David Poland says “some strong pushback” has been manifesting against Australia, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Doubt and Revolutionary Road in the Best Picture talking wars. But for pushback to happen a film it has to have made generated big expectations to begin with, no? In this sense Australia was absolutely never in the game. You could feel this weeks before it opened. And then it was shown and a fair number of people lost their minds.
The Button pushback is real. It was instantly detectable starting with those closely-watched-and-reported-on L.A. and N.Y. screenings. It’s a Best Picture nominee, for sure, but beyond that…
There is nothing but favoring wind right now for Slumdog Millionaire and Milk, it seems, and for whatever reason no one seems to be picking away at Frost/Nixon — it’s the older-viewer default choice. I was struck the other day by the precision of a sentence in a Frost/Nixon review by New Yorker critic David Denby — “I can’t escape the feeling that it carries about it an aura of momentousness that isn’t warranted by the events.” But there are no nip-nip-nippers out there saying this.
But whatever pushback may be out there against Revolutionary Road is so fundamentally lame, childish and bordering on pathetic — “It’s too gloomy” — that I feel sullied by the mere mention of it. A friend actually said that “people don’t want to watch a movie like this because of the economy”…God! I’ve seen Revolutionary Road three times and felt enveloped by a feeling of unusual poignancy with each sit. Sam Mendes gives it such poise, drawing each scene to such a fine point. And that Thomas Newman score keeps giving me the willies in a good way. RR may be the strongest deep-down penetration of the year for me.
Who exactly constitutes the alleged pushback against Doubt? Based on what lingering disappointments, exactly? Based on what unsatisfying element? This Glenn Kenny review pushes back against the pushbackers quite nicely