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David Poland

By David Poland

Coens Win DGA

Good for them.

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29 Responses to “Coens Win DGA”

  1. Roman says:

    Indeed, good for them. They are also among the few in the bussiness who I know for a fact won’t be spoiled by the success. Even when they’ll get more. So congrats.

  2. What I’m intrigued about is SAG. Will they give their ensemble prize to NCfOM, Into the Wild (the Crash to the Coen’s Brokeback Mountain if you will) or throw a big spanner into the works and give it to something like Hairspray. Hmmm.
    I wonder how their success on this title will help Burn After Reading with Brad Pitt and two Oscar-nominees this year George Clooney and Tilda Swinton, not to forget Frances McDormand and John Malkovich.

  3. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Make that “Good for Miramax”, the company with a recognized history of buying awards.

  4. L.B. says:

    Shut up, Chucky. Seriously.

  5. Joseph says:

    Chucky, with the Weinsteins out at Miramax that joke doesn’t mean anything anymore. People LOVE the film and LOVE the Coens. The DGA award is hardly a surprise considering all the film has been honored with already.

  6. Wrecktum says:

    I’m glad to know that Chucky in Jersey knows nothing about the current state of Hollywood. I can now ignore everything he says.

  7. The Pope says:

    Even if Miramax have a history of “buying awards”, how can anyone seriously consider an award like the DGA being bought? It’s as dumb as someone claiming that the WGA award is bought. Outside of the Guilds, or the industry, the public don’t really care. They probably don’t even know what the DGA stands for. The Oscars, sure, studios spend to win… or buy if you insist. But come on. Don’t undermine the Coen’s achievement. Would you have said the same thing had Marty won for GONY or The Aviator?

  8. lazarus says:

    I get so tired of pointing this out every time, but I’ll do it again for the impressionable and naive: Dreamworks spent more money promoting Saving Private Ryan during the Oscar race than Miramax did with Shakespeare in Love. Harvey’s crime was thinking his smaller studio (and film) had the right to play as tough as the big boys. His film won because it had a much better script, and a better cast. Plain and simple.
    But hey, print the legend, right?

  9. Noah says:

    Laz, I usually agree with you and you’re right about everything you just said except: Shakespeare in Love had a better cast? I love Judi Dench as much as the next guy, but her, Geoffrey Rush, Gwyneth, Affleck, Joseph Fiennes versus Hanks, Damon, Sizemore, Burns, Davies, Ribisi, Diesel, Pepper, etc. I mean, say what you will about some of those guys, I’d take Hanks and Damon over Paltrow and Dench.

  10. EDouglas says:

    If SAG gives their ensemble award to the untalented, unable to sing cast of Hairspray, it will be a travesty and a mockery of them being allowed to have an awards show. I doubt it will happen.

  11. Wrecktum says:

    Did Noah just try to argue that Vin Diesel is a better actor than Judi Dench, Geoffrey Rush, Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes?

  12. PastePotPete says:


  13. facls says:

    “Did Noah just try to argue that Vin Diesel is a better actor than Judi Dench, Geoffrey Rush, Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes?”
    Not to mention Tom Wilkinson and Imelda Staunton.

  14. lazarus says:

    Noah, I just don’t know what to say to that. I’m not a Tom Hanks fan so his name doesn’t carry much weight for me. But in addition to overlooking the two great actors that facis just mentioned, the cast you listed just doesn’t impress me as much. You’re putting Hanks and Damon up against Paltrow and Dench (a contest that is arguable anyway), but when you look at the WHOLE cast, it ain’t even close.
    Paltrow, Fiennes, Dench, Wilkinson, Staunton, Affleck (quite good), Rupert Everett (not mentioned by you) and Colin Firth (ditto)
    Hanks, Damon, Diesel, Burns, Ribisi, Davies, Pepper, Sizemore, waving American flag
    You’re crazy, dude.

  15. Rob says:

    Oh, Shakespeare in Love had a better cast than Private Ryan. I mean, I love Damon and Hanks, but otherwise, there’s a lot of low cards in that hand (Vin Diesel? Ed Burns?!).
    As for the Coens winning the DGA, yes, good for them, but I hope Paul Thomas Anderson gets it someday. Can we agree that he’s the best American director to emerge in the ’90s?

  16. Brett B says:

    Paul Giamatti was also in Saving Private Ryan, and let us not forget Ted Danson.

  17. Joseph says:

    I too was slightly disappointed that PTA didn’t win but if anybody was to take it from him and still make me smile it’s the Coens. My hope is that come Oscar night PTA makes off with the Adapted Screenplay Oscar. Remember when “The English Patient” pretty much swept the Oscars but DIDN’T win for Adapted Screenplay? (Billy Bob Thornton got it for “Sling Blade”.) I wouldn’t rule out that the Academy splitting the vote with the Coens winning for Direction and Anderson winning Adapted Screenplay.

  18. Noah says:

    You know, I forgot Staunton and Wilkinson and Firth…so, I will actually admit that I was wrong on that score. Shakespeare did indeed have the better cast and I admit defeat.

  19. lazarus says:

    Funny you mention The English Patient losing screenplay because it probably deserved that more than anything else it won (not that any of them weren’t deserved).
    You are gracious, Noah. And I hope this doesn’t sound like rubbing it in, but I’ll take The Thin Red Line’s cast over Ryan as well:
    Penn, Caviezel, Nolte, Harrelson, Koteas, Mihok, Chaplin, Savage, Brody, Reilly, Clooney…and Travolta
    And while it may not have had much of a script (who knows what was lost in editing), it was still more profound than the cliched one Robert Rodat wrote.

