January 25, 2011

Oscar nominations

The boring truth is that the movies that everybody knew on January 1st were going to get most of the Oscar nominations actually are pretty good. For example, The Kids Are All Right is just a Lifetime Movie that has been inflated by gay marriage culture war solidarity, but it's also, by the standards of Lifetime Movies, well above average.

You can read my reviews at the links:

Best Picture
  • Black Swan Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers
  • The Fighter David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers
  • “Inception” Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers
  • The Kids Are All Right Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray, Producers
  • The King's Speech Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers
  • 127 Hours Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers
  • The Social Network Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ce├ín Chaffin, Producers
  • Toy Story 3 Darla K. Anderson, Producer
  • True Grit Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
  • “Winter's Bone" Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers 
As for the two I haven't reviewed, I was looking forward to reviewing Inception all summer, but then the magazine went on vacation that week. I can't imagine I have much to say about Inception that hasn't already been said. I've been studying up on Jim Webb books to write my review of Winter's Bone, so that will probably be next week.

    Directing

    • “Black Swan” Darren Aronofsky
    • “The Fighter” David O. Russell
    • “The King's Speech” Tom Hooper
    • “The Social Network” David Fincher
    • “True Grit” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
    The problem with having ten Best Picture nominees to get more people to watch the Oscars show, but still having only five Best Director nominees is that it's pretty obvious that Inception won't win Best Picture because Christopher Nolan didn't get nominated for Best Director. One of these years he'll finally have proven himself ...

    Actor in a Leading Role

    • Javier Bardem in “Biutiful
    • Jeff Bridges in “True Grit”
    • Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network”
    • Colin Firth in “The King's Speech”
    • James Franco in “127 Hours”
    Biutiful is bad but Bardem is good. I usually like Jesse Eisenberg a lot, but I thought his performance in The Social Network wasn't up to par. I would have gone with Ryan Gosling of Blue Valentine for one of these spots.

      Actor in a Supporting Role

      • Christian Bale in “The Fighter”
      • John Hawkes in “Winter's Bone”
      • Jeremy Renner in “The Town
      • Mark Ruffalo in “The Kids Are All Right”
      • Geoffrey Rush in “The King's Speech”
      They're all good.

        Actress in a Leading Role

        • Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right”
        • Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole”
        • Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter's Bone”
        • Natalie Portman in “Black Swan”
        • Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine
        Natalie Portman didn't do much for me in Black Swan -- she mostly just look frenzied, and or weirded out -- kind of the female equivalent of Eisenberg's performance. Jennifer Lawrence is pretty great in Winter's Bone, but it was a good role if you can nail the Ozark accent.

            Actress in a Supporting Role

            • Amy Adams in “The Fighter”
            • Helena Bonham Carter in “The King's Speech”
            • Melissa Leo in “The Fighter”
            • Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit”
            • Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom”
            I haven't seen Animal Kingdom, but all the rest are definitely good performances.

              Animated Feature Film

              • “How to Train Your Dragon” Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
              • “The Illusionist” Sylvain Chomet
              • “Toy Story 3” Lee Unkrich

              Art Direction

              • “Alice in Wonderland”
                Production Design: Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Karen O'Hara
              • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
                Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
              • “Inception”
                Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas; Set Decoration: Larry Dias and Doug Mowat
              • “The King's Speech”
                Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Judy Farr
              • “True Grit”
                Production Design: Jess Gonchor; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh

              Cinematography

              • “Black Swan” Matthew Libatique
              • “Inception” Wally Pfister
              • “The King's Speech” Danny Cohen
              • “The Social Network” Jeff Cronenweth
              • “True Grit” Roger Deakins 
              I don't believe a woman has ever been nominated in this category. You apprentice by climbing ladders carrying heavy lights, so upper body strength is a prerequisite.

                Costume Design

                • “Alice in Wonderland” Colleen Atwood
                • “I Am Love” Antonella Cannarozzi
                • “The King's Speech” Jenny Beavan
                • “The Tempest” Sandy Powell
                • “True Grit” Mary Zophres

                Documentary (Feature)

                • “Exit through the Gift Shop” Banksy and Jaimie D'Cruz
                • “Gasland” Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic
                • Inside JobCharles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
                • “Restrepo” Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
                • “Waste Land” Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley
                Notably, Waiting for "Superman" failed to get a nomination. Good job, Academy members! For some reason, people in LA aren't as hyped up as people in NYC and DC about schools.

