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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

30 Weeks To Oscar: Setting The Field

The only movie we’ve seen that has a legitimate shot at a Best Picture nomination is Carol. But it’s a legitimate shot, not a sure bet. Excellent film, but intimate and subtle and could easily end up in the Actress/Supporting Actress/Screenplay group without Director or Picture forthcoming (though a mortal lock – barring some odd disqualification – for the Spirit Awards).

Yes, Inside Out is a possibility… but an extremely remote possibility. The Animation category is a huge hurdle. Screenplay is more possible, if not pretty likely.

Those two titles out of the way, the entire Oscar season is ahead of us. Doc and Foreign and Animation, oh my. A few acting nominees could wander in from pre-July (Mara, Dano, Blanchett being most likely). But the big show is all to come.

As is often the case, the pedigree in guessing at what may be happening starts with film directors. And we have a boatload of films from directors whose films have been nominated and/or won Best Picture. (I am sad to say that Todd Haynes, who directed Carol, has never had a film nominated or been nominated as Best Director. That could change this year… but after being expected to get Best Picture and Directing nods for Far From Heaven, there is a question mark.)

I count 13 films from previous nominees for Director and Picture. More than two-thirds (9) have won both in the same year. Those are:

Spielberg, Scorsese, Zemeckis, Howard, Iñárritu, Stone, Boyle, Hooper, and the Coens for Schindler’s List, The Departed, Forrest Gump, A Beautiful Mind, Birdman, Platoon, Slumdog Millionaire, The King’s Speech, and No Country For Old Men.

These credentials are hard to overlook. Of course, there are all kinds of reasons why these films might not turn out to resonate in the way they are expected.

Three of the films from this group are biopics of relatively familiar figures (Steve Jobs, Philippe Petit, Edward Snowden) who have had other high-profile films about them and are back with some new twist.

The other six films are all distinctly period pieces (WWII spies, missionaries in the 1600s, 1820s whalers, 1820s American pioneers, 1920s gender reassignment, and 1950s Hollywood).

It would be easy to fill a lot of categories from these eight films alone. And indeed, there will be a lot of nominations for these films. But some will clearly drop to the wayside with another 20 or so other titles chasing hard as well. But let’s start with this group…

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Bridge of Spies – Steven Spielberg – released by Disney – Hanks is back. One of the stage’s great stars, Mark Rylance, may be a movie breakout (finally). And award-familiar support from Amy Ryan and Alan Alda . The first U-2 story with Francis Gary Powers. If you don’t know it, you may have needed a better Social Studies teacher in Junior High.

Silence – Martin Scorsese – released by Paramount – Two priests walk into Japan in the 1600s… Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, and Liam Neeson ensemble. Production wrapped a few weeks ago. Expect a December berth and a November premiere.

The Walk – Robert Zemeckis – released by Tom Rothman’s TriStar (which is where all Sony’s potential awards movies are this year… and probably moving forward) – The story of World Trade Center tightrope walker Philippe Petit … in 3D… played by the very busy Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Opening the NY Film Festival.

In the Heart of the Sea – Ron Howard – released by WB – Independently financed before the WB pick-up, this is the tale of whalers who are said to have inspired the novel “Moby Dick.” Chris Hemsworth’s second lead role for Ron Howard, along with ensemble Cillian Murphy, Tom Holland, Ben Whishaw, and Brendan Gleeson. Shot by the great Anthony Dod Mantle, who won his Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire.

The Revenant – Alejandro G. Iñárritu – released by Fox (produced by the source of the last two Best Picture winners, New Regency) – Four-time acting nominee Leo DiCaprio is back looking for gold with this rough tale of Western revenge. Tom Hardy is out there suffering too. Will this be too tough for Oscar voters? No way to know but to see the film.

Snowden – Oliver Stone – released by Open Road – The second Joseph Gordon-Levitt awards film of the season. Great Supporting Cast (Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Tom Wilkinson, Rhys Ifans, Joely Richardson, Timothy Olyphant), but the movie is going to have to be super special to overcome WB’s deep pockets and the Oscar already give to last year’s Snowden doc.

