December 27, 2008

"I'm told by Academy members that David Fincher would have a better shot at Best Director... if only he wasn't considered such a jerk...."

Ha ha. Oscar time again. Have you seen "The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button" yet? We have not, but will very soon. Yesterday, we saw "The Reader." I did that long post the other day -- "Kate Winslet is 'so offended' by the use of the term 'statutory rape' to describe what she does in 'The Reader'" -- and got into an exchange with Eugene Volokh about that, so that became the movie I most wanted to see. (For now, I'll just note that the Kate Winslet character, a 36-year-old woman blatantly takes advantage of the 15-year-old virgin as the story is presented in the film. More on that later.)

What movies are you seeing? Did you see "Slumdog Millionaire"?
I'm told by Academy members that David Fincher would have a better shot at Best Director for Benjamin Button if only he wasn't considered such a jerk (yes, that factors in unless a pic is the absolute frontrunner), so Slumdog's Danny Boyle is the favorite.
Oh, why give out prizes for art anyway? If you're at the level of handing out prizes, why not stiff the jerks? Even for decisions that matter, like voting for President, we stiff the jerks, don't you think? The nicer person wins. Why pretend otherwise?

29 comments:

TitusRoad said...

I love most of David Fincher's films. I saw Benjamin and thought it was great. Most of the film is making Brad Pitt look beautiful and he does. I thought Zodiac was wonderful last year.

I liked Doubt-I would like to see Meryl Streep win. She has been nominated 14 times but only won twice. It seems like she has won more oscars but she hasn't.

Did you know Fincher directed music videos for Rick Springfield in the 80's and some of Madonna's videos-Bad Girl, Vogue and a few others.

I think it would be interesting to see more of the inside about how movies are made and the relationships between the stars and directors. For example, I would be interested in knowing how Fincher and Madonna worked together.

Meade said...

Stiff the jerks makes good general policy in nearly every relationship of every kind, I believe. Preferably before the jerks stiff us but if not, asap. Taking the daughter to see Slumdogs tonight, based on the official Althouse review which, I trust, was not being jerky or else I'll have to do a little stiffing later just as a matter of policy.

TitusRoad said...

David Fincher is hot. I would do him.

Who cares if he is a jerk?

Meade said...

Okay well that would be one way of stiffing the jerk.

Not that there's anything wrong with it...

Christopher Althouse Cohen said...

Keep in mind that the main reason people don't like him is that he does a lot of takes. He'll go to 50 or 100 takes quite often. I guess if you're Stanley Kubrick that makes you a genius, and if you're David Fincher that makes you a jerk.

Big Mike said...

Prof. Althouse, you were okay until your analysis edged over into politics. How does your analysis that we elect the nicer guy square with the election of 1968 (Nixon def. Humphrey)?

Ann Althouse said...

"How does your analysis that we elect the nicer guy square with the election of 1968 (Nixon def. Humphrey)?"

I'd say the fact that you had to go back 40 years proves my point. In any case, Humphrey was made to represent the war, and that doesn't seem very nice. In every case since then, I'm right, the nicer-seeming guy won.

And Gore would have won (decisively enough not to lead to a weird standoff) if he hadn't done that irascible sighing and invaded Bush's space at the debate OR if he'd remained friends with Bill Clinton.

Lindsey said...

I was about to ask what Fincher's jerk reputation is based upon. If doing lots of takes is it, then how pathetic.

Beth said...

We saw Benjamin Button yesterday; I was not looking forward to a three-hour sitting in our old neighborhood theater, but it turned out not to be one of those long movies that have a lot of draggy sections. Your mileage may vary, of course. And as always with any story involving time travel or manipulation, there are logic problems. But you should accept that going in.

The movie was shot here in New Orleans, mostly after the storm, and for that reason I was eager to see it. It is a love letter to the city. I want it on DVD just to move through it frame by frame.

Early on, there's some flashbacks to very old incidents, and I like the technique they use, evoking a kinetescope.

The woman who plays Benjamin's adoptive mother is wonderful.

The last shot is probably fine for people who don't live here, but for all of us yesterday, it was off-putting. I just started to jump up out of my chair and leave.

Most of the interior shots and anything CGI were done at sound stages here in NOLA run by the university where I work, and a lot of our film students worked on the movie. That's a great thing for us.

Cedarford said...

We like our contests to be "fair" in America and internationally, or we would have cheered as the Olympic judges found a way to disqualify jerk Mark Spitz in each of his races and kept Russell Crowe from an Oscar. (though he might have lost for "A Beautiful Mind" for being too much of a jerk that year...)

Trying to apply the "nice guy" theory to Presidential picks doesn't work either - precisely because of the case of Nixon - "nice guy and war hero McGovern" carried only one state against Nixon in 1972. And 20 years later, we had nice, decent but out of touch George H. Bush against a crazy uncle and a slick, high potential guy with a bimbo problem but who said he's fell our pain..

The Academy has it's biases, it favors nominees from the left somewhat and for movies that are vehicles that honor the culture(s) and history(s) of the people that run the industry....But sometime they get the "best" awards right and they can't afford to completely snub consensus nominees from other Awards venues.

