The Hollywood Reporter runs its second story on David Fincher, Sony and the supposed upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, wherein a source continues to huff and puff their side of the story all the while complaining about what a diva and tyrant Fincher is because of his “excessive” demands. Second story, same unnamed source, same one-sided lament. Let’s put this into the bigger picture. First, what do you do if you have a movie people only barely want to see that without Fincher’s name is even more of a DOA project? What do you do if you want the Fincher name but don’t want to wrestle from him the directorial control that would make the movie worthy of that name?
Put it this way: they need Fincher a lot more than Fincher needs them on this film. Yes, put Fincher and Aaron Sorkin together and you potentially have magic again, as you had with the Social Network. But you don’t hire a guy like Fincher in the first place if you want a director you can lead around by the balls. You say – we trust you because you’re one of the best directors working today, because you do not compromise your principles, nor do you invest time in something that will waste everyone else’s.
Conveniently missing from Masters’ story is Fincher’s side of things, the difficulties on his end on Dragon Tattoo and Social Network. But hey, why bother with those kinds of facts? Let’s get those clicks rolling to help this particular news outlet stay relevant. We live in an era where sexy headlines are the only ones that draw the kinds of traffic numbers websites need to stay afloat. Kim Masters is a reputable journalist with an ear towards scandal but there is something fishy about this story in that it’s entirely one-sided and no one seems to give a damn. I’m not a journalist but even I know that both sides are worth looking into. All we have here is gossip. Nasty gossip at that.
The interesting thing about 2004 is that two things happened that year. The first, the Academy had changed the date for the Oscars to being one month earlier. Ten years later we see that no film can really win Best Picture as a late game entry. The last one to do this was Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby, trouncing the two frontrunners – The Aviator and Sideways, which were dominating. But Clint took the DGA and Million Dollar Baby took Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor.
The early awards were divided that year. The PGA went to the Aviator, the SAG went to Sideways and of course, the DGA went to Eastwood. Sideways had almost unanimous support from the critics. But it wasn’t “important” enough and didn’t have admirable enough characters to beat the one that really did strum the heartbeats of SAG members, not to mention having Eastwood and Freeman together again. Million Dollar Baby was the kind of film that people reacted to emotionally. The Aviator was deemed too complex and problematic. To that end, this year is a precursor to Slumdog Millionaire vs. Benjamin Button. High ambition without easy emotional payoff is a tough sell for Oscar voters. They far prefer the easy payoff.
Written, directed by, and starring Tommy Lee Jones. The story here is Tommy Lee Jones and Hilary Swank as prairie folk escorting three insane women across the frontier from Nebraska to Iowa. As disappointed as it may be to see that Meryl Streep is not one of the insane women, it’s still good to hear dialogue laced with the same wry laconic wit McCarthy and McMurtry might write.
Hopefully you have your DVRs set to record Showtime’s The Years of Living Dangerously which premieres this Sunday. Many celebrities have contributed to bring attention to the global warming crisis that conservatives continue to deny. Jim Cameron, who really does put his money where his mouth is, and Harrison Ford are at the forefront but many famous faces dot the series. Showtime is hoping for a Season 2. Can celebrities change the minds of people who have bought and sold by corporations to doubt what they see happening before their eyes? Who can say. Does anything surprise us anymore about Big Money in America and what it can buy? Hm. Either way, supporting this show isn’t the worst idea.
The HR exclusive tells us that the brilliant Carrie Brownstein from Portlandia (tell me you’ve seen it) has just been added to the cast of Todd Haynes’ drama Carol, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. You may remember Ms. Mara gave Ms. Blanchett her award in Santa Barbara.
Where Todd Haynes goes I will follow. He is perhaps among the most underrated American treasures in cinema today. He’s far too humble, perhaps that’s been his problem all of this time. He’s always been ahead of his time. Safe was ahead of its time. I’m Not There, Far From Heaven, etc. Any of those films, if released today, would make a far bigger splash vis a vis the giant crap Hollywood’s been taking lately. So it is with eager anticipation that we await Carol.
Meanwhile, Cincinnati.com has pics from the Carol set:
[Spoilers abound. Do not read if you haven't seen the first episode] “Some roads you shouldn’t go down. Because maps used to say ‘There be dragons here.’ Now they don’t… but that don’t mean the dragons aren’t there.” – Billy Bob Thornton as Lorne Malvo FX’s 10-episode limited series Fargo - inspired by Joel and Ethan Coen’s 1996 film of the same name but eventually striking out in its own interesting directions – begins at dus...
Even though last week fans were treated to Rupersized episodes of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” only one queen went home in the two-part installment, so it was really only like one episode (a moment of silence for our fallen queen Laganja Estranja. . .mmmmk?). So now it’s down to seven queens. We’re getting very close to the end of season 6 when Ru will crown the next drag superstar (or superdud if she goes with Adore). I’m sure all season long you were thinking, “Wow…when is there ...
Million Dollar Baby takes down Sideways and The Aviator. Probably the only film that really resonates from this year was Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which just gets better with each viewing, as does Sideways. Okay, fine, so do the Aviator and Million Dollar Baby. Ultimately it was not the best year for film but not bad overall. Have a listen....
We probably spend too much time talking about Lost in Translation and not enough time talking about Return of the King. But it was an important film, a beautiful film and the sum total of Peter Jackson’s vision to bring the books to the big screen. It was a pretty good year with Mystic River and Lost in Translation. Of all of them, the Coppola film has really grown in esteem as time has gone by and is as relevant and vital today as it was back in 2003. Have a listen....