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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

One Reader's Oscar 2005 A-Z (not by DP)

Aviator will be regarded as the better movie in just a few years. Watch for it.
Beyonce Knowles is the new Rob Lowe: Only she was boring to the third power.
Chris Rock is so much funnier than The Oscars. Dave Letterman knows it.
Did anyone explain why there were so many empty seats at the Kodak?
Eastwood has directed 4 of the last 8 acting winners within a year. Not too shabby.
Freeman not having an Oscar before tonight doesn’t really make sense does it?
Giamatti is so much cooler than The Oscars. Steve McQueen knows it.
He needs to lighten up, that Sean Penn guy. Those non-conformists are all alike.
Isn’t a standing ovation at the Oscars just a big ole circle jerk anyway? “Sit your asses down!” is right.
Jeremy Irons gets the David Niven award for quickdraw quipdraw.
Kaufman looked kinda sorry to win, like he’s losing all that street cred.
Lynn Whitfield looks just like Sophie Okonedo.
Martin Scorcese keeps out-classing the Oscars year after year. Brava!
Nobody should have put Pierce Brosnon on that stage tonight.
Oscar hasn’t awarded a genuine best picture classic since “Schindler’s List.”
P. Piddy has the stage presence of a janitor… a very desperate one.
Quick, tell me, who won best actor again? Oh right. Him.
Robin Williams needs to stop teasing and just host next year.
Selma and Penelope presenting together was sort of like a bizarre racist SNL skit. “I’m just keeeding!”
That song from Shrek 2 is really freaking catchy.
Unbelievable how the best acceptance speech of the night was sung… and in another language.
Ventilators are for losers. Unless of course you’re Hilary Swank.
When did Peter Ustinov die?
X marks the spot where the presenters and winners stand. And it should never be in the audience.
Yentil’s probably under the impression that audiences want more of her now. God… help… us.
Zooey Daschanel was all over the red carpet. Now who is she again?

52 Responses to “One Reader's Oscar 2005 A-Z (not by DP)”

  1. Mike says:

    Dead wrong on the Aviator being better remembered years from now. Even Scorcese will have forgotten he directed that boring stinker in a year or two. Whereas Million Dollar Baby, Sideways, Incredibles and Eternal Sunshine are all enjoyable to watch (something Avaiator surely is not) and will make their way into DVD collections.

  2. bicycle bob says:

    5 yrs from now aviator will be regarded as the better film and we will ask how didn’t it win? daves right. nothing against baby but thats how its gonna be

  3. viktor says:

    Aviator will already be forgotten by the end of the month.
    Ooops! That means tonight.
    Just like Gangs of NY, Aviator is not worth all the energy and talent involved. See the Spruce Goose episode? Same thing: pompous marketing and then only a short flight not too high above the stream. The magic in aeronautics can’t make up for the lack of magic in moving pictures.

  4. Kernan says:

    The Aviator is a terrific film that will be well remembered in years to come but not at the expense of Million Dollar Baby which also has earned a place in film history and in the hearts and minds of the moviegoers it touched.

  5. Joe Leydon says:

    Actually, what’s really intriguing to contemplate is another possibility: Twenty years from now, maybe people won’t be talking about “Aviator” OR “M$B.” Maybe, instead, they’ll still be grousing that some great film wasn’t even nominated this year. Kinda-sorta like some movie buffs are stunned when they realize “Singin’ in the Rain” wasn’t a Best Picture nominee.
    What might it be? “The Life Aquatic”? “A Very Long Engagement”? “Spider-Man 2″? “Fahrenheit 9/11″? “Passion of the Christ”? “DodgeBall”?

  6. Terence D says:

    Million Dollar Baby is an overrated film with a third act that was just out of place.

  7. Dan R% says:

    20 Years from now Sideways and The Aviator will be remembered…The other three well, honestly can anyone see some 20 year old film student naming one of ’em as their favorite movie? Okay, Ray might luck out. It is quite entertaining.
    I’d argue that Schindler’s List was the last classic Best Pic winner….Now how about…Well how about that? I can only come up with Return of the King. And I’m sure there are hundreds upon thousands who will disagree with me.
    As for other films that won that’ll be remembered in 20 years:
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Incredibles.
    I can see those two movies standing the test of time. They have themes that are relevant no matter what era…
    Of course that’s just my opinion. Have at her.