Synova said...

I don't tend to follow the Academy awards but they really are a popularity contest, aren't they?

The box office and unwashed masses make their choice and it's reflected in the raw numbers. How many people were willing to pay to see this movie?

But the unwashed masses make the wrong choices. They don't appreciate art. They spend fortunes on Star Wars.

Big Mike said...

Prof. Althouse, IMAO George W. Bush is nicer than Al Gore. He's also more ecologically conscious (see, for instance, http://www.snopes.com/politics/bush/house.asp ). So for the 2000 election your thesis holds.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I'd say the fact that you had to go back 40 years proves my point.

What makes you think that Obama is "nice" or not a jerk? You think Barney Frank is nice? Blagojevich? McCain?

I guess you could say the nicer person wins if we want to make a comparison between how much nicer Hilter could be than Stalin. It might be nicer to have your finger nails pulled out than to have your fingers chopped off. It's all relative.

NO politician is nice.

Trooper York said...

The best director award should always go to John Ford or Sam Peckinpaugh. Ok you can give Howard Hawks one every once in a while.

But that's it.

ricpic said...

Oh, why give out prizes for art anyway?
Why not stiff the jerks?
It's not like they're hurting for riches and fame.
Why give them anymore perks?

siyeh pass said...

Oh, why give out prizes for art anyway?

Yeah, I don't quite get that. My daughter danced from kindergarten through high school. She says she loved the pure performance over dance team competitions, by a long shot.

Anyway, we're going to see Benjamin Button later today. It's a good day for a movie...

Synova said...

Maybe "nice" isn't the right word.

A very nice person might be resented for whatever reason. A person who is not nice at all might be well liked by people who don't know them well. A person who is very nice might not be out-going and thus have few people inclined to vote for them.

blake said...

James Cameron is quite famously a jerk, yet still won for Titanic in 1997. (Ceremony in 1998.)

Not a great year for movies, but if they gave the award 20 years earlier to Annie Hall rather than Star Wars, they could've given passed over the boat picture and given the award to the socially concerned As Good As It Gets or Gattaca.

Or Good Will Hunting. Remember when Damon and Affleck were talented youngsters?

Or Con Air. I understand that's the best movie ever.

As for the "nice guy" theory, it's a little hard to contend that Bush Sr was nicer than Dukakis, isn't it? How nice can the former head of the CIA be?

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Benji Buttons was awful. But it was kind of amazing and I loved the idea/story. But really, it was just awful. Poorly directed, lifeless characters, terribly distracting special effects (hey look! It's Brad Pitt as an old man!), and the thing with Katrina was just awkward.

blake said...

On the other hand, Hitch was also famously a jerk, and they didn't give him an Oscar until he was near death.

OK, admittedly, he was up against giants like Vincente Minelli and William Wyler but Strangers on a Train wasn't even nominated in the year the bizarre American in Paris won, and George Stevens for A Place In The Sun.

Actually, looking at the pattern, it would seem like "Milk" is a shoo-in.

Seven Machos said...

I have never understood the Academy Awards or their ilk. It's not like you are winning at a sport, or even in a competition where there are judges -- like, say, gymnastics. It's a bunch of schmucks who nominate and vote on movies and movie makers based on vague, apparently artsy criteria.

I'd much rather be Wes Anderson or Albert Broccoli.

VinceP1974 said...

Isn't David Fincher the one who totally ruined the movie "Aliens" by killing all the survivors but one in the first five minutes of "Alien³" and then have Ripley land at a prison where everyone looked basically identical?

VinceP1974 said...

Even for decisions that matter, like voting for President, we stiff the jerks, don't you think? The nicer person wins

Oh yeah.. that Barry... giving Hillary the finger and then later giving McCain the finger. Nice guy. yup.

Michael said...

Wittle Bunny: "What makes you think that Obama is "nice" or not a jerk?"

Provide a link to any articles, interviews or suggestion Obama is a "jerk" and not considered a likeable nice person.

You just never give up.

He won...McCain lost.

Get a life.

Michael said...

VinceP1974 said..."Oh yeah.. that Barry... giving Hillary the finger and then later giving McCain the finger. Nice guy. yup."

Got a link, dickhead?

VinceP1974 said...

dickhead?

I think the dickhead would be some emotionally unstable drone who attacks someone because his precious Messiah is a fraud.

Sure here you go.

http://www.letmegooglethatforyou.com/?q=obama+gives+finger+to+hillary+and+mccain

eaglewingz08 said...

What would the public be saying, let alone the critics if it were a thirty six year old man, 'instructing' a fifteen year old girl, in sexual intercourse?
Something more than 'statutory rape' would come to mind.

Seven Machos said...

Nearly two months after the election, Michael is so confident that he continues to troll Althouse looking for dissent so he can gloat that his candidate won. In an Academy Award thread.

Beth said...

Isn't David Fincher the one who totally ruined the movie "Aliens" by killing all the survivors but one in the first five minutes of "Alien³"

Yes. The fucker.