Center of the universe

Posted by · 9:14 pm · April 23rd, 2010

I wasn’t able to participate in Robert Welkos’s Hollywood News piece on the drama of bloggerdom (which was already covered to some extent by LA Magazine three years ago). Travel and a period of self-imposed distance from this circus kept me off the phone, but even if I had answered a few questions, I don’t really know what I could have added in the way of fresh perspective at this point.

However, one thing caught my eye that is laughable on its face:

“Mo’Nique was addressing me in her Oscar acceptance speech,” [Gold Derby’s Tom] O’Neil told HollywoodNews. “I had been very critical of her not campaigning when she should have.” O’Neil said after the speech, he received “200 e-mails” congratulating him.

I appreciate that O’Neil may have received some correspondence from this person or that after the Oscars, whether “200 e-mails” is a gross exaggeration or not. And I appreciate that he sees himself as spear-heading a movement against Mo’Nique’s withdrawal from the traditional Oscar campaign circuit when it was really folks like Jeff Wells who obsessed over it.

But to think Mo’Nique’s on-the-mark comment in her Oscar acceptance speech was directed toward him (more so than the collective media) is…come on. Or maybe O’Neil actually does mean the media when he says that, I don’t know. But the fact remains, with all that in mind, Mo’Nique’s win is one of the Academy’s shining moments, no matter how butt-hurt folks like O’Neil and Wells feel over her willful campaign neglect.

By the way, with all those criticisms directed toward Mo’Nique, where was the same attitude for George Clooney? He probably did less than she did. Meanwhile Jason Reitman was being criticized for doing too much (uh, someone has to pick up the slack). Was Mo’Nique just too, I don’t know, “uppity” for white media tastes or something? Too much gall for such a newbie to the circuit to exhibit? Don’t want to think that hard about it?

Just saying…




→ 26 Comments Tags: , , , , | Filed in: Daily

26 responses so far

  • 1 4-23-2010 at 9:31 pm

    Jake D said...

    The Clooney comparison actually makes sense- it’s easy to say he didn’t really have a chance of winning- but he was sweeping the critics’ awards early on until Bridges stormed in. So in the end, he probably wouldn’t (and, imo, shouldn’t) have had a chance, but it was there and he could have hit the circuit harder. Maybe if he had campaigned more (instead of the Reitman overexposure happening), Up in the Air could have won screenplay….

  • 2 4-23-2010 at 10:27 pm

    Robert Hamer said...

    Wells and O’Neil are pathetic. What’s the matter, guys, pissed off that a black comedienne blew away Hollywood royalty to win Best Supporting Actress without breaking a sweat? Mad that she didn’t have to grovel to the industry for an award that she so OBVIOUSLY deserved? Get the FUCK over it!

    Sorry if I got carried away, but these hacks – who have no business being in the business – and the way they fight to make the Oscars even more of a popularity contest than they already are just make me furious.

    By the way, that reminds me, I need to thank you, Kris, for the way you conducted yourself in the hoopla of this awards season. Lord knows we don’t always get along, but I really admired the way you didn’t get sucked into Emailgate (did I really just call it “Emailgate?” What is wrong with me?), or this whole Mo’Nique bullshit, or the dozens of smear campaigns against The Hurt Locker (which you weren’t even a fan of), or really any of the tiresome awards season nonsense. You mentioned them and made your thoughts known, but you mostly focused on the merits of the work (well, and maybe the occasional overly doe-eyed love letter to Sandra Bullock, but that’s understandable in the wake of her acceptance speech), which I found refreshing. Keep it up.

  • 3 4-23-2010 at 10:39 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I appreciate that. Thanks.

  • 4 4-24-2010 at 12:28 am

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    O’Neill and Wells hacks? Please.

    Also, Clooney is like a deity so of course he needn’t campaign.

  • 5 4-24-2010 at 12:58 am

    Dustin said...

    The day after the 09 Oscars I was on this site and MoNique was one of the names that lasted ALL year long despite my bitching (and bitching and bitching and bitching). Needless to say when I saw the performance I shut the Hell Up. I new she had that thing in the bag and as someone who has always been an “oscar watcher”, I had never been more astounded despite my COMPLETE distaste for the performer. My personal opinion is that the award should have gone to one of the Up In the Air actresses and Gabby Sidibe should have been in more of the Best Actress conversation (Though I want to start campaigining now for her to win an EMMY for her sight-unseen SNL performance)! MoNique was astounding but anyone remember flavor of love charm school or her “queens of comedy” or whatever the hell it was called comedy debut??? I agree it should be about the performance but in this case the previous body of “work” should have been considered. Vera Farmiga had “The Departed”. Anna Kendrick had “Camp” and still (I think) holds the record as the youngest Tony nominee. (And they were both FLAWLESS in the film without that “showy…Im in this to win an Oscar/flashy” ora that MoNiques performance reeked of!!!!) THATS the legitimate body of work an Oscar winner should have… not a trashy trail of really bad reality tv and racial commedy bits. It was a textbook example of the performance winning over the body of work/performance. A defining moment Yes but hardly a shining moment… this just paves the way for a Real Houswife or a Survivor contestent to win an Oscar. Im still trying not to GAG!