  8. la says:

    Passion should have been nominated and won Best Picture

  9. adam says:

    Sideways won’t be remembered, and neither will The Aviator. M$B, Eternal Sunshine, Passion/Christ and The Incredibles will.
    Let’s just go back five years. Of the nominated films, I’d argue that American Beauty, Cider House Rules and Green Mile are mostly forgotten, but Sixth Sense and The Insider (7 noms, 0 wins) are remembered. And Three Kings, my favorite of that year, wasn’t nominated at all.
    Other 1999 films that are longer-lasting than most of those nominated: The Matrix, Fight Club, Toy Story 2, Being John Malkovich, South Park: BLU.

  10. L&DB says:

    Look at all of these fans of bad melodrama coming
    out of the woodwork. I used to bash Sideways for
    being a bad Lifetime movie. I admit now, that
    I was wrong. Tell your sister, I was wrong. M$B
    will always be, nothing more than a really bad
    Lifetime movie. Sideways at least tries to do
    something with men that has never been done before.
    Baby’s punk ass just uses every cliche ever to make
    a movie that insults not only boxing, but the viewers
    intelligence. Good acting never accounts for a
    good film. It just does not. Yet some of you have
    bought into this film? Utterly ridiculous.

  11. bicycle bob says:

    sideways won’t be remembered? it will be remembered more in 20 years for the fact that it got shafted in regards to the supporting categories than anything else. a travesty that madsen lost that. and freeman? hes the same guy in everything. the wise, kind, old black man. at least give it to him for shawshank where he deserved it

  12. Terry Lennox says:

    Think about it this way…
    If Scorcese had directed M$B, and Clint had directed Aviator? Which would have won Best Picture?

  13. L.J. says:

    I get the feeling that if Franco Zefferelli had been a hack director working under severe budgetary restrictions at Monogram Pictures instead of at MGM, his version of “The Champ” would have been indistinguishable from M$B.
    A nameless female producer in Hollywood interviewed in Entertainment Weekly last week said something about how while Scorsese is “respected” in LA, he isn’t loved. On the other hand, she said that they all “adored” Eastwood. It just proves its a popularity contest.

  14. Dan R% says:

    Using adam’s 1999 as a springboard, I’d say that the movies that I remember best from that group was The Sixth Sense and American Beauty.
    My favorite from that year is Magnolia, a film that only grows in stature over the years (along with Three Kings, The Iron Giant, Fight Club and Being John Malkovich).

  15. Jason in Garden Grove, CA says:

    Maybe it just hit me personally more than others, but I really don’t think of American Beauty as a forgettable film. In fact, artistically I think it’s right there with Schindler’s List. As for Zooey Daschanel, well, she has some family connections, and she IS pretty cute.

  16. spiderdan says:

    The Aviator is a terrific film. But it’s the Bugsy of the 21st century. Aviator and Gangs, despite the nominations, will never be what Scorsese is remembered for.
    The question is: If the Academy had given Raging Bull and Scorsese the Oscars in 1980 instead of Ordinary People and Redford, what would the pundits have to write about?

  17. L&DB says:

    Spider-dan, it would be nice if that were the case.
    Yet I do believe Gangs ranks right up there with
    the best of ScorSESE’s career. Same with the
    Aviator which proves he could direct something
    tremendous as well as character driven. Eastwood
    just has the LOVE of the tools out there. Again
    I hope the person who presents Scorsese with his
    lifetime achievement Oscar lambast the Academy for
    only honouring him in that way. Utterly pathetic
    that EMINEM still has an Oscar, but SCORsese does
    not.
    Anyone who knows nothing of Zooey Daschanel needs
    to go and watch All the Real Girls.

  18. Palmer says:

    Sideways won’t make it through the next month being remembered. It’s a movie with over-estimated esteem. It’s a nice little picture, but in no way is Best Picture nominee worthy, even in the weak 2004. For all my appreciation of Million Dollar Baby, I could admit that in any other year it would struggle to win that award.
    Outside of the self-congratulatory critics corner, most people are scratching their heads at Sideways, wondering what they missed. And no, it’s not because it issmarter than them. For all the pomp
    Everyone in the film has done better work. Payne’s previous two films are vastly superior, sharper and more on point. Giamatti did better last year in American Splendor. Madsen was servicible, but one speech with about wine does not an award merit. Hayden-Church’s was one of the most overblown in recent memory. For me, that was the biggest head scratcher of all.
    It won’t be remembered. The hangover now begins and we can all hope that 2005 brings us much more promise.