                  Documentary (Short Subject)

                  • “Killing in the Name” Nominees to be determined
                  • “Poster Girl” Nominees to be determined
                  • “Strangers No More” Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon
                  • “Sun Come Up” Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger
                  • “The Warriors of Qiugang” Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon

                  Film Editing

                  • “Black Swan” Andrew Weisblum
                  • “The Fighter” Pamela Martin
                  • “The King's Speech” Tariq Anwar
                  • “127 Hours” Jon Harris
                  • “The Social Network” Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter 
                  Even if they expanded the list of Best Director nominations to ten, you could still tell Inception won't win Best Picture because it's not on this list.

                    Foreign Language Film

                    • “Biutiful” Mexico
                    • “Dogtooth” Greece
                    • “In a Better World” Denmark
                    • “Incendies” Canada
                    • “Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)” Algeria

                    Makeup

                    • “Barney's Version” Adrien Morot
                    • “The Way Back” Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
                    I just finished my review of Peter Weir's movie about escape from the Gulag and it will be up at Taki's tomorrow.
                    • “The Wolfman” Rick Baker and Dave Elsey

                    Music (Original Score)

                    • “How to Train Your Dragon” John Powell
                    • “Inception” Hans Zimmer
                    • “The King's Speech” Alexandre Desplat
                    • “127 Hours” A.R. Rahman
                    • “The Social Network” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross 
                    No nominations for Christopher Nolan, but one for Hans Zimmer?

                      Music (Original Song)

                      • “Coming Home” from “Country Strong” Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
                      • “I See the Light” from “Tangled” Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
                      • “If I Rise” from “127 Hours” Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
                      • “We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3" Music and Lyric by Randy Newman

                      Short Film (Animated)

                      • “Day & Night” Teddy Newton (from Toy Story 3)
                      • “The Gruffalo” Jakob Schuh and Max Lang
                      • “Let's Pollute” Geefwee Boedoe
                      • “The Lost Thing” Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
                      • “Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)” Bastien Dubois

                      Short Film (Live Action)

                      • “The Confession” Tanel Toom
                      • “The Crush” Michael Creagh
                      • “God of Love” Luke Matheny
                      • “Na Wewe” Ivan Goldschmidt
                      • “Wish 143” Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite

                      Sound Editing

                      • “Inception” Richard King
                      • “Toy Story 3” Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
                      • “Tron: Legacy” Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
                      • “True Grit” Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
                      • “Unstoppable” Mark P. Stoeckinger

                      Sound Mixing

                      • “Inception” Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick
                      • “The King's Speech” Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
                      • “Salt” Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin
                      • “The Social Network” Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten
                      • “True Grit” Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland

                      Visual Effects

                      • “Alice in Wonderland” Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
                      • “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
                      • HereafterMichael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell
                      • “Inception” Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
                      • Iron Man 2 Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick

                      Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

                      • “127 Hours” Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
                      • “The Social Network” Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
                      • “Toy Story 3” Screenplay by Michael Arndt; Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
                      • “True Grit” Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
                      • “Winter's Bone” Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini

                      Writing (Original Screenplay)

                      • “Another Year” Written by Mike Leigh
                      • “The Fighter” Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson;
                        Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
                      • “Inception” Written by Christopher Nolan
                      • “The Kids Are All Right” Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
                      • “The King's Speech” Screenplay by David Seidler 
                      Nolan certainly deserved this nomination for keeping Inception semi-comprehensible.

                        40 comments:

                        Mr. Anon said...

                        Other than bookies, some women, and homosexuals, who cares?

                        Garland said...

                        "people in LA aren't as hyped up as people in NYC and DC about schools."

                        My fav part of the Golden Globes was someone's oldschool liberal hollywood airhead comment about how underpaid saintly public school teachers are. I dont know if the airhead in question even had "Superman" on the mind but I loved hearing it during a movie award show this particular year as it sounded like a slap in that movie's face.

                        There were two other anti-union/pro-charter docs this year that didnt get anywhere like the attention, I guess lacking the star director. "The Cartel" and "The Lottery." Didn't see them but they sounded less stupid, though still fairly clueless.

                        Garland said...

