The Ringer‘s Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins are making trouble for Alexander Payne‘s The Holdovers.
On Fennessey’s list of Best Films of 2023, The Holdovers is #25…well below The Iron Claw, Showing Up and May December.
Friendo: “You gotta be on the front foot about this because these people are attempting to diminish The Holdovers in every way they can, and they do have influence among cinephiles. These arguments are not going away so you should tackle them head on.”
HE to friendo: “There’s no tackling a generational dislike of The Holdovers. Either you get what Payne and Giamatti are doing…either you appreciate the way films used to be made in the ’70s…either you’ve seen The Last Detail and thereby appreciate the care and the craft and roll with it, or you don’t. The fact that dumping on one of the finest films of the year makes you sound like a Millennial shithead…that doesn’t matter to people like Sean and Amanda, and why should it?”
Sean: “A movie that older audiences are feeling warmly towards.”
Amanda: “This is a lovely, well-made film…a set of characters who are thrown together for two weeks and they’re gonna talk through some feelings and go through some things and we’re going to keep moving. I didn’t connect to it and I don’t know why.”
Sean: “There are some people who think it’s a masterpiece of filmmaking but that wasn’t my takeaway. There are younger folks who are pretty much where you are. Thought it was really well made, lots to admire but there’s more here. We can be more audacious in our filmmaking.”
Amanda: “This movie lands but is maybe not that ambitious. Safe is unfair, but The Holdovers feels a little smaller.”
Sean: “What I can’t find in The Holdovers is what is the big idea? I don’t know what it represents more broadly.”
Amanda: “I wonder what my block is here. You know, I like it a lot. I do wonder if I am just responding to some of the larger enthusiasm, particularly awards enthusiasm. The word CODA kept popping into my brain. It’s like, can I, I was going to say something mean? It’s like Pottery Barn. And I say that as someone who owns a lot of Pottery Barn but you can feel the ageing on it is aged as opposed to it being, you can feel the reference and the difference.”
Sean: “Are you evoking Paper Moon? Is this for me or is this for you?”
Amanda: “There’s no Tracy Flick for me to latch onto.”
Sean: “I saw someone greviously or egregiously declare this [to be] this year’s Green Book, which makes me want to gouge my eyes out. But I know what they meant by that.”
What a miserable and meaningless thing it is to “celebrate” the loss of a spent year and welcome the dawn of a new one. Okay, it’s a harmless ritual…fine.
Either way here we are, shouting “whoop-dee-doo!” and smashing a large magnum of champagne as we begin 2024, a year in which the U.S, of A. will either re-elect Muttering Joe or…I can’t say it or think it. Putting The Beast With Body Odor issues back into the White House is a prospect far too terrible to contemplate. But it could happen. (Note: The preceding sentiment is solely owned by by Mr. Wells.)
Sasha Stone and Jeffrey Wells (sitting in a Starbucks cafe) covered several topics earlier today. It went pretty well, despite an antsy woman giving Jeff the side-eye as he spoke in a subdued manner. She seemed to be saying “why are you talking to someone while we’re sitting here quietly with our cappucinos?” Jeff felt it wiser not to respond, but if he had he would’ve said, “Uhm…I wasn’t aware this was a library. I’ve sat next to talking people in a Starbucks before, and I’m certainly not talking loudly. Why don’t you just suck it up and stop glaring at me? Live and lt live.”
Here’s the link to our first ’24 discussion.
Again, the link.
HE agrees with World of Reel’s Jordan Ruimy. If Antoine Fuqua is producing, Paul Schrader’s Three Guns at Dawn (great title!), Schrader should just direct it already. Stop pussyfooting around by worrying about cultural appropriation. Fuck ‘em if they don’t like it. Balls up.
In his most recent (12.27) Oscar prediction column, THR’s Scott Feinberg has capitulated to the advancing Macedonian army of Paul Giamatti, star of The Holdovers, and in so doing has merged with the advocacy campaigns of Awards Daily’s Sasha Stone and N.Y. Times columnist Kyle Buchanan.
The whole “you can’t penalize Donald Trump because he hasn’t been convicted of insurrection” argument is a dodge based upon ignorance.
The “leave the animal alone” argument is based upon a mistaken understanding that blocking him from appearing on primary ballots in Colorado and Maine is punitive — an unfair punishment, his defenders believe, because Trump hasn’t been found guilty of insurrection in a court of law.
In fact section 3 of the 14th amendment is not about bitch-slapping an alleged insurrectionist but defending the workings of government from what judges may believe to be potential malignancy.
Leading section 3 scholar Mark Graber (University of Maryland school of law) says the amendment is about “qualification for office, not a punishment for a criminal offense.”
Roughly two months ago a very early draft of Eric Roth‘s screenplay for Killers of the Flower Moon (dated 2.20.17,...More »