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David Poland

By David Poland

20 Weeks – Outside Looking In

Oh, that candy.
It’s right there. You can see it. You know the flavor, even if it was only described some other time by someone you are close with. But whether you have tasted it before or just heard about it, you want that flavor in your mouth. You want the invite to the ultimate party

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23 Responses to “20 Weeks – Outside Looking In”

  1. Sam says:

    How much did these charts change? If the precursors say anything, it’s that Gosling should be in the top five by now, Watanabe nowhere in sight, Will Smith out of first place, and Letters down a few pegs. You keep calling all the precursors boring and predictable, as you do every year, but they *are* telling us this much.
    Actress and Supporting Actress, though, are looking remarkably solid. Your top five in each, which matches the SAG, look like they’ll line up with Oscar just right.

  2. David Poland says:

    How does Smith’s SAG nom take him out of first place?
    Why should Letters and Watanabe drop when SAG often overlooks some films and PGA misses too?
    The only variation in Picture is Babel vs Letters.

  3. Crow T Robot says:

    Well you did give a little love to The Prestige script. Very cool.

  4. Melquiades says:

    Babel is definitely in the Best Picture most-likely group at this point. In fact, I’d say the top five is about as locked as the Best Actress group. Sure, an upset could sneak in (Iwo Jima, United 93), but your nominees will more than likely be:
    The Departed
    Little Miss Sunshine
    The Queen
    And Watanabe has no chance. Give Leo his spot and it’s Cohen and Gosling fighting it out for the fifth.

  5. Josh Massey says:

    Melquiades is dead on.
    I’m not sure why you still have “Letters” so high.

  6. MarkVH says:

    Agreed that “Letters” doesn’t get in, but I think Clint grabs the fifth director slot out of pure Academy love.
    And I’m still not convinced on either LMS or Babel. I think we’ll get a City of God-level shocker this year in the form of another film by one of the Three Amigos – either Pan’s Labyrinth or Children of Men (I know DP has ixnayed the latter, but I’m not leaving it for dead just yet).

  7. Sam says:

    DP: Sure, SAG and PGA miss some. But they contribute to the temperature of the room. I think Letters will still pull off a BP nom — but you’re saying it’s still the second most likely to score. I say the PGA snub, plus the many many more precursor wins for The Departed make The Departed more of a lock.
    Same with Will Smith. He’s in, almost guaranteed. But above Forest Whitaker, with 14.5 wins already under his belt? Just going by raw statistics, he’s only slightly less locked than Mirren is.
    And Watanabe has no heat — none — at all.

  8. Paul8148 says:

    I think that the LMS duo can sneak in for DGA. Remember Miller the Commerical Maker got in last year.

  9. Stella's Boy says:

    I agree that those are more than likely the five BP nominees, and that depresses me. As I have said before, IMO Little Miss Sunshine is easily the most overrated movie of the year and it wouldn’t make my top 30 list. I admired Babel’s intentions but didn’t love the movie. The Queen is good but it’s not one of the year’s very best films. I’m fine with The Departed and I have yet to see Dreamgirls. If those are the final five, I much prefer last year’s five nominees.

  10. Jonj says:

    Little Children finally expands to 100 screens this weekend. I can’t wait to see what scares the hell out of New Line about this movie.

  11. Didn’t Iwo Jima screeners only get send out really recently though, which would be responsible for it’s slow showing?

  12. Eric says:

    I’ve seen all five. I don’t think there’s a real stinker in the bunch, although they’re far from the five best movies of the year.
    Babel is pretentious but well-made.
    Little Miss Sunshine really surprised me by how mundane it is– from the reviews, I had expected to laugh more than once.
    The Queen is the smartest of the bunch and very good, definitely worthy of a spot.
    Departed is the most fun. I like how David put it in his best-of list– it’s a movie-movie, and it’s great fun to see Scorsese work it from that angle.
    And Dreamgirls. Finally saw it last night. Really impressive performances. Eddie Murphy deserves any award they give him. Wish the story was stronger, though, and most of all I wish the story was stronger. If you’re going to make a movie about music– about some of the catchiest damn music of all time— I had better be humming a tune on my way out of the theater. I wasn’t.

  13. Eric says:

    Oops– I meant “most of all I wish the music was better.”

  14. The Carpetmuncher says:

    Little Children expands this week? That means that the film has a chance to get some more talk going and provoke that “act of God” it needs to get some Oscar love. With some luck, Little Children could be this year’s The Crying Game.
    I say this and I’m not even sure how much I like the movie. I’m hardly convinced that the entire subplot was necessary, or understand what it has to do with the rest of the film. And felt pretty unsatisfied when the credits started rolling.
    But Little Children is easily the most provocative film of the year, and clearly demonstrates that Todd Field is one of the purest, most original directors working today, and he should be honored this year along with Marty, Pedro, & Inarritu (and Altman, if the Academy knew what was good for them).
    As much as I like him, Bill Condon deserves to be snubbed. I enjoyed Dreamgirls, but he hardly hit it out of the park – frankly, there’s at least 10 guys who could have made twice the movie Condon made with the same pieces. He’s a solid director, but hardly the superstar people like to make him out to be. As much as I liked Kinsey, I’m still not convinced that he’s made a better film than Murder 101, a little gem he did for TV with Pierce Brosnan years back.
    I’d take Frears, or Cuaron, or Clint, or Dayton & Faris, or even Oliver Stone over Condon.

  15. God I hate Kinsey. I want to smash it’s face in and stab it in the neck.

  16. Are there really no alternates other than The Prestige for Adapted Screenplay? Not even The Painted Veil?

  17. Hallick says:

    If this year has a Crying Game, its Little Miss Sunshine: a little sleeper hit with enough momentum to score nominations, but more than enough backlash to guarantee nothing but a Best Original Screenplay win at best.

  18. Hallick says:

    Ye gods, Dave, I think its time to deep six the “other possibles by studio” grid on your Best Picture page. “Fur”? “Scoop”? “All The King’s Men”?!? With what unholy instrument of divination do movies like those pop up as possibilities? A petrified Magic 8 Ball?

  19. Josh Massey says:

    Amen, Hallick. I’ve thought the same thing. It’s even more egregious than Wells’ “upcoming” schedule that still includes “Van Wilder 2” and “Apocalypto.”

  20. Sam says:

    Just read the latest Gurus of Gold. It’s nice to se that Stephen Holt’s predictions are still as entertaining as ever to read.
    Go, History Boys!

  21. LexG says:

    Little off-topic, but had to ask: Did WB completely, wholeheartedly give up on GOOD GERMAN, to the point of pulling it from release?
    It never went any wider than a few screens; In LA it was on two, and now it’s been pulled from the Grove and dropped into the Laemmle’s Music Hall; They’re not even running the usual SAG/WGA admission ticker at the bottom of the newspaper ads. Can I assume then they’re not even going to try releasing it wider?
    That’s really embarrassing considering the pedigree.

  22. David Poland says:

    That list represents movies that will be campaigned and I don’t consider to be in the game in a real way, guys. It is dismissive. I did have a studio tell me to take one film completely off the chart this year, which was funny.
    But as long as they are spending on those films, they belong there.

  23. Hallick says:

    “That list represents movies that will be campaigned and I don’t consider to be in the game in a real way, guys. It is dismissive.”
    Thank you, that clarifies a lot. But your grid needs a dismissive title!

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