MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Durnnnn SAG IT!

DId you laugh? Did you cry? Did it matter?
I have to say, even though SAG winners mean little to Academy Voters, the consistency with which Day-Lewis, Christie, Bardem, and No Country For Old Men are winning suggests that they will go on to win on Oscar night. You can’t fight city hall.
SAG is usually 3 of 4 for actors and the “ensemble” award is really a toss-up… this year more than ever, with only one Best Picture nominee nominated for the award by the group. (That’s a first in the history of this award, though missing a number of BP noms is not.)
I listened to the reports on KNX radio as I drove into LA from Sundance. Surreal. They covered it endlessly as “perhaps the only show this year when actors will get to dress up and party.” Uh-huh. And the shredding of Anna Paquin (Pa-queen) Viggo Mortensen’s names (Vee-jo) would have been funny… but they weren’t.
I will be watching the show later, keeping an eye out for DDL’s tribute to Heath Ledger. I’m sure it will be perfectly pleasant and aside from Ruby Dee winning, nothing close to a surprise.
Onward.

Be Sociable, Share!

19 Responses to “Durnnnn SAG IT!”

  1. Nicol D says:

    Briefly,
    Loved Durning and Reynolds.
    Mickey Rooney, we love you but you went on too long.
    Cruise acquited himself with style and grace.
    Day Lewis is a brilliant actor but his Heath ‘tribute’ felt flakey. He never even met him. Heath was good but..c’mon…Forrest Whitaker who came after didn’t inspire you?
    Christie came off pretentious. Her rally of the unions felt so trite and unlearned.
    Josh Brolin’s ‘down with the studio system’ made me wonder if he actually knew what the studio system was.
    Cate Blanchett looked gorgeous.
    The whole PC female actor, male actor thing is just lame. There is a word for ‘female actor’; actress.

  2. Aris P says:

    Watching it PST. Just saw Mickey Rooney utter the words “Queen Latifah”. My head exploded. I guess I’ve heard it all now.

  3. Nicol D, if the words coming out of Daniel Day-Lewis’ mouth were coming out of, say, Tara Reid’s I’d think it were silly (as well as wondering what she’s doing on the SAG stage) but Day-Lewis ain’t the kind of guy to play the opportunist.

  4. Marqueeman says:

    I agree with Kami…Daniel Day seemed beyond sincere when talking about Ledger’s performances in both Monster’s Ball and Brokeback Mountain…and it was the sweetest acknowledgment by an actor saluting a fellow peer since Ving Rhames offered to give his Golden Globe Award to Jack Lemmon.

  5. TMJ says:

    Evry time I clicked over the to SAG Awards (because Rock of Love was on commercial break), it was another pretentious windbag bellowing on about crap we could care less about. Who let Mickey Rooney introduce his wife?! Hay-Zeus, these show are long enough!
    I find it odd that the Cruises are popping up at these shows (Katie releases for the CCAs, but no red carpet; Tom at the SAGs for the Ensemble award). What’s their game? Conversion? Submission? Sign me up for a personality test and be done with his, already. I don’t want you mucking up my 80th Annual Academy Award press luncheon at the Manhattan Beach Best Western. You dig?

  6. Nicol D says:

    Kamikaze,
    I do not doubt the sincerity of the words at all. I just doubt the level headedness of someone who would be – that – moved by someone who he had never met. Someone who while having done great work…was by no means the greatest actor who ever lived.
    Ledger was a wonderful actor. That will never be taken away from him. But the way he is being deified is disturbing. Now they are trying to say he died of natural causes and there were no drugs at all in his system.!!!????
    Is it possible? Sure. It is also possible I will win the lottery this week and live the sweet life in Belize. Just not bloody likely.
    I understand the fascination with Ledger’s death and work. But he was no saint, and if he abused drugs while having a young daughter it makes him a bit of a selfish twit. I mean all of those drug abuse stories can’t be lies; he did have a boho rep. That does not take away from his work. It just brings perspective down to earth a bit.
    Lewis is 50 years old. He should know better. There are far bigger tragedies going on in the world today. I also think the SAG pause and beat on Ledger’s face was tacky. It gave off a whiff of all pigs are equal but some are a little more equal than others.

