My heart goes out to Variety‘s Kris Tapley. He was part of the overhype that helped kill A Star Is Born‘s Oscar hopes (along with Sean Penn, Robert DeNiro and Warner Bros. publicity chiefs), and he naturally feels badly about that. I feel Tapley’s pain, and to some extent I even share in Bradley Cooper‘s “embarassed” reaction to not being nominated for Best Director. Actually, I don’t — fuck that noise — I just said that to try and be nice.
Anyway, earlier today Tapley tried to make it up to Cooper by posting the following:
“Look, if the directors branch so desperately wanted to put the 44-year-old writer-director-producer-actor-songwriter in his place, fine. But, thankfully, his work in front of the camera was remembered, because here’s the thing: It’s the finest lead actor performance of the year. Go back and look at it.”
HE to Tapley: Malek will win, Cooper blew it, end of narrative.
Back to Tapley: “I know it’s sometimes difficult for you to take a performance seriously in the race unless it’s in some prestige biopic (due respect to Christian Bale and Rami Malek, both fine competitors), but Cooper built a character from the ground up and infused it with life. He took an ages-old role that has long been ineffective, because the character was just so damn petty and unlikable in previous versions — and gave it real warmth and dimension.”
HE to Academy: Cooper has learned his lesson. He’s learned how to handle N.Y. Times Sunday Magazine interviews. He’s learned not to sound pompous and self-inflating during Hollywood Reporter round-table videos. He’s learned how to behave in a less dickish way at industry functions. He’s learned to discourage guys like Sean Penn from doubling down on their support with Deadline essays. He’s learned how to take it like a man and not talk about how “embarassed” he is at not being nominated.
So when he comes back with his Leonard Bernstein biopic, give him another shot. As Best Director and Best Actor.