                        Toy Story 3 was adapted? From what? Were the other two adapted as well?

                        Ozark Boy said...

                        I have a "Winter's Bone" background. I grew up in Reeds Spring, swum at Big Rock on Bull Creek, wandered through the woods with Darrell Mease's brother (who was later a Deputy Sheriff for Stone County), and went to school with all the Seaton kids who are pictured in this series of postcards.

                        The homes, the clothes, the people, the dialogue, and the conflicted relationships with the authorities (for moonshiners and methmakers) are typical, as are the rules of honor, chivalry and feud that were touched upon in the movie.

                        Watching Winter's Bone was like Old Home Week.

                        Evil Sandmich said...

                        I'm not all that knowledgeable when it comes to movies, but I think Inception definitely deserved to at least be nominated for editing. Rarely is a film so slickly edited that the editing job itself stands out.

                        Anonymous said...

                        Steve, I'd love to hear your comments on EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP, which is now streaming on netflix. I suspect this might win just so people can see how Banksy will react. Plus, Hollywood stars have dropped hundreds of thousands on his art.

                        His opening for the Simpsons was the best ever:

                        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/11/banksy-directs-dark-openi_n_757753.html

                        James said...

                        "Exit Through the Gift Shop" is fake; I'm surprised it's been nominated.

                        jody said...

                        at least a writing nomination for nolan. still no directing nomination. no editing nomination for inception? ridiculous.

                        they can't even give the toy story 3 guys an original writing nomination? have to stick them in the adapted category?

                        i'll never watch this show again after the hurt locker fiasco.

                        speaking of iraq, i note how the US television media does not cover how badly it is going over there, in an effort to really help obama. a near blackout on all negative iraq news is in effect. they have simply taken that issue off the table, making sure the public doesn't think about iraq or associate it with obama. he flubs up enough, we can't have a constant reminder of all the stuff he's bungling.

                        Anonymous said...

                        Music (Original Score)... "The King's Speech" Alexandre Desplat

                        Desplat wrote a gorgeous score for Girl with a Pearl Earring.

                        Geoff Matthews said...

                        With only 3 nominees for Animated Movie, its looking like a mistake to give it its own category.

                        I saw Dispicable Me, and really enjoyed it, much more than How to Train Your Dragon. Didn't see the other two, but I may track down a copy of The Illusionist.

                        Anonymous said...

                        Come on Steve, give us a post on Inception. Was the story internally consistent? Isn't it obvious that Cobb is stuck at the end in an ideal dream he's created? Otherwise, why is Michael Caine waiting for him at an American airport when he was a professor in Paris earlier in the movie?

                        Anonymous said...

                        Costume Design
                        “Alice in Wonderland” Colleen Atwood
                        “I Am Love” Antonella Cannarozzi
                        “The King's Speech” Jenny Beavan
                        “The Tempest” Sandy Powell
                        “True Grit” Mary Zophres

                        ----------

                        What? No gay men?

                        I presume the two guys up for Make-up are gay though.

                        Kylie said...

                        "I've been studying up on Jim Webb books to write my review of Winter's Bone, so that will probably be next week."

                        Another one of your entries in the "OMG, I Wish I'd Said That" category.

                        I saw Winter's Bone, a typical foray into the "These People Belong in a National Geographic Special--They're Feral But Fascinating!" I used to live not far from the area. Yes, the people are like that...but not really. (For one thing, too many of them had too many teeth and the men all seemed to have all their fingers.)

                        It's kind of like how Hitchcock never got the opulence quite right when he filmed the interiors of opulent homes. His was a [lower] middle-class idea of how the upper class lived.

                        Same thing here, only the inverse. There are, I suspect, more drab and dreary people in the Ozarks than there are vibrant and colorful but you wouldn't know that from this movie.

                        Maciano said...

                        "For some reason, people in LA aren't as hyped up as people in NYC and DC about schools."

                        Steve, may you never change.

                        Kylie said...

                        "The homes, the clothes, the people, the dialogue, and the conflicted relationships with the authorities (for moonshiners and methmakers) are typical, as are the rules of honor, chivalry and feud that were touched upon in the movie."

