Old MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Reactions to Just Being Nominated

I was in my living room (at his home in Rhode Island) having a cup of coffee, and my son’s father-in-law called me. … He said, ‘Way to go.’ And I said, ‘What?’ He said, ‘You not watch it?’ I said, ‘Really?’ I was truly floored.
— Richard Jenkins, best-actor nominee for The Visitor
It feels surreal. I just got a call from [onetime costar] Javier Bardem in Spain, and he was flipping out and screaming. The reality is I got up at 5:55 here in Utah and looked at the clock and figured the nominations were announced and it didn’t happen. I said to myself, ‘That’s OK, I can deal with it.’ Then I realized there’s a one-hour time difference.
— Josh Brolin, supporting-actor nominee for Milk

I won’t lie, I was up at 4:30 AM Pacific Time this morning. I couldn’t sleep. I took a shower, I started washing dishes, I did a load of laundry… I was completely losing my mind waiting for that local ABC telecast. My heart jumped when Josh Brolin got nominated, but the tears started flowing when Gus got his. I couldn’t have asked for a better director for this project, a fiercer protector of this little spec script that meant so much to me. And that script would have been nothing without the dedicated talent of nominee Sean Penn, who truly inhabited Harvey’s soul, and Josh Brolin, James Franco, Emile Hirsch, Diego Luna, Alison Pill, Joseph Cross, and on and on. This film was a real team effort. By the time the nominations got to Best Picture, I was a wreck. Tears… lots of tears. I couldn’t breathe. My big hope had been that the Academy would recognize our film enough that Harvey’s story could get a wider release, but I could never have predicted 8 nominations including Best Picture. I’m still pinching myself. When I first heard Harvey’s story at 13, I was a closeted kid living in a conservative Mormon, military home. It was a rough time for me. Hearing Harvey’s story not only gave me the hope he talked so often about, it very likely saved my life. What happened this morning means this film WILL win a wider audience, and maybe, just maybe Harvey’s message will reach some of those kids out there today who have been told they are “less than,” that they are sick, that God does not love them, and perhaps, from the grave, 30 years later, Harvey might give those kids the hope and love he gave me so long ago. It might sound overblown to some, but I firmly believe these nominations are life-saving. I can’t thank the Academy enough.
– Dustin Lance Black, best screenplay nominee
Surely Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack are smiling down on us today!
— Kate Winslet, best-actress nominee for The Reader
“It’s delightfully surprising. I had no expectations. What does all of this mean? Four letters: W-O-R-K.”
— Melissa Leo, best-actress nominee for Frozen River
In fact winning an Oscar is not my dream, it’s my wife dream.
– A.R. Rahman, best original score nominee for Slumdog Millionaire
Working with Clint Eastwood was a reward in itself that will last me a lifetime. To receive a nomination from the Academy on top of that is a privilege beyond any expectation… I am also happy that ‘Kung Fu Panda’ was noticed by the Academy and proud to be a part of a film my entire family loves so much.
— Angelina Jolie, best actress nominee for Changeling
The best thing is that it was my best friend from New York who called and told me. She was so happy, she was crying…The beauty of the whole thing is that it wasn’t my publicist who called.”
– Marisa Tomei, supporting actress nominee for The Wrestler
I’m so grateful and appreciative of this incredible honor. I’m truly thrilled to be included.
— Mickey Rourke, best actor nominee for The Wrestler
Secretly and sometimes not so secretly, this is the nomination that floats in every screenwriter’s dreams. I am fantastically happy and honored- not just for myself but for Vikas Swarup’s wonderful novel without which I would have never started my journey to the world’s Maximum City, Mumbai.
— Simon Beaufoy, best adapted screenplay nominee for Slumdog Millionaire
It is very special because of this movie. I am happy ‘Milk’ received so many nominations and that people are paying attention. The subject matter is so timely and important right now because of what is happening in California with Prop 8.
— Josh Brolin, best supporting actor nominee for Milk.
I’ve been awed by the work of my fellow nominees this year and am truly humbled to be in their company. Having been an actor for many years now, I am moved by the fact that something like this can happen at this point in my career, particularly for a film that has meant so much to me.
— Richard Jenkins, best actor nominee for The Visitor.
I am overjoyed by these nominations and deeply grateful that the Academy has embraced the music of this film. Slumdog Millionaire has paid magical dividends for so many people around the globe. I am deeply honored to be a part of a film that has inspired so many.
— A.R. Rahman, best original score nominee for Slumdog
It’s great fun for the movie to see it get acknowledged that way, but it’s not the goal. It’s a fickle business, and there to be enjoyed if you’re invited and there to be enjoyed if you’re not.
