Awards Archive for January, 2009


You know… I am actually thrilled for Slumdog Millionaire, Fox Searchlight, Danny Boyle, et al, and I will soon explain why in greater depth.



The 3 inevitable Oscar winners also win PGA tonight…
Slumdog, Wall-E, Man on Wire.
Need more be said?


BAFTA Silliness

Trying to turn BAFTA into a predictor of The Oscars is a fool’s errand… heavy on fool.
That is all.


The Day After Globes

So… Slumdog wins again.
The real question emerging from last night’s Golden Globes is whether the second smackdown – 1 short of a category sweep at both HFPA and BFCA – means that the other likely Best Picture competitors – Universal, Focus, WB, and Paramount – will stand down with severely decreased budgets for Phase II, which starts with nominations on January 22.
This may not mean much to you as a civilian, but how it translates is much as it translated back in 2006, when Crash just kept pushing, while Brokeback Mountain laid back and assumed the winner’s position after wining the Globes and Crash not even being nominated for Globes, while Capote, Good Night, And Good Luck, and Munich went into “just happy to be invited” mode.
Who won? The one that kept pushing.
That doesn’t mean that this year’s Best Picture Oscar is settled or that it is, in some of these cases, still in real play. But the fight is over if, for instance, the parents at GE decide that the next $30 million spent pushing Frost/Nixon is just too much and that they need to just focus on the commercial play… or if Paramount looks at Benjamin Button being, pleasurably and surprisingly capable of being money maker and choose not to chase Best Picture to the tune of $10 million or $20 million more than just running on fumes would cost, perhaps pushing the whole film back into the red… or if The Dark Knight realizes that Raiders of the Lost Ark and Star Wars didn’t win and that they should be thrilled to deal to be nominated and let Heath’s inevitable win represent… or that Milk is modestly commercial as a movie and Focus needs to keep its finances tight in this marketplace, making a big run at Best Picture too pricey to do and lose when they are so far from the chance of a win.
It’s business over art, yes. But it will also shape the last month of the race.
There are fights to be fought on a smaller scale. Sally Hawkins is the one real surprise at The Globes that could convert at The Oscars. Best Actress is an open race. Harvey Weinstein will have to spend very carefully, but Kate Winslet could well win Supporting Actress for the lead role in The Reader if publicized right. Searchlight will now keep the pressure on for a Mickey win. And the battle for the effects and make-up and design Oscars between Dark Knight and Ben Button will be fierce (you can wave your arm in the air and snap when you read that if you like).
A kinder, gentler award season comes from all this agreement. And I can start really enjoying it again. All from a slumdog.
Of course, the biggest problem is, what will journos have to write about for the next six weeks?


Globes – Spoiler Space

Use the comments to fight and discuss all you like… uninformed beware!


Globes – No Spoilers Please

I am going to wait until after 11p pacific time to write much about the Globes.
All I can say is… they got out of their own way.
Insiders, who are often wrong, but rarely this wrong, did not see many of these as the answers. But give it to the foreigners… they know how to get out of the way when they are going to be embarrassed by the next set of awards.
4 major surprises on the night… but only two will have any chance of repeating on Feb 22. Actually, only one when you do the math. And that could actually happen… though it will certainly not be because of the Globes, but because of the oddly unclear category.
Anyway… enough for now…

DGA Nods… As Expected

The Dark Knight
Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Slumdog Millionaire

Soderbergh screwed.
(Correction for dumb error uncaught: 3:15p)


DGA Website Note…

… For Those Who Think Oscar Doesn’t Matter To Other Awards Givers


For The Record…

The Producers Guild of America Producer of the Year Award in Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures
Simon Chinn
Julie Bilson Ahlberg
Errol Morris
Carl Deal
Tia Lessin
The Producers Guild of America Producer of the Year Award in Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures
Clark Spencer
Melissa Cobb
Jim Morris


PGA Nominates…

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Slumdog Millionaire

PGA is, as it turns out, a near lock to get 4 of 5 Academy nominees for Best Picture. So as great as it is for all 5 to be nominated, someone has to be nervous and Cynthia Swartz & Scott Rudin have to be a little pleased.
And not much of a history of matching Oscar Best Picture winners….
No Country for Old Men (won)
Michael Clayton
Le Scaphandre et le papillon
There Will Be Blood
Little Miss Sunshine (won)
The Departed
The Queen
Brokeback Mountain (won)
Good Night, and Good Luck.
Walk the Line
The Aviator (won)
Finding Neverland
The Incredibles
Million Dollar Baby
AND – With due love and respect to Disney and its minders, the reason why Wall-E is out of the Best Picture race is that they didn’t fight hard enough for it. Another $20 million or so would have done the trick. They got a great start with ads and a big NYT story… and then, left it to voters and their screeners, while The Dark Knight beat the drum from dusk until dawn. The movie is one of the best… and occassionally miracles happen. But Disney felt like it politely withdrew in December. TDK is not a lock, but if one mega-movie is in, it’s that one.


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