MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland

20 Weeks To Oscar – 11 Weeks To Go

Chances To Make History
It has been a long, odd Oscar race already this year. The first major change was the new 10 Nominees rule, the first time since 65 years ago that we will have so many nominees for Best Picture.
There are other opportunities to make history for Academy members, all just a vote away. As I thought about what new history would look like, I came upon a number of things that would be unique, but would not be truly historic.
But there are four areas in which it seems that Oscar can make history this year.

The column…

No new charts this week.

Be Sociable, Share!

9 Responses to “20 Weeks To Oscar – 11 Weeks To Go”

  1. Jack Walsh says:

    I’ll move this over to the column where it belongs in:
    “Like any minority group, having better skills than most of those in the majority is key to success.”
    So, Obama owes his presidency to having ‘better skills’ (and don’t forget, being in the minority!) than John McCain? Dick Parsons owes his presidency of AOL/TW to being better than most of the white executives, that were surrounding him?
    I’m the one that is ‘ignorant, arrogant, and nasty’, and you think writing what I just quoted is acceptable? Would the NyTimes print that Dave? Are you really suggesting that the key to success is always being in the minority? I sort of hope that it’s true, because obviously I’m in the minority in thinking that anyone on this blog wants to engage in serious thought/argument without name-calling being involved.
    “Cameron’s achievement may be more important.”
    Why would that matter if what most people base their vote on is ‘being a minority, with better skills than most of those in the majority’?
    “I can

  2. Sam says:

    You know, sometimes I think Poland really gets things wrong — but they’re a drop in the bucket compared to the number of times people call him out on trivialities or, worse, deliberately misunderstand what he writes so as to create an issue out of nothing. As a consequence, I can hardly blame him if he doesn’t listen to you people on the occasions when you’ve got him dead to rights, because you’re drowning out your own signal in your own noise.
    In this case, is it REALLY that outrageous that David could be a huge admirer of the work of two different directors this year? Is it REALLY so terrible to compare and contrast that work, identifying one as objectively more progressive, and the other the more personally rewarding?
    On the minority issues, do you REALLY think it’s fair to shoot down a general statement by citing an inherent outlier (running for President is SO not representative of the average person pursuing artistic and professional success in a field of business) as an example?
    I can’t figure out why half of you bother coming here.

  3. David Poland says:

    To clarify, since you seem to not get it, Jack…
    If you are a minority trying to move forward on a high level in the majority, in most cases, you have to be a step better in order to be seen as equal.
    So, yes. Barack Obama had to be seen as not equal to the field, but a real step above the field in order to get elected.
    And yes. You can be sure that Dick Parsons had to be smarter and tougher of mind to move up the corporate latter at Time-Warner than others who were similarly positioned along the way.
    And for “want(ing)s to engage in serious thought/argument without name-calling being involved,” you are kinda full of it there. You go through the piece about potential Academy Award history and your responses to it are some odd misread of my comment on minorities and an attack on me being enthusiastic about Kathryn Bigelow, who I point out can easily be seen as being as worthy as anyone to win this year. No affirmative argument at all… just angry at me.
    And as far as name-calling goes, is “to spite Cameron…to make you feel better about the Best Director Oscar not being awarded to a woman” anything other than name calling?
    Passive aggression is still aggression.
    “(Still waiting)…..”
    Are you kidding? Did you get your sense of entitlement from Sarah Palin?
    And Sam… really? You think I am wrong sometimes?!?!? I find that shockingshocking. How could you read me if I don’t agree with you 100%?!?! (Happy new year to you, sir… and thanks for putting up with me.)

  4. mutinyco says:

    This is completely unrelated.
    But on the main Yahoo! page where they list top search items, the top 2 are: Blue Moon and Dick Clark.
    However, every time my eyes glance by it, because blue appears right above Dick, I keep seeking BLUE DICK.
    Make it stop.

  5. polarbear2 says:

    You mentioned five potential formats being nominated for best animated feature. There’s a sixth – 3D motion capture – a la A Christmas Carol.
    Now if only there had been a rotoscoped film this year like Waking Life, there would be seven.

  6. Jack Walsh says:

    “If you are a minority trying to move forward on a high level in the majority, in most cases, you have to be a step better in order to be seen as equal.”
    And you would be the person that would know this, how?
    “So, yes. Barack Obama had to be seen as not equal to the field, but a real step above the field in order to get elected.”
    How many people made the argument during the election that Obama was given a pass on a lot of things, precisely because he was a minority (I’m not saying they were right, I’m just asking)? Don’t you think that the mainstream media is pretty cautious about criticizing any minority candidates, and that Obama probably benefited from that caution to some extent?
    “Passive aggression is still aggression.”
    Thanks for the free psychological profile Dave.

  7. leahnz says:

    i can honestly say i’ve never sat there during the oscar telecast just willing with every fibre in my gut for a director to win the ‘best’ statue, but assuming kathryn is nominated for ‘hurt locker’, if she wins i’ll jump up and dance a jig with a huge grin on my face.
    the movie is indeed well written but what makes it special is the way kathryn handles both the small and the large — the minutia of character and the nerve-wracking tech, and the compelling big set-piece action sequences shot with such clarity so sorely lacking in many action flicks these days. c’mon k-big

  8. EOTW says:

    DP: Is AN EDUCATION really so high up? I’m not in Hollywood, but I recently got a screener of it and aside from the lead performance, which is decent, I didn’t see all that much to write home about. I guess it’ll take a slot in the 10 BP noms, but best director? Really?

  9. LexG says:

    This NEEDS to happen… Streep is the worst actress of all time, and Carey Mulligan gets an insta-epic failure for NOT LOOKING the age she’s supposed to be playing.
    BLUNT, LAURENT, Stewart, or Sasha Grey, please.
    Everyone else can TAKE A SEAT.

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