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David Poland

By David Poland

20 Weeks… End Of Weeks


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23 Responses to “20 Weeks… End Of Weeks”

  1. The Pope says:

    I often wonder why, when the film that is expected to win does win, people complain that the awards’ ceremony is “boring.” And then, when there is a surprise, people (invariably those same people) complain that the ‘best film” (i.e., their preferred favorite) did not win. And even when the the BEST FILM of the year is expected to win and shock, horror, does win, the Academy still is the target of complaint… “Well, it’s about time they got it right.” Sometimes it seems as if the real reason why the Academy exists is so that people can complain about it.
    That said, I think NCFOM is the best film of the year and I will be DELIGHTED if the best picture brings surprises on Sunday.

  2. jeffmcm says:

    Swinton for Best Supporting Actress? Sounds good to me, in the most wide-open category. She’s my favorite but it seems like any of the 5 have a reasonable chance of winning.

  3. jeffmcm says:

    Oh, and if Roderick Jaynes wins Best Editing, who’ll go up to accept for him?

  4. Hopscotch says:

    The one person I’m rooting the hardest for is Roger Deakins. I’d prefer he win it for No Country for Old Men, but I just want him to win. he’s got to be the best cinematographer in the world right now and he’s never won.
    Shawshank Redemption
    Oh Brother, Where art Thou
    Man Who Wasn’t There
    A Beautiful Mind
    House of Sand and Fog…
    brilliant work. No Gold statues…let’s make it happen.

  5. Jonj says:

    I found last year exciting because the best picture race really was too tough to call. Predictions were all over the board. Remember this from one of Poland’s pre-Oscar charts for best pic:
    Letters From Iwo Jima(Foreign- GG, BFCA)21.5%
    Little Miss Sunshine (PGA) (SAG Ensemble)20%
    The Departed(BFCA)19%
    The Queen 17.5%
    Remember the hate on this board on the part of some when talk of a possible “Little Miss Sunshine” win surfaced.
    Personally, NCFOM is a good choice and it would be a shock if it didn’t win. I’ll take it although a TWBB shocker would delight me. A Juno shocker wouldn’t delight me. But if TWBB takes enough votes from NCFOM then … no, forget it, this year’s best pic race is a done deal.

  6. Jonj says:

    To be fair, Poland’s last best picture chart before the ceremony last year said the following after listing the nominees:
    “You think you know any better? I can argue every one of these scenerios wih absolute conviction. And you know what the answer will be?
    Me neither.”

  7. lazarus says:

    I love how DP can’t let the Ain’t It Cool thing go. He questions the sanity of Paramount Vantage in allowing PTA to premiere There Will Be Blood in Austin, saying that it’s going to do the film more harm than good. And now after everything is about as good as could be expected, awards and box office wise, he says that the screening had “little effect” and that the “real” critics are responsible for its success.
    Whatever. And last year The Departed had no chance to take the big prize, which we heard again and again.

  8. David Poland says:

    I think you are making things up or confusing me with someone else, Laz.
    People on TWBB disagree with me about Austin. And I do think it could have harmed the film. But in the end, it didn’t. But do you really think that the Austin premiere helped?

  9. David Poland says:

    I’d be perfectly happy with a No Country win, Pope… but if they win across the board and all but a couple small awards go as expected, it will be a boring show. The right answer and the exciting answer don’t neccessarily jibe.
    Of course, this brings us back to the Obama argument, where the excitement is now being used to argue that he is the wrong answer. And the irony is, the accusation of no substance is as insubstantive as they are accusing him of being. But so far, he seems to be navagating it well. And so will The Coens.

  10. lazarus says:

    DP, correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t you saying how The Departed was too violent to win? I’m aware that eventually you saw it as a serious contender, but you were pretty late to the train on that one if I remember correctly.
    The Austin premiere helped word of mouth. You may think geeks running around proclaiming “masterpiece!” is setting people up for disappointment, but this isn’t V For Vendetta we’re talking about. It certainly paved the early way for “I drink your milkshake!” entering the vernacular.
    As for Oscar night, you’re right in that a No Country sweep will be a tad anti-climactic. But when a film this brilliant, this dark, and this challenging is actually winning something, isn’t that surprising enough? I for one am going to be pinching myself all night, and it certainly doesn’t have the inevitability of Return of the King, which had over $300 million behind it and 2 previous Best Pic noms. That sweep was just watching one domino after another tumble over.

