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.