Steve Jobs – Danny Boyle – released by Universal – Aaron Sorkin is as important, awards-wise, as Boyle in this case… plus Rudin with the whip in hand. I’m looking for an awards title that Scott Rudin has had at Universal and I am coming up blank. Lots of Sony, Paramount, and Disney (where his then-rare non-U Ron Howard film was released). Will be interesting. Sensational cast. Fassbender, Winslet, Waterston, Rogen, Daniels, Stuhlbarg, Ortiz. But has this legend, dead just three years, already worn out the interest in discussing him?

The Danish Girl – Tom Hooper – release by Focus – Defending Best Actor nominee Eddie Redmayne gets a movie sex change. Super-hot Alicia Vikander in support in a story somewhere close to her native land. Does The Caitlyn Jenner Saga make this a lock or an outside shot (aside from acting nods)?

Hail Caesar! – Coen Bros – distributed by Universal – The Coen Bros have never had a film open in February. When they started out, there were a lot of March openings, Three in a row with Hudsucker, Fargo, and Lebowski. Since then, the only non-fall/holiday opening was The Ladykillers, which was seen as a flop 11 years ago. Six in a row including their Best Picture winner, No Country For Old Men. Will their 1950s Hollywood comedy actually break that streak? Universal has 7 movies scheduled in Oct-Dec right now. December has 2 comedies (one is a Poehler/Fey, the other a horror comedy that is tied to Christmas). Thing is, this feels like it belongs in award season. It seems meant for movie people. So…

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That’s just (again) the prior winning directors group. There are also five Oscar regulars who have slightly (some really slightly) different Oscar cred (alphabetically by director):

The Program – Stephen Frears (2-time nominee, 3-time director of BP nominees) – no U.S. distributor yet – This bio-drama based around the Irish journalist who wouldn’t leave the Lance Armstrong doping story alone has been said to have some legal battles going on that are holding up domestic distribution opportunities. The international trailer is up, but no U.S. dates set yet. TIFF could well be the launch. Ben Foster as Lance Armstrong, Chris O’Dowd as the journalist, and Lee Pace as the manager with a small turn by Dustin Hoffman.

Joy – David O. Russell – released by Fox – Jennifer Lawrence gets a true lead in a D.O.R. (aka The Oscar machine) film as the real-life inventor of items like the Miracle Mop who has made a fortune on QVC and HSN. Co-starring Russell regs Cooper & DeNiro. Also of note, the project started with Annie Mumolo, screenplay nominee for Bridesmaids.

The Martian – Ridley Scott – released by Fox – Matt Damon fronts this October opener from the legendary director which seems like a combination of Gravity and Interstellar from a distance. Lots of great talent in support from Jessica Chastain to Chiwetel Ejiofor to Michael Pena to Kristen Wiig (of A Deadly Adoption). The first trailer left some shaking their heads, trying to get a handle on the film. Maybe more commercial… maybe not.

The Hateful Eight – Quentin Tarantino – released by The Weinstein Company – As always a great cast and a controversial screenplay. Betting against QT has become a very dangerous game. There is a large enough younger group in The Academy that reveres the man’s work, no matter how outrageous.

Demolition – Jean-Marc Vallee – released by Fox Searchlight – Since his breakout Québécois film, C.R.A.Z.Y, Vallee has made three U.S. releases, garnering 11 Oscar nominations including 4 wins. But he has only gotten one of those nods… for editing. Is this passion project a breakout for his awards aspirations and those of Jake Gyllenhaal (not to mention co-stars Naomi Watts & Chris Cooper)? The demotion of the title is emotional, so don’t worry about it being an action movie.

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So our big list is already at 14. Let’s take it to 25 with titles with serious awards potential from major Oscar-playing distributors (in alphabetical order)…

Carol – Todd Haynes – distributed by The Weinstein Company – A very intimate piece about a closeted woman in the 50s and the younger woman who falls in love with her. Excellent performances that might get nominated. But an uphill fight for Best Picture, even as gay rights in America are having a great national moment.

Everest – Baltasar Kormákur – distributed by Universal – Serious material, though potentially a little action-y. Great cast (Gyllenhaal, Brolin, Clarke, Hawkes, Worthington, Knightley, Wright) with a lot of “due” names. Strong director.

Inside Out – Pete Docter – distributed by Disney – Great movie, but there is a categrory for great animated movies. Could happen. But it’s a long shot.