                        I've lived near but not in the area and have met those who ventured out of it. My impression was that some stuff was played up or played down for effect to make the movie more colorful. The code among the rural people was much the same as I've seen among the urban poor. (I was once confronted for straying into someone else's turf in a rough neighborhood. Luckily, friends came along who were able to vouch for me but it was touch and go there for a minute or two so I know that happens.) Even so, I wondered if the girl would have got off as lightly in real life for butting in and questioning the authority of her tribe as she did in the movie. That just not did ring true to me, especially given her father's history. (And yes, I consider one beating, a cup of coffee thrown in her face and a few mean warnings getting off lightly, all things considered.)

                        On one hand, if you've lived there and you say so, that's it. On the other, an observer like myself might pick up on discrepancies between the movie and real life that elude you, since you're closer to the subject matter.

                        Anonymous said...

                        The Kids Are All Right is just a Lifetime Movie

                        I thought you didn't get cable.

                        Anonymous said...

                        http://www.jpost.com/ArtsAndCulture/Entertainment/Article.aspx?id=205195

                        Good thing Glenn Beck said nothing about this.

                        Anonymous said...

                        "I don't believe a woman has ever been nominated in this category. You apprentice by climbing ladders carrying heavy lights, so upper body strength is a prerequisite."

                        Have you seen the roided-up rack of the average chick these days?

                        Gilbert Pinfold

                        Anonymous said...

                        "Otherwise, why is Michael Caine waiting for him at an American airport when he was a professor in Paris earlier in the movie?"

                        Also, when he finally met his kids at the very end, didn't they look exactly like they looked earlier on in his imagination? Same clothes, same poses? That's what made me think that he was stuck in his dreams.

                        Andy said...

                        I don't believe a woman has ever been nominated in this category. You apprentice by climbing ladders carrying heavy lights, so upper body strength is a prerequisite.

                        Or maybe they lack the visual sense, as Bret Easton Ellis claims.

                        “…There’s something about the medium of film itself that I think requires the male gaze.”

                        What would that be?

                        We’re watching, and we’re aroused by looking, whereas I don’t think women respond that way to films, just because of how they’re built. [emphasis mine]

                        You don’t think they have an overt level of arousal?

                        [They have one] that’s not so stimulated by the visual. I think, to a degree, all the women I named aren’t particularly visual directors. You could argue that Lost in Translation is beautiful, but is that [cinematographer Lance Acord]? I don’t know. Regardless of the business aspect of things, is there a reason that there isn’t a female Hitchcock or a female Scorsese or a female Spielberg? I don’t know. I think it’s a medium that really is built for the male gaze and for a male sensibility. I mean, the best art is made under not an indifference to, but a neutrality [toward] the kind of emotionalism that I think can be a trap for women directors."

                        http://calitreview.com/9109

                        Whiskey said...

                        Steve, not a fan of hers but Sandra Tsing Loh did write a lot of articles for the LAT about how to get your kid into the good magnet schools in LAUSD.

                        Yes, LA folks are obsessed with schools, keeping their kids out of the war zones and into the "good" schools, hence lotteries, various things that filter out all but the obsessed middle and upper middle class. Rich kids of course go to Country Day schools.

                        beowulf said...

                        Isn't it obvious that Cobb is stuck at the end in an ideal dream he's created?

                        In an alternative universe, I'm certain Steve's Inception review was excellent and he would have explained that no, Cobb was not dreaming at the end. :o)

                        Someone who actually saw Inception said...

                        If "Inception" is the best that the cinema can produce in the 21st Century, then God help us.

                        beowulf said...

                        "Also, when he finally met his kids at the very end, didn't they look exactly like they looked earlier on in his imagination? Same clothes, same poses? That's what made me think that he was stuck in his dreams."

                        Wired: The kids are in different clothes and are older at the end?

                        Nolan: Yes, two sets of kids! The younger version of the boy is actually my son, and it’s not him who turns around at the end. There’s no ambiguity here.

                        http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/11/pl_inception_nolan/all/1

                        Anonymous said...

                        INCEPTION is ridiculously over-rated. The premise is stupid at the outset: he enters this four-layered dream world in order to implant an idea. That sounds a lot more difficult than smuggling your kids out of America. Why can't his father-in-law bring them to France for a visit? Why doesn't he try using Skype?

