From “What the Golden Globes mean for 1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and the Oscars” by Michael Phillips, posted this morning: “If 1917 doesn’t win the top Oscar, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will. It’s a statistical probability.”
Say what? Who says so? Because a majority of the Hollywood Foreign Press membership (about 90 people) voted that way? Phillips can’t just dismiss The Irishman with a wave of the hand. It’s a landmark film and a Scorsese gangster crescendo.
“[Sam Mendes‘ film] hasn’t had a chance to get out there yet (it opens wide this coming weekend). And when it does, maybe a rousing reaction on the part of audiences will bolster its awards mojo. My feeling, however, is that 1917, with its look-ma-no-hands! one-shot gimmickry (please explain to me why this is more than a stunt), is a video game for fanboys posing as a drop-dead serious war movie. I think it would likely prove to be one of the most joylessly dutiful and uninspiring Oscar winners in memory. To me, seeing Mendes get up there instead of directors who made far more indelible (and celebrated) movies this year just didn’t feel right.”
HE to journo pally: “1917 is a respectable soulful tech thing — a ‘Ready Player World War I’ cake with emotional icing. It saves itself with the final scene with the brother, and I liked the symmetry of the beginning and ending of taking a nap against a tree.”
Journo pally responds: “The final scene does get to you, but I think in a mechanical/symmetrical and rather rote way. I don’t find it a truly stirring or awe-inspiring war film.”