 8 Weeks To Noms

This week’s charts are up…
The Departed
The Queen
Little Miss Sunshine
The Queen
Little Miss Sunshine
World Trade Center
The Departed
Little Children
Flags of Our Fathers
Thank You For Smoking

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27 Responses to “Guruing… 8 Weeks To Noms”

  1. I repeat what I said in the Fox Searchlight thread. What was Stephen Holt smoking when he made those predictions?

  2. Drew says:

    I must say… that is an entirely respectable list.
    If that’s the way the final list played out, that would be a huge, huge improvement over last year’s nominations rundown.

  3. jeffmcm says:

    I agree with you. Fast Food Nation? Quinceanera? Infamous? Bad, niche, forgotten, in that order.

  4. EDouglas says:

    Seems about right to me, though I’m not so sure about Flags even for screenplay.

  5. Clycking says:

    That’s simple — he’s making the mistake that some critics make, in believing that his opinions reflect the Academy’s.

  6. Me says:

    I’m confused – is he suppossed to be basing his top 10 on what he thinks the Academy will like, or is that his personal top 10 for the year?

  7. murdocdv says:

    Peter Howell’s vote for Casino Royale for best picture is kind of stunning. I mean everyone seems to like/love this movie, but Best Picture?

  8. Me, I think Holt confused himself. Surely. Cause there’s no way ANYBODY would think those nominations could happen.
    Murdoc, it won’t get a BP nomination. Oh, but The Departed will because it’s Scorsese. :/

  9. Mr. Peel says:

    If Casino Royale wasn’t a Bond movie, with whatever stigma is attached to it, I truly believe it would have a valid shot at a Best Picture. It happened with The Fugitive, it should happen here. But it won’t happen.
    At this point I also think that Children of Men should be one of the five. That won’t happen either.

  10. Josh Massey says:

    I’m living in a dream world where “Rocky Balboa” turns out to be better than anybody expected and wins Best Picture exactly 30 years after the original did.
    Yes, I did some drugs in my youth. Why do you ask?

  11. Jerry Colvin says:

    Is Babel really that good? I had just about given myself permission to skip it, but if it’s a contender I guess I’d better check it out. How would you rank it compared to the other four (three of which I’ve seen and liked)?

  12. sky_capitan says:

    Are there odds yet for Scorsese winning the best director Oscar?
    I’d like to bet 10 billion dollars on that one. Once he wins, and he will win, I’ll still make a few hundred million even if he is a huge favourite going in.

  13. Jerry Colvin says:

    Never mind, I clicked and reviewed the chart. I’m a slug, sorry.

  14. waterbucket says:

    Stupid New York Observer.
    The article about Dreamgirls was fine but then they have to insert such stupid hyperbolic generalization like Dreamgirls being a gay man’s Lord of the Rings. It’s David Poland’s Lord of the Rings, not this gay man’s. I can think of 10 other movies that I want to see this year more than this musical, say Borat, Royale, Curse of the Golden flower, etc.

  15. bipedalist says:

    In the end, Babel may be too smart for the Academy. The locks at this point are The Queen, The Departed (actors will drive it through), Dreamgirls (way too much heat right now to not be in). The last two are up for grabs but I’d say Flags of our Fathers and then either Little Miss Sunshine or Babel. I would bet a nod for Oliver Stone before a WTC best pic. But who knows. There could be a surprise or two in the coming weeks, though, as Letters and some of the others roll out.

