“I got beaten out by Fellini!”

Posted by · 4:16 pm · January 25th, 2011

Chad passed this along.  I actually hadn’t seen it in a while.  I wonder if Nolan’s support system blew their stack a la this crowd:

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68 responses so far

  • 1 1-26-2011 at 8:13 am

    sosgemini said...

    Lynch is the closest we have to the visual mastery of Fellini but even those two are totally different directors…The Coens? :cough cough: bs :cough cough:

  • 2 1-26-2011 at 9:17 am

    Maito said...

    *By serious I meant conventional.

    AMPAS tastes are what they are and not really worth chasing imho. Unless Nolan is waking up at nights hearing “if you build it, he will come” he should just stay the course. Well, maybe hire a co-writer (someone more like Tom Stoppard, less like David S. Goyer.) Couldn’t hurt.

    I found Insomnia a harmless/useless vanilla remake and precisely the kind of project that doesn’t let him do what he does best. If he’s exciting, it’s because nobody else is doing blockbusters with that kind of ambition and sensibilities. But a peerless master-craftsman he ain’t, not yet.

  • 3 1-26-2011 at 9:27 am

    red_wine said...

    The 70’s were the days… when a small arthouse film could beat the blockbuster of the year for a Best Director slot. Can you imagine Haneke beating Cameron or Nolan to a Best Director nomination(he got beaten by Coens, not Assayas)? Fellini according to me was quite simply the greatest director ever. And Amarcord is one of his best, a truly glorious movie.

    And let there not be misconception that there is only anger and outrage over Nolan’s no show in Best Director (I don’t feel comfortable using the word snub).There is plenty of joy and relief too from people who think he did not deserve to be nominated.

    The director’s branch have shown time and again they simply don’t care for Nolan’s direction at all. I think Nolan will (perhaps) get a nomination when he shows some skill at directing actors – the characters in his movies are like blocks of wood. I can’t believe many actors would want to work with him because they want to do great acting, they just wanna work with him because they wanna be in a hit movie.

  • 4 1-26-2011 at 9:49 am

    tony rock said...

    @red wine

    Then why does he keep getting nominated by DGA? There’s something else going on that has nothing to do with quality. And I’m sick of people saying “Oh, now my own negative feelings toward his work are vindicated because the Academy snubbed him again. That must mean I’m right! He really isn’t a good director!” Please…

    I call bullshit on that last part about the actors. Nolan has consistently recruited great actors for his films, even before he did Batman. Not to mention you’re conveniently ignoring great performances from Robin Williams, Heath Ledger, Christian Bale (Begins), and Aaron Eckhart. And don’t try to sell me that the perfs he’s gotten out of Guy Pearce, Al Pacino, Hugh Jackman, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, Cillian Murphy, Gary Oldman, Leonardo Dicaprio, and Marion Cotillard were “blocks of wood.” They may not have been Oscar-worthy, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t good. AMPAS is not the be all end all of quality.

  • 5 1-26-2011 at 10:05 am

    red_wine said...

    @tony rock
    I actually don’t care much about Oscars, simply because the films that I love the most every year don’t have a prayer in hell of being nominated. But the conversation around them is fun and passionate so I participate in it. I would never equate Oscars with quality.

    I dunno about his earlier work but all the characters in his last 4 films have indeed been blocks of wood, Heath Ledger notwithstanding. Even he was one note throughout, but that is all just my opinion. Take Ellen Page, in the worst role and performance of her career, yet very happy because she was in a global blockbuster.

    I think Spielberg is not a good comparison for Nolan because Spielberg has made some of the most emotional movies ever, sentimental and sappy even, and the Academy loves that, Nolan’s movies are on the other hand cold. They are not even reserved or under-stated, just cold.

  • 6 1-26-2011 at 10:27 am

    tony rock said...

    Your belief that the characters in his films have been “blocks of wood” (which is unfathomable for me, but whatever…to each their own) still doesn’t tell anyone anything about why he was snubbed again. Take James Cameron. His characters are blocks of wood and he rarely gets good performances out of them. And he was nominated for both Titanic and Avatar (a scifi film in BOLD).