  • 6 4-24-2010 at 1:08 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Jonathan: Of course Clooney needn’t campaign for himself if he doesn’t want to. Kris’s point relates more to his publicity obligations (or otherwise) to the film.

    Dustin: If a former Survivor contestant gives a performance of a similar calibre to Mo’Nique’s in Precious, I’ll cheer them all the way to the podium. In all aspects of art, people reach creative breakthroughs from very different places. Get over yourself.

  • 7 4-24-2010 at 7:18 am

    linaf said...

    funny, I thought the same thing about Clooney, I really think he should have supported the film more. He simply let the hard work for the rest of the cast and Reitman, yet no one said a word against him.

  • 8 4-24-2010 at 8:31 am

    Michael said...

    I love reading Hollywood-Elsewhere but this past season I would always skip over any posts regarding Mo’Nique b/c I knew it would make me upset. I was always Team Mo’Nique and reading Wells rant about how horrible she was in various ways got frustratingly sad for me, and I felt embarrassed for Wells. Who are Wells and O’Neil to decide how anyone is supposed to act or campaign for an award that they have absolutely no say in? Who cares how little or how much an actor or director or whoever decides to sell their work if the work itself isn’t deserving then it doesn’t matter anyway.

    And also, imho Clooney is not a deity. He has made good films for sure but he is no living legend in my mind at all, and his smug attitude that he gives off for shits and giggles just causes me to roll my eyes.

  • 9 4-24-2010 at 8:48 am

    Ben said...

    I want to echo the comments above, one reason why IC (and specifically Kris, though I love Guy’s work too) is my one-stop place for awards coverage is the professionalism Kris exhibits. He doesn’t get his personal feelings in the way of his reporting a la Wells/O’Neil or even Sasha, who I like but the Hurt Locker love made me cringe to go to AD for a while there, (despite occasional mancrushes on the likes of Rourke or Bridges!), while still being a real straight-shooter. And unlike O’Neil, Kris doesn’t come up with hare-brained theories and stick to them no matter what for the attention they garner. And as the aforementioned article says you do actually see the movies, which is more rare than most of us want to admit.

    So thanks, Kris; your readership really does appreciate you.

    And I agree totally with the Clooney sentiment here, I really like him and think he’s a fantastic actor and carrier of the old Hollywood torch, but it was kinda crappy that way he let Up in the Air fend for itself this past season.

  • 10 4-24-2010 at 9:49 am

    Chris138 said...

    Tom O’Neil is such a tool.

  • 11 4-24-2010 at 10:12 am

    Al said...

    You guys have to admit, Tom’s bizarre arrogance gives the man a quirky character that transcends the normal boring attitude a lot of online predictors have. This site and Gold Derby are the only 2 that really interest me because of the personality in the articles.

    So yeah, Toms a bit crazy, but its for the best.

  • 12 4-24-2010 at 11:49 am

    Atticus said...

    The way O’Neil went after Mo’Nique didn’t surprise me at all. Each Oscar season he picks an actor/movie and goes on attack mode. Go back in his archives and you’ll see that I’m right. He’s like a vulture circling its prey and once he corners it he tries to peck it to death. This is the same mentality that he employs as senior editor for In Touch magazine, the bottom feeding rag that prints out-right lies about celebrities. The man is a hack.

  • 13 4-24-2010 at 1:58 pm

    Suzanne said...

    If I just stumbled upon that article and didn’t know any better, I’d be under the impression that all male entertainment writers are bitchy queens.

  • 14 4-24-2010 at 2:06 pm

    Michael B. said...

    The way I see it is that O’Neill and Wells were annoyed that Mo’Nique didn’t campaign because this is how they make their living!

    If all actresses and actors didn’t campaign–as well as directors and writers–then they wouldn’t be working.

    I find this Oscar campaigning to be a little to much but there’s nothing better than awards season.

  • 15 4-24-2010 at 2:10 pm

    Danny King said...

    I think you make a great point in bringing up the cases of Clooney and Reitman.

    My only response to that would be to say that Mo’Nique was clearly a frontrunner in her category from the get go, and perhaps people thought she needed to do a lot of campaigning to deserve and ensure that top spot. Clooney and Reitman, while always in the game, were never really considered to be rock-solid in the #1 spot in each of their categories.

    But, like I said, I think your point is well-made.

