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David Poland

By David Poland

DGA Nods… As Expected

The Dark Knight
Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Slumdog Millionaire

Soderbergh screwed.
(Correction for dumb error uncaught: 3:15p)

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23 Responses to “DGA Nods… As Expected”

  1. Considering the DGA is the group that nominated the likes of Marc Forster (for Finding Neverland), Gary Ross (for Seabiscuit) and Frank Darabont (for The Green Mile) for their prize – directors even the Academy’s director branch found too nauseating and vanilla to nominate – I find it hard to believe that Soderbergh ever stood a chance.

  2. byanyother says:

    Masturbating and naval gazing aren’t exactly reasons to hand out a DGA nod – Soderbergh did not get screwed. He got exactly what he should have expected in making that film – one or two admirers. His ego is gigantic.

  3. matro says:

    Let’s not confuse “ego” with “ambition” here – everytime I’ve ever seen Soderbergh he comes off as an intelligent and wryly self-deprecating personality, not some egomaniac. I’d have a beer with him; my highest compliment.

  4. The Pope says:

    Of all the noms, I have only see TDK, so I’m not sufficiently informed to say yay or nay. However, as far as Soderbergh is concerned, I think for sheer daring he might well have deserved a nod. I wonder whether Che is a film anyone else on the list would have even considered making. They are challenging films, not crowd pleasers at all, but I think that the DGA might have had the intelligence to at least acknowledge what it takes to get something like that on the screen in such an intelligant fashion… but then as Kamikaze pointed out… Finding Neverland and The Green Mile were nodded.

  5. No nomination for Darren Aronofsky for The Wrestler?!?!

  6. Sam says:

    This hurts Doubt pretty badly, doesn’t it? But WALL*E, I suppose, still has its outside shot, since it wasn’t eligible for the DGA anyway. I still don’t think it’ll make it, though I’d be thrilled if it did.
    But why no blogging on the WGA noms? The Best Original Screenplay nominations were the most interesting guild nominations yet. How did Rachel Getting Married miss? And how did Burn After Reading hit? Nathaniel, over at, doesn’t even have it listed amongst his 18 candidates for the Oscar noms. It just goes to show how wide open the category is. Though the year as a whole seems like a particularly predictable one, this category is not.

  7. The Pope says:

    I think the reason why there are so little blogging on the WGA noms is because so few people really care. Sad. I mean, the writers, what do they do? Other than provide the filmmakers with a road map on what needs to be done in order to get the film made.
    But in so far as it being wide open race this year? Sure. But what bewilders me is how on earth the Coens got the nod. I fear that they are drifting into the arena where they could provide a lunch menu and it would be nominated.

  8. mutinyco says:

    I suppose that’s insult to injury: You spelled Soderbergh’s name wrong…

  9. Roman says:

    “Soderbergh screwed.”
    Is that all you’ve got out of it? Soderbergh’s screwed?
    How about that this is just a pathtic list in general (much like most of other lists this year). I look at them and I feel actual disgust.

  10. Cadavra says:

    Not really sure DOUBT got screwed. It’s an actors’ film–and a writer’s film–not a director’s one. The “photographed stage play” syndrome still exacts a heavy toll.

  11. Roman says:

    And what is this thing with Bryan Singer? Never quite understood it.

  12. Roman says:

    “The “photographed stage play” syndrome still exacts a heavy toll.”
    Tell that to the guys who nominated Ron Howard.

