Two days ago a Glenn Whipp L.A. Times piece drove a stake through Gone Girl‘s Best Picture chances. The article assessed reactions to last Saturday’s Academy screening of David Fincher‘s film, and the basic take-away was that the 50-plus crowd was mostly underwhelmed or “subdued.” Nobody Whipp spoke to seemed to understand that Gone Girl is a kind of Luis Bunuel film, and that Gillian Flynn‘s story is only the half of it, that the film is really about the social-cultural undercurrent…about all of us. One Academy guy told Whipp that “this is first-class filmmaking but, like a lot of [Fincher’s] other movies, you admire it more than you enjoy it.” Are you hearing this douchebag? First-class chops and socially pungent content aren’t enjoyable enough. He wants to laugh, to be charmed, hugged and caressed, to have his heart melted down. “What did I just see?” one Oscar-nominated producer said to Whipp as he walked along Wilshire Boulevard to his car. “That’s it? Really? I’ve seen better social commentary in a good episode of Bob’s Burgers.”
You can lead a 62 year-old Academy member to a screening, but you can’t make him “see” it. Yes, I wish that just one time Academy members could stand inside my shoes. They’d know what a drag it is to report about them.