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David Poland

By David Poland


Why is Variety – in the form of two leading bloggers on the .com page – selling the absurd notion that The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is chasing Slummy’s tail closely?
It is my considered opinion that both Frost/Nixon and Milk have much stronger constituencies than Button at this point.
Is it really as simple as “the movie with the most nominations must be #2?”
While Bart is selling Benjamin Button coming up from behind, Thompson is selling Milk splitting Slummy and the alleged #2, Button.
Are we really this desperate to create a race (and perhaps, sell more ads) when we all have a very good sense of where things really are?
And what kind of crap is this? “This year the directors to a remarkable degree, have

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21 Responses to “Hmmm…”

  1. Don Murphy says:

    Don’t know much about history, Don’t know much BIOlogy, don’t know much about the French I took…
    But I do know that I DO VOTE, and I’ll be going for Fincher and Button whenever that damn ballot shows up.

  2. David Poland says:

    That’s supposed to be a secret, Don.
    But score one for The Button.

  3. Hopscotch says:

    I would agree Van Sant overtaking Boyle has a much better shot than Fincher (granted, still highly unlikely). We will know shortly.
    Button reminds of The Aviator in a way. A “Big Prestige” period-movie, many nominations, could make a big shock on Awards night. In the end, just wasn’t all that well-liked, though it did win some technical awards.
    Best Supporting Actor aside, I do think the other three acting race have all the potential for upsets. I don’t think Cruz is a lock and neither is Penn. Could be quite a surprising evening.

  4. jeffmcm says:

    An Academy voter is supposed to keep his votes secret? In perpetuity? Really?

  5. Don Murphy says:

    jeffmcm- he’s funnin!

  6. jeffmcm says:

    Aw shucks.

  7. David Poland says:

    Actually, I was funnin’ and offering the fact… according to Academy rules, members are not supposed to offer their voting info to the media or in any way promote any particular movie by saying they are voting for it in the media.
    This rule is broken hourly, but it is the rule. I’m sure Don’s membership is safe.

  8. jeffmcm says:

    Maybe Don doesn’t consider this blog ‘the media’.

  9. IOIOIOI says:

    Slummy? Really? Time to call someone from Mumbai, and get them all riled up at Heat. No wonder those folks hate that title. It creates shitty abbreviation of the title. Oh yeah: AO Scott made the best point as to why Slumdog will have a hard time winning. Not as hard a time as winning as the greatest director alive known as FINCHER, but a hard time nonetheless.

  10. T. Holly says:

    Did MCN review any of the 5 eco films in competition at Sundance: Crude, Dirt!, Earth Days, No Impact Man, The End of the Line?

  11. leahnz says:

    all i can say is if the pretty-to-look-at but ultimately empty and soulless ‘button’ wins the ‘best pic’ oscar while fincher’s meticulously constructed and executed, atmospheric, well-acted and character driven, so-evocative-of-time-and-place ‘zodiac’ didn’t even get a nomination, there is something seriously askew in the order of the universe and we have indeed slipped into the the bizarro world

  12. mutinyco says:

    So who is Robert Wise supporting this year?…

  13. IOIOIOI says:

    He’s busy fighting mercenary forces in Belize. It’s a pretty hit and miss situation, but he will pull it off. HE’S FUCKING ROBERT WISE!
    Leah: You might think I am a scumbag, I’m not, I’m not, but that’s a great point. It could be seen as a LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD because this is Fincher’s second (?) nomination? The dude needs it now. Before he pulls a Hitchcock on the Academy.

  14. jeffmcm says:

    Guys, Robert Wise died about 3 1/2 years ago.
    Godard is still kicking, though, not to mention Bertolucci, Scorsese, Coppola, etc.

  15. I would’ve said that Milk could challenge Slumdog but it won the fuckin’ SAG ensemble prize!! Jesus christ. The love for that movie is ridiculous. It did not have the best acting ensemble of the year. Hell, it didn’t even have one single performance that I’d cite as a “in a weak year maybe I’d nominate them” pick.

  16. LexG says:

    Countdown to Frieda Pinto being the love interest in a Will Smith movie? Over-under on her third-billed Bond Girl potential? Even money on a midrange supporting career popping up 10th billed and cast as a luminous but downtrodden Latina in B-level American indies?
    All I know is that guy who played the smarmy gameshow host gave the best performance, but every time I see him at one of these awards shows, he’s all hopping around and mugging for the cameras and looking like an If They Made It child of Nathan Lane and Oliver Reed. Like, *settle down*, dude.

  17. leahnz says:

    i don’t think you’re a scumbag, io, but perhaps a bit challenged in the anger management area

  18. leahnz says:

    and i agree about ‘slumdog’, it’s a good movie but the best cast of the year? thin
    ot, but i can’t help myself:

  19. yancyskancy says:

    I keep getting it in my head that Richard Jenkins could upset. Penn won not so long ago, and Mickey does himself no favors with the canine worship and other wacky behavior. I say this without having yet seen Milk or The Wrestler. So, you know, grain of salt.

  20. mutinyco says:

    I’m well aware that Robert Wise is dead. I was making a specific reference to something from when he was alive. But, you know, being ironic about it.

  21. jeffmcm says:

    Then never mind.

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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