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David Poland

By David Poland

Irrelevant Award Week Continues: National Bored Of Review

Every year, like sand through a bathing suit, these are the days of our “so what?”

The Social Network will be nominated by The Oscars in most, if not all, the categories it has won here. I’m not sure how honored Mr. Sorkin will be to be the opposite number to the screenwriter of Buried, but he will have many, many chances to hone his Oscar speech over the next few months, deservedly so.

Christian Bale’s inevitable no-show will be another non-story as the season progresses.

Sony Classics got their bone(s) with Lesley Manville and Jacki Weaver… but this is not enough to assure nominations, though Lesley is a pretty likely nominee.

The non-existence of Fox Searchlight in these nominations should tell you two things. 1. NBR nominators (a small group inside of the group) are dumb. And 2. Searchlight didn’t play the NBR game and this is the price.

Don’t even get me started on the lack of nods to Biutiful by Numbskull Boenheads & Rocketscientists. Forget the Best Picture or Top Ten… 5 foreign language films and 10 indies and no room for it. I wonder whether Javier’s unavailability in the last month had something to do with that. Hmmm… such an honorable group.

Done now, thanks. Don’t let the writers twisting themselves in knots trying to analyze this monkey show hit you on the ass.

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9 Responses to “Irrelevant Award Week Continues: National Bored Of Review”

  1. leahnz says:


    (just a little tribute to no-show bale there)

  2. SJRubinstein says:

    “Every year, like sand through a bathing suit, these are the days of our “so what?””

    I LOL’ed.

  3. Krillian says:

    “Social Network” and then “Another Year,” “The Fighter,” “Hereafter,” “Inception,” “The King’s Speech,” “Shutter Island,” “The Town,” “Toy Story 3,” “True Grit” and “Winter’s Bone.”

    Hereafter and Shutter Island? I really don’t get this. I guess Eastwood and Scorsese could make “Grocery List” and it’d make the NBR’s top ten.

  4. Sam says:

    I look forward to the annual “the NBR doesn’t matter” post every year. I’m genuinely not being sarcastic. The NBR awards are hilariously awful.

    I have nothing against an awards body with its own opinions. I’m not even against an awards body that wants to be an Oscar prognosticator, although in that case I don’t quite see the point. But the NBR is basically just a kiss-up exercise. You get an award from them if you (1) kiss up to them, or (2) are wanted at their banquet.

    Then they position themselves as an Oscar prognosticator — actually a prognosticator for the entire awards season, with that silly “First!” thing they got going — and even at that strange ambition they are spectacularly bad at it.

    What I didn’t realize until recently is that the NBR has been giving out awards and a Top 10 of the Year list since 1929. That is an extremely respectable history and heritage. It’s so sad it turned out this way.

  5. Sam says:

    Actually, Shutter Island was a pretty good pick. I’m sure it was a “Scorsese at our banquet would be AWESOME!” choice, but it’s on my own Top 10 of the year, and it sure wasn’t a “we think Oscar will do this” choice.

  6. Pretty insightful article. Never thought that it was this straightforward after all. I had used a lot deal of my time searching for someone to explain this subject clearly to me and you are the only one that ever did that. Great big thanks! Have a great day.

  7. Rob says:

    Wow there is a whole lotta Sony on that list.

  8. Keil Shults says:

    Can someone explain something to me, regarding the structure of the NBR awards…

    Are they saying that all of their picks in the Independent film category are worse than their Top 11 film choices?

    Also, would films like Black Swan, 127 Hours, The Kids are All Right, and Blue Valentine be considered “Independent” by them, because I can’t imagine that they would have found all 10 of their “independent” picks to be superior to all 4 of those movies I just listed. I know the obvious response is, “It’s the NBR, who cares?” but I’m just trying to figure out how they “work.”

    I will say, however, that I’m glad to see another (small) show of support for Let Me In, which remains one of my favorite films of the year thus far.

  9. Princess of Peace says:

    Yes, there is a lot of Sony on the list. I was wondering about that myself.

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