MCN Columnists
David Poland

By David Poland

20W2O: Oscar III (Legit Awards So Far, 1)

Laurence Olivier as Richard III

Now is the spring of our discontent
Made hideous summer by this board of Review;
And all the artistic ambitions that lour’d upon our house
In the deep bosom of the award season buried.
Now are our favorite films bound with victorious wreaths;
Filmmakers’ bruised souls hung up for monuments;
Their stern pretensions changed to merry overlong meetings,
Their dreadful shooting locations to delightful ballrooms.
Grim-visaged production hath smooth’d his wrinkled front;
And now, instead of mounting barded scripts
To fright the souls of fearful producers,
He capers nimbly in the Hollywood Foreign Press’ chamber
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamp’d, and want art’s majesty
To strut before a wanton ambling voter;
I, that am curtail’d of this fair disposition,
Cheated of not giving a damn by dissembling nature,
Deformed by history, unfinish’d by employment, sent after my time
Into this once so amusing world, scarce half ambitious,
And that so rudely and unfashionable
That no one barks at me as I halt by them;
Why, I, in this weak piping time of awards,
Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to spy film’s shadow on the screen
And descant on mine own deformity:
And therefore, since I cannot prove a hype lover,
To entertain these silly over-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a sore thumb
And stay conscious of the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots haven’t I laid, interviews not pretending to be dangerous,
By sober prophecies, excesses and dreams,
To set my brother Oscar and the artistry
In blessed love the one attached the other:
And if King Oscar be as true and just
As I am not subtle, not false and not treacherous,
This day should frustration closely be mew’d up,
About a prophecy, which says that ‘O’
Of award’s heirs the survivor shall be.
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul: here
a party giver comes.

(With apologies to The Bard, whomever he was.)

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3 Responses to “20W2O: Oscar III (Legit Awards So Far, 1)”

  1. glamourboy says:


  2. KMS says:

    Will the Critics Scoreboard, Top 10 Lists, and Awards Spreadsheet be appearing soon?

  3. movielocke says:

    You get your discontent contented dp. The whole season just changed dramatically. Now mandela will get bp and mybe bd as well as an actor and supporting actress nominations. Probably some down stream noms too. Elba is probably a top three lock in actor now. Sadly, mandela dying may mean ejifor just lost best actor if you consider some of his supporters will peel off to elba.

    My worry is that now mandela is out there as an easily digestible academy biopic that 12 years a slave in all its magnificent artistic majesty and all time greatness will be shuffled aside for the biopic because of the ‘difficult’ tag its been tarred with. Not that it will win but mandela is now disruptive enoughto excuse the lack of seeing 12 years a slave, “oh i didnt see it, but i saw mandela and it was wonderful!” Now thats a useful excuse for big swath of the more cautious acadmey voters. Unfortunately, no critics organization will have the courage to vote for 12 years a slave because they’ll shunt it aside because its the presumed oscar movie and they’re more real than that or want to support something else or whatever bullshit excuse critics will come up with to avoid voting for the movie they know is the greatest cinematic achievement of the last twenty five years.

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