                        What I want to know is why we shit all over writers? You can see it reflected on this blog: right below "best picture" comes "best director," the most prestigious individual category. Film is a "director's medium," and directors can claim a "film by" credit.

                        The first author is the writer, particularly in the case of an original screenplay. The writer is the more creative force, but with INCEPTION a nomination is seen as a minor consolation prize. If you find that world and those characters compelling -- personally, I do not -- then it would not exist without the writer.

                        SOCIAL NETWORK is another example. Although an adaptation, it seems to obviously be more Sorkin's movie than "auteur" director David Fincher. It's a collaborative medium, so why do people get so hung up on directors?

                        Re-watched NETWORK a little while ago and noticed in the opening credits read: "NETWORK by Paddy Chayefsky."

                        Anonymous said...

                        SOCIAL NETWORK is another example. Although an adaptation, it seems to obviously be more Sorkin's movie than "auteur" director David Fincher. It's a collaborative medium, so why do people get so hung up on directors?

                        How many strictly screenwriters possess Sorkin's clout in Hollywood? Not many is my guess.

                        Anonymous said...

                        The problem is that it's many times more difficult for a screenwriter to earn any clout.

                        Sorkin was a playwright and a showrunner for a monster television drama.

                        Writers realized they'd have to move into directing.

                        To answer your question though, I can only think of one writer off the top of my head: Charlie Kaufman. But he's also making the transition to directing. Sorkin thought about making his directorial debut with THE SOCIAL NETWORK.

                        It's just crazy that GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS is a "Film by James Foley"

                        Fred said...

                        "How many strictly screenwriters possess Sorkin's clout in Hollywood? Not many is my guess."

                        Not many in movies. TV is a different story.

                        Steve Sailer said...

                        I suspect it is better for everybody if Charlie Kaufman writes two screenplays per year than if he writes and directs one movie every three years. How many Kaufman screenplays didn't get written because he exhausted himself directing Synechdoche, N.Y.?

                        There is this line v. staff distinction that ought to be remembered: a lot of directing consists of doing stuff that takes a lot of energy and organizational skill, but not necessarily Kaufman-level originality.

                        Steve Sailer said...

                        And how much better is The Social Network because Sorkin didn't make it his directorial debut and instead let it be directed by the expert David Fincher?

                        Anonymous said...

                        Will youtube videos ever be nominated for short film oscar? This one's a riot.

                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wleyjo1W8Rk

                        travis said...

                        Have you noticed the "Where's the diversity at the Oscars? meme going around? My personal favorite quote is from Gary Susman:

                        "The other reason there aren't more Oscar-worthy roles for black performers is that there are still not many African-American directors, screenwriters or studio executives. By and large, the people in those positions tend to make movies about the worlds they know. Look at the settings of this year's nominated films: the ivory towers of Harvard, the Irish Catholic enclaves on the outskirts of Boston, the canyons of Utah, the suburbs of Los Angeles, the ballet stages of New York, the Ozarks, the old West, Buckingham Palace. All that's missing are movies about hockey teams and bar mitzvahs."

                        I don't know. Sounds pretty diverse to me.

                        (I'm curious: does anyone know if an African-American was nominated in any category?)

                        Steve Sailer said...

                        He left out "and the inside of Christopher Nolan's head."

                        Anonymous said...

                        I do not doubt that SOCIAL NETWORK is better for having Fincher on as a director. Fincher's directorial debut did not exactly take Hollywood by storm.

                        "a lot of directing consists of doing stuff that takes a lot of energy and organizational skill, but not necessarily Kaufman-level originality."

                        Doesn't this underscore the contribution of the writer? I'm reminded of DARWIN'S DANGEROUS IDEA wherein Dennett argues that given the option of choosing life for either Shakespeare or Newton, he'd instantly go with the Bard. If Newton was never born, people would have eventually hit upon his ideas; however, if Shakespeare never existed then we would not have had his characters, turns of phrase.

                        Kaufman has a lot of clout as a writer, so much so that after Clooney (he claims) ruined one of his scripts, he retains director approval. This is part of what the writer strike a couple years ago was about. Writers were pissed that a 20-something hot shot with two credits could come along and talk about the movie like it sprang from his head, offering tepid praise to "my writer."