  19. Joe Sullivan says:

    I’d say out of this year the movie that will age the best is Eternal Sunshine. It won the award it deserved the most, and I think it’ll go down as one of the most well-deserved awards given in any year. Benicio Del Toro’s win a few years ago is another.
    Sideways, Million Dollar Baby and The Aviator are really on par with each other. None are perfect, I think they all offer some nice scenes and nice performances but I surely wasn’t rocked by any of them. I’ve seen each one twice and Sideways was the only one that got better (funnier) the second time. Aviator and Baby both felt way too long.

  20. bicycle bob says:

    eternal sunshine is the real classic of 2004

  21. Terry Lennox says:

    What about Team America? They’ll be talking about that one in 20 years…

  22. Mark says:

    I don’t know how many people will be talking about Team America. Its not South Park.

  23. Daniel Garris says:

    Just a few directors who haven’t/didn’t win an Oscar for Best Director:
    Martin Scorsese
    The Aviator – 2005
    Gangs of New York – 2003
    Goodfellas – 1991
    The Last Temptation of Christ – 1989
    Raging Bull – 1980
    Robert Altman
    Gosford Park – 2002
    Short Cuts – 1994
    The Player – 1993
    Nashville – 1976
    MASH – 1971
    Alfred Hitchcock
    Psycho – 1961
    Rear Window – 1955
    Spellbound – 1946
    Lifeboat – 1945
    Rebecca – 1941
    King Vidor
    War and Peace – 1957
    The Citadel – 1938
    The Champ – 1931
    Hallelujah – 1929
    The Crowd – 1929
    Federico Fellini
    Amarcord – 1976
    Satyricon – 1971
    8 1/2 – 1964
    La Dolce Vita – 1962
    Norman Jewison
    Moonstruck – 1987
    Fiddler on the Roof – 1971
    In the Heat of the Night – 1968
    The Russians Are Coming… – 1967
    Stanley Kubrick
    Barry Lyndon – 1976
    A Clockwork Orange – 1972
    2001: A Space Odyssey – 1969
    Dr. Strangelove – 1965
    Sidney Lumet
    The Verdict – 1982
    Network – 1977
    Dog Day Afternoon – 1976
    12 Angry Men – 1958
    Peter Weir
    Master and Commander – 2004
    The Truman Show – 1999
    Dead Poets Society – 1990
    Witness – 1986
    Ingmar Bergman
    Fanny and Alexander – 1984
    Face to Face – 1977
    Cries and Whispers – 1974
    James Ivory
    The Remains of the Day – 1994
    Howards End – 1993
    A Room with A View – 1987
    Ernst Lubitsch
    Heaven Can Wait – 1944
    The Love Parade – 1930
    The Patriot – 1930
    David Lynch
    Mullholland Dr. – 2002
    Blue Velvet – 1987
    The Elephant Man – 1981
    Arthur Penn
    Alice’s Restaurant – 1970
    Bonnie and Clyde – 1968
    The Miracle Worker – 1963
    Otto Preminger
    The Cardinal – 1964
    Anatomy of a Murder – 1960
    Laura – 1945
    Ridley Scott
    Black Hawk Down – 2002
    Gladiator – 2001
    Thelma & Louise – 1992
    Josef von Sternberg
    Shanghai Express – 1932
    Morocco – 1930
    Nominated Once as a Director
    Michelangelo Antonioni, Blowup – 1967
    Joel Coen, Fargo – 1997
    Cecil B. DeMille, The Greatest Show on Earth – 1953
    Howard Hawks, Sergeant York – 1942
    Krzysztof Kieslowski, Three Colors: Red – 1995
    Akira Kurosawa, Ran – 1986
    Jean Renoir, The Southerner – 1946
    Quentin Tarantino, Pulp Fiction – 1995
    François Truffaut, Day For Night – 1975
    Orson Welles, Citizen Kane – 1942
    Never Nominated as a Director
    Charles Chaplin
    Brian De Palma
    Vittorio De Sica
    Terry Gilliam
    Jean-Luc Godard
    Werner Herzog
    Fritz Lang
    Spike Lee
    Sergio Leone
    F.W. Murnau
    Pier Paolo Pasolini
    Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger
    Preston Sturges
    Andrei Tarkovsky

  24. mex says:

    A BEAUTIFULL MIND….
    ….AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS..
    …THE AVIATOR.
    TRUST ME, ITS FORGOTTEN AL READY.
    ITS A WONDERFULL LIFE…
    …THE WIZARD OF OZ….
    ….ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND..
    …TRUST ME, IT WILL BE A CLASSIC.

