N.Y. Times reporter Michael Cieply is saying pretty much what Variety‘s Anne Thompson has also reported, which is that all signs indicate that the WGA strike will keep the Golden Globe awards from being broadcast by NBC on 1.13, and that at best the show will be an internet webcast as far as the outside world is concerned.
“Panicked at the prospect of having to confront strikers as they walk up the red carpet, celebrities have sent what Hollywood publicity executives describe as a near-unanimous signal: If striking writers show up, the stars will not,” Cieply writes.
“NBC, so far, is planning to forge ahead with its telecast” — hah! — “according to a person involved with the network√É¬¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢s plans, who requested anonymity to avoid further roiling the waters.
“Yet people who have dealt with the foreign press association in recent days said it was considering plans to salvage a bit of glow by scratching the telecast in favor of either a webcast or, more likely, a purely private event. The ceremony, in its 65th year, was last staged without a broadcast in 1979.”
Question is, will the Oscars be forced to accept the webcast option also?
“You’re never as open to wonder and horror as when you’re a child,” Orphanage producer Guillermo del Toro tells MTV.com’s Josh Horowitz. “When you’re a child, you can really be enthralled and reach an absolutely ecstatic stage of joy with any wonder in the world. And by the same token, you can reach an incredibly deep paroxysm, like a panic of horror, deeper than any adult.
“It [therefore] takes a lot for an adult to regress to those intense emotional stages. And in the movies, obviously, the best way to present a fable or a myth is through the eyes of somebody that can experience it fully.”
Also: “I openly like to embrace the fantastic. Actually, I try to give the fantastic a very mundane feeling. I would love monsters to exist…I would love to see Godzilla on my way to work, destroying a city a mile or two away. I would love that.” Or at the very least, a Godzilla building being part of the Tokyo skyline, which Del Toro could enjoy while visiting that city for press junkets.
Don’t look for anything too fierce or scorching from HBO’s Recount, a multi-layered account of the backstage drama that took place in Florida during the disputed 2000 Gore-Bush election.
A strikingly lean Al Gore at the 2000 Democratic National Convention
A story posted two days ago by Politico‘s Jeffrey Ressner implies that the two-hour telefilm, directed by Jay Roach and set to air next May, may have been slightly softened in order to keep Bush operatives — those lockstep political strategists generally credited with having helped steal the 2000 election (with the crucial compliance of the U.S. Supreme Court) from Gore — from causing a stir about the film’s depictions of their moves and manuevers.
“Eager to avoid the last-minute flap over accuracy that beset the ABC miniseries The Path to 9/11 last year, the makers of HBO’s upcoming docudrama allowed real-life figures depicted in the project to make script notes, visit the set and offer advice to director Jay Roach,” Ressner reports.
“They also gave relatives of the main characters small roles to placate their concerns.
“Studios and networks that produce stories based on true events will often make extraordinary efforts to avoid the bad press that can erupt if questions emerge about the bias or truth behind a project.
“Before Universal Pictures’ A Beautiful Mind> took home four Academy Awards in 2002, its Oscar chances were nearly derailed when a rival studio leaked rumors that Ron Howard‘s film about a schizophrenic math genius left out key parts of his troubled life, including reported homosexual and anti-Semitic incidents.
“And when HBO made a Peter Sellers biopic in 2004, the actor’s son raised a fuss about the accuracy of the film’s source material.
“Recount, which wrapped shooting in Florida earlier this month after six weeks of production, was written by actor Danny Strong (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer).”
Two opposing views of Paul Thomas Anderson‘s There Will be Blood — the yea from Matt Zoller Seitz, the nay from N.P. Thompson.
Blood “isn’t perfect or entirely satisfying, but it’s so singular in its conception and execution that one can no more dismiss it than one can dismiss a volcanic eruption occurring in one’s backyard,” Seitz observes. “It cannot be diminished — as Hard Eight, Boogie Nights and Magnolia could, and to my mind, rightly were diminished — as another instance of a facile, energetic director hurling homage at the audience.”
Having seen it on 11.28, Thompson writes that “in the clear light of late autumn drizzle, There Will Be Blood appeared to be no more and no less than what it truly is: a bomb, and an overwrought one at that. It may be a tonier work than the detestable Boogie Nights, but Anderson’s underlying crudeness and his overkill ‘”sensibility’ haven’t evolved an iota. (Yes, Virginia, I can hear the jihadists singing in the comments section already.)
