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Kim Voynar

By Kim Voynar

Oscar Boxing Day Thoughts

I was just chatting with my good friend Eric D. Snider about post-Oscar day, which he glibly dubbed “Oscar Boxing Day.” And I like that term, so I’m using it here. Because even though Boxing Day proper has nothing to do with punching an opponent while wearing oversized mitts, the very name does connote a sense of the losers feeling like they’ve had the wind socked out of them.

I’m sure there are folks in many of the categories who didn’t win and are sincerely glad just to have been nominated. One hopes that Banksy is among them … I love Exit Through the Gift Shop, I was pulling for it to win because it’s so likable and intriguing … and yet, I can’t help but feel, in the after-after glow, that the Academy actually made the right choice with docs this year.

There’s just no denying the brilliance of Inside Job and the way in which it breaks down the financial crisis, and of Charles Ferguson’s particular talent for making this kind of doc. So what if he learned much of what he does, stylistically, from Alex Gibney? You could do worse than to learn how to make a doc from Gibney. And I could care less if Ferguson “bought” his way into making films by selling off a tech company to Microsoft and making a fortune. He earned a PhD in political studies from M.I.T. before he even founded the company that he ended up selling for over $100 million to Microsoft. He’s a smart guy in his own right. There’s a whole lot of people in Seattle in particular who made a fortune of Microsoft in one way or another, who haven’t turned around and used that money to do something artistic and challenging — and do it well right out of the gate. I applaud Ferguson. I hope he keeps making awesome movies.

I felt bad for both Darren Aronofsky and David Fincher last night. You have to think they both legitimately felt they had a shot at the Best Director trophy. And look, I liked The King’s Speech fine, for what it is. It makes you feel good. It tugs the heartstrings just so. Firth and Rush both give fine, fine performances, and there are some interesting directorial choices in the framing of shots in the film that I think are rather artful.

But Aronofsky had balls to make the crazy brilliance of Black Swan and pull it off, and Fincher, well … I still don’t think The Social Network is his best work, in spite of all the work the critical community put into fluffing away. Sorry. But I can see where he might have felt he deserved that award.

As for the adapted screenplay award going to Sorkin? Bah. I would have rather it had gone to any other nominee. But it was really inevitable, wasn’t it? At least it felt that way.

Very, very disappointed that Biutiful didn’t win in either foreign or best actor. It’s the best performance Javier Bardem has ever given — and that’s saying a lot — but he wasn’t going to beat the feel good power of King’s Speech this year. I guess he’ll have to settle for the shared Best Actor award at Cannes, being married to Penelope Cruz and being daddy to their new baby. I’m sure he’ll muddle through somehow.

And lastly … Melissa Leo. Did anyone really expect her not to have a vocabulary malfunction in that moment? She is who she is. Hell, I would probably have a vocabulary malfunction myself if I were in that situation. Besides which, I personally think “they” give way more weight to the word “fuck” than they should. Ah, they … they’re always telling us what we can f*cking say and when, aren’t they?

I’m glad that, in the end, the ad controversy didn’t matter. Or maybe it did matter, but not in the way some pundits were predicting. Good for her, anyhow.

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One Response to “Oscar Boxing Day Thoughts”

  1. NickF says:

    The flub by Leo was still shocking to me because you know it’s live and that a certain level of restrain must be show. Not giving a damn at all is crazy.

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