November 01, 2007
Regarding 'Blood'

Now that the review is out of the way, allow me to address a few things here. And this is by no means aimed at everyone, just a few folks who seem to have misinterpreted some things.

First and foremost, it seems a Variety item regarding this film got a lot of people up in arms, their panties in a twist. I think someone out there even said I actually panned the film, when not a sign of opinion was in sight. Another note told me I was being professionally jealous, or some such nonsense, in my talk of the film’s early screening in Austin.

That’s not true at all.

My snide remarks about the review embargo had everything to do with that very decision (whether it came from Paramount Vantage, Scott Rudin or those involved with peripheral publicity – no one wants to fess up) and how frankly out of sorts it was given that there were opinionated remarks already in print. It’s a little strange to ask for an embargo amongst those circumstances, but in any case, my remarks had nothing to do with colleague’s assessments or foolish notions that I wasn’t first to see it. Seriously, folks, I didn’t see “Zodiac” until a few weeks ago. I don’t often get bent out of shape over that stuff.

Next, regarding Oscar predictions – the same sort of uninformed souls who declared my comments a “pan” went so far as to declare I hated “There Will Be Blood” because I removed it from my Oscar predictions in nearly every category.

Well, I guess the joke’s on you.

I can’t stress enough that I don’t figure in personal opinion of a film when assessing Oscar potential and only consider how I think the Academy is going to react. Sometimes I’m wrong, but never for the wrong reasons. I didn’t see “The Departed” as a Best Picture winner upon screening it last year and yet it was my favorite film of the nominated five. “No Country for Old Men” I didn’t like (sue me – I seem to be the only one), and I don't know that the Academy would go for something so desolate. I could be wrong. And finally, the best film I’ve seen in a decade, “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” is predicted in two categories and is found on only one chart of ten in the major categories: Best Supporting Actor.

Anyway, that's that. The facts are the facts and I thought friend and foe alike would do well by knowing them.


As my last post indicated, I had a feeling you were concerned the film simply wouldn't play well with AMPAS despite being an unqualified success.

Just out of curiosity, your review seems so enthusiastic that I have to wonder: what happened to the last half-star?

Imperfection seems to be too easy an answer (and no film is perfect - other than 'Kane,' I guess), but I guess it was a sense that Anderson was almost where he wanted to be, but yet the undeniable apparency that he didn't QUITE get there. It's hard when you're aiming for something that high, but he landed in territory much higher than most, regardless.

I was one of those people that thought you panned the film and that your predictions reflected that. I apologize for misjudging you. The way you stated your words after viewing the film led to believe something else. You are very tricky, sir.

I find it so bizarre though that a film that is receiving nothing but enthusiastic reviews from critics has no chance at a Best Picture nomination. It seems from the reviews that Day-Lewis is the favorite to win the Oscar-and more often than not the Best Actor Winner is in a Best Picture nominated film- Capote, Ray, Mystic River, The Pianist, Gladiator, etc.

Also judging from the reviews, it seems that this will be the critical darling of the year. There always seems to be a slot left open in the final 5 for that film. Do you feel this film has the potential to be the critical darling of the year, or do you think the film will be an arthouse film so far in left field that nobody will watch it?


Although they're completely different movies, Blood is getting the same vibes as The Departed. " Really good. One of the years best, if not THE best. But the Academy won't go for it."

Well, after the 5th shot to the dome in The Departed, I thought Marty was never gonna win one. But he did!

I think the Academy will react favorably to There Will Be Blood... I guess that's what I'm trying to say.

I hope you're ALL right.

I hope you're ALL right.

I hope you're ALL right.

YES, I meant to post that three times.

(No, I did not.)

I hope so too (not enough to post three times), but there are already so many critical favorites in the mix (ex: No Country, Assassination of Jesse James, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, maybe even Once) that it would probably miss the precursor awards sweep that could propel it to the Best Picture race.

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