  20. Noah says:

    Agreed…on all counts. I love Thin Red Line, still find it to be one of the most moving and poetic war films. And that cast is pretty hard to top.

  21. David Poland says:

    “the untalented, unable to sing cast of Hairspray”
    You’re not no one, ED. Get a handle on yourself.
    Pissing on people with talent as “untalented” – even if you hate the film – is lame.
    And before the first fool makes this into some person defense of Hairspray, know that I feel that even the shite that is Cloverfield was made by clearly talented people… just not talented enough (or interested enough) to make the idea work. In fact, there are very, very, very few films ever made that suggest a true absence of talent.
    Degree can be argued. But you are not some nameless jerk squealing on the web. If you don’t know better than that, you shouldn’t be taken seriously by anyone. Sorry… but it’s true.

  22. “the untalented, unable to sing cast of Hairspray”
    I guess it’s a good thing then that the majority of the cast haven’t built their career on singing. Otherwise they’d really be trouble. …?

  23. bulldog68 says:

    Shakespeare had the better cast, talented actors worth their weight in gold, but Saving private Ryan was the better movie IMO. Spielberg deserved it that year. There..I said it.

  24. jeffmcm says:

    I will agree that Bulldog. And really, when I think of Shakespeare in Love, I think of the two leads, Dench, and Affleck popping up a couple of times, not of the film as an Altman-esque ensemble piece.

  25. Aladdin Sane says:

    I love when we get into pissing matches over Shakespeare in Love and Saving Private Ryan. While we’re at it, let’s discuss Roberto Benigni winning Best Actor over Ian McKellen. That’s always good for a laugh too.

  26. Yeah, the Shakespeare in Love / Saving Private Ryan debate is about as thrilling these days a chicken soup. I think Saving Private Ryan is an incredibly well-made movie (Spielberg’s Oscar was well-earned) but if I had to choose the better film, the one I liked more, the one I would have voted for… well, I’d go with Shakespeare in Love. Doesn’t mean SPR is some terribly ungodly mess of a movie, I just like one more.
    People who harp on about Shakespeare in Love actually not even being a good movie are just seeing things through a haze of bias.

  27. milestogo says:

    Shakespeare has the best script (FUBAR? really? Wasn’t that in Highlander 2 or something?), but the best cast debate is ridiculous. The Player has a great cast, but that doesn’t make it better than Unforgiven.
    At least Shakespeare in Love is still fun to watch unlike most late 90s Best Picture winners.

  28. Hopscotch says:

    A blog debating Shakespeare in Love over Saving Private Ryan…well, I guess five minutes has gone by.
    Neither film is perfect, but Shakespeare in Love I’d say is a cute movie. “The show must…”, “Go on.” I laughed, but it’s cute. How many war films have imitated SPR since it’s release? Who can argue that it’s not Hanks’ best performance?
    I thought the SAG awards were so-so. Ruby Dee? more of a career award. The TV stuff… I never get, so I won’t try.
    Best line of the night was Fey’s: “it’s like watching Fred Astaire dance with a hat rack.”

  29. Funny, I can’t say I ever think of Hanks’ performance when I think of Saving Private Ryan.
    All this talk is making me wanna go watch Shakespeare in Love right now, actually (and I will). As great of a movie as it is I can’t see myself aching to watch Saving Private Ryan again anytime soon.

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“But okay, I promise you now that if I ever retire again, I’m going to ensure that I can’t walk it back. I’ll post a series of the most disgusting, offensive, outrageous statements you can ever imagine. That way it will be impossible for me to ever be employed again. No one is going to take my calls. No one is going to want to be seen with me. Oh, it will be scorched earth. I will have torched everything. I’m going to flame out in the most legendary fashion.”
~ Steven Soderbergh

I feel strongly connected to young cinephile culture. The thing about filmmaking—and cinephilia—is that you can’t keep hanging out with your own age group as you get older. They drop off, move somewhere. You can’t put together a crew of sixty-somethings. It’s the same for cinephilia: my original set of cinephile friends are watching DVDs at home or delving into 1958 episodes of ‘Gunsmoke,’ something like that. The people who are out there tend to be young, and I happen to be doing the same thing still, so it’s natural that I move in their circles.

In terms of the filmmaking, there was a gear shift: my first movies focused on people around my age, and I followed them for three films. Until The Unspeakable Act, I was using the same actors, not because of an affinity for people at a specific age, but because of my affinity for the actors. I like to work with actors a second time, especially if I don’t feel confident casting a new film. But The Unspeakable Act was a different script, and I had to cast all new people. Even for the older roles, I couldn’t get the people I’d worked with before. But when it was over, the same thing happened: I wanted to work with Tallie again in the worst way, and I started the process all over again.

I think Rohmer did something similar around the time of Perceval and Catherine de HeilbronnHe developed new groups of people that he liked to work with. These gear shifts are natural. Even if you want to follow certain actors to the end of their life (which I kind of do) the variety of ideas that you generate makes it necessary to change. And once you’ve made the change, you’ve got all these new people around.”
~ Dan Sallitt