In Contention

CINEJABBER: For Your Consideration, ‘Die Hard,’ Best Picture

Posted by · 10:58 am · October 23rd, 2010

Catch up with the idea behind these weekend posts here.

Jeffrey Wells reminded me last weekend of Movieline’s latest restoration effort, i.e. providing scans of back issues and therefore keeping the magazines of the 1990s available and adding a bit of history to the newly designed outlet.  It also reminded me of an idea I had at Variety three years ago when I was writing the trade’s Oscar blog, Red Carpet District.

Something people don’t know is that there is a small closet of a room (or at least it was a closet at the old digs across the street from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, not sure about the new tower down the street) full of handsomely bound back issues of Variety.  You’re talking decades of the print publication at your fingertips.

But while it’s fun to go back and read old industry stories and news items, the best part is to grab a latter year volume, say something from December-January or February, and get a load of the for your consideration ads.

And the headline here is no joke, by the way.  There are lots of interesting eyebrow raisers throughout but it read to me as a cataloged celebration of the film business.  FYC ads make the film journalism industry go round.  Follow the money.  My idea was to have a series where we featured a handful of old FYCs on the blog each week.  Who doesn’t want to see the old artwork for, say, Tim Burton’s “Batman Returns” calling on recognition of Michelle Pfeiffer’s performance?  God, I wish I could remember them all but there were some classics.

Alas, the idea was shot down by Peter Bart and Tim Gray.  They seemed to think it would appear that we were making fun of dubious campaigns, but that’s not how I saw it.  Anyway, far be it from me to get in between Variety and the lovey-dovey relationship it wants to maintain with the studios.  But there were also plenty of opportunities to show stuff from “Dances with Wolves” or “Born in the Fourth of July,” films legitimately in the hunt.  Maybe it’s just me, but I like to look back on that stuff.

Anyway, maybe one day someone will see the value of that in the world of awards coverage.  And hopefully when they do, all of this will be a dot in my rear view.

Anyway, you know what to do.  Open thread.  Have at it and enjoy the weekend.

[Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures]

→ 41 Comments Tags: , , , , , , | Filed in: Cinejabber

41 responses so far

  • 1 10-23-2010 at 11:06 am

    JJ1 said...

    Saw ‘Hereafter’. I actually liked it quite a bit. It’s slow, deliberate, languid, but always interesting (to me). Though, I agree with the critics who say that it lacked some dramatic focus.

    Liked all of the performances, a lot. In fact, the Damon character really struck a chord with me. Cecile De France, gorgeous, and a nicely layered performance. I see both of them as Lead, as well.

    All that said, I can’t think of one place where this film would get nominated.

  • 2 10-23-2010 at 11:31 am

    Drew said...

    Must have been very nostalgiac for you Kris. Strangley, I could kind of see a campaign for Die Hard back in the day. And in a year of ten it probably could’ve been nominated. I’m sure there were serious consideration ads for Alan Rickman.

  • 3 10-23-2010 at 11:37 am

    Hans said...

    I thought Paranormal Activity 2 was great, much scarier than the first one but still retained what was great about it, mainly that it was deliberate and calculating in raising the suspense without doing anything cheap to play to your emotions. And a $20 million opening day is phenomenal.

  • 4 10-23-2010 at 12:13 pm

    (The Real)Dan said...

    I’d LOVE to see some old ads for LORD OF THE RINGS. I wasn’t paying attention to this stuff back then, so I never saw them.

  • 5 10-23-2010 at 12:56 pm

    Silencio said...

    I forgot to post this last week, but for those that still had things to say about Let Me In, I wrote about it at my link below.

  • 6 10-23-2010 at 12:59 pm

    Scott W. said...

    Like Dandelion Dust is playing in my town now and I was just curious as to whether or not I should check it out. I haven’t heard much about it, but then I did go out of touch with this site for a few months so maybe I missed that train.

  • 7 10-23-2010 at 1:00 pm

    Marc R. said...

    same here Dan, also some crouching tiger ones and Traffic of minority report or city of god.

  • 8 10-23-2010 at 1:39 pm

    Loyal said...

    Hereafter isn’t awful or anything. But it is guilty of being quite boring and somewhat amateurish. I know Clint is a filmmaking deity to some but I think if he just took the time to nurture these films instead of cranking them out once a year, the end result would be better.

    All things considered, Hereafter has to be considered one of his worst films.

  • 9 10-23-2010 at 2:00 pm

    JJ1 said...

    I agree. With more time, ‘Hereafter’ could have been amazing.

