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David Poland

By David Poland

SAG Strikes… With Nominations!!!

Dan sag it!!!
Razum frazum foon ba!

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36 Responses to “SAG Strikes… With Nominations!!!”

  1. The Pope says:

    “There really, really, really was not a single thing that moved the needle a single inch.”
    That is of course if we all agree that the needle should move or at least point towards the Oscars. I think many awards want to jockey positions for the Oscars (the Globes being the obvious… but many critics groups as well). But for me, the Guilds stand more on their own. The Directors usually tally with the Oscars, and the SAG may do so as well, but that is only because of the cross over voting block, the same voters voting for each award.
    But really, is there a SAG member (or even a large part of their group) who, when sitting with their nomination card says, “Hmm, I’ll give that person my vote because I want them to go to the Academy Awards”?
    Some awards are needles and pointers only for themselves.

  2. Downey’s performance is much more than a “stunt,” but you’re going to continue to paint that film with your “it stinks” brush until a new one comes along.

  3. Rob says:

    I’m starting to worry about Kristin Scott Thomas. But I’m kind of glad Sally Hawkins didn’t make it.

  4. Geoff says:

    I really hate the play the race card, but why the hell is Dev Patel nominated for Supporting Actor???? I know the character is played by three different actors, but the guy is the heart of that movie – Geoffrey Rush got Best Actor for Shine and Brad Pitt will likely get the nod for Best Actor, those seems like fair comparisons for screen time.
    I really would have thought the Actor’s Union would past this, even though he’s an Indian actor.
    By the way, Slumdog is the film of the year, as far as I’m concerned – though, I have not yet seen Milk or Frost/Nixon. Really pulling for Man on Wire, too!

  5. yancyskancy says:

    The role may be a stunt, but Downey Jr.’s performance is not. Should Peter Sellers not have been nominated for his stunt role(s) in Dr. Strangelove?
    I haven’t seen several of Downey’s competitors (both nominated and overlooked), so I can’t make comparisons, but I certainly have no problem saying he’s worthy of award consideration for that performance.

  6. Dignan says:

    Does this mean David will finally add Downey Jr. to his charts?

  7. ManWithNoName says:

    DP, you are completely irrational when it comes to Downey in Tropic Thunder. Fine, you hated the movie. But to act as though it’s nothing more than a stunt without any level of depth or acting talent is just willful blindness.

  8. LYT says:

    Eddie Marsan and Michael Shannon’s characters are no less contrived or stunts.
    The former: An easily exasperated driving teacher who turns out to be a total bigot nutjob, thus letting the annoying lead character completely off the hook for treating him terribly.
    The latter: The “CRAAAAZY” person who’s considered nuts because he speaks the truth.
    “The dude playin’ a dude disguised as another dude” is actually downright deep by comparison.

  9. Triple Option says:

    Yeah, I gotta side w/Geoff on this. Dev Patel shoulda gotten a best actor nom not supporting. The kid who played in Shine had longer screen time than Rush and I felt greater story impact. Not that Rush wasn’t good but even then I thought it was weighted a bit funny. I don’t know what they’d attribute Patel only being a supporter. You’re focus is on him the whole time.
    There’s still quite a few flix I haven’t seen. Langella was good in Frost/Nixon but holy cow was that movie a flatline. And is it just me or is that story structure played out? Crap, I couldn’t tell what one of 8 carbon copy movies I was watching w/little more than names changed.
    Do you think all the love for Robert Downey Jr in Tropic Thunder is kind of a life’s work/feel good story/Ironman reward? It’s not that I don’t think he did a good job but it kinda has that vote for Ripken for the All-Star game even though he’s only hitting .289 and 10 HR’s at the break kind of thing.

  10. Theseus says:

    Hey guys, new reader/user here.
    Dave (can I call you Dave? Mr. Poland?) I disagree with you about Downey and Tropic Thunder; I’ll give you that the movie is way over-rated, as is the Tom Cruise part. Downey was the standout in that flick though. Don’t know if his performance is Oscar worthy, but a nomination or two? Why not?
    I agree that if there’s a SAG strike, then there should be no SAG awards show. (90% of awards shows are snooze-fests anyway.)
    Finally, I’ll also echo your congrats to Amy Adams. (At work today) I caught your sit down interview with her. Grrr…I’m envious, dude. A buddy of mine and his girlfriend had tickets to the Letterman show last week; Amy Adams was the first guest out. According to my friend, and I’ll concur, the lady is a total hottie. I was also told that she’s super nice. That true?

  11. mysteryperfecta says:

    Welcome, Theseus.