  • 7 1-26-2011 at 10:28 am

    tony rock said...

    Oh…and cold is highly subjective. The endings to The Dark Knight and Inception were quite moving in my opinion.

  • 8 1-26-2011 at 10:50 am

    Kyle said...

    I disagree with MOST of what red_wine is saying, but I do understand where the cold opinion comes from. Nolan is a very “holds you at a distance” style of film-maker, nothing wrong with that, Stanley Kubrick made an entire career of it…but it’s true, his films are very cold, methodical, dark hues etc…I personally think he’s better at it than the wildly inconsistent David Fincher, whom even he had to make (as someone online called it) “the sad old baby movie” to get a Best Director nod, and now he’s in for what I think is his best film in The Social Network.

    As long as Christopher Nolan doesn’t sink to making “The King’s Speech/Shakespeare in Love/The Reader” level of bait, I think he’ll find the secret ingredient eventually…then again, he probably doesn’t care…I wouldn’t if I had that kind of bank account.

  • 9 1-26-2011 at 12:54 pm

    Rashad said...

    Inception is still the best movie of the year

  • 10 1-26-2011 at 1:43 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Is Sasha really saying Nolan has to dumb down his work to be recognized? It couldn’t possibly be dumbed down any more. Andrew O’Hehir’s review nails it when he says, “every time the story gets puzzling the characters call a timeout and explain it”.

    To that end, the real crime is Nolan’s screenplay GETTING nominated, when it’s his directing that actually sells the movie.

  • 11 1-26-2011 at 1:50 pm

    Guy Lodge said...


  • 12 1-26-2011 at 2:11 pm

    Kyle said...

    I guess it depends on what criteria makes a great screenplay…”Inception” is full of great ideas that have their origin in the script, maybe not the strongest dialogue, but good concepts have to count for something. Wasn’t “Another Year” basically improvised? Yet, it also was nominated.

  • 13 1-26-2011 at 2:17 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Wasn’t “Another Year” basically improvised?

    People keep saying that about Mike Leigh’s screenplays, but it’s a vast over-simplification of his process. His screenplays are carefully workshopped and then written — not made up on the spot. (If his films were as “improvised” as some people like to imagine they are, his voice wouldn’t remain so consistent from one feature to the next.)

    My problem with the screenplay of “Inception” isn’t its dialogue so much as its careless swathes of naked exposition. First-draft level, much of it.

  • 14 1-26-2011 at 3:11 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    What are the great ideas? To me, the Inception script is a few decent ideas, with a ton of dialogue trying to convince me how great those ideas are.

  • 15 1-26-2011 at 3:16 pm

    red_wine said...

    To me (and to many other people) Inception was just a popcorn blockbuster movie with explosions. Its a bit weird it got considered for awards and all apart from technical categories.

  • 16 1-26-2011 at 3:55 pm

    Eckhard said...

    “It doesn’t hit me on gut level”

  • 17 1-26-2011 at 6:02 pm

    Maito said...

    I’d say the most noteworthy thing about the script was the entwining of the
    mission and the marriage storylines, which were both built on clichés, but ended up complementing each other quite nicely imho. The dream-thieving would’ve felt like a silly run if Cobb didn’t have the murkier goal of dealing with Mal on the side, who also added a much needed live-wire element to the needlessly “clockworks and cold steel” dreamspace.

    The exposition is such a borderline running gag, precisely because Nolan’s dialogue is so clumsy. I mean, it’s a heist film convention for the team to go minutely through the plan and usually acceptable for the (audience proxy) newbie to struggle keeping up and asking questions like “wait who’s subconsciousness are we going?” in a sci-fi. It’s awkward, but also undeniably in character, so it’s not like it’s coming out of nowhere. I have more of a problem when the rhythm comes to a momentarily halt rather than the act of infodumping in itself, which I guess I just accepted.

    First-draftey seems about right, but it doesn’t kill my enjoyment of the film, just taints it a bit.