Black Mass – Scott Cooper – distributed by Warner Bros – Cooper hit the awards season big time with his first film, missed with his second and now has a resurrection-seeking Johnny Depp playing a role already done by Nicholson (not nominated). Bald shave. Heavy accent. Bad, bad man. Public Enemies didn’t happen for Depp, maybe this is the one. Strong/interesting supporting group with Cumberbatch, Edgerton, Sienna Miller and Dakota Johnson.

By The Sea – Angelina Jolie – distributed by Universal – Angie’s back. This time, she has veterans Brad Pitt, Niels Arestrup, and Mélanie Laurent with her. Sounds like it has a lot less action and a lot more acting… which could turn the trick for Ms. Jolie.

Concussion – Peter Landesman – distributed by Columbia – An NFL drama about the title issue with Will Smith as the doctor who made the breakthrough with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Lots of room for weighty drama with actors playing real life football players suffering in their post-football lives and others playing doctors (including Albert Brooks as forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht). Landesman’s films, as a writer and/or director have not broken through in award season yet. But he has a lot of high-profile ammo in this one.

Our Brand Is Crisis – David Gordon Green – distributed by Warner Bros – A comedy (with pathos) about political campaigns, based on the documentary, with Sandra Bullock leading a strong supporting cast. The movie will be ready for the festival circuit, even if they choose to hold it for next year’s very political year.

Suffragette – Sarah Gavron – distributed by Focus Features – What you see in the title is what you get. This is a star vehicle for Carey Mulligan with Meryl Streep in a small supporting role. The director’s first feature, Brick Lane (also written by Abi Morgan), was well liked at festivals, but never got traction for Sony Classics in 2007.

Money Monster – Jodie Foster – distributed by TriStar – George Clooney plays the Jim Cramer of a fictional financial network who is taken hostage on air by Jack O’Connell (plus Julia Roberts and the co-star of Outlander, Caitriona Balfe). Compared to Network and Dog Day Afternoon, it has a lot to match up to… but if it even comes close, serious Oscar contender.
(Editor’s Note: Sony says that this film will definitely be 2016.)

Youth – Paolo Sorrentino – distributed by Fox Searchlight – Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel seem like acting shoo-ins, with great support from Rachel Weisz and Paul Dano. This Cannes premiere is a long-shot for Best Picture, but is about artists getting old, so there may be a window for enough voters to fall in love with its quirky charms.

I Saw The Light – Marc Abraham – distributed by Sony Classics – The Hank Williams story. When producers become directors, it scares me. And I can’t say that I was a fan of Mr. Abrahams’ first film, Flash of Genius. But this is one of those concentrated stories. Hank Williams and his wife were together for a short period (having Hank Williams, Jr.) and he didn’t last much longer after that. Tom Hiddleston is one of those actors capable of amazing when you don’t see it coming and Elizabeth Olsen is one of the next great stars.

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Next up, the Indies fighting the uphill battle, with enough elements to end up in the race, but without the big momentum already in place. These will take us to 36 candidates.

A Bigger Splash – Luca Guadagnino – distributed by Fox Searchlight. The return of the director of loved/hated I Am Love. The Tilda returns and this time, she has a bit more familiar muscle around her in Ralph Fiennes, Matthias Schoenaerts and Dakota Johnson (who will end this award season continuing to ascend or reduced to one-trick-pony status). Tilda plays a rocker, Schoenaerts is the boyfriend, and former boyfriend Fiennes and his movie daughter Johnson are the game changers. October release dates are set elsewhere, suggesting that it will find a place on Searchlight’s schedule before year’s end. I am betting that they are waiting on an answer from NYFF before deciding.

Brooklyn – John Crowley – distributed by Fox Searchlight – A homerun title out of Sundance, Saoirse Ronan comes of age as a woman torn between two lovers in two countries. Nick Hornby screenplay. Domhnall Gleeson, Emory Cohen, Jim Broadbent, and Julie Walters in support.