  12. jeffmcm says:

    I just had to chime in with the pro-Downey folks. Say whatever you want about the rest of the movie, and I’m no fan of the Cruise stunt-role, but Downey’s performance is comic gold, the kind of thing that typically gets ignored by critics and awards groups. He deserves this kind of recognition.
    ‘Sham’? ‘Black eye’? ‘Stunt’? You sound ridiculous.

  13. Downey’s great, I agree with you all. But why bother getting on DP’s case about it if he didn’t like it? He’s much more realistic about RDJ’s chances than Tapley who once again appears to be trying to use his site to sway voters into voting for someone he thinks deserves a nod.

  14. yancyskancy says:

    don: I don’t think anyone’s suggesting that Dave is obligated to like the performance. But his dislike seems to be driving his opinion of its award chances, doesn’t it? Shouldn’t a SAG nod put Downey on Dave’s prediction list, alongside Liev Schreiber? It’s no big deal, just an oddity.

  15. djk813 says:

    SAG is actually worse at the falling for the Lead role in the Supporting category stunt. Remember they were the ones who nominated Keisha Castle-Hughes for Supporting Actress in Whale Rider, but the Oscars rightly put her in the Lead category despite the campaigning otherwise.

  16. But Dave ALWAYS harps on some person or film during awards season. Thinking about it, it’s usually a movie but apparently it’s Downey Jr. this year. I guess I’ve learned to deal with it.
    Personally, and as much as I liked his performance, it just doesn’t seem very “Oscary.” I dunno if it’s just how tepid the movie is or how kind of “novelty” it is or what. I dunno. Just seems like an odd pick.

  17. yancyskancy says:

    I think Oscar needs to nominate less “Oscary” performances and films in general. 🙂
    I haven’t seen Slumdog yet, but I suspect Patel’s supporting nod has less to do with race than youth. See Timothy Hutton’s supporting Oscar for Ordinary People, for instance.

  18. David Poland says:

    Uh… someone compared Downey in Tropic Thunder to Sellers in Dr Strangelove.
    And I am being irrational?
    Obviously, all this love for this part is about heavy, heavy marketing by Paramount and love of Downey’s comeback. It is not about this performance, which is fine… but special… really?
    Downey in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang… Downey in Zodiac… even Downey in Iron Man. But this is just stupid. And it is an insult to actors who are not no ones who gave more interesting performances. This is like giving an Oscar nod to Jack Black for Nacho Libre. Maybe if the script wasn’t such a mediocrity and missed opportunity, he may have given a performance in a comedy worthy of awards. But there was little depth to the character and thus, to the performance.
    And yesh, the hubris of chasing this does bug me. I know that many of you are just itching for anything that breaks the conventional thinking. But pick something wiser. Eddie Murphy in Bowfinger, no… but this yes? Borat no and this yes? No one from any Apatow movies, but this? No Jack Black in School of Rock, but this?
    They has you at “a dude playin’ a dude disguised as another dude.” Get a room.

  19. KrisTapleysSensitiveVagina says:

    I took the liberty of creating my own account so I may speak to all of you directly.
    Now that that’s done, I’m going to go about eliminating the copious amounts of sand within me.

  20. jeffmcm says:

    “all this love for this part is about heavy, heavy marketing by Paramount and love of Downey’s comeback. It is not about this performance, which is fine… but special… really?”
    Really. I don’t know how ‘marketing’ fits in to it – I certainly am not seeing any ‘marketing’ aimed in my direction. The awards people are rewarding Downey for his comeback, yes, but I’m just recognizing a really good performance. Should the Oscars or whoever have recognized Sasha Baron Cohen for Borat or Eddie Murphy in Bowfinger or Nutty Professor? Absolutely. But their failure then isn’t a good excuse to rationalize the same now.
    I would absolutely take Downey in this movie above him in Zodiac or KKBB or Iron Man.
    Also, while Sellers in Strangelove is certainly in a higher league, let’s be honest here – none of those three performances are ‘deep’ either (it’s two straight men opposite George C. Scott and Sterling Hayden and one Goon Show concoction). Comic brillance, yes. Brando- or DeNiro-level deep, not really.

  21. IOIOIOI says:

    Heat: chil the fuck out.
    Academy: you best recognize the Bat, or you are over. You get one chance. Have fun being the fucking Tony’s in 10 years. You dumb fucks.

  22. yancyskancy says:

    I didn’t compare Downey’s performance to Sellers’. I merely asked a rhetorical question. If it’s the “stunt” aspect that makes Downey a ridiculous choice, why are other stunt roles exempt? I’ve been thinking about Tim Robbins’ perf in Mystic River in this regard. Wasn’t that a stunt role of sorts? Does its being in a heavy drama make the difference? I don’t remember how you felt about the perf, and maybe there’s no point in getting into a lot of apples-and-oranges stuff, but I’ll lay it out there anyway.
    I absolutely would’ve nominated Murphy, Baron Cohen and Black for the lead roles you cited. But a supporting performance by definition doesn’t have to be as rich as a lead role. Downey nailed the role and brought more to it than was there, so throw him a nod. And yes, I’d have nominated him for Zodiac (didn’t see Kiss Kiss) and I think he’s deserving for Iron Man as well.