  16. LexG says:

    More and more, I’m becoming convinced THE QUEEN is going to take it all; Think of the age and tastes of the Academy, plus their fascination with British propriety and that cast and subject matter. We’re talking about a membership that tends to see itself as no less than the American equivalent of royalty. It’s a fine movie that still plays a little like a British telefilm, but I can easily see the Academy rewarding its quiet charm and subtlety, especially a year after over-awarding the bombastic CRASH. Over the last month or so, at least here in LA, THE QUEEN is like the little engine that could, ever expanding and garnering huge word-of-mouth from regular audiences and industry types alike. Seems to be snowballing, whereas FLAGS, LITTLE CHILDREN, and arguably even BABEL all peaked early. (Note that BABEL isn’t exactly wowin’ ’em in flyover; Those NYC and LA sell-out engagements didn’t extend once it went wide, and it’s killing the momentum.) I think even THE DEPARTED will be in there, for sure, but as a fifth-wheel, mainstream-y, action-type choice that won’t actually win. Kind of the FUGITIVE/SIXTH SENSE spot.

  17. jeffmcm says:

    I don’t see how Babel could be ‘too smart for the Academy’. I enjoyed it, but I wouldn’t call it a really complicated or deep movie.
    As for The Queen, it seems like it wouldn’t be able to get beyond its own smallness, both production-wise and thematically.

  18. bipedalist says:

    I don’t see how you (Jeff) could say a movie wouldn’t be able to get beyond its own smallness when Crash just won Best Pic last year – you couldn’t GET smaller than that. Babel doesn’t take care of your emotions for you the way Oscar movies tend to do.

  19. jeffmcm says:

    Mentally you’re right, but Crash had scale on its side – big cast plus big issues. The Queen has neither of those things going for it.
    Babel ‘not taking care of yout emotions’ is not the same thing as ‘too smart’, plus it varies by the individual. I certainly got more of an emotional impact out of it than plenty of other movies this year, not that I think it’s a strong Awards contender either.

  20. bipedalist says:

    Emotional impact is different from having your emotional well being cared for by a film. Generally speaking, you cry, you feel better about yourself, your country, your life. Watching Babel makes you feel none of those things. And it requires you think along with it, not just emote at it. Compare it to, say, Million Dollar Baby, A Beautiful Mind, etc. They don’t require you to think, really, but they entertain you, they take care of your emotions for you, they tell you when to cry and don’t make you work too hard to try to figure out what’s going on. Babel requires a lot more brain cells. That’s all I’m saying.
    You’re kind of fun to argue with. You’re like a dog with a bone.

  21. Eric says:

    I think The Queen has some very large and very relevant themes. I think it’s less of a character study of the Queen herself and more about the way society has changed as a result of the media.
    It’s a drama with three main characters: the Queen, Tony Blair, and the press. The dynamics between the three are the drivers for the drama. Blair is the ego to Elizabeth’s superego and the press’s id, and in that way he is really the central character.
    I liked it well enough as I walked out of the theater, but have admired more and more as I’ve reflected upon it. One of the smartest movies of the year.

  22. jeffmcm says:

    Yes, emotional impact is different from emotional management. But I don’t think Babel is significantly different from what you’re describing. It hits buttons and issues – at least it did for me, not completely successfully but enough for me to think that it’ll have a devoted following.

  23. Cadavra says:

    Actually, you can get a lot smaller than CRASH: DRIVING MISS DAISY.

  24. Mongoose says:

    Am I the only person that thought The Queen played like a MOW? Puhleeeze? And I fall in the Academy age and taste range. Babel would be my choice for Best Picture.

  25. EDouglas says:

    Just saw Pursuit of Happyness yesterday and I wouldn’t rule that out for BP (or for screenplay, I’d pick that over Little Children or Flags for sure)

  26. bipedalist says:

    Mongoose, yes you’re the only person. And anyway, movies of the week THESE DAYS are a hell of a lot better than they used to be, particularly if you’re talking about BBC or PBS.
    EDouglas, PULEEZE!!!! OY! Double OY!

  27. thollyung says:

    I second that opine, “The Queen” was sublime; subject and style synthesized, and the use of stock news footage injecting Diana as a character in the film was so much harder than it’ll ever look like it was; the invisible art. How can anyone compare it to the MOW’s on network and cable, espec those churned out by Von Zerneck Sertner Films, who’s largely cornered that particular market.
    Seeing Happyness Tuesday.
    dropped the ms

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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