  13. LexG says:

    Long as Milk is in the running (and probably deserves to be), can I make a mild nitpick about two gaffes likely born of Van Sant’s political
    Did people commonly say “African-American” in 1978? Penn is making his tape recorded message, and uses the term when listing a series of minority communities. I guess it’s possible it was used in governmental, statistical circles then… maybe? I don’t know, I just always thought of that as becoming prevalent in the early ’90s; Seems unlikely that a salt-of-the-earth New York transplant like Milk wouldn’t have simply said “black” in ’78.
    On the same tip, and this is probably a Brolin improv bit, but GVS should’ve caught it: When White shows up at Harvey’s birthday party, Brolin does this amusing bit of business when Diego Luna comes around, babbling something like, “I don’t even know who you are… LATINO MAN!”
    It gets a big laugh from the audience because Brolin sells it… but again, was “Latino” really commonplace in ’78, especially among old-school white conservatives like White?
    The movie’s period detail is incredible for the most part, but little moments like that can immediately take one out of the film for a sec. It’d be like if James Franco sent Harvey a text message in some random montage.

  14. jeffmcm says:

    I think Latino was pretty commonplace in certain parts of the country, African-American not so much.

  15. leahnz says:

    interesting. i happen to have watched the first 3 ‘dirty harry’ movies recently as part of an mgm channel ‘dh’ marathon (say what one will about clint but he had bloody fantastic hair), those films span the early-to-mid 70’s san fran and the term ‘afro-american’ is used in them, i think that may have been the preferred formal term in the 70’s. (i’ve not seen ‘milk’ yet but is it possible the line is ‘afro-american’ and it just sounds like ‘african-american’ when the line is spoken? just a thought. also, when i was little and lived in LA for a couple years in the early 70’s, i remember latinos in my hood were called ‘chicanos’. maybe that was local tho)

  16. LexG says:

    Leah, I was also under the impression Chicano would’ve been more commonplace in those days.
    Clint’s hair is FANTASTIC in “Play Misty For Me.” And “The Beguiled.” In the latter, his giant coif is extra hilarious, just the idea that this wounded Civil War soldier all laid up in a boarding house still had time to style and maintain this Swingin’ 70s bouffant.

  17. leahnz says:

    too true, lex, his hair in those is brilliant, pure comedy. (speaking of ‘the beguiled’, it’s actually one of my fave clint flicks; a while back i bought a dvd double feature out of the $4.99 bargain bin of ‘thunderbolt and lightfoot’ and ‘the beguiled’, and i’d forgotten what a creepy little gothic tale it is, thoroughly enjoyable. and ‘t & l’ is one of my all-time faves so i was stoked all round with my purchase, that scene where that raving lunatic crashes and rolls the car with all the rabbits in the boot and then takes them out and starts shooting them is fucking hysterical, i laughed so hard i nearly lost bladder control when i watched it. i have such a soft spot for that movie)

  18. leahnz says:

    (shooting AT them, really, the guy was a horrible shot, no blood on those fluffy white bunnies)

  19. Cadavra says:

    Roman: I get where you’re coming from, but I did see FROST/NIXON on stage, and Howard and Morgan opened it up far more than Shanley did DOUBT, even though the latter was considerably more rewritten (i.e., the play had only the four main characters). But again, not a function of the director per se.
    I think DOUBT is one of the very best pictures this year, but, again, it is a triumph of acting and script.

  20. Roman says:

    Cadavra, I get where you are coming from too, but I think that when it comes to perceptions associated with stage plays in general, Howard gets a pass where someone else does not. And, Doubt, as you’ve said, is probably a better film.

  21. jeffmcm says:

    Doubt is definitely a better film (from my perspective). I saw Frost/Nixon last night and it was infected with a sense of self-importance.

  22. Joe Leydon says:

    I saw Frost/Nixon in a touring stage production (with Stacey Keach excellent as Nixon) before I saw Howard’s filmization — and greatly enjoyed both. I think Howard’s film is one that, years from now, will hold up a lot better than many films that have been highly praised by contemporary critics. But take this from someone who’s just barely old enough to recall David Frost as the host of the bitingly satiric That Was the Week That Was (the US version on NBC) — he wasn’t quite as naive (or pereceived as such) as the play and movie might have you believe.

  23. jeffmcm says:

    It would be difficult for him to have been so. Similarly, Sheen’s Tony Blair seemed rather too twinkly and naive a character in The Queen as well, but it still worked for me.

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