  7. The Pope says:

    Nicol D,
    I saw DDL’s speech and in my estimation of the man, it is completely keeping in character. His Oscar winning speech was similar. It is humility that I find so admirable. DDL is always humble. He is humble of his craft. He is humble before the script. He is humble in the face of his gift. And his gift is that he is able to reach and connect with people whom he never met… he never met Christy Brown whom he portrayed in My Left Foot. Yet, he was able to empathise with him. I think it is the same thing for Heath Ledger. DDL never met him, but that does not mean he is not entitled to feel pain or sadness … or humility that… but for the Grace of God, DDL did not go the same way.

  8. L.B. says:

    It’s really not unusual for an actor to feel so connected to another actor based on his performances. It’s pretty common actually. It’s generally why a lot of actors (male and female) become actors. What’s unusual is to hear it expressed so eloquently. Day-Lewis is a class act and beyond needing to pull stunts to get people to like him. This was an honest expression and really beautifully delivered.
    Having been in New York this past week, it’s easy to see how people can go overboard over a tragedy. Ledger consumed the front pages for a week (starting with grief and then inevitably sliding into “what did Mary-Kate Olsen have to do with it?” scandal-mongering). But I don’t see how SAG was out of line for paying tribute to the guy. He had a load of potential. Very much one of those actors that was on his way to bigger and even better things. It’s hardly surprising or untoward that they’d express shock and grief that way.
    Yes, there are bigger tragedies going on in the world right now. But this is an awards show honoring actors and one of their best and brightest numbers died. Maybe they can be allowed a little time to mark that.

  9. Nicol D says:

    Kamikaze,
    I do not doubt Lewis’ brilliance as an actor. I do not doubt his sincerity.
    His humility. I have no idea. How does he treat other actors on set? Didn’t the original Eli leave/get fired from TWBB because Lewis treated him like crap? Didn’t Liam Neeson get fed up with his actorly indulgences on GONY?
    I have no idea if he is what his rep is…but I have never heard Lewis is humble. I have heard he is quite eccentric and vain; like many method actors. Just because it was sincere is not really the point.
    L.B.
    “It’s really not unusual for an actor to feel so connected to another actor based on his performances. It’s pretty common actually. ”
    I know…but of all the actors and performances that could have moved him? Would it be cruel to suggest it had as much to do with Ledger’s boho rep which is like Lewis’ than the acting itself?
    “But I don’t see how SAG was out of line for paying tribute to the guy.”
    Not at all. I just question the tackiness of separating him from the pack. It felt somewhat…elitist and odd. I mean Deborah Kerr was a legend! If I were her family I would feel…pissed.
    “Yes, there are bigger tragedies going on in the world right now.”
    I would never have mentioned it but for the fact that many SAG actors routinely talk down to the public about being ignorant and ill-informed about great evils in the world.
    Hey, I think Lewis is a great actor, but far from making me think this made him more sensitive, it made me think he is more isolated from reality. If he knew Ledger, great but…

  10. jeffmcm says:

    “I would never have mentioned it but for the fact that many SAG actors routinely talk down to the public about being ignorant and ill-informed about great evils in the world.”
    There it is.

  11. L.B. says:

    “I know…but of all the actors and performances that could have moved him? Would it be cruel to suggest it had as much to do with Ledger’s boho rep which is like Lewis’ than the acting itself?”
    Not cruel, really, but kind of out-of-left-field. This is the same week he died, it’s clearly on his mind (as it is on a lot of people’s minds). And, to be honest, it was that performance that not only made many people realize what kind of talent Ledger had, but also leapt almost immediately to mind when we heard the news. So, it’s really not surprising that he’d react that way and I think it really has everything to do with his work and not his rep. Would he have given a different speech if Ledger had died several months ago? Maybe. I don’t know. But I think it was a product of the immediacy and his sincere feelings. Added to which, I’m not sure how entrenched someone as reclusive as DDL is in the gossip and “rep” news of others. The guy runs off to Italy between films to make shoes. I’m not sure how much the extra crap affects him. At the very least it would be huge conjecture to the point of being irrelevant.
    “Not at all. I just question the tackiness of separating him from the pack. It felt somewhat…elitist and odd. I mean Deborah Kerr was a legend! If I were her family I would feel…pissed.”
    I see what you’re saying, but I can also see the reason. Again, it’s in the immediate wake of feeling the loss and there really is something stronger about losing someone before they’ve reached their full potential than someone who’s had their day. Not pitting them against each other. Just saying that someone like Kerr has done a great number of fine things and has had a whole lifetime of honors and so forth. Losing a talent before it really hit its stride affects people differently, whether his death was self-induced or not (and it’s kind of irresponsible to posit otherwise until the results are in). But it’s an honest reaction in the heat of the moment. Maybe it would have been different if a few months had passed. The ceremony was pretty much right on top of his funeral, so I think a little leeway can be given.
    “I would never have mentioned it but for the fact that many SAG actors routinely talk down to the public about being ignorant and ill-informed about great evils in the world.”
    Okay. Does DDL do this? Does he usually talk down to us about being ignorant and ill-informed on the rare occassions that he speaks publicly? You really can’t knock someone for behavior that a portion of people in his profession do. It’s not up to him to alter his speech and behavior because Tim Robbins or Sean Penn bitches out the Administration when they get the chance. He won an award and it was his moment and he used it the way he wanted to use it (just as the people that speak out about political or social issues do when they have their moment). So, really it’s not worth mentioning in this context except as an opportunity to stick it to actors who you disagree with. That’s them, this is him.
    “it made me think he is more isolated from reality”
    Because he had an emotional reaction to the death of someone whose work impressed him? Okay…

