Having recently addressed Mo’Nique‘s decision to snub the New York Film Critics Circle awards ceremony, Newark Star Ledger critic Stephen Whitty summarized his thinking in an e-mail sent today:
“Have you noticed — as I have — that folks who don’t bother to pick up their New York Film Critics Circle awards generally don’t win the Oscar that year? Such as, in past years, Heath Ledger (Brokeback Mountain) or Julie Christie (Away From Her). I’m not sure, but I think Bill Murray may have skipped picking up his Lost in Translation NYFCC award. I do know Bill Hurt didn’t show for A History of Violence.
“The Mo’Nique snub doesn’t matter much to me. Really. If folks don’t want to come to pick up an award, that’s their choice. Because we’re honoring the performance, not the performer. And most of us are, I suspect, way past getting starstruck by meeting the co-lead of Soul Plane.
“But it also seems to me that folks who aren’t willing to do our high-profile yet very low-key events like the NYFCC are people who don’t give much of a shit about the Oscars either, or the traditions surrounding them. Who are also the people who, unfairly or not, generally don’t win.
“Yes, folks can be legitimately busy, and that’s cool. And lots of nice folks pick up our little certificate and never get within miles of Oscar anyway. Appearing is no guarantee. But just blowing it off? Honestly? Bad decision, Mo’Nique.”
Ohhh-din! Ohhh-din! Send a wind and turn the tide!
In Contention‘s Kris Tapley spoke to Up In The Air director Jason Reitman earlier today about a suspicion voiced in a 1.3.10 HE story (“Bingham vs. Cancer”) that Reitman might have shot the film with an undercurrent of fatality in mind. Here’s how Reitman responded:
“You find out at the end of [Walter Kirn‘s] book that Ryan Bingham is dying of terminal disease and that he’s going to the Mayo Clinic. That’s something I never really wanted to include in the movie. I never shot a scene that suggested that the character was dying. For me, at the end of the movie, he’s making a choice about where he wants to go for the rest of his life, and he certainly does have a rest of his life.
“The ‘do you want the can, sir?’ scene came out of a real moment in which I was on a plane and I overheard a flight attendant ask someone, ‘Do you want the can, sir?’ and I literally did a double take, then I realized what she was saying.
“It’s inclusion had to do with two things. One, I thought it would be a cute nod to the people who’ve read the book, and two, more importantly, it kind of speaks to the idea of how Bingham collects things and the way we obsess over travel in the sense that it’s a disease, being that addicted to traveling and the obsessiveness over miles or any kind of fruitless collection is like having a disease.”
The New York Film Critics Circle has relented and decided to allow reporters and columnists to attend the NYFCC Awards on Monday, 1.11, at Crimson (B’way and 21st). Budgetary concerns had prompted an earlier decision to politely say “sorry fellas..no can do.” The turnabout comes with a condition that said observing journos will have to sit in an isolated area upstairs with no food. (Like the kids table during a Thanksgiving dinner.) I’ll be bringing my own Chinese takeout and a bottle of wine.
Every time a larger company buys a smaller company, the participants are all smiles and optimism. Somebody always says “we’re a good match, a great fit,” etc. And within a few weeks or months, the larger company always starts modifying and making changes (streamlining, refining, cost-cuttings) to the smaller outfit. It’s a genetic jungle paw-print thing — the dominant must somehow imprint itself upon the submissive.
One way or another, this dynamic will manifest in the wake of the Flixster purchase of Rotten Tomatoes. Somehow, some way, some high-up hotshot will figure a way to “improve” Rotten Tomatoes that will very gradually diminish the brand. They might even fire a person or two. I’m not saying that the buyout/merger won’t improve revenue for all concerned….for a while. But sooner or later someone or something good will get brushed aside.
The subtle chills in Mark Pellington‘s direction of The Mothman Prophecies (’02) makes him an excellent choice to helm the English-language remake of The Orphanage for New Line Cinema. American mainstream moviegoers weren’t all that interested in seeing Juan Antonio Bayona‘s brilliant 2008 Spanish-language original because…let’s see, what was the reason again?…oh, right, because it had subtitles. Naturally!
Pellington will direct with Guillermo del Toro (the godfather of the ’07 original) and ContraFilm’s Beau Flynn and Tripp Vinson attached to produce. The Ebnglish-language script is by Del Toro and Larry Fessenden.
After seeing Bayona’s film in the 2007 Cannes Film Festival I called it “the creepiest sophisticated ghost story/thriller to come along since Alejandro Amenabar‘s The Others, and if you ask me (or anyone else who’s seen it here) it absolutely deserves a ranking alongside other haunted-by-small-children classics as Jack Clayton‘s The Innocents and Nicolas Roeg‘s Don’t Look Now. It also recalls Robert Wise‘s The Haunting, although the ghosts in that 1961 film were all over 21.”
Wells to British journalists & inside-trackers: I ask again, what’s the poop on Mat Whitecross‘s Sex and Drugs and Rock & Roll, the Ian Dury biopic that opens in England four days hence (1.8)? The London media has seen it but I’m finding no reviews. Andy Serkis is most likely phenomenal as Dury, but something must be wrong because the film isn’t showing in the World Cinema section at Sundance 2010.
I don’t trust the 12.13.09 review on the IMDB page.
If there’s a problem with the film (and I say “if”), it may be suggested in the trailer. Very little quiet is indicated. No intimacy or character hooks. The film seems to be all about bellowing and howling and pouring of milk into mixing boards — i.e., outrageous behavior of one form or another.