  • 10 10-23-2010 at 2:19 pm

    Estefan said...

    I actually think Die Hard deserved a best picture nomination, but maybe that’s just me.

  • 11 10-23-2010 at 2:27 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Die Hard is my number 1 movie of that year. No joke.

  • 12 10-23-2010 at 2:27 pm

    Omeed said...

    Die Hard’s the best action movie of all time. and Alan Rickman was a great villain. I don’t know what movies were nominated that year, but I doubt five of them are as well remembered as Die Hard.

  • 13 10-23-2010 at 2:28 pm

    Duncan Houst said...

    I saw “Red” this morning. It was simply a good and fun action film, which is something that a lot of people have forgotten to do these days.

  • 14 10-23-2010 at 2:35 pm

    al b. said...

    I would have had no qualms about Die Hard being nominated for Best Pic!

  • 15 10-23-2010 at 2:54 pm

    JJ1 said...

    I think, in a year of 10, ‘Die Hard’ definitely could have factored in.

    I could have seen a campaign for BP, Willis, Rickman, Editing, Sound, FX, etc..

  • 16 10-23-2010 at 3:25 pm

    Patriotsfan said...

    That’s too bad they didn’t take you up on your idea Kris. It would have been really cool. I really like looking at old pop culture stuff. It really gives you a feel for the times. Like for this year, I will always remember FYC ads for Jacki Weaver in Animal Kingdom. Apparently, Peter Travers thinks, “Jacki Weaver sets the screen ablaze”.

  • 17 10-23-2010 at 4:28 pm

    Kevin K. said...

    Saw Never Let Me Go and Blue Valentine at Austin Film Fest these last two days. Hated NLMG, loved Blue Valentine (even if it destroyed my soul). Hopefully Ryan Gosling gets a proper Best Actor campaign and gains some traction, as it’s my favorite male lead performance of the year so far (haven’t seen 127 Hours or The King’s Speech yet). I’ll be seeing conviction tonight, from what I hear, it’s not amazing but just a generally agreeable feel-good movie with a great supporting turn from Sam Rockwell. Looking forward to it, along with Meek’s Cutoff, 127 Hours, Black Swan, Fair Game, and Casino Jack later this week.

  • 18 10-23-2010 at 5:32 pm

    Angry Shark said...

    shit, Die Hard came out the year of Rain Man. I’m sorry, but Rain Man is the most baffling Best Picture winner I’ve ever seen. Next to it, Die Hard looks like 2001 or The Godfather. I mean jesus, how do you go “oh, I think Rain Man is the best movie of the year”. Sometimes I really hate the Oscars. But they keep pulling me back in. :(

  • 19 10-23-2010 at 6:47 pm

    Lovely said...

    Oh, wow, just looked at your pic on that old variety site, you’re so cute, Mr. Tapley. *wink

  • 20 10-23-2010 at 7:04 pm

    /3rtfu11 said...

    Damn it. I wanted to see the Whoopi Goldberg, Mercedes Ruehl, and Marisa Tomei BSA FYC ads.

  • 21 10-23-2010 at 7:52 pm

    Speaking English said...

    “Rain Man” was a very deserving winner. But the true best film of the year was “Pelle the Conqueror” (Best Foreign Language film winner).

  • 22 10-23-2010 at 10:17 pm

    MovieMan said...

    I’ve seen quite a few yet-to-be-released films getting the Oscar pull in the last month.

    “Fair Game” is quite good. I don’t think it breaks any ground in a narrative sense, but the performances by Sean Penn and Naomi Watts are, in my mind, instant award contenders. “For Colored Girls” is kind of fantastic, marking my first Tyler Perry venture. What a stunning ensemble it has. I think it could get some nominations. I kind of hated “The Next Three Days.” It was trashy and exploitative and Russell Crowe is way above the material he was given. “127 Hours” is pretty miraculous. The only flaw was its brevity, I think. One of the best films of the year, and James Franco is a shoo-in for a nomination.

  • 23 10-23-2010 at 10:38 pm

    Mr. F said...

    Watched “Moulin Rouge!” on Blu-ray this week end, and I fell in love all over again. It’s like the format was made for this movie.

  • 24 10-23-2010 at 11:38 pm

    Kevin K. said...

    Just saw Conviction. I liked it. Never flashy but never manipulative or sentimental. Just a compelling story. Very bricks and mortar, simple filmmaking. But overall, just an agreeable, good feeling in your heart at the end. Which is just what the doctor ordered after the emotional trauma of Blue Valentine (even if it was ultimately so worth it). Tomorrow I’ll be hanging out with Robert Rodriguez a bit and he’ll be presenting a special screening of Sin City in the afternoon at the Alamo Drafthouse, followed by Meek’s Cutoff in the evening. Will report back about Meek’s Cutoff afterwards.

