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David Poland

By David Poland


Ah… the BFCA
I considered resigning this week after seeing that this organization chose to embrace the failing hack version of what was once a show about criticism by having Lie-ons and What Would Grandpa Say? announce the award nominations. I haven’t. Not yet. As a matter of principle, it is my instinct to do so, but I don

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22 Responses to “BFCA Nods”

  1. chris says:

    In addition to confusing Mr. Lyons with being a critic did the voters confuse Kate Beckinsale with Kate Winslet?

  2. Kate Beckinsale is great in “Truth” and deserving of a nomination, despite Mr. Poland’s innuendo. And Winslet was absent (with the rest of the “Road” crew) because screeners arrived late last week for a larger number of BFCAers.

  3. Dignan says:

    1 lonely nomination for Rachel Getting Married (too bad its director wasn’t a former member like Rod Lurie) but hey, the important thing is Brad and Angelina get to walk the red carpet as co-nominees!
    Your instincts were correct David. Resign.

  4. chris says:

    I’d argue not greater than Winslet, but that’s a matter of taste. However, if BFCA members could get to a screening of “Revolutionary Road” here in the middle of the country before voting (I saw ’em there), they should have been able to do the same in LA.

  5. Dignan says:

    Whoops. I misspoke. 2 Rachel nominations.
    Still a sham organization.

  6. LexG says:

    HUUUGE FAN. Great news!

  7. Joe Leydon says:

    Lex: I don’t know how to break it to you, man… But in Nothing But the Truth… Kate doesn’t wear the black leather Underworld outfit… Just so you won’t get your hopes (or anything else) up…

  8. LexG says:

    Ha! Thanks for the heads-up, Joe, and definitely kind of disappointing, but she’s also actually one of my favorite actress-actresses; I was hoping she and the movie SNOW ANGELS would get some buzz going into the season, but looks like the 2nd or 3rd best movie of ’08 doesn’t have enough money behind it to make a dent.
    Lurie can be a little ham-handed, but there’s something less strident and Haggisian, and kind of humble, about his earnest political thrillers and journo-dramas. So I’m looking forward to seeing “Truth.”

  9. Joe Leydon says:

    LexG: More bad news for you, bud. Today, the LA Film Critics picked as Best Movie of 2008…. well, a cartoon.

  10. yancyskancy says:

    Here’s an omission that galls me, not because I thought it would make the cut, but because I knew it had no chance: Cadillac Records for Best Ensemble.
    Seriously, regardless of what one thinks of the film (which I loved, by the way), how could any critic watch that group of amazing performances and not want to honor them? I’d be tempted to play the race card, but I know it’s really about the buzz card. Despite some strong reviews, this film hasn’t managed any real Oscar buzz except a stray mention here and there of Beyonce (who is shockingly good – as in I’m shocked she had it in her). Was happy to see Dave sing the praises of Eamonn Walker and some of the others in his latest Oscar column though.

  11. LexG says:

    Fuckin’ Turan.
    Hey, Lou From Caddyshack T. Thompson, you on the LAFC?
    PLEASE tell me you voted for something awesome like “Punisher War Zone” or “Dark Knight” or “Street Kings” or “Saw V,” and not weak-ass douche-fest “Wall-E,” whatever THAT shit is (wouldn’t watch it if you paid me 100k.)

  12. movieman says:

    TypePad is still fucked: I had to sign in six times just to post this damn comment.
    I’m totally in agreement with you, Chris.
    I braved yet another northeastern Ohio blizzard to see “Revolutionary Road” last week, assuming that a screener would never show up in time (and, sigh, of course it did).
    Totally mystified by the complete shut-out of “RR,” a film that I happen to think is one of the two best English-language films of the year. At least I have the comfort of knowing that I did my part, voting for it in practically every damn category it was eligible: Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Screenplay, Score.
    While I’m no Beckinsale fan (sorry Lex), she was perfectly adequate in “Truth.” The film itself was typical heavy-breathing Lurie bombast, though, and I’m a bit stunned that Yari’s (shamelessly) aggressive campaigning paid off with some of my more, uh, susceptible BFCA-ers. Needless to say the only “Kate” I voted for was Winslet (twice, dammit!)
    You are so right about the two Bens being annointed the BFCA’s new “poster ‘critics,'” Dave. It’s beyond embarrassing.

  13. LexG says:


  14. jeffmcm says:

    I haven’t seen Frost/Nixon, but Downey (yes, in blackface) and Brolin are totally worthy of getting Supporting Actor nominations.

  15. martin says:

    There’s a lot of ways to describe Wall-E, for better or worse, but “weak-ass douche-fest” is not one of them.

  16. lazarus says:

    You know DP, if resigning over Ben-squared seems like an overreaction, how about the fact that Wanted was nominated for Best anything? Along with Indiana Jones? Do you need any more reasons?

  17. martin says:

    I’m surprised Jerry B hasn’t managed to successfully petition the Academy for Best Action. I remember him complaining about that back when Con Air was released.

  18. LYT says:

    I did indeed vote for Dark Knight, Lex.
    Wall-E wasn’t even my favorite animated film of the year, but thankfully we did manage to honor Waltz With Bashir too.

  19. LexG says:


  20. “And Winslet was absent (with the rest of the “Road” crew) because screeners arrived late last week for a larger number of BFCAers.”
    And heaven forbid that critics should actually have to see movies before making lists and giving awards. Christ on a bike, this group gets worse and worse every year. Six nominees in most categories (except, ahem, Best Supporting Actor which has five likely bets with Oscar and no need for a sixth placegetter) so that they can boast about “scoring 5/5” when Oscar noms come around. That safety buffer has served them well in the past! Mindnumbing stupidity in the form of “Best Action Movie” category. Were there even any other contenders for that category?
    Changeling for Best Picture? Nothing about a metacritic score in the low 60s and a 59% RT score screams much of “Best anything”. Why bother nominating it? There isn’t a chance of it getting an Oscar nod in Best Picture so you just threw away a viable slot! Bolt was better reviewed than Changeling! But, then again, Bolt wasn’t directed by the Messiah himself.
    “Another Way to Die”?? Jesus fuckin’ christ that’s a joke, surely?
    God dammit, I hate this group so much and I get worked up about them every year when they don’t warrant anything more than an eye roll. HATE!

  21. LexG says:

    Ladies, take some notes.

  22. yancyskancy says:

    Kami: I agree that the six nominee thing in some of the acting categories is a joke, but I’ll applaud them for the Changeling Best Picture nod precisely because it’s NOT likely to make Oscar’s cut. I’m shocked they didn’t drop it like a hot potato, considering how the early buzz has cooled.
    I certainly don’t factor in MetaCritic or RT when I’m making my personal picks, and neither should any self-respecting critic (there must be at least a few of those in BFCA).

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