  11. David Poland says:

    Actually, I was pretty much first on the train. I wasn’t sure at first whether it was a Best Picture nominee, much less winner. But I was clear that it would be in contention in many other categories and a leader in screenplay and director (that one, like EVERYONE else) from the day after I saw the film.
    You know, the way I cover all of this is that I write about what is happening out there, not what I am dreaming of. The argument against The Departed, from Day One until Sunday morning, was always that it was too violent to win. But in the end, it was the most populist film in the group.
    I find it odd that there are people on the web who keep telling me I was anti-Departed, when I was an agressive supporter from first to last… and the people working on the film knew it and knew it well.
    The film in that position this year is Michael Clayton, but I just don’t think that they did enough to turn that corner this time. But who knows? Clooney could upset Day-Lewis and the film could win Best Picture. I wouldn’t be stunned. But it is unlikely.
    The conventional wisdom on Juno, as it was on Little Miss Sunshine, is that comedies don’t win. And if Juno did win, that wouldn’t change conventional wisdon.
    Peanut butter… chocolate…

  12. mutinyco says:

    Jeff, if Roderick Jaynes wins, I’ll go up to get the award…

  13. lazarus says:

    Dave, I know you were a supporter of The Departed after seeing it the first time, please don’t get me wrong. I didn’t mean to imply that you were gunning for it. But as you said, I felt you weren’t initially sold on the idea of it taking the big prize when others were suggesting it.
    How do you see Clayton in that slot this year? It doesn’t have the powerhouse cast, it isn’t violent, and it hasn’t made a shitload of money. Are you referring to the East Coast, retro sensibility? Because Juno is obviously the breakout hit here, and No Country is proving to be much more populist than one would have thought, even if many are confounded by the ending. It also shares the sense of nihilism, though it gives you something to ponder at the end instead of Marty’s nudge-nudge, wink-wink grace note.

  14. IOIOIOI says:

    I have some odd feeling that the pregnant teenage girl will have a good night Sunday. I just cannot shake this feeling. Nevertheless; NCFOM would be a nice safe choice. It’s a good film right now, but it lacks resonance due to that ending. It’s not a bad ending. Yet, years from now, that movie will be the flick with the cool bad guy and shit ending. While the other four flicks have much more resonance over the long haul.

  15. “And then, on Monday, the discussion between Swartz and Rudin about the positioning of Revolutionary Road will continue. Is it Mendes time for a second Oscar? Will The Great Kate with a K finally win her first Oscar? Will Leo get his? Will Deakins be a negative if he wins this year

  16. jeffmcm says:

    I think No Country is probably the nominee likeliest to age well over the years, Juno the likeliest to be this year’s Working Girl or The Full Monty.

  17. Honestly. as long as the rumors hold true that ATONEMENT is full of shit and voters smell it….I couldn’t be happier for any best picture winner.

  18. LexG says:

    They should send BROLIN up to accept any and every award NCFOM wins.
    Dude delivered FOUR stellar performances last year and had the best fucking STACHE ever in three of them, a goatee in the fourth.
    Is he up for the THALBERG this year? Because not to take anything away from any of the other acting nominees, but it was THE YEAR OF THE BROLIN, bitch.
    He should host the show. Or they should change it from THE OSCAR to THE BROLIN.

  19. Lex, lay off the caps. I beg you.
    Hopscotch, interesting discussion to be had there. I’d throw Dion Beebe (ironically, he won the Oscar for his weakest work), Harris Savides (who had a killer 2007) and Emmanuel Lubezki would be edging out Deakins. I probably spelt those last two guys’ names wrong, oh well.
    And I’m with The Pope on this. Is it possible for just one year people don’t complain. If they stick with the status quo they’re boring, if they surprise they’re “out of touch” or whatever. Yawn. Haven’t heard that before.
    In terms of predictions I’m thinking 100% along with Dave. Tilda being a last minute eenie-meenie-miney-moe situation. It really could be any of the five.

  20. lazarus says:

    Lex, lay off the gelcaps too, while you’re at it.

  21. David Poland says:

    Pet… you’re wrong and if you think about it, you probably know it.
    Variety already did a story about next year’s race. I’m sure others have too.
    I waited until June to do my first Oscar look this year and will wait until summer again this year.
    The truth is, I don’t care about being the first one to look obsessively into the future. There was a time when I did. And I was. And I was uncomfortable when others scrambled to beat me to it and all of a sudden, there was a parade of people lining up early. When a niche conversation starts mainstreaming, it is often time to back the hell off. And I have. And I will.
    I am not embarrassed by reporting on the Oscars each year over those six months. Yes, it pays the bills. But more, it is a horse race and it separates from the core reality of “the best films.” What it does for me as a critic is to allow me to focus on the films I do see as “best” and gives them a platform. But in the end, what I like doesn’t much matter. I get that.
    I know that it can be hard, sometimes, to separate my various interests and not see it all as one big blur. But for me, they are quite separate. And one of the eternal lessons of all of this work, for me, is coming to understand that others compartmentalize or non-compartmentalize in ways I never see coming. All I can defend is my sense of the truth, especially as to my intent.

  22. To be honest, I hope what you said right there is true. This is one of my favorite sites/blogs but Oscar season is like the sports season between the Super Bowl and Spring Training around here. I just wait it out so we can talk about better stuff later. I understand your motivations and all, it’s just all this Oscar stuff starts too early (not just here…everywhere) and I’m sick of it by go time.

  23. jeffmcm says:

    Wait, how does talking about the Oscar horse race equate to talking about ‘the core reality of “the best films”‘? I don’t know about you, but for me, most years I’m lucky if one or two of my favorite movies make the Oscar nominated five.

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