— Brad Pitt, best-actor nominee for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Every day that we had scenes between Frank Langella and Michael Sheen, the crew that’s usually off by the time you’re filming, is eating bagels and smoking cigarettes. They would gather around the monitors, because they just didn’t want to miss it. Every take was interesting. Every take was powerhouse. It was just … for a director that loves to work with actors — I fancy myself as an actor’s director — it was an absolute field day.
— Ron Howard, best-director nominee for Frost/Nixon
I was with my friend Salma (Hayek) and she woke me up 2 minutes before the announcement, which we watched live. I then received a lot of congratulation calls … (Salma) told me that it was clear for her, that it was going to happen. But all the time I have tried to not expect anything, to be caught by the surprise.
— Penelope Cruz, supporting-actress nominee for Vicky Cristina Barcelona
I just have to keep remembering that the film nearly went straight to DVD. There was a week or two when it might never have appeared on a big screen in the United States, and the fact that it did, and Americans have taken it to their hearts, is just fantastic.
— Slumdog Millionaire screenwriter Simon Beaufoy
I think the phenomenon of today that I’m noticing is that it’s very odd to talk about how you feel about something that you don’t really know how you feel about it and/or at the time you’re processing. … I hear a lot of first-time mothers feel that way in the delivery room. `Hey, what’s it like, here’s your baby!’ Like, `It’s great!’
— Robert Downey Jr., supporting-actor nominee for Tropic Thunder.
I’m ecstatic! Thank you to the Academy from the cast and crew here in Mumbai where the film was made and where it’s being premiered tonight. It feels like you’ve given us a billion nominations!
— Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle
It’s everything that you could possibly imagine it is, and not that I needed the nomination to know I was on the right path, but it certainly helps. It really does.
— Viola Davis, supporting-actress nominee for Doubt
I couldn’t have imagined anything like this a couple years ago. You just do your work and are happy you’re able to make some money. This is very, very special, especially because of the movie. It wasn’t that I read this character and said, `I have to do this character.’ It was more about the movie.
— Josh Brolin, supporting-actor nominee for Milk
I didn’t know at first what awards we’d won, and when I finally found out, I thought it was pretty great. To have as many as eight is pretty good.
— Milk director Gus Van Sant. Van Sant received a best-director nomination for the film
I was at my studio (in Israel) with my editor. We were working on the DVD. We don’t have TV here, so we saw it on the Internet. We had a couple of bottles of champagne waiting for us, and now we are finishing them off.
— Waltz With Bashir writer-director Ari Folman on how he heard about his foreign film nomination
I am overjoyed by these nominations and deeply grateful that the Academy has embraced the music of this film. `Slumdog Millionaire’ has paid magical dividends for so many people around the globe. I am deeply honored to be a part of a film that has inspired so many.
— A.R. Rahman, nominee for original score and original song
I’m delighted for Kate. I think she did two astonishing performances in `Revolutionary Road’ and in `The Reader.’ Whichever one the Academy went for, I think it’s her year. I think it’s her turn. I think that it’s wonderful for her, but I do think she’s done two astonishing performances.
— Stephen Daldry, director of The Reader. Winslet received a best-actress nomination for her role in that film
It is such a thrill to be recognized in this category with these remarkably talented women. I was with my parents and my dog when I got the news and we were all overjoyed — although I’m not sure my dog knew what was going on. This is a great day to be an actress!
— Anne Hathaway, best-actress nominee for Rachel Getting Married
I’m extremely happy to have been nominated. And very fortunate. Playing Hanna Schmitz will always remain one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever been blessed with. I’m genuinely thrilled not just for myself but for the wonderful Stephen Daldry and David Hare. These nominations are a testament to their unwavering commitment to this film. And I’m also very happy for all the people in Germany whose hard work on `The Reader’ has been rewarded by these nominations.
— Kate Winslet, best-actress nominee for The Reader
I was pretty much sound asleep. I had the phone on vibrate, so it was like this little earthquake woke me, and it was my publicist with the good news. I was a little bit shell-shocked.
— Michael Shannon, supporting-actor nominee for Revolutionary Road
It’s very thrilling and also for me kind of funny. You’re a documentary filmmaker, you don’t ever expect to find yourself in this kind of world. So there’s something almost hilarious about it, like God is laughing at me — or perhaps with me, as well.
— James Marsh, director of Man on Wire, nominated for best documentary
They make you feel like it’s not a fluke. They make you feel like it’s not chance that you’ve gotten there. Luck’s always a huge part of it, but there’s so much blood, sweat and tears and effort that sort of has to be in combination with the luck whenever it comes _ and so you can take a little bit of solace in all the effort that you put towards stuff and feel that you’ve earned it a bit.
– Director Andrew Stanton, on WALL-E receiving six nominations

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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