  12. Is there anything more arrogant or condescending than doubting another human beings feelings or comments on the death of another person? I mean…really? The world has come to this? The world of anonymous blog posting makes it much easier to be crass but it just jumps out at me sometimes.

  13. cacophony says:

    as a longtime reader of this blog and an observer of its numerous commentators, it becomes apparent that this nicol d is a master charlatan, a merry prankster if you will. if something is universally adored, admired, or praised, leave it to the great nicol d to tear it down in the name of whatever revolution he or she wishes to further in the realm of the blogosphere. and if your arguments prove valid..then watch out! for nicol d will pull a new argument out of the hat, one that may or may not have anything to do with the original argument, but irregardless of logic or common sense, nicol d will fight for it as if it were the original point at hand (which it often is not) it amazes me that many of you even try to engage this person, for it’s quite obvious you are battling nothing more than a troll.
    but bravo, nicol d. you are quite the ingenious one, giving even us who rarely comment hours of enjoyment. well played.

  14. hendhogan says:

    it amazes me that many of you even try to engage this person, for it’s quite obvious you are battling nothing more than a troll.
    and yet, you are engaging him. feeling very mudd’s robots right now.

  15. Pat H. says:

    As someone who rarely if ever posts anything on here the one commentator that I actually enjoy reading is Nicol D.
    On a blog where most people seem to compete to see who can pour out the conventional wisdom first or are just fanboys or drama queens it is refreshing to read someone who actually knows about film and film history.

  16. jeffmcm says:

    Let me stand up and defend Nicol briefly, because I don’t think he falls into the ‘troll’ category. A troll is someone who shows up simply to antagonize and annoy others. There are also inadvertent trolls who show up thinking they’re imparting great wisdom to the rest of the world, not realizing that they’re just repeating the same ‘name-checking’/’Oscar-whoring’ nonsense week after week.
    Nicol sometimes has an off-putting tone about his posts, but he’s intelligent, mostly respectful, and deserves better than to be labelled ‘troll’.
    All that said, I totally disagree with Pat H.

  17. Oh no, no NO…I love Nicols postings! I’ve never seen the staunch, right wing “stick to the message” way of writing and talking brought to the world of cinema. It’s brazilliant! I love reading them the same way I like to watch Hannity/O’Reilly and listen to Michael Savage. The ability to remain arrogant and condescending while sticking to a very strict set of POV rules is amazing to me. Bravo!

  18. Nicol, did you address me twice for a reason or did you confuse me with The Pope (er, the commenter not the actual Pope).
    Petaluma, there have been a few people on this blog doubting people’s actual feelings and it’s all very hypocritical. Nicol, you keep saying we didn’t know Heath so how can we be so upset, DDL didn’t know Heath so how can he be so upset… well, do you know DDL? Do you know what he’s really thinking? Do you know me? (let me answer that: no) so how do you really know what I’m feeling?
    etc.

  19. Exactly, KC. I mean, DDL wasn’t even “competing” against Ledger in his category and he wasn’t under any pressure to address Ledger’s death…he said what he felt (I think) and for people to doubt that just seems silly and snide.
    The obvious feelings about the whole thing came out when Nicol passed his high n mighty judgement on Ledger for allegedly doing drugs while he has a kid (calling him a twit). It’s not like the kid was playing on the floor next to him while he did lines. I love people with no kids who are able to deem what is appropriate behavior for adults who do have them. Kinda like the battle against pro choice, no?

Quote Unquotesee all »

“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