  25. Lota says:

    Well hell Mr Garris.
    All them directors you listed and you forgot my beloved Jules Dassin. He was nominated I beleive in 1960 for Never on Sunday for direction for Oscar, even though it is nowhere near his best movie (Rififi, Naked City, Thieves Highway).
    who knows what will age the best, but most Best picture nominees don’t.
    I pick Eternal Sunshine, Touching the Void and Bad Education, with a close fourth, Motorcycle diaries, and the Incredibles of course.

  26. Joe Sullivan says:

    Trust me on this one: Martin Scorsese hates mainstream movies. He hates them. He loves foreign films, he loves old films like The Searchers and Citizen Kane (films that aren’t well known and are mostly appreciated by just the film community) and he loves documentaries.
    By that logic, I argue that he doesn’t like the mainstream movies, he shouldn’t want the Mainstream Movie Award, which is the Oscar defined in a nut shell. When was the last time that the Academy was AHEAD of the group? When did they reward a movie that no one liked much but people grew to respect? I can’t think of any (okay, Chariots of Fire…maybe).
    Scorsese should stop going for the gold. Should he have won for Raging Bull and Goodfellas? you bet. But when he made those movies, he wasn’t going for the gold. He was making the kind of films he wanted to see, not making the kind of movie that impresses people.
    Frankly, with the new boom of the genre, I’d like to see Scorsese go back to documentaries. Anyone who’s seen The Last Waltz I’m sure would agree with me.

  27. Chester says:

    Joe Sullivan, with all due respect, sorry, but I can’t trust you on that one. I’ve seen no reason to believe Scorsese really hates mainstream movies, certainly not to the degree that can be inferred from your posting. He may possibly think there’s a lot of crap being released (as most of us do), but I don’t think he would criticize any film just for being “mainstream.” Just as one example: Scorsese made a point of emphasizing in a number of pre-Oscar interviews how much he adores “genre movies” and that at the beginning of his career he intended to become a director of genre films. As much as Scorsese loves foreign films and documentaries, I don’t think they are what come to mind when anyone talks about “genre movies.”
    Besides, if he truly despises mainstream movies that much, what the hell was he doing in “Shark Tale”?

  28. Joe Sullivan says:

    Response to Chester’s question:
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ and good P.R.
    Don’t get me wrong. I love the guy. I hope his next movie is greeat, I hope the one after that is great. He’s had one of the most interesting careers than any director around (Color of Money, Cape Fear and in between those two Goodfellas), but the “grand, epic Picture” is not up his alley. Aside from Gangs, I’d rate New York, New York as one of his worst. Then again, I think Age of Innocence is a helluva movie and I’m fascinated on what he’d do with another period piece. But let’s hope he stays away from Miramax for the next round.

  29. Chester says:

    Good points, Joe S. I hope Scorsese has another masterpiece (or several) still in him. But I don’t at all like the turn his career has taken, and you may have hit the nail regarding the Miramax (i.e., Harvey Weinstein) connection.
    It’s always seemed to me that Weinstein has been determined to confer upon the underappreciated Scorsese widespread (yes, “mainstream”) recognition rather than just letting Scorsese do his thing. Put differently, Weinstein wanted Scorsese’s name above the title to have as much brand recognition as Spielberg’s. Consequently, to whatever extent there are traditional Scorsese touches in his last two films, you can also find standard Miramax production touches as well. The result, IMHO, was that “Gangs of New York” and “The Aviator” each tasted a little too much like “Cold Mountain,” at least for my palate.