“A friend who hated the movie as much as I did asked afterwards, as we dodged rain in the Oaktree Cinema parking lot, ‘Did that amount to anything beyond a couple of games of one-upmanship?’ I confessed I hadn’t thought of Blood in those terms. Still, her question perfectly encapsulated the anorexic one-dimensionality of the picture, and I had to agree.”
A Strategic Vision poll released Friday “finds that John Edwards has the support of 28% of likely Democratic caucus-goers, his best standing in Iowa over the past six months. Edwards now trails Clinton by only one point and Obama by two points, well within the poll’s margin of error of 4.5 percent.”
Okay, fine…Edwards has been surging lately, which is generally good news for the anti-Clintonites. But a new L.A. Times/Bloomberg poll has Obama a distant third behind Clinton and Edwards…what? Is this some kind of last-minute shudder by Iowa’s closet racists? Is the Times/Bloomberg pollers missing out on the younger, more affluent voters (Obama’s constituency) due to a significant percentage of them off skiing or visiting friends and therefore not at home to receive polling calls? The same poll has Obama slightly ahead in New Hampshire still…strange.
With zero chance of the WGA strike being settled by 1.13, Variety‘s Anne Thompson is reporting that “word from within the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is that one possible scenario is for the Globes to proceed without the live NBC telecast.”
Uhhmm…is there another option? Faced with a choice between staging the Golden Globes without the TV broadcast and cancelling the whole shebang (due to nominees declining to cross WGA picket lines and writers unable to contribute quips and podium repartee), it would be pretty damn surprising if the HFPA chose the latter option.
Cut out the NBC broadcast and ” the show could go on,” Thompson reasons, “with celebrities attending and moving on to the all-important after-parties at the Beverly Hilton” — which the studios are booking and planning, she hears. You’re presumably hearing this also, Bill Higgins? Thompson adds, however, that “so far NBC is going forward with plans to telecast the show live.”
There’s one upside to the Golden Globes not being broadcast. The individually scripted, sure-to-be-awkward podium patter will only be heard live by the Golden Globe attendees and not the worldwide viewing audience, so the shock or “gulp” or embarassment factor will be limited to those present at the Beverly Hills Hilton ballroom and those reading online and trade press accounts as it happens.
The downside is that those of us depending on e-mailed and text-message bulletins from the ballroom for news of the winners won’t have anything to write about in terms of color, observations or what-have-you.
Thompson writes that “in retrospect, it would have been smarter for the HFPA to approach the WGA themselves much earlier and request a waiver (as Film Independent did for the Indie Spirits Awards), rather than going through Dick Clark Productions and NBC. Thus the angry WGA struck back at a major network by withholding the waiver.
“If the show is not televised, NBC will lose the revenue it would have generated via advertising (the Globes show earns strong ratings), and the Globes will lose the money they would have been paid. But at this point it is much more important to the HFPA (which has enough cash in its coffers to miss one year’s telecast) for the Globes show to go on with celebrities walking down that red carpet (even with no writers to pen the presentation speeches) to present and accept awards than for them to face the possibility that most stars will not cross an active picket line.”
I agree with Rope of Silicon‘s Brad Brevet‘s belief that the Best Actor Oscar is pretty much Daniel Day Lewis‘s for the taking. If any one scene from There Will Be Blood is the clincher, I suspect it’s probably the one called “I’ve Abandoned My Child!,” which Brevet has posted along with five others.
Lewis shows us Daniel Plainview‘s reluctance to play the part of a sinner, and then his irritation at the goading from Paul Dano‘s Eli to really and truly atone before God, and then his increasing rage at Eli’s turning up the emotion and the frenzy. The comes an odd synthesis of pleading and snarling — half confession (possibly sincere on some level), and half “I’ll get this sanctimonious preacher one day if it kills me.”
In his introduction of these six Blood clips, Brevet cautions viewers to watch them in sequential order — as I do also. Be sure, in particular, to watch “I Will Bless the Well” before “That’s It, Ladies and Gentlemen.”
These scenes contain no spoilers. They’re morsels, samples, hors d’eouvres. Except for “I’ve Abandoned My Child!,” that is. It contains a cupcake-sized spoiler. Okay, a spoiler the size of a McDonald’s Happy Meal. Change that — it’s the size of a regular small cheeseburger without fries or coke. All it really tells you is that Plainview is a fierce conniving monster, but then you knew that going in…right?