  23. LexG says:

    He shouldn’t be nominated, if for no other reason than that “dude disguised as another dude” is quickly becoming the new “Austin Powers imitation” among workplace tools who also did Borat imitations.

  24. LYT says:

    The fact that previous good performances didn’t get award nominations is no reason to exclude current ones that deserve them.
    There are many better animated movies than Wall-E, for example.

  25. Guys…guys. Lets talk about what no one is talking about in Downey Jr.’s performance. Was he being a convincing black man? What does being a convincing black man “mean?” What does an American playing an Australian playing a black man mean? Is it good? I don’t even know.
    It was ballsy and funny but I kinda side with DP with the whole “a dude playin’ a dude disguised as another dude” exposition in dialogue thing.

  26. yancyskancy says:

    Dignan: Looks like the answer to your question is “yes.” Downey’s on the latest chart. I suppose the SAG nod clinched it. So my gentle griping is done. I never cared if Dave liked the perf or not — just seemed odd to me that he didn’t have it on the list of contenders, which is presumably intended to be an objective handicapping of Oscar chances.

  27. Dave says:

    Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder may not be on the level of Sellers in Dr. Strangelove, but I would certainly put him on the level of Depp in Pirates, which did land him a nod.

  28. jeffmcm says:

    To Don: I’d say that his performance in the movie is less about being a convincing ‘black man’ in reality and more about how ‘blackness’ is represented in Hollywood movies – and as such, is something of a parody of the likes of Bubba in Forrest Gump among others.

  29. I love that I inspired some moron to create an uncreative username. One doesn’t get an ego stroke like that every day.

  30. storymark says:

    “Obviously, all this love for this part is about heavy, heavy marketing by Paramount and love of Downey’s comeback. ”
    I do belive that’s a “fuck you” to those who genuinely liked the performance.
    Right back atcha.
    Remember Dave, not everyone is swept up in the Oscar marketing circle jerk.

  31. David Poland says:

    Uh, no, Story… it’s not.
    I like the performance.
    And I think that Oscar talk for it is idiotic. As touting Adam Sandler for stretching in Zohan or Sarah Jessica Parker for not strecthing in S&TC would be. It’s not that they didn’t do the job and do it well. It’s context. It’s degree.
    Downey would be a more legit candidate for saving a medicore script and directing effort on Iron Man.
    And we’re not talking about those outside of the Oscar marketing circle jerk… everyone who votes is in it. And we’re talking about him eventually getting an Oscar nod.

  32. jeffmcm says:

    So now it sounds like you’re saying “it’s a good performance, but it’s not an Oscar performance” which sounds like a statement that doesn’t quite align with your earlier “this is a sham/stunt/black eye”.
    God forbid a good, non-Oscary performance gets recognized by the Oscars.

  33. doug r says:

    Dave, you can’t even defend your dissing of RDJ’s totally transparent performance in TT without slagging IM?
    Just give up and accept the awesomeness. There is no trace of RDJ in either of the “characters” he plays in TT. It’s ALL performance.
    “I’m a LEAD Farmer, MoterFucker”!

  34. doug r says:

    That’s MotherF**ker.

  35. yancyskancy says:

    I don’t doubt that there are people who will vote to nominate Downey out of good will toward his comeback rather than love of his performance. It’s the Oscars; they often bestow their honors for reasons that have little to do with the work in question (e.g., all those well-noted “career achievement” awards disguised as Best Supporting Actor/Actress nods). But surely there are some voters who feel the same way as us Downey defenders here who think the work is worthy irrespective of the comeback. When I was watching TT, I wasn’t thinking about Paramount’s marketing efforts or Downey’s “comeback” (which has been building over a few years). I was just thinking, “Man, he’s funny.” And yeah, I was even thinking that it’s the kind of comedy perf that would make a great Sup. Actor nod, but probably has no chance because not even the acting branch seems to understand the degree of difficulty involved in making that kind of performance work, even when they’re laughing their butts off at it.
    Beating a dead horse, I know. And honestly, once I’ve seen all the contenders, I may decide Downey’s not quite final-five-worthy. Dave has seen them all, and that’s probably a factor in his pooh-poohing of the Downey hype.

  36. christian says:

    Downey is just as worthy as Heath Ledger in a totally different way. They’re both unique, fascinating performances.

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