45 Years – Andrew Haigh – distributed by Sundance Selects – High concept for Haigh, a couple having their 45th wedding anniversary are surprised to hear that the body of his first love has been found. I didn’t see the film at Berlin, but could the first love be a man? Great cast (Rampling & Courtenay), but sounds much more Spirit than Oscar. [edited]

Legend – Brian Helgeland – distributed by Universal – This seems like one that would have been at Focus in the old days. Tom Hardy as both of The Krays. We’ve seen this story before…a few times. But Helgeland is a terrific writer and Tom Hardy should be fun to watch. Still, really will have to pop to get deep into the awards conversation.

Love and Mercy – Bill Pohlad – distributed by Roadside Attractions – A strong movie about Brian Wilson that will have to fight pretty hard not to be left out in the cold. Best chances are Paul Dano in Supporting and Screenplay (Oren Moverman). The film is in release and doing solid indie business… but eight months is a long time to race without very deep pockets.

Mississippi Grind – Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck – distributed by A24 – A gambling road trip movie picked up at Sundance with the great Ben Mendelsohn and Ryan Reynolds with Sienna Miller and Analeigh Tipton in support. Slotted in September and will have to pop commercially to get a hard awards push.

Sicario – Denis Villeneuve – distributed by Lionsgate/Summit – Villeneuve got a lot of heat out of Prisoners but the award wheel didn’t go his way. This one, which premiered at Cannes, is a compelling Mexican Drug Task Force film with outstanding supporting work by Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin and a lead performance by Emily Blunt that knocked a lot of people out. But again, a very tough movie that may or may not be Academy friendly.

Southpaw – Antoine Fuqua – distributed by The Weinstein Co. – Jake Gyllenhaal transforms himself into raw muscle and grit. Concern has built behind some soft reviews of the film and some tip-toeing around by TWC in terms of showing the film. But maybe.

Spotlight – Thomas McCarthy – distributed by Open Road – The former full-time actor’s fifth feature, he didn’t really have a miss (in terms of quality) until The Cobbler. But word is that he is back in top form here, telling the true tale of church child molestation in New England as exposed by the Boston Globe. The film has an indie superstar cast a dozen deep, led by Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams.

Triple Nine – John Hillcoat – distributed by Open Road – A deep, dark drama about cops and criminals and what both are willing to do in order to get what they want. The cast (including Woody Harrelson, Kate Winslet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Casey Affleck) is remarkable. But it will need to be above and beyond to find a place in the awards season.

Trumbo – Jay Roach – distributed by Bleecker Street – Legendary screenwriter. The Blacklist (the evil one in the 40s). Great material. Brian Cranston in the lead. Strong supporting cast playing known Hollywood people in a movie about Hollywood. One wonders about a first-time feature film from a TV writer, but as so many like to say, TV is as good if not better than movies these days, so…

And finally… Seven extreme longshots, which takes this early candidates list to 43…

Criminal – Ariel Vromen – distributed by Summit-Lionsgate – Sounds like a great thriller… that isn’t awards material. Couldn’t ask for a better cast of guys (Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Oldman).

Everybody Wants Some – Richard Linklater – distributed by Paramount – Old School Linklater of the Dazed & Confused era, starring a lot of unknown young people (just as his D&C cast was unknown back then). Sounds like fun… but not awards.

The Last Face – Sean Penn – no U.S. distributor – great cast (Charlize Theron, Javier Bardem, Adèle Exarchopoulos) , but given the box office failure of The Gunman and questions about whether Ms. Theron will support the film in the press after a change in relationship status, we may see this one go straight to something other than a theatrical release after it is screened at TIFF (and they will hope, Telluride… and then hope for NYFF).

Mad Max: Fury Road – George Miller – distributed by Warner Bros – Certainly the best reviewed action film in years (whatever the RT count… I mean, actual reviews), I think Miller has a legit shot at a Best Director nod. But Best Picture, given the soft box office and the age of The Academy, will require a lot of other films to fall by the wayside… no matter how much this one deserves it.

Midnight Special – Jeff Nichols – distributed by Warner Bros – The movie sounds great. Nichols describes it as “a 1980s John Carpenter film like Starman.” But only Jeff Bridges got a nomination for that one. Mike Shannon in the lead, on the run with his unusually gifted son and Kirsten Dunst and Joel Edgerton… being hunted by Sam Shepard and Adam Driver. I’m in… but it doesn’t sound like an awards film, except perhaps for performances.

