Saturday, January 18, 2014

Bruce Dern, the SAG Awards, and GG/NYFCC Aftershocks

Bruce Dern in Nebraska
Saw Nebraska last night. Touching little movie. Don't think Bruce Dern has a chance for the Oscar, since it's not a very showy role. But he might get the SAG tonight because the actors' union sometimes votes for those older performers such as Gloria Stuart in Titanic and Ruby Dee in American Gangster. Likewise James Gandolfini could be a surprise posthumous winner for Supporting Actor for Enough Said but Jared Leto will probably continue his winning ways for Dallas Buyers Club.

Speaking of Leto, he caught some heat for not being sufficiently supportive of the transgender and HIV community in his Golden Globes acceptance speech as did Matthew McConaughey. Likewise, Cate Blanchett was blasted for making a Judy Garland joke, Julia Louis Dreyfuss for making electronic cigarette smoking appear glamorous in a comedy bit with hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, and Cecil B. DeMille Award winner Woody Allen was dissed by Mia and Ronan Farrow on Twitter. That's why the GGs are becoming more and more popular than the Oscars. The stars get drunk and you never know what they're going to say.

Further fallout from the film awards season--The New York Film Critics Circle expelled member Armond White of City Arts for heckling Steve McQueen during the latter's acceptance speech for Best Director for 12 Years a Slave. The critic yelled McQueen was a garbageman and told the director to kiss his ass. (Was Amy Poehler's GG joke about Matt Damon being a garbageman an insider reference to the NYFCC event?) Different reports state White could not be heard by McQueen and those at the front of the room and that White's alleged outburst (He says it never happened, but others report it did) did not disrupt the proceedings

Lost in the shuffle was another story that NY Post film critic Lou Lumenick was suspended from the Circle for one year for reporting the vote tallies in his publication which was evidently prohibited by the group's by-laws. That I don't get. While doing research for a book, I found many past articles reporting the vote tallies of previous Circle meetings. Perhaps it's a relatively recent change in the by-laws. But why should these critics object to their preferences being made public? Isn't that their business, to have their views known?

I have been a member of the New York Drama Critics Circle and the vote tallies for our annual awards are always reported and even put up on our website with the choices of each critic listed. 

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