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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

9 Weeks To Oscar: Let The Narratives Begin!

Here we are… ballots are out… Phase One will be over in a couple of weeks… and the battle for The Big Win has begun. The primary weapon is in the process of changing from the movies themselves (central to The Great Settling™… c/o Mr Condon) to The Narratives.

The Narratives are the big perspective ideas, almost always instigated by someone with an ax to grind or a bonus to earn. Narratives should not be confused with Dirty Pool, which is when some personal or oddball issue comes to the forefront for no other reason than to tear this film or that film down. The media, of course, can come up with stupid ideas on its own as well… like the notion that Natalie Portman’s pregnancy is somehow a strategic event in support of her potential Oscar nomination and win.

The Narrative for The King’s Speech goes something like… “It’s a movie about humanity and humility… one of the most powerful men in the world is really just a broken child and with the help of a commoner, he can be healed… it’s about a woman who is so strong and wise that she can change her husband’s life and never lose her dignity… it’s about a commoner whose principles are strong enough to withstand the pressures of the monarchy, back when the monarchy meant something… so do you really want to vote for a movie about a rich jerk or some crazy mixed up girl or a violent western that the filmmakers admit they dumbed down to make more money… or do you want to vote for an epic story of courage and overcoming obstacles?”

The rest…

One Response to “9 Weeks To Oscar: Let The Narratives Begin!”

  1. Geoff says:

    You know, the Weinsteins get all of this hype and they certainly get the nominations, every year…..The Reader, Inglorious Basterds, wow….these guys know how to use WWII to get nods.

    But, how long has it been since they actually won the big prize??? You would know better than me, Dave, but do you think the Academy folks might be wise to the Weinsteins’ annual parade and maybe pre-disposed to NOT vote for their film for the big prize? I know, I know – the Academy is not monolithic, but they ALL know the Weinsteins, right?

    Maybe, it’s just wishful thinking, but I have a feeling that Inception still has a shot. All this stuff about the loudness – Gladiator was a REALLY loud movie, from what I remember and so was LOTR:ROTR.

    It’s a really well-liked movie, hugely successful, and the big backlash is months over at this point – the film reeks of respectability with that cast, Nolan, and it’s very easy to not look at it as sci fi or action. This is NOT The Dark Knight or even Avatar in that vein – it’s not based on a comic, doesn’t feature blue aliens, and is purely original. And HUGE point – it is not particularly violent and no sexual content.

    Nolan is pretty well-liked and respected – probably moreso than Fincher or Boyle was, just a couple of years back.

    Heck, you can even talk about the summer release date, but The Hurt Locker came out about the same time, last year.

    And you could say was the movie too successful? Well, it was big, but not ABSURDLY successful like The Dark Knight or Avatar.

    Really, I can see very few caveats for this movie – not based on true events, so it’s completely impervious to any of the “is it really true” stuff that is sure to come out against The Kings Speech and The Social Network when things get heated, next year.

    I think the big battle is Warners getting that nomination – with 10 pictures, they are looking good. But I thought they would get one for The Dark Knight a couple of years back.

    Not saying it’s going to win, but I don’t see many true stumbling blocks. Yes, True Grit is doing really well, is well liked, and playing well to the older crowd – a couple of years ago, you could have said the same about Gran Turino and that got ZERO nominations.

    Do not underestimate Inception – it’s daring and a safe choice at the same time!

Quote Unquotesee all »

“What Quibi trying to do is get to the next generation of film narrative. The first generation was movies, and they were principally two-hour stories that were designed to be watched in a single sitting in a movie theater [ED: After formats like the nickelodeon]. The next generation of film narrative was television, principally designed to be watched in one-hour chapters in front of a television set. I believe the third generation of film narrative will be a merging of those two ideas, which is to tell two-hour stories in chapters that are seven to ten minutes in length. We are actually doing long-form in bite-size.”
~ Jeffrey Katzenberg

“The important thing is: what makes the audience interested in it? Of course, I don’t take on any roles that don’t interest me, or where I can’t find anything for myself in it. But I don’t like talking about that. If you go into a restaurant and you have been served an exquisite meal, you don’t need to know how the chef felt, or when he chose the vegetables on the market. I always feel a little like I would pull the rug out from under myself if I were to I speak about the background of my work. My explanations would come into conflict with the reason a movie is made in the first place — for the experience of the audience — and that, I would not want.
~  Christoph Waltz