The Hollywood Reporter‘s Anne Thompson paints an intriguing portrait of the tangled situation at Sony at the end of a year that reeked of under-performing films (Zathura, The Legend of Zorro, Stealth) on top of the sad failure of Rent, a movie that works beautifully but not enough people wanted to see. Sony is now bracing itself for the arrival of two December releases with difficulties — Rob Marshall’s Memoirs of a Geisha, which is all but dead in the Oscar competition, and Dean Parisot’s Fun with Dick and Jane, which I’m hearing “doesn’t work.” (I don’t think this is a secret, is it? It doesn’t mean, of course, that Dick and Jane won’t make money.) There’s also the unfortunate postponement of All The King’s Men into late ’06, which carried the obvious implication when the delay was announced that this period drama (which earlier this year had been presumed to be a potential Oscar contender) had problems. Thompson seems to making the point that one reason things aren’t panning out is that Columbia’s vice chairman and production chief Amy Pascal doesn’t have an entirely free creative hand due to having to share things, so to speak, with Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman Michael Lynton…not to mention Sony’s constant problems with not being able to market its films with any particular pizazz. “The way they do things at Sony is very unwieldy,” a studio veteran comments. “Pascal is a very nice lady and very hard working, but the decisions she’s made on films plus the marketing of them have made things difficult for her. Because in the final analysis, the marketing people control your destiny.”