  30. Joe Leydon says:

    I’m not so sure that Scorsese is all that averse to “genre” moviemaking. Heck, this is the guy who made “Boxcar Bertha” for Roger Corman, for pity’s sake. And, mind you, I’m not saying that to dis him. If you read much of his writing on film – which I really, really recommend, by the way, because I steal from… er, I mean, I quote him all the time – you’ll find he has a deep and abiding appreciation for all kinds of movies. Long before he met Harvey Weinstein, he made a “woman’s picture” (“Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”), a musical (“New York, New York”), a Michael Jackson music video (“Bad”), a suspense thriller (“Cape Fear”), a period romance (“Age of Innocence”) and a sequel to someone else’s classic movie (“The Color of Money”). Am I knocking those films? Hell, no. Some of them rank among his finest work. I also think “Bringing Out the Dead” is a very under-rated film. And I’ll bet his next project, “The Departed,” a cops and killers action-thriller based on a Japanese melodrama (“Infernal Affairs”), will be pretty damn good, too. The point I’m trying to make is, I don’t think Scorsese looks down his nose at any type of “genre” movie, and never has, simply because the directors he greatly admires – everybody from Howard Hawks to Anthony Mann to Robert Aldrich – dabbled in all sorts of genres throughout their careers. If you want to view his relationship with Harvey W. as a deal with the devil, signed only so Scorsese could finally direct his dream project (“Gangs of NY”), well, I’m not going to argue that point. But I still think Scorsese is making precisely the movies he wants to make, and always has, because he views himself as a professional moviemaker.

  31. JPritchett says:

    Joe, not to nitpick too much, but INFERNAL AFFAIRS was made in Hong Kong, not Japan. The film has some obsessive fans, so I thought I’d catch the error now before you were bombarded with e-mails. :)

  32. Joe Leydon says:

    JP: That wasn’t just an error, that was a STOOPID error. Thanks.

  33. Joshua says:

    “Brava” to Scorsese?! He’s male! Make that “Bravo!”

  34. none says:

    The song from Shrek is a rip off.

  35. KamikazeCamel says:

    The song from Shrek is an abomination!
    Anyway, just looking at that list I notice that no director has been nominated 6 times without a win so, seriously, if he’s nominated again I think we’ll win, unless its a year with a Titanic or a ROTK.
    As an article at MCN pointed out most Best Picture winners do not hold up over time. I think The Aviator will. But the movie that people will realise should have been nominated (and won) was Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. In 50 years when people go to the super duper IMDb and look on the page of this movie and see it only got 2 nominations for one win they’ll be “…!?!?!?!”
    And lastly, holy hell, I swear Hilary and Jamie copied their (annoying and horribly manipulative) speeches from every other awards show they have been to this year.

  36. A says:

    Joe Sullivan wrote: “I’d like to see Scorsese go back to documentaries. Anyone who’s seen The Last Waltz I’m sure would agree with me.”
    Scorsese has never stopped making documentaries.

  37. bicycle bob says:

    scorsese is turning dicaprio into his new deniro

  38. Clay says:

    Movies from 2005 that will grow in stature over time: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Before Sunset, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Bad Education.
    I doubt anybody will much remember The Aviator, Million Dollar Baby or Sideways, though I enjoyed all three (Aviator and Sideways more than Baby).

  39. Terence D says:

    I think a lot of people will remember Baby, Aviator and Sideways. But Life Aquatic? Even Wes Anderson wants to forget that one.

  40. Andrew Wilson says:

    For the dissapointed Scorsese fans out there: please look back at Daniel’s list of non-winning directors of the Oscar and remember that Antonioni, Fellini and Tarkovsky are perceived by many connoisseurs as the Fathers of Modern Cinematographic Expression. Not being awarded an Oscar puts Scorsese in a new light. A much brighter one.
    The American movie industry sells internally and internationally due to its noncultural-fastfood-junkfood-relaxing-never-mentally-straining product appeal. If you followed the Academy Awards hoping to see the Seventh Art being rewarded you are either an incurably naive Greenwich Village inhabitant or you are underage for PG13.
    If you are still disillusioned with the Academy’s choices please think that it can always get worse, sometimes sooner than you think, and having Jurassic Park IV nominated in the Best Film category is something you don’t want to witness during your lifetime.
    It will get worse before it shall get any better so… fasten your seatbelt.

  41. bicycle bob says:

    real fans could care less if he gets an oscar. its the academys own bias and fault he doesn’t have one yet. the man made raging bull, taxi driver, goodfellas etc. hes a legend.

  42. Joe Leydon says:

    Bob is right. Film is forever in the present tense. Scorsese has made some great films. So Scorsese is immortal. Why does he need an Oscar?

