MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland

20 Weeks To Oscar – 17 Weeks To Go

The Drip, Drip, Drip
The main variation in the 2009/10 Oscar season that keeps getting discussed is the change to 10 nominees.
And it’s not insignificant.
But as the Chinese curse goes, “May you live in interesting times.”
As the Academy made this change, the economy of the film business started to bottom out. (Sadly, I don’t think we’ve quite reached bottom yet, though many businesses have started 12-step.)
The Dependents went from being seven strong (as MGM is still officially a major, according to its membership in MPAA) to three divisions really in business (as opposed to being a placeholder for loose end projects and Home Entertainment libraries).
The True Indies continue to be in the game, though there is a real question of what Lionsgate and The Weinstein Company will look like when next year’s season rolls around and Summit hasn’t yet shown itself to be more than the sum of its vampires. Overture, Magnolia, Freestyle, Roadside Attractions, IFC, Apparition, and Oscilliscope (in order of 2009 domestic box office grosses) all continue to show interest in the season and an inability to get a hold of the voting imaginations of the Academy … at least in the top categories.
Media noise – amplified by a combination of ad budgets being slashed thus making publicity more important again, a wave of new online businesses trying to sell themselves and their ads, and old media flailing about, trying to get attention, also in fear of their own demise – is more relentless and less thoughtful than ever.

The rest…
And the charts…

9 Responses to “20 Weeks To Oscar – 17 Weeks To Go”

  1. yancyskancy says:

    Is the Oscar buzz for the various ladies of NINE based on anything other than the assumption that their roles must be pretty strong to have attracted such major names? I presume Cotillard touted for Best Actress because her role is the largest?

  2. yancyskancy says:

    Re the above, I’ve seen only the Fellini original, and all the female roles there struck me as supporting. I haven’t seen the musical, or, of course, Marshall’s film.

  3. Hallick says:

    Even in the realm of abject speculation, having “Sherlock Holmes” on the chaser list for the Best Picture race is baffling to me. I generally enjoy Guy Ritchie’s stuff, but even his best movies are equal parts cool and inept. Every other minute of “Snatch” is out to drag itself down. Sometimes even the same minute is tearing into itself like a drunken, self-mutilating prodigy.

  4. Eric says:

    Sometimes the Academy like the December blockbuster crowd-pleasers.
    (That’s all the explanation I’ve got, because judging by the trailer the movie looks awful.)

  5. Yancy, Pene’s buzz is based on that fact that’s Penelope Cruz playing a sexy woman in a role that has won Tonys. Cotillard is lead because she indeed has a larger role (most songs out of all the women I believe) and I guess they figured “why not?”
    I find it strange how anyone can out an animated film at #1. Are you saying it would be a certainty nominated if there were only five slots? Hardly.
    Christopher Plummer is going Supporting, btw. Or do you think it’s going to be a Whale Rider type of situation there?

  6. The InSneider says:

    David, I thought this was a great piece. Well done, sir.

  7. Rob says:

    Based on the changes in Nine’s rankings this week, it seems that David has seen it, wasn’t particularly thrilled with it or Day-Lewis, but still thinks Cotillard and Cruz are well-positioned in their respective categories.
    And yeah, the Sherlock Holmes thing is a head-scratcher. I take it as an item of faith that Guy Ritchie will retire from filmmaking without ever having directed a Best Picture nominee.

  8. Hunter Tremayne says:

    I don’t think the Sherlock Holmes thing is a head-scratcher at all. The script, like the one for Inglourious Basterds, was widely available online, and it’s a terrific period adventure that is remarakably faithful to Conan Doyle. The trailer is misleading. Guy Ritchie may have screwed up the script, but Warners are said to be over the moon with the picture, so perhaps he hasn’t. Fingers crossed.

  9. Hopscotch says:

    With David’s description of Nine as “B-Italian” I’d say he wasn’t impressed, and that is pretty clever DP.

Quote Unquotesee all »

“Well, actually, of that whole group that I call the post-60s anti-authority auteurs, a lot of them came from television. Peckinpah’s the only one whose television work represents his feature work. I mean, like the only one. Mark Rydell can direct a really good episode of ‘Gunsmoke’ and Michael Ritchie can direct a really good episode of ‘The Big Valley,’ but they don’t necessarily look like The Candidate. But Peckinpah’s stuff, even the scripts he wrote that he didn’t even direct, have a Peckinpah feel – the way I think there’s a Corbucci West – suggest a Peckinpah West. That even in his random episodes that he wrote for ‘Gunsmoke’ – it’s right there.”
~ Quentin Tarantino

“The thought is interrupted by an odd interlude. We are speaking in the side room of Casita, a swish and fairly busy Italian bistro in Aoyama – a district of Tokyo usually so replete with celebrities that they spark minimal fuss. Kojima’s fame, however, exceeds normal limits and adoring staff have worked out who their guest is. He stops mid-sentence and points up towards the speakers, delighted. The soft jazz that had been playing discreetly across the restaurant’s dark, hardwood interior has suddenly been replaced with the theme music from some of Kojima’s hit games. Harry Gregson-Williams’ music is sublime in its context but ‘Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots’ is not, Kojima acknowledges, terribly restauranty. He pauses, adjusting a pair of large, blue-framed glasses of his own design, and returns to the way in which games have not only influenced films, but have also changed the way in which people watch them. “There are stories being told [in cinema] that my generation may find surprising but which the gamer generation doesn’t find weird at all,” he says.
~ Hideo Kojima