Regression – Alejandro Amenábar – distributed by The Weinstein Company – Wonderful director, but sounds like a chilly thriller. Ethan Hawke and Emma Watson assure continued popularity.

Ricki and the Flash – Jonathan Demme – distributed by TriStar – Demme is great and one of the great music-driven directors working, but release date and subject (rock star comes home to unhappy family) suggest a summer pleasure, not an awards play… though never count Meryl out for acting.

And that is the story so far. It’s still amazingly early in the season and there will surely be a couple new faces showing up unexpectedly and a lot of drop outs from the instant of their first press screening. That’s the story of… that’s the glory of… well, you know.

See you again as we head to the fall festival season at the end of August…

20 Responses to “30 Weeks To Oscar: Setting The Field”

  1. Matthew says:

    Yeah, it’ll never happen, but Mad Max represents so much of the fun of what I love about movies that it’d be great if it had an outside chance of the field of ten. It’s obviously a commercial film but has a fantastic heart and some terrific performances by Theron and Hoult. If The Martian is considered an outside chance, then I’d hope that the Academy could let its hair down enough to consider one of the funnest and inventive movies of the year.

  2. EtGuild2 says:

    I’d add a couple to the longshot list:

    Mistress America-Why not? Baumbach’s most incisive work since “The Squid and the Whale,” and if a manically violent blockbuster can be put there, why not a manic screwball comedy?

    Phoenix-A towering piece of work by Nina Hoss and Christian Petzold. If any foreign movie has a shot…

    The Diary of a Teenage Girl-Thematically resonant. Even though this isn’t her show, Kristen Wiig has been toiling, man. Between “Hateship Loveship,” “Skeleton Twins,” “Welcome to Me” (which didn’t work for me but did for a lot of people), “Nasty Baby” and this, her determination to shine a light into corners of of America struggling with dysfunction, depression and desperation should be applauded.

  3. KerryFrey says:

    I’m curious why you left SPECTRE off this list, especially since it’s predecessor SKYFALL won 2 Oscars and was nominated for more by the same film team?

  4. Karl says:

    Think Cast Away meets Apollo 13. That’s The Martian more than your mash-up. But solid analysis all around – not just Ridley’s movie. I wonder how many jokes we’ll get of this being another Ridley movie set on an alien planet but also still not tied to ALIEN. (Kidding, but some sad people will do it.)

    One more thing. If Stone’s Snowden has to overcome Citizenfour, does not The Walk need to get past the same Oscar for Man on Wire (2008)? Maybe even more so, unless the movie isn’t just a dramatic reenactment of the doc.

  5. Sharon says:

    I don’t think that The Last Face is even finished. I don’t see why the failure of The Gunman should have anything to do with this film if it is really good. As for Ms. Theron, I hope that she puts away her personal feelings to support the film.

    Son of Saul has spoken of as not just a foreign film definite but also as a possibility for best film, actor and director. We shall see.

  6. Hallick says:

    “This one, which premiered at Cannes, is a compelling Mexican Drug Task Force film with outstanding supporting work by Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin and a lead performance by Emily Blunt that knocked a lot of people out.”

    Blunt got more press about her opinion of the footwear scandal at Cannes than her performance in Sicario. Most of the reviews I read were pissed off that the filmmakers squandered her talents on a badly written part.

  7. Lane Myers says:

    DP, I think the Spielberg DW movie is being released internationally by Fox but domestically by Disney.

  8. Kevin says:

    If MAD MAX: FURY ROAD doesn’t get a Best Picture nomination, it will be as embarrassing as when THE DARK KNIGHT didn’t.

  9. Dr Wally Rises says:

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Silence was bumped to 2016. Marty likes and even sometimes needs a long edit, and it’s worth remembering that both Age of Innocence and Gangs of New York both got postponed a year after principal photography was over.

    Also, a bit surprised to see no mention at all of Ex Machina. Maybe because it’s a genre piece from a studio with little Oscar history? If so, that’s too bad. To my mind it deserves a legitimate chance to go for Original Screenplay and Alicia Vikander for Supporting Actress.

  10. MarkVH says:

    “If MAD MAX: FURY ROAD doesn’t get a Best Picture nomination, it will be as embarrassing as when THE DARK KNIGHT didn’t.”

    I’d say even more so, since MMFR actually deserves it.

