Indiewire‘s Anne Thompson, who only spitballs about the Oscar potential of films she’s seen and who, like many others, takes great delight in getting early peeks at expensive, highly anticipated films, has put Denis Villeneuve‘s Dune (Warner Bros., 10.22) into her top slot on Gold Derby’s Best Picture prediction list.
That’s it, I said to myself. I have no more faith in Dune than I did in Blade Runner 2049 before seeing it (less actually), and I’ve never cared for the idea of investing in dense, multi-part sagas taking place in distant exotic realms and requiring enormous reading investments, and so it is now the solemn duty of all good souls and concerned cinefiles who stand with HE to say to Anne Thompson “what you like or what you think will be Best Picture nominated means nothing to us because we don’t trust you…we may become Dune fans down the road but for the time being we’re going to search for ways to diminish Dune just to spite your enthusiasm for it.”
Thompson was invited to see it the other day at the Steve Ross theatre on the Warner Bros. lot, you see, and there was wine and cheese and whatnot served in the lobby, and it was all very lah-dee-dah.
A friend who attended the same screening says Greig Fraser‘s cinematography is quite mesmerizing and that you can coast along on that aspect to your heart’s content. But there was absolutely no following the story for this person, not having read the original 1965 Frank Herbert novel or any of the sequels (Dune Messiah, Children of Dune, God Emperor of Dune, Heretics of Dune,Chapterhouse: Dune) and having no recollection of the disastrous 1984 David Lynch version, and that the plotting was too complex and that it seemed as if everyone was speaking some kind of foreign tongue, and that this sense of being lost and adrift had not, to put it mildly, coagulated into anything that amounted to the Right Best Picture Stuff…at least in this person’s opinion.
Let this be a moment in award-season history…a moment in which the little people in the bleachers rose up against the Anne Thompsons of the world, sitting in their pricey mezzanine seats along the first-base and third-base lines while sipping Chardonnay and munching fine cheese-and-cracker combos while the little people cope with their soggy popcorn and hot dogs and plastic cups of beer.