                        As I said before, I did not care for INCEPTION: eye-popping visuals, two dimensional characters. But in terms of genius the person who generates an original idea should be given far more praise, as well as power to protect their vision. I believe Nolan wrote INCEPTION on spec, spent something like ten years working out the ideas, so it's just crazy this is a less prestigious accomplishment.

                        Udolpho.com said...

                        What a fool. Sorkin has received tons of plaudits for The Social Network. Fincher has really gotten little buzz out of it. Why do you think that is a good exmaple for your whiny theory that Hollywood refuses to credit writers?

                        Udolpho.com said...

                        It's just crazy that GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS is a "Film by James Foley"

                        It's crazy that you think anyone calls it a film by James Foley. No one knows who Foley is. Everyone knows who David Mamet is. Next!

                        Anonymous said...

                        Udolpho: I thought your comments weak and intemperate. Yes, Sorkin is winning praise, but it's remarkable only because writers are not accustomed to anyone knowing their name. I'll bet you right now you can go to the comments on youtube for the various SOCIAL NETWORK trailers and mentions of Fincher will outpace Sorkin.

                        I think that GGR is literally credited to Foley. Watch it and prove me wrong.

                        Anonymous said...

                        Shanklin(?) on Limbaugh had Jackson and Sharpton's reaction to the Oscars. The lack of a African-American star in Black Swan was unconscionable.

                        Also, according to Drudge, the Asian community isn't taking to satire about the Chinese leader.

                        Goatweed

                        Udolpho.com said...

                        Literally credited to Foley? It's literally credited to Mamet, as well, but who gives a shit as no one ever talks about Foley in regard to the film, EVER.

                        Most people never even know who the director of a movie is (Spielberg is about the only name among mass audiences), although by now people have learned that M. Night Shyamalan means "shit" in Hindi. They think it is an Al Pacino film, or a Tom Hanks film, or a Jim Carrey film. Why do you care one way or the other? Because the audience should just know?

                        How do you account for the fact that in many cases there is no single writer, or that material is often improvised on set, or that even if a script is shot line for line a director and cast and editor can give it radically different meanings? For that matter, how much of the finished screenplay in any given movie was purely the effort of the credited writer, with no ghost, no collaboration, no studio notes, etc. It's far more complicated than you try to make it sound.

                        Anonymous said...

                        Again, your arguments do not hold up to scrutiny. It's true that Hollywood is still a star-driven system. A major actor has the ability to get a picture made, and with director approval. For the masses stars make-up dialog on the set, but people passionate about movies tend to focus on the director and very often forget the writer entirely. In terms of power in the system, "auteur theory" holds -- it's a "director's medium." So, while people here have tried mightily to sputter the names of star-writers, the power of said writers does not compare to star directors, who are well-known in the public (Spielberg, Scorsese, Cameron).

                        Ad-libbing is often exaggerated, and it amuses me to no end when people praise actors to no end for coming up with stuff "on the spot." The actor benefits from all kinds of creative energy, from the person who dressed the set, to the other actors, to what's already been developed before he was hired. The writer has to think up shit staring into a white screen at his home office in Van Nuys.

                        Also, writers do more than create dialog, which is said to be one of the easier parts of writing. They need to create a story, develop a theme, birth compelling characters.

                        Multiple writers on a project testifies to the fact that they do not have a whole lot of power. From a development stand point, it's often done by nervous executives who are covering their own asses. If the flick bombs they can say they had the 10 hottest writers in town take a crack at the story.

                        Editors are also vastly under-appreciated -- another reason why directors should not be considered the sole visionary. P.T. Anderson, who writes and directs, refuses to take a film by credit because of the contribution of editors, set designers, actors and others. It is a collaborative medium.

                        As for the contribution of studio notes -- they go along way to explaining the milquetoast, homogenized crap that gets produced today. Characters have to be more likable, endings happier, plot developments explained.

                        As for how much of the script translates into screen time, it obviously varies. SALT was originally written for a man, but they changed it when Jolie expressed interest. There was a scene in the script where she escapes police custody by leaping out a sixty story building. The director wanted to shoot the scene, but the money men came in and said they didn't have the cash for it, so things needed to be changed. There are all kinds of considerations, but the point is that a original screenplay nomination should not be viewed as an "also-ran." This is being hailed as the biggest Oscar snub of the year (the movie wasn't anything better than good).