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David Poland

By David Poland

11 Weeks To Oscar

The Greatly Settled
Every year, I quote Bill Condon’s notion – which has more resonance with his Oscar gig this year … and less – of The Great Settling.
All the critics’ awards and nominations are laid out. Screeners are in every Oscar voter’s stockings. People go on their annual big vacations to wherever with the family and the discs in tow. And as the pressures from the hard push of the studios and press are relieved, cooling the situation, the films themselves creep into perspective. Nomination ballots go out right at Christmas and are returned en masse when people get back from their holiday to their lives.
But this year … not so much.
The Rest…
The Charts…

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5 Responses to “11 Weeks To Oscar”

  1. Aris P says:

    Having seen the “Top 5” as it were, I think the best film of the year is not even in that group:
    Man On Wire. Period.
    And, I’d even go on a limb and admit that (a few formulaic tropes aside) The Wrestler is better than any of those 5.

  2. Nick Rogers says:

    My top 10, as of right now: Man on Wire; The Dark Knight; Rachel Getting Married; WALL-E; The Wrestler; Tropic Thunder; Shine a Light; The Fall; Kung Fu Panda; W.

  3. jeffmcm says:

    Mine right now:
    (4 Months, 3 Weeks 2 Days which is really a 2007 movie)
    Man on Wire
    Synecdoche, New York
    The Dark Knight
    Standard Operating Procedure
    Let the Right One In
    The Band’s Visit
    Burn After Reading
    My most hated movie of the year:
    Prom Night

  4. MarkVH says:

    Concur on Man on Wire as best of the year. Still lots I haven’t seen though.
    Oh, and if Debra Winger gets nominated over Rosemarie DeWitt I may actually lose my mind. I like the movie well enough but DeWitt is easily the best thing in it – better than Hathaway, better than Bill Irwin, and certainly better than Winger. I love the vet-making-an-impression-in-her-whole-five-scenes bone-throwing angle, but give me a freaking break. There’s no contest here.

  5. I haven’t been deemed worthy enough to see most of the awards contenders yet so I can’t even begin to give a good top ten list. Having said that titles such as Paranoid Park, Up the Yangtze and Wall-e will definitely be in there.

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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