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David Poland

By David Poland

Oscar Stuffing

A last Gurus look for 2010… back in 2011.

And 10 Weeks To Oscar wonders:

The thing about The 2010 Race is… there is no clear choice.

There is no dominant box office smash to be the Goliath. There is no extreme underdog to be the David. The only franchise that might demand to be honored for its history is animated.

But some film has to win!

With no obvious winner, everyone really does have a chance.

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6 Responses to “Oscar Stuffing”

  1. Crow T Robot says:

    Oh stewardess, I speak jive:

    “The thing about 2010 advertising dollars is that… we still need them.

    There is no other film this year to take on the one who will win. Not even The King’s Speech, which by March no one still will have heard of. To give you an idea of how bad things are, Toy Story 3 is probably the runner up.

    The Social Network will 100% be named Best Picture.

    An obvious winner being so obvious in December really hurts me (and all the other Oscar hucksters) financially, so give us a chance to spin this into a real race.

    Ferchristsakes, I have a family.”

  2. Samuel Deter says:

    Goliath? David? This isn’t 2009.

    This year’s “story” is not clear just yet but neither was last year’s at this point.

    I know for some reason you think the race is between True Grit, Black Swan and The King’s Speech but do you see anyone winning director and adapted screenplay other than Fincher and Sorkin? They are near locks already.

    That is unless True Grit and Black Swan truly connect with audiences. But… will they?

    As for The King’s Speech? I never actually saw that coming and I sure don’t see it now.

    Anyway, I hope Network doesn’t win. Anything.

    And again, where’s the Biutiful love?!!

  3. David Poland says:

    Oh Crow… bullshit.

    Feel free to have an opinion, but putting false words in my mouth is kinda cheesy.

    I don’t need to drum up a race to get advertising. Look at the site. We have plenty. Besides which, I have a long history of calling out dead movies and extremely narrowed races year after year after year.

    The reason why there is still a feeling that there is a race this year is that those of us who actually deal with Academy members – whether press or publicists – have daily contact with the ambivalence out there.

    At this time last year, Samuel, Avatar moved into the lead with intense speed. And in January, as nominations were about to happen, the David vs Goliath thing started happening.

    The “story of 2010” has not yet been written, it seems. Maybe it will end up being Social Network. Maybe not. But the critics telling The Academy what to do is not realistic. The only time these things tend to match is when the critics follow the money… not the other way around… no more than HFPA defines the Oscar winner.

    As for “audiences,” its only relevant how they connect in terms of perception. Both films need to prove that they are hits. The King’s Speech has already connected heavily with Academy voters and it’s pretty likely that Colin Firth wins Best Actor. So writing it off because it doesn’t appeal to an under-30 audience is silly.

    As for winning Best Director and Screenplay and losing Best Picture, see Brokeback Mountain and The Pianist.

    The unanimity of the critics certainly makes – as I note in the column – Social Network one of the serious front runners. Black Swan is a seriously dark horse. And we’ll see how True Grit plays. King’s Speech is real. But if you have decided that The Social Network is this years Schindler’s List or Lord of the Rings, you’re out of touch with reality.

  4. Samuel Deter says:

    I’m not saying it’s going to win, David, it’s just that for a very long time you said that the race was between the three mentioned and not The Social Network… finally as you note in the column, you agree that it is one of the serious front runners. But it kinda took you a while.

    And no, I’m not talking about the “critics telling the Academy what to do” I’m talking about buzz and the “story”.

    After all, the Hurt Locker didn’t win because the critics told the Academy to, but it won nonetheless. So ruling out Social Network because critics are drooling over it is silly as it may as well develop into “the” story.

    Also I said that at this time a year we didn’t have the story and you say “At this time last year, Samuel, Avatar moved into the lead with intense speed. And in January, as nominations were about to happen, the David vs Goliath thing started happening.” So yeah, that’s my point.

    The King’s Speech is probably going to win the Golden Globe but I just don’t see it winning the best picture Oscar. It might. I just don’t see it.

  5. chris says:

    I think folks will be surprised by how much “True Grit” is going to connect with audiences. I would not be surprised by $100 million.

  6. Over here says:

    Having seen them both, I find True Grit to be a beautiful work of art, and Black Swan to be a cynical star vehicle.

    It would gladden me to learn that True Grit finds traction, as the filmmaking is superlative. A garrulous, glorious film.

    Black Swan, on the other hand, is perhaps one-half as good as Satoshi Kon’s Perfect Blue, and is hobbled by a twist which can be guessed after casual contemplation of the premise. It’s not as good a ballet movie as The Company, not as effective a thriller as Repulsion, and not as profound as any of Cronenberg’s best. And Portman’s performance is gasping camp.

    I adore Fincher, but The Social Network is far from his best work; too slight. The King’s Speech is a burnished, competent, awards machine. Moderately pleasurable, but perceptibly a prestige project. Would be happy to see Pixar win a Best Picture someday, but Toy Story 3 is second drawer from them – Ratatouille, or The Incredibles, or Wall-E all surpass it.

    I have little insight into what The Voters Will Do (that’s why I come here!), but feel strongly about the aesthetic merit of these works – the Coens worked the magic this season.

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