Here’s a good Steven Spielberg line passed along by David Carr (a.k.a., “the Bagger”), and heard at Tuesday night’s National Board of Review awards gathering. “As he introduced Djimon Hounsou for Best Supporting Actor at the NBR, Spielberg recalled how his intense, angry appearance while in character as a slave in Amistad scared the other actors. So what’s the problem? Spielberg asked the actors. ‘We think he really means it,’ they complained. ‘Don’t you?‘ Spielberg replied.”
I doubt if former Paramount Pictures president Gail Berman had anything to do or say about the Dreamgirls Oscar campaign — Terry Press, Nancy Kirpatrick and Gerry Rich are calling the shots, no? — so I’m not sure I grasp the linkage that N.Y. Times Oscar columnist David Carr (a.k.a., “the Bagger”) wrote about this morning when he wondered “if the slow erosion of Dreamgirls leadership in the race to Oscar has anything to do with [Berman’s departure].” But the mere fact that Carr is talking about the Dreamgirls bandwagon losing steam caught my attention nonetheless.
“Dreamgirls had a limited opening and then was expected to explode its way to huge audiences and major awards,” he’s written. “Some silly bloggers took the bait, and while the movie is doing fine, it’s not breaking down the doors. In fact, over the past few weeks, there has been far more talk about the other big D, The Departed, than Dreamgirls.
“Oscars can break careers as well as make them and there continues to be a perception that Ms. Berman and others misplayed a big lead. Others point out that with all-black cast, Broadway-musical DNA and stiff competition from a star-studded cast in The Departed, it was always going to be a dogfight.”
Does this mean Carr will be denied entrance to the Dreamgirls Golden Globes party? Does this mean a couple of goons will walk up to him when he steps out of his Los Angeles hotel during his next visit and say, “Hey, buddy, got a match?” and then whoomph and lights out?