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David Poland

By David Poland

And The View From The Lou

Deep insight from Lou “The Neck” Lumenick into how NYFFCC focused on 3 films, all of which were seen before the end of October, and managed to turn their desperate effort to be FIRST! into a toothless effort, selecting the film that’s been one of the Oscar frontrunner’s since early September.

Oh the irony.

Melancholia, both as a Best Picture contender and for Kirsten Dunst’s performance, is on life support. NYFCC’s award, however tainted by the date, would have offered some real hope.

Hugo, which has a loving critical following, but may or may not catch fire as we get through the award season, could also have gotten a real boost out of NYFCC.

But instead, the majority went with the film that remains the most likely to win Best Picture.

With all respect to The Artist, which adds no momentum with this award today, did they vote with their hearts or, like the shift of their awards announcement, were they thinking with their myopia glasses on, seeking to appear to be influential by being the first of many to hand The Artist awards?

No way to know.

Ironically, the one award that NYFCC could have also had some real influence on – Best Actor – featured an initially very close race between two rising actors who many are unsure of, in terms of whether they can win the Oscar… and one of the biggest movie stars in the world. The critics went with the American movie star.

Did they want Brad and Angie at their dinner? Don’t know. Do they think Pitt can win Best Actor for Moneyball? Don’t know. Are they just picking the best performance of the year? Don’t know.

And again… this is why behaving like hustlers when you are, in real life, film critics, is a problem. You may still be trustworthy. But you are suspect. And anyone who does not hold you suspect, given your behavior, is a shill or a fool.

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22 Responses to “And The View From The Lou”

  1. film fanatic says:

    The weighted multiple round voting thing has always seemed suspect to me. Here’s a telling quote from Lumenick:

    >>The biggest horse race was for best director, ultimately won by Michel Haznavicius of “The Artist” with 47 points to 39 for Scorsese and 35 for Von Trier. In the first round, it was Haznavicius, 24; Von Trier, 22; and Malick 21 and in the second, a single point separated Haznavicius (33), Scorsese (32) and Von Trier (31).<<

    So did everyone vote their actual choice in the first round, thinking everyone ELSE would vote for Scorsese even though they didn't want to personally, then suddenly decide "wait, we're going to look bad if Scorsese isn't in the top three" and suddenly recant their votes to leap-frog Scorsese into the pack? I don't get it. At what point in the process does it devolve from voting FOR what each individual critic thinks is the best work to voting AGAINST what they find out their colleagues have voted for in an attempt to jerry-rig the results? In other words, is it about what they truly think is the best work or is it about cock-blocking and how they want to be perceived? Or is it a combination of all three?

  2. berg says:

    it’s true about the cock block vote ….when there is a tie or an elimination vote a person’s original vote goes out the window

  3. LYT says:

    Was this a real tweet from Lou?

    “Forgot to mention #NYFCC skipped animated category because of the scarcity of worth contenders”

    Damn, condescending and clueless much? WINNIE THE POOH to me is still one of the most perfectly made movies of the year, and CHICO AND RITA expands the form admirably. TINTIN ain’t bad either, and PUSS IN BOOTS was decent.

  4. David Poland says:

    Yes, Luke. Real Lou.

  5. movieman says:

    What about “Rango,” LYT?

  6. Don R. Lewis says:

    What a buncha maroons over there. I can’t believe they couldn’t find a “decent” animated film. If there’s no Pixar, they just skip the category?

  7. film fanatic says:

    Don: Alas, there WAS a Pixar this year — CARS 2 — but the fact you already forgot about it is, in a way, testament to how slight and soulless it was compared to their other films.

  8. LYT says:

    Oh hell yeah, movieman. RANGO, absolutely. Early-year-release amnesia got me for a moment.

    And yes, most critics can’t acknowledge the existence of any non-Disney/Pixar animation.

  9. Talie says:

    I think Brad deserved it. But, I agree, they could’ve really helped actors who needed the boost like Kirsten, Tilda, Elizabeth, Michael Fass, etc…

  10. movielocke says:

    you have to go safe, because what if your opinion is ‘wrong’ and no one agrees with you? Terribly scary thought. Consensus! (said in a Braveheart voice)

  11. Krillian says:

    Rango’s still in my top five for the year.

  12. JS Partisan says:

    Yeah the Cars have more soul in them then just about any other Pixar film. It’s not John Lasseter’s fault that you folks lack a true appreciate for the humanity a car can have. There’s a reason why people name cars, refer to them as BABY in certain situations, and occasionally treat them like family members. Seriously, get off Cars you car hating people.

    That rant aside, if the Artist wins best picture, then what that says in general about everything is rather hilarious.

  13. Don R. Lewis says:

    Oh man, TOTALLLLY forgot about CARS 2. Funnier is that I just spent 3 days in Disneyland and upon noticing the upcoming CARS themed area in California Adventure (opens this summer) I kept thinking how I could care less about CARS.

  14. md'a says:

    @film fanatic:

    I’m a bit confused by Lou’s rundown, as the first ballot in the years 2001-2008, when I was a voting member (currently inactive due to not having a NYC gig), was just a single name/title. Nothing ever got say 20+ votes on the first ballot; usually the most would be like 5 or 6. So either they’ve changed the voting procedure or Lou just skipped the first ballot altogether and called the second ballot the first. (The candidate has to get more than 50% to win on the old first ballot. Happened once in my eight years, for The Gleaners and I in Doc.)

    Anyway. To answer your question: Yes, there’s a lot of cockblocking going on. After what used to be the second ballot (where you vote for three choices, preferential order), it becomes clear who/what the viable winners are, and often it’s three names about which you feel, in order of preference: (1) Decent (2) Eh (3) Sweet Jesus No. And if it goes to another ballot (because nobody has enough votes to win) and the Decent choice loses support (because proxy ballots drop out at a certain point), you may wind up voting insincerely for Eh just to make sure Sweet Jesus No doesn’t win. That happens a lot. The Artist’s win looks to me like the result of a split between Team Melancholia and Team Hugo; it was the one everyone voted for in second place to ensure the one they hated wouldn’t win. Just a guess, but I saw that happen over and over.

  15. Joshua says:

    The New York Film Critics have had a Best Animated Film category since 2000, and during that time, they’ve only given the award to a Pixar twice.

  16. chris says:

    RE: cock-blocking. If you’ve read the Kael bio, it makes it sound like virtually the entire ’70s and ’80s at NYFCC were the Kael faction vs. the Sarris faction, trying to get each others’ candidates to lose and settling somewhere in the middle.

  17. cadavra says:

    I wouldn’t worry about MELANCHOLIA. The L.A. Critics will hand it everything and snub all the “front-runners.” It’s just how they roll.

  18. Keil Shults says:

    Does no one else care to hear about the general reaction to Dragon Tattoo? Is no one posting about it because they can’t, or am I just reading the wrong websites?

  19. chris says:

    I doubt if there is a “general reaction.” It’s, what, 35 people who have seen it and are probably all embargoed?

  20. Keil Shults says:

    If only I could find a site that dances around embargos like Astaire on ecstacy.

  21. cadavra says:

    General reaction: Didn’t we just see this like two years ago?

  22. Nelson j. says:

    Brad Pitt is a great actor and deserves this award.
    Poland is jelous of Pitt? Don’t know.

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