  43. Geoff says:

    I would have loved to see Scorcese win, this year. I don’t know why he is getting railed for an exception that has been made for several other filmmakers. You wanna tell me that Al Pacino’s BEST performance was Scent of a Woman (actually one of his worst) and that he DESERVED to beat Denzel for Malcolm X? Hell no. I didn’t even see Million Dollar Baby and I was still pulling for Morgan Freeman to get his long deserved Oscar, everybody was, even though most acknowledged it was far from his best. I don’t even think that Schindler’s List was Spielberg’s best. And yet I loved watching them all win. What’s the harm in wanting that for Scorcese? Would have been cool.
    As for his supposed dislike of mainstream films, I have to disagree. The guy has made some fantastic mainstream films like Color of Money and Cape Fear. And I would even argue that Goodfellas, despite its brilliance, was pretty mainstream. Think of how widely loved The Sopranos is, right now, and tell me that Goodfellas was really that offbeat. It was really an old-fashioned rise-and-fall story brilliantly told. The guy can do anything and was long overdue.

  44. bicycle bob says:

    i hate when oscars turn into career achievement awards
    marty s should have got it 20 years ago. because they screwed up then doesn’t mean he should be rewarded if he isn’t the bets this yr. same with pacino. he should have won 5 times in the 70’s it seems. for scent of a woman? i cringe everytime that comes on tv.

  45. Angelus says:

    The Aviator was the best movie of the yr.

  46. KamikazeCamel says:

    It’s not that I feel Scorsese NEEDS an Oscar it’s just that I find it extremely strange that (Nathaniel mentioned this on his site a while ago) the Academy feels that they need to give pay-back oscars or “you’re due” oscars to people for sub-par/perfectly fine work that is far from their best (this year: Morgan Freeman) yet wont reward Scorcese when he’s up for something that is actually quite great and spectacular.
    I don’t see Scorsese being nominated for his Infernal Affairs remake. It just doesn’t click with me…

  47. bicycle bob says:

    the payback oscar is a travesty. u can’t make movie to try and win oscars. it doesn’t work that way. u try to challenge yourself and keep yourself entertained. i don’t think marty s tries to win oscars. i think miramax tries to get him one. i don’t care if infernal affairs is oscar worthy. i am sure interested in it though

  48. Terence D says:

    Scorsese deserves some payback. He has been robbed numerous times. Maybe Redford should be the better man and give him his award for Ordinary People. How that beat out Raging Bull I’ll never know.

  49. bicycle bob says:

    i don’t think marty cares too much about awards. he just wants the freedom to make the movies he wants. and with sir leo beside him, he can.

  50. Joe Leydon says:

    I know this will greatly piss off some folks, but maybe Redford beat Scorsese in 1980 because, at the time, “Ordinary People” received as much praise, if not more praise, from critics and moviegoers. (Roger Ebert and Leonard Maltin gave each movie the same number of stars — four.)It’s may be hard to believe, considering its current reputation, but “Raging Bull” was not universally beloved at the time it opened. (And it didn’t help that De Niro’s weight gain for the movie quickly became a punchline for stand-up comics.) In fact, Pauline Kael, a long-time Scorsese supporter, gave an unfavorable review to “Raging Bull.” And as far as people getting “robbed,” keep in mind that at least Scorsese got a nomination. Jonathan Demme was overlooked for “Melvin and Howard,” Bruce Beresford was overlooked for “Breaker Morant,” Irvin Kershner was overlooked for “The Empire Strikes Back” (which also failed to get a Best Picture nod). And rest assured, some people felt that Peter O’Toole (who was terrific in “The Stunt Man”) was “robbed” by Robert De Niro in the Best Actor category. And where was the Oscar love for Bill Murray as Hunter S. Thompson in “Where the Buffalo Roam”? (OK, I admit, the latter question is raised by nobody but me.)

  51. Mark says:

    Ordinary People was and is a good movie. But Raging Bull is one of the top 15 of all time.

  52. Dan R% says:

    Mark’s right on his point…

The Hot Blog

Quote Unquotesee all »

This is probably going to sound petty, but Martin Scorsese insisting that critics see his film in theaters even though it’s going straight to Netflix and then not screening it in most American cities was a watershed moment for me in this theatrical versus streaming debate.

