MCN’s David Poland and L.A. Times columnist Patrick Goldstein got angry earlier today about not being invited by Universal to see Ron Howard‘s Frost/Nixon in time to run reviews concurrent with Variety‘s Todd McCarthy review, which was posted today, as well as a review by the Hollywood Reporter‘s Kirk Honeycutt.
In fact Goldstein and particularly Poland were miffed that they weren’t invited to a specific screening held two days ago (Monday, 10.13.08) that McCarthy and Honeycutt were invited to and attended.
Poland makes some valid points in criticizing Universal’s trades-first Frost/Nixon screening policy. However, he also went off on In Contention‘s Guy Lodge by calling him a “non-pro” and his review an “AICN-style” type deal. It didn’t read that way to me. Here’s what In Contention‘s Kris Tapley had to say, and I’ve pasted here his final two graphs:
“In a nutshell, David was just left out in the cold, without the chance to anoint (or disassemble) Frost/Nixon before anyone else. End of story. Additionally, despite his insults, he is as ‘non-pro’ as the next guy. We’re all making a place at the table for ourselves. For some that means offering film coverage via global contribution. For others, it means muscling studios with inflated Oscar ad rates” — he’s talking about what Poland is charging per ad space — “based on the aggregation of other names and sources for the purposes of Oscar coverage.
“It is what it is. But like I said, I felt compelled to step in and defend Guy here, because nothing warranted this (but hey, we appreciate the link).”
One HE observation: I think it’s fair to say, given what people in London and Los Angeles have written, that in the space of the last 12 to 18 hours Frost/Nixon has been shown and at the very least been diminished as a Best Picture contender with any kind of real heat. It might become one of the five nominees anyway — the play was more than sturdy, and the film relies on the same basic bones — but there’s no disputing that Ron Howard‘s film has been dinged, bruised, shelled and even torpedoed today, and that it may be out of hot-and-heavy competition in the Best Picture race as a result. Maybe.
Frank Langella is a different story — at the very least he’s looking okay for a Best Actor nomination. Maybe. He was great in the play, that’s for sure. A landmark performance of its type.