  • 25 10-24-2010 at 12:49 am

    Kevin K. said...

    Speaking of FYC ads, I’m definitely more than a little tired of seeing Jacki Weaver’s face stare at me from the monitor, but whatever. LOL

  • 26 10-24-2010 at 1:17 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    When the other studios start to file in I’m sure it’ll be more aesthetically pleasing for you. SPC got the jump.

  • 27 10-24-2010 at 3:14 am

    Angry Shark said...

    Weirdly, I kind of find Jacki Weaver attractive. I have no way of logically explaining this.

  • 28 10-24-2010 at 7:10 am

    Joe said...

    What does it mean to set the screen ablaze? Me, all I can think of is fire hazards. We don’t want that to happen.

    I saw Conviction. Solid, unspectacular filmmaking, but a very emotionally powerful story. I must be in a good mood these days, because I quite liked it. Sam Rockwell was okay (not magnificent), but Hilary Swank was, to use Kris’ term, best in show. I really believed her determination and desperation.

  • 29 10-24-2010 at 7:42 am

    Loyal said...

    Jacki Weaver’s FYC ad reminds me of Aughra from Dark Crystal. I really hope she’s nominated, Animal Kingdom is one of the best films of the year.

  • 30 10-24-2010 at 8:14 am

    Kevin K said...

    Not that the Ad is a bad one, I just feel like she’s strain into my soul or something.

  • 31 10-24-2010 at 8:15 am

    Kevin K said...

    Staring, that is

  • 32 10-24-2010 at 8:38 am

    Alex L. said...

    Kris, can Kanye West’s short film “Runaway” be up for consideration in the live action short film category? It was just released on MTV and it’s quite good. It’s a little abstract but it’s also VERY beautiful. It’s also about his redemption. I think the academy could see this as him apologizing or changing for the better. Go watch it.

  • 33 10-24-2010 at 8:42 am

    Alex L. said...

    It could be too much music though. But what I see could be considered more as a musical, because each song brings the overall story forward. Is there a rule that prohibits music videos to get in? It’s still on film.

  • 34 10-24-2010 at 8:56 am

    JJ1 said...

    Loyal, BRILLIANT reference. She does, in fact, look just like Aughra. Hysterical.

  • 35 10-24-2010 at 3:01 pm

    pilfering monk said...

    I know Kris and Guy aren’t big Tolkien guys, which may be why I haven’t seen much if any Hobbit talk posted here, but I love the casting of Martin Freeman as Bilbo. Is it just my imagination, or does his face resemble Ian Holm? Anyway, curious what any other Middle Earth fans think about the casting choices. I hope they are able to shoot the films in New Zealand rather then the UK.

  • 36 10-24-2010 at 4:36 pm

    Patriotsfan said...

    Joe, I guessing “sets the screen ablaze” is one of the many go-to phrases that critics like Peter Travers keeps in their pocket any time they want to say, “does a good job”.

  • 37 10-24-2010 at 4:39 pm

    JCS said...

    Saw Brighton Rock as the ‘Surprise Film’ at the LFF: the epitome of ‘meh’. There was applause at the end, but only due to the fact that the director was in the audience. Riley literally is a plank of wood with a frown etched in there; Mirren has fun but ultimately is shoehorned into the narrative; Riseborough is good although the character she plays is ridiculous. All in all, pretty much a mess. Shame on you, Sandra…

  • 38 10-24-2010 at 5:00 pm

    matsunaga said...

    I think it will be awesome if you can feature those classic FYCs… It will be a conversational topic.. Plus we get to see and compare the FYCs before and now…

  • 39 10-24-2010 at 6:16 pm

    Glenn said...

    I’d LOVE to see the old FYC ads. Just like I love watching old Siskel & Ebert clips on YouTube and so forth. “Die Hard” should’ve been nominated for Best Picture.

    As for Jacki Weaver… anything to help get her nominated. You should try watching the movie she’s in, she’s even more terrifying in that than on an FYC ad.

  • 40 10-24-2010 at 8:18 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    For Runaway to be eligible, it would have to play at (and sometimes win) certain film festivals or do a qualifying week run in a theater.

  • 41 10-25-2010 at 7:47 pm

    Drew said...

    To stay with the open thread, I’m very happy to say that my first foreign film experience in a theater tonight with A Prohet. Amazing film that is now one of my all time favorites.