The United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly Thursday “to upgrade Palestine to a nonmember observer state of the United Nations, a triumph for Palestinian diplomacy and a sharp rebuke to the United States and Israel,” says a N.Y. Times report. The naysayers were the U.S. , Israel, the Czech Republic, Panama and an assortment of nickle-and-dime Pacific Island nations. The vote passed 138-9 with 41 abstentions.
I’m sitting here stranded in Tokyo and doing my best to deny it. And I’m really hating the puerile Japanese daytime TV programming that I’m watching. This culture is drunk on helium emotions and attitudes. They’re like six year olds. But all the way from Tokyo I can almost smell what will happen Monday morning when the New York Film Critics Circle vote for Best Picture, and I haven’t even seen Zero Dark Thirty so what do I know? But I think they’ll go for it nonetheless.
I think the NYFCC’ers will want to go hard and real as a swing away from the intense emotionality of Les Miserables, and the consensus is that Zero Dark Thirty is sharp and hard and austere. It also contains an allegedly stirring lead performance by Jessica Chastain, who may even beat out Silver Linings‘ Jennifer Lawrence…maybe. I suspect the NYFCC’ers have gotten over their first encounters with Lincoln by now, and they know what it really is and that giving it Best Picture trophy will land with a thud across the land. I’m also presuming that Silver Linings haters (David Denby and Rex Reed possibly leading the charge) are going to do everything they can to block a majority for David O. Russell‘s film. And I can’t imagine there being enough of a head of steam to put Life of Pi over. And The Master has gone down to the sea in ships.
But the biggest surge of feeling, to repeat, will be about the NYFCC wanting to give a big “eff you” to the Manhattan theatre-queen contingent that will be pushing Les Miserables.
I think they’ll give their Best Foreign Film award to Amour or Holy Motors or….No?
Other guesses or divinings?
It’s now 9:15 am Tokyo time on Friday (or 4:15 pm LA time on Thursday), and the sooner I’m out of here the better. My Narita-to-LAX flight leaves at 5:10 pm (or 12:10 am LA time on Friday). The flight arrives at 9:50 am or nine and a half hours after departing. That’s funny as last week’s LAX-to-Honolulu flight was six hours and Honolulu-to-Tokyo was eight hours so I thought Tokyo-to-LA might be 12 hours or thereabouts. I hate being stuck in a fuselage for lengthy periods but I guess nine and a half hours isn’t so awful.
I go right to a Richard Gere Armitage lunch at 12:30 pm on Friday, and then back for a nap and then off to a 6 pm screening of The Hobbit in 48 fps on the Warner lot. (For me 48 fps is The Hobbit as I’m not invested in Tolkien realms in the slightest.) And then I’m doing Zero Dark Thirty screenings on Saturday and Sunday (I’m afraid that I might be so jet-lagged that I’ll miss something the first time plus I suspect that Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal‘s film warrants two viewings anyway).
There’s also a Sunday screening of The Guilt Trip, the Seth Rogen-vs.-Barbra Streisand road comedy that opens on 12.25. And the first Les Miserables screening I can get to happens on Wednesday at 12.5, but on the other hand I’m told that a Les Miz screener will arrive today. I think it’ll be better to wait to see it in a theatre.
This Hollywood Reporter Directors’ Roundtable is worth an hour of your time. Talk to certain pulse-takers and they’ll tell you Tom Hooper and Les Miserables are about to experience a turn in the road. David O. Russell is kicking it now like never before. Nobody knows what’s coming from Quentin Tarantino‘s Django Unchained, but I can guess. Ang Lee has the “job very well done but no Oscar take-home” vote. Ben Affleck wants to rally back to where he and Argo were six weeks ago. Gus Van Sant‘s Promised Land…no comment until I see it.
The people who write the embed codes for Brightcove are truly incompetent because their codes always cause problems when I paste them down.
In the spirit of that 11.12 HE/Bad Robot Silver Linings Playbook screening, HE readers are invited to attend a screening of Ana Duvernay‘s Middle of Nowhere at a TBA location on Monday, 12.3 at 7 pm. You’ll again be asked to tap out thoughts. I was surprised and elated by how deeply this film penetrates. Director-writer-producer DuVernay will do a post-screening q & a. RSVP hastily to firstname.lastname@example.org.