with Drew and Doogan:
and welcome to Conversations with Drew
and Doogan, an all-new regular feature here at
The Digital Bits. Every once
in a while, or whenever we want actually, Drew Feinberg of
Script-O-Rama (a new contributing writer here) and I
discuss... well, stuff over Instant Messenger. Who knows what we
talk about - it could be late-breaking news, it could be a DVD we
both saw. It could be anything really. And we have so much fun, that
we figured it would be nice to let you guys in on the conversations
every once in a while. Be ready for anything with these chats,
because you never know. At some point in the near future, we might
even include celebrities, DVD producers, Bill or even YOU in our
This week, to kick off the concept (and to see how it goes over),
we're going to discuss The
Oscars. So ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce my
Drew, you there?
Hey Todd! It took some coaxing from my probation officer to let me
back on the Internet after my... incident with the pit bull and my
attempt to obtain Jack Valenti's scent... So, you want to talk
Oscar, eh? I'm game.
Well, as you pointed out to me yesterday, the Oscars are really made
up of 8 big categories, two for Actors, two for Actresses, Picture,
two Scripts and Director. I figured we should leave it at those
eight and call it a day. You wanna start with the scripts? I hear
it's a private passion of yours.
Scripts? Why would that be MY passion? Oh... never mind. So, are we
talking Best Original Screenplay or Best Adapted Screenplay?
I think it'd be best if we talk both, but how's about we start with
Writing (Adapted Screenