MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland

WGA Goes Hurt Locker, Up In the Air and Cove

Anyone surprised?


Be Sociable, Share!

8 Responses to “WGA Goes Hurt Locker, Up In the Air and Cove”

  1. leahnz says:

    i, for one, am shocked
    (no, i’m not actually i just thought i’d say that)
    has any ‘locker’ backlash/fatigue set in? i totally dig the movie but even i’m sick of hearing how it’s the masterwork of the decade worthy of every award in every category. it’s a kick-ass tense little action adrenaline bomb disposal war drama character study, but i think it’s been sorta hyped as this big thing it isn’t

  2. LexG says:

    Leah, I think we’re ALL sick of hearing about ALL of these movies.
    I know this season is the bread and butter for industry bloggers, and DP, Tapley, Wells, Stone, etc do a GREAT job at it and clearly love this horse race…
    But happens every year for me… with a few notable exceptions, the Oscars turn these excellent, loved-it-six-months-ago movies into OLD NEWS that are quantified, debated, poked and prodded under such a microscope that I don’t want to see them again for YEARS, if ever. I don’t even want to HEAR about them for years.
    Yeah, there’s an occasional No Country or Brokeback or Departed that can break through this curse and become a “watch it every time it’s on cable” staple 10 months on… But for the most part, this exhausting season can positively CRUSH things, especially a small, simple movie that seemed like an exciting discovery early on.
    Something like Sideways or Up in the Air or Capote can seem like a revelation on first viewing, full of nuances and subtleties and powerful human moments. But after they get batted around pro and con for MONTHS ON END, then finally awarded or not 4, 5, 12 months after their theatrical release, enough’s enough and even their biggest fans (ie me) not only get tired of hearing about them, but start second-guessing whether or not they’re worthy of the outsize adulation.
    Something big and audacious and sloppy and exciting like INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS or AVATAR will likely escape this curse, plus they have the geek factor going for them.
    But Hurt Locker’s just human-scale enough (even with the incredible action and intensity) that it’s already feeling the risk of turning into Oscar-sanctioned “quality” medicine.

  3. It’s not the Oscars that are to blame, it’s all the wannabe awards shows that take any suspense out of almost ever single race. They’re lucky that there’s still a smidge of “something could happen” about at least Picture and Actress, but that’s about it.
    In regards to what Leah said, I liked The Hurt Locker a lot and wouldn’t be a member of any backlash against it (I wasn’t a member of the Slumdog backlash either since I didn’t like it the moment the credits roled), but even I have to query how that movie has the best screenplay or the best cinematography or whatever. Granted, the WGA deemed themselves pointless this year with so many inneligibilities, but it probably would have still won. Hmm, to each their own, I guess.
    This season is a helluva lot better than last years when that Slumdog GARBAGE won every award and guild in sight.

  4. EOTW says:

    Bored with it all but incredulous that UITA could get any award. A more pandering, condescending piece of crap I have not seen in a while from Hollywood. trust me, this film gets NOTHING right about the current hard times that most of us are going through. Rich boy IR wouldn’t know hard times if they actually were upon him. the film is shallow, lacking in any of th real qualities it strives for.

  5. The Pope says:

    I think we can expect a world of Hurt; a sweep if not in every category, pretty much each one. How many guilds have garlanded it already?
    However, with regard the script I do have a problem with the third act sequence where Renner leaves the compound at night and… well, let’s just say it reminded me a helluva lot of the extended sequence in The Deer Hunter where, out of all the gin-joints in all the towns in all the world, Michael is able to locate the very one where Nicky is playing roulette. And not only that, he buys his way into the game… to play against Nicky… all because the film is trying to present a metaphor.
    In its own equivalent sequence, The Hurt Locker veered into Die Hard territory.
    A pity.
    But I think it is odds on now for Picture, Director, Screenplay, Cinematography, Editing and Sound, Sound Editing.

  6. Geoff says:

    Slumdog deserved EVERY award I got – in my opinion, it was the first film to win Best Picture that actually WAS the best picture of the year since Schindler’s List. Though The Departed came pretty close for me.
    It’s a love it or hate it thing, I get it – but compare it to the field and Milk was the only thing that came close. This was a damn heartfelt movie, excitedly made, well-acted, and just filled with great stand-alone scenes.
    As for this season, yes, it is getting old but it’s probably a littler easier this time with the 10 nominees. Try to watch some of these films back-to-back on DVD – District 9, Inglorious Basterds – and it’s a very interesting little film festival. Am I sick of hearing about Bigelow as the “ex” or how many decades it’s been since Meryl won? Hell, yeah.
    But at least this year, there are actually a slew of really good movies in this bunch and popular ones that people have ACTUALLY seen – the 2004 season was death, I tell you. Million Dollar Baby, Sideways, Ray…..what a lousy overrated crop of films that was. Got so sick of hearing of how true-to-life Sideways was (I liked it much better when it was called Swingers and sorry, that scene where Virginia Madsen is discussing wines just does not hold up) and the political arguments on both sides of Million Dollar Baby.
    The Aviator was the best one of the bunch and even that wasn’t as good as other Leo/Marty collaborations. If they had 10 THAT year, The Incredibles and Eternal Sunshine would have been part of the conversation, which would have made it much cooler.
    We can complain all we want, but it could be much worse. And I have to say, there are a slew of cool-looking new films on horizon the next few months – I mean, wow, I want to see Green Zone, Hot Tub Time Machine, Chloe, Brooklyn’s Finest, etc….and that’s just March.

  7. jennab says:

    leahz, I could not agree more re: Hurt, which looks like nothing more than a great ep of Generation Kill. And LexG, couldn’t agree more re: Inglorious Basterds. Finally caught it last night VOD and it actually EXCEEDED expectations!
    The most original, audacious screenplay, beautifully shot, impeccable casting and performance…all except for Brad Pitt, who apparently thought he was in an SNL skit.
    I am not a Tarantino fan, and I expected to have my pre-conceptions about him affirmed, but I absolutely loved it!

  8. As I said, I really liked The Hurt Locker, but it’s disappointing Basterds can’t win because it has all the makings of being a typical winner. An acting statue, an awards-worthy screenplay (and a way of rewarding the director in a split scenario, which helps), plenty of places in the technical categories such as costume (not nominated) and art direction. Oh well.

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