  • 16 4-24-2010 at 6:33 pm

    half empty said...

    O’Neill isn’t interesting-crazy, he’s just a huge tool. No reason to read him for Oscar coverage when there are so many other sites (this one included) with comprehensive coverage that isn’t written by jackasses with little to no insight or perspective. He’s way too horse race oriented, too.

    Wells has obviously got his own whole set of issues, but he’s crazy enough to be entertaining. And if he’s playing the crazy up intentionally, he does it well. It’s all of a piece with the persona.

    Nice use of butt-hurt, Kris. You don’t see that one everyday. I appreciate it.

  • 17 4-24-2010 at 7:35 pm

    Al said...

    half empty,

    Considering the fact that a whole conversation has started based on O’Neil’s personality, Id say he is- infact – interesting crazy. Its clear cut infamy and I absolutely love a good villain. The biz’ would be very dull if their was no Tom.

  • 18 4-25-2010 at 12:26 am

    Nigel Bridgeman said...

    Jeff Wells is a douche which is why I (and plenty of others) keep reading him. If he was just a normal guy who wrote about film I probably wouldn’t give him a second thought, but he’s such a jerk sometimes that I can’t help but love the guy.

    My momma said that if I didn’t have anything nice to say about people then I shouldn’t say anything at all, so I won’t mention Tom O’Neil.

  • 19 4-25-2010 at 11:11 am

    AdamL said...

    Robert, could you be any more up Kris’ ass? Jesus. And calling Wells a hack is clearly ridiculous.

  • 20 4-25-2010 at 1:10 pm

    Joe said...

    Any truth to the rumor that when Sandra Bullock went off on her “this… and this… and THAT” speech, she was also referring to O’Neil?

    Maybe “Helga B” is code word for Tom O.

  • 21 4-25-2010 at 3:24 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Compliments are off limits in AdamL’s world.

  • 22 4-26-2010 at 7:44 am

    Xavi Rodriguez said...

    Dustin: In my personal opinion, Mo’Nique not only deserves the Oscar because of her outstading performance (One of the most surprising and outsgtading performances of the decade); she deserves because their competition was weak.

    It was a great year for supporting actresses and yet the AMPAS made awful selections. Excepting Mo’Nique any of them deserved the nomination:

    -Up in the Air: I respect Vera Farmiga and I think she should be nominated in 2005 for “Down With Bone” and I know Anna Kendrick is the second youngest actess nominated for a Tony, but their performances didn’t impress me -Also, the movie disappointed me in many ways-. I think many actresses like Catherine Keener, Anne Hathaway will be the same or even better than them. But maybe my adversion with Jason Reitman’s last two films is making a prejudicial judgement
    -Penelope Cruz: I love her and I think she’s a great actress, but if they need nominated one performance for “Nine”, that’s Marion Cotillard. She’s the best by miles.
    -Maggie Gyllenhaal: Again, sorry for didn’t nominated you before…

    My line-up:
    1. Mo’Nique, Precious
    2. Melanie Laurent, Inglorious Basterds
    3. Marion Cotillard, Nine
    4. Diane Kruger, Inglorious Basterds
    5. Samantha Morton, The Messenger
    Alt: Mozhen Mazro, The Stoning of Soraya M.

    Again, Tom O’Neill is the center of a stupid polemic. O.K. Mo’Nique won even without the campaign and hipocresy… That’s over. she’s the best of the category since Sundance and she’s clearly deserved it.

  • 23 4-26-2010 at 8:36 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    “Down With Bone” … that was the gritty rom-com with Renee Zellweger as an uptight magazine journalist managing a secret drug habit, right? I liked that one.

  • 24 4-26-2010 at 9:34 am

    Robert Hamer said...

    @ AdamL: Wow, could you be any more of an asshole? Anyone who has been coming to this site for a while knows full well that I don’t hesitate to challenge Kris or take him to task, and our arguments in the past have been pretty heated.

    I pay him ONE compliment and suddenly I’m a sycophant, go figure.

    And yes, Wells is a joke and I proudly stand by that statement, because IT’S TRUE.

  • 25 4-27-2010 at 2:18 pm

    Xavi Rodriguez said...

    Sorry it was “Down to the Bone”… The film with Vera Farmiga.

  • 26 4-30-2010 at 2:00 pm

    Patryk said...

    Mo’nique’s comments were well taken. But she certainly wasn’t the first (or the last), actor who won an Oscar on merit and not politics. Is anyone else here old enough to remember the 1989 Best Supporting Actress contest? I remember feeling ill all season with all the pundits predicting Julia Roberts. And when Brenda Fricker won, it was a mini-miracle. And that was before the Harvey machine was pumping. And before the screeners started dropping at everyone’s doorstep.

    Brenda Fricker, wherever you are, thank you very much indeed.