I completely respect when a filmmaker insists that their movie is meant to be seen in the theater, but the thing is, you got to actually make it possible to see it in the theater. Some movies may be too small for that, and that’s totally OK.

When your movie is largely financed by a streaming service and is going to appear on that streaming service instantly, I don’t really see the point of pretending that it’s a theatrical film. It just seems like we are needlessly indulging some kind of personal fantasy.

I don’t think that making a feature film length production that is going to go straight to a video platform is some sort of “step down.“ I really don’t. Theatrical exhibition as we know it is dying off anyway, for a variety of reasons.

I should clarify myself because this thread is already being misconstrued — I’m talking about how the movie is screened in advance. If it’s going straight to Netflix, why the ritual of demanding people see it in the theater?

There used to be a category that everyone recognized called “TV movie” or “made for television movie” and even though a lot of filmmakers considered that déclassé, it seems to me that probably 90% of feature films fit that description now.

Atlantis has mostly sunk into the ocean, only a few tower spires remain above the waterline, and I’m increasingly at peace with that, because it seems to be what the industry and much of the audience wants. We live in an age of convenience and information control.

Only a very elite group of filmmakers is still allowed to make movies “for theaters“ and actually have them seen and judged that way on a wide scale. Even platform releasing seems to be somewhat endangered. It can’t be fought. It has to be accepted.

9. Addendum: I’ve been informed that it wasn’t Scorsese who requested that the Bob Dylan documentary only be screened for critics in theaters, but a Netflix representative indicated the opposite to me, so I just don’t know what to believe.

It’s actually OK if your film is not eligible for an Oscar — we have a thing called the Emmys. A lot of this anxiety is just a holdover from the days when television was considered culturally inferior to theatrical feature films. Everybody needs to just get over it.

In another 10 to 20 years they’re probably going to merge the Emmys in the Oscars into one program anyway, maybe they’ll call it the Contentys.

“One of the fun things about seeing the new Quentin Tarantino film three months early in Cannes (did I mention this?) is that I know exactly why it’s going to make some people furious, and thus I have time to steel myself for the takes.

Back in July 2017, when it was revealed that Tarantino’s next project was connected to the Manson Family murders, it was condemned in some quarters as an insulting and exploitative stunt. We usually require at least a fig-leaf of compassion for the victims in true-crime adaptations, and even Tarantino partisans like myself – I don’t think he’s made a bad film yet – found ourselves wondering how he might square his more outré stylistic impulses with the depiction of a real mass murder in which five people and one unborn child lost their lives.

After all, it’s one thing to slice off with gusto a fictional policeman’s ear; it’s quite another to linger over the gory details of a massacre that took place within living memory, and which still carries a dread historical significance.

In her essay The White Album, Joan Didion wrote: “Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969, ended at the exact moment when word of the murders on Cielo Drive traveled like brushfire through the community, and in a sense this is true.”

Early in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, as Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt’s characters drive up the hill towards Leo’s bachelor pad, the camera cranes up gently to reveal a street sign: Cielo Drive. Tarantino understands how charged that name is; he can hear the Molotov cocktails clinking as he shoulders the crate.

As you may have read in the reviews from Cannes, much of the film is taken up with following DiCaprio and Pitt’s characters – a fading TV actor and his long-serving stunt double – as they amusingly go about their lives in Los Angeles, while Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate is a relatively minor presence. But the spectre of the murders is just over the horizon, and when the night of the 9th finally arrives, you feel the mood in the cinema shift.

No spoilers whatsoever about what transpires on screen. But in the audience, as it became clear how Tarantino was going to handle this extraordinarily loaded moment, the room soured and split, like a pan of cream left too long on the hob. I craned in, amazed, but felt the person beside me recoil in either dismay or disgust.

Two weeks on, I’m convinced that the scene is the boldest and most graphically violent of Tarantino’s career – I had to shield my eyes at one point, found myself involuntarily groaning “oh no” at another – and a dead cert for the most controversial. People will be outraged by it, and with good reason. But in a strange and brilliant way, it takes Didion’s death-of-the-Sixties observation and pushes it through a hellfire-hot catharsis.

Hollywood summoned up this horror, the film seems to be saying, and now it’s Hollywood’s turn to exorcise it. I can’t wait until the release in August, when we can finally talk about why.

~ Robbie Collin