Munich supporters will probably curse me for saying this, but I think it’s entirely fair to observe that after today’s “Big Picture” Patrick Goldstein column in the L.A. Times about the media’s pre-release bashing of Munich that the game is all but over. Munich was hurting already but this is the crashing left hook to the jaw. Munich has not fallen to the canvas, but — quickly pop in a DVD of Raging Bull and chapter-search to the final fight between Jake La Motta and Sugar Ray Robinson — this pretty good movie that has won the admiration of several critics and some Academy members…this decently-made film with a tedious third act is against the ropes and bent over and bloodied with a swollen left eye. And its manager-director, Steven Spielberg, isn’t even at ringside, and seems to be a little bent-over himself. He was described a few days ago by L.A. Times writer Rachel Abramowitz (in the one non-Time magazine interview Spielberg has given to help support the film) as “slumped — almost curled up against a pillow — on a banquette by a window overlooking the Pacific…his hair is gray, his face pale, his manner muted. He seems tired — soul-tired — almost emptied out, as he talks.” And the publicists are still in a hunker-down mode. There have evidently been no interview pieces about Munich star Eric Bana in newspapers. There are no interviews with screenwriter Tony Kushner I’ve run across. Munich costar Daniel Craig, the new James Bond, isn’t doing any press as far as I know. (I’m told there will be forthcoming features about one or two of these guys, but appearing more in concert with the nationwide 1.6.06 opening rather than the 12.23 limited break.) And Spielberg, Kushner and Bana won’t be doing the standard q & a thing after Munich plays this evening at the Variety Screening Series…even though this series is considered an essential by Oscar-consulting publicists all over town. (This is due to a conflict with an industry screening this evening with Spielberg, Kushner and Bana attending, but such conflicts can always be finessed if there’s a will to do so.) I want to be fair and even-handed, but add all this mishegoss to what my Manhat- tan-based Academy friend told me about Munich this morning [see the 12.20.05, 9:17 am item below], and it seems that even the doggedly-Munich-supporting David Poland would have to admit that the crowd, sensing defeat, is on its feet in anticipation of what appears to be a fait accompli.