  11. Carina says:

    What about Clouds of Sils Maria?

  12. chris says:

    Did you forget about “Mr. Holmes?” I left the screening thinking McKellen is a shoo-in for a nomination and could even with the thing. The adaptation is also beautifully done and I don’t think a best picture nomination is out of the question.

  13. PanopticonNYC says:

    I’ve seen Mad Max: Fury Road three times in the theater and I’ve gotta say, the movie is a flat out masterwork – certainly the best FX heavy action film since “Gravity,” or maybe even the third “Bourne” film, or maybe ever “Terminator 2.” Yes, Miller’s direction of the action scenes – even the “simple” fight scene with the wives pullin’ Max’s chain – is extraordinary, as is all the stunt work (Oscar for stunt performers, finally?). But the script and storytelling are also incredibly ambitious and thought provoking – even without the blitzkrieg action, it would be one of the more compelling sci-fi/fantasy films in quite some time.

    Of course it will be ignored in major categories (I, like Dave, hold faint hope that a director nomination is possible, but not likely) but it will be one of the most remembered films of 2015, no doubt.

  14. CollinsFan says:

    The one certainty is that “Hey Baby Doll” from DANNY COLLINS should be nominated for Best Original Song. Who wouldn’t love to see AL on stage at the Oscars doing what he does best???

  15. Joshua says:

    I think you’re underestimating INSIDE OUT. Pixar has received 2 Best Picture nominations (out of 5 releases) since they expanded the BP nominations. I can certainly see INSIDE OUT being in the Best Picture nominations list.

  16. kurt says:

    Regression’s release date is now in limbo.

  17. Geoff says:

    Yeah I would’t completely dismiss SPECTRE either, but I have to think there’s going to be a bit of a drop-off in quality from Skyfall…..and Roger Deakins isn’t coming back for this one either. You can never completely dismiss Christoph Waltz cast as the supporting villain, but even that casting seems a bit too on-the-nose.

    Karl, good point about The Walk vs. Snowden but I think it hurts a bit more this time with it just being last year that the Snowden doc won and got so much attention – Man on Wire was about six years ago for The Walk and it helps to have a few years time pass. Following up on very acclaimed documentaries with awards didn’t end up preventing Ali or Milk from getting major nods either.

    Great exhaustive analysis Dave and I think an omission or two might have been unavoidable but I can think of two major ones: Macbeth and Legend, Macbeth moreso. Legend could go either way but if you have a genuinely great performance of twins by Tom Hardy right in the heart of awards season, that might get a nomination. And Macbeth MIGHT get overshadowed by Fassbender’s other big film (Steve Jobs) but I don’t know – you can NEVER dismiss Shakespeare. 😉

    I gotta think Warners is going to make a major push for Mad Max – they’re still trying to get that film a launch in China and if that happens in the fall, that could only help. Best Picture is not likely at all, but I could see George Miller getting major support for Best Director and I find it hard to believe that they won’t launch an extensive campaign to get Charlize Theron a Best Actress nomination. And how can we can not include…..

    Star Wars??? Yeah I know it’s unlikely given the reception that the Prequels received and I’m pretty sure only the first one got a Best Picture nomination. If the last Harry Potter was able to get in there a few years back or if that silly buzz for the first Star Trek had materialized, I would have thought it more likely….but it wasn’t.

    But let’s fast-forward to December right in the heart of awards season: this film is going to pretty much suck the oxygen away from EVERYTHING else out there in the media for a couple of weeks, the hype is going to be deafening and it has that prime Avatar/Titanic release date. If the film actually gets strong reviews and is very GOOD, who knows? I can see some technical nods at least.

  18. Mark says:

    Wow, this is interesting. Instead of correcting the mistakes you made in the article, to which I pointed out in my comment that you deleted, you decided to leave them in and give your readers wrong information. Time to get out of here for good, bye.

  19. David Poland says:

    Whoever you are, Mark, I didn’t delete anything you posted. I don’t delete posts and when I correct things, I make an editing note in the pieces. Always have, always will.

  20. Glamourboy says:

    Dave, I recently went back and tried to find your famous post where you proclaimed Phantom of the Opera as the movie to beat for Best Picture that year. That post seems to have disappeared.

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