Polanski: Wanted and Desired

New York Times critic Manohla Dargis saw the Roman Polanski doc when it briefly appeared in a few theaters in New York and Los Angeles in order to qualify for the Oscars. Dargis writes:

“Wanted and Desired,” which opened on Friday without advance press screenings, was bought by HBO at the Sundance Film Festival in January. Its one-week theatrical run will make it eligible for Academy Award consideration, though given that organization’s often pitiful record when it comes to nonfiction film, it seems unlikely that a movie this subtly intelligent would make its short list. That’s especially true because the director, Marina Zenovich, refuses to wag her finger at Mr. Polanski, even when presenting the sordid and grimly pathetic details of his crime, like the Champagne and partial Quaalude he furnished the 13-year-old girl and her repeated nos.

Dargis speaks like a real critic when she disses the AMPASS, but I I think she goes too far suggesting that the film would do better if it wagged its finger at Polanski. The truth is, if AMPAS had anything against Polanski they wouldn’t have honored with a Best Director Oscar for The Pianist. Look at how badly they’ve exiled Russell Crowe, not that Crowe’s behavior can compare to Polanski’s but just that when the Academy wants someone to pay, they pay.¬† Read Dargis’ full review here.

18 Comments on this Post

  1. RRA got raped by Polanski and then murdered by Manson

    I’m sorry, but there is no excuse for Polanski’s actions. The dude was a rapist, and then fled the country when his own ass was gonna get raped in jail.

    Great Director? Yes, but otherwise as a human being, he can fuck off.

    Sad thing is, he’s not even the most despicable working-director. That honor goes to Victor Salva.

    BTW, why is Russell Crowe exiled? Surely it can’t be just over that throwing telephone incident. I mean come on, Tom Cruise is a fruitcake but he’s allowed in?

    What the fuck?

  2. I have been living under a cosy little rock my entire life and never knew any of that about Mr. Polanski. Wow. Gross. I still want to see the docie though.

  3. Dominik

    Polanski is my favourite director of all times, and I´m really into seeing this doc!

  4. Charles

    has crowe been exiled? i mean, has he made any nominateable work since the phone incident?

  5. I would say Crowe’s work in 3:10 to Yuma was nominate-able Charles.

    Let me just say hat I love The Pianist, and the image I had of Polanski did not involve a 13-year-old girl.

  6. Well I think if Crowe made another performance on caliber with A Beautiful Mind then he would get nominated, his work has been good to great since but have been fairly comfortable for him, not really stretches, always tough arrogant characters.

    As for Polanski, I agree with Dominik, one of the true greats, the Academy loves Polanski as well, I think this has a good chance of being nominated and even winning.

    I personally agree with fleeing and sticking it to a corrupt justice system — the world is much much bigger than America.

  7. “tough arrogant characters” ??
    By no conceivable notion could Jimmy Braddock be construed a tough arrogant character in Cinderella Man.
    And yes, Crowe should have been nominated for it. And for Yuma.

  8. Just b/c Crowe hasn’t been nominated since A Beautiful Mind doesn’t mean he’s been exiled. He’s had 4 potentially nominatable perfs since then–Cinderella Man, Master and Commander, Yuma, and American Gangster. The latter two were released in a highly competitive year, and the films themselves received little recognition at the Oscars or in the critics awards, save for one or two nods, even though they did score at the box office. Master and Commander was more noted for its technical achievements than its perfs except for Paul Bettany. And Cinderella Man tanked at the box office and received little awards attention except for Paul Giamatti (note to Crowe–if you ever wanted to get nominated again, don’t appear in films with guys named Paul).

    I love Crowe, but I can’t see there being some conspiracy against him being nominated.

  9. luminella

    The only reason that Russell Crowe has not been nominated since A Beautiful Mind is that the people who do the voting are ALL anally retentive!

  10. Go Alan! I agree!

  11. RRA is Mr. Consistent

    Folks, if it was a Republican politician in that situation instead of Polanski, would you cut him as much slack?

    No you wouldn’t, nor you should.

    Let’s try to be consistent in the loopy-ass world we’re living in today.

  12. People seem to be under the impression the documentary is trying to exonorate Polanski in some way. Near as I can tell, the doc is not arguing his innocence – everyone, even Polanski, agrees he was guilty. The issue is, as far as I understand it (I haven’t seen the documentary yet, though I’m going to try and see it Thursday), is while Polanski had reached a plea agreement with the district attorney’s office that he, they, and the young woman in question could live with, the judge was going to impose a sentence much harsher than legal guidelines (wasn’t it 50 years or something?). And it wasn’t out of any sense of moral outrage (which would have been understandable, if still inexcusable), but rather to make a name of himself. You can think what Polanski did was despicable – and I do – and still think what happened to him was wrong. Everyone, innocent or guilty, deserves to be treated fairly by our justice system or we might as well just pack it in right now.

  13. RichardA

    Seriously, we need a new topic.

  14. lol Rich, even the AwardsDaily team are allowed a day off sometimes!

  15. Actually, I’m pretty sure Manola saw this at Sundance like everyone else… somehow, I doubt she’d go up to Washington Heights to see it there… and my pal The Reeler thinks that the movie might not even have played but just advertised for proof of Oscar consideration

  16. Oh, it played all right – I was one of about 10 hardy souls who saw it on Thursday, the last day it played in Washington Heights. Of course, the theater manager was late in opening the theater so we could see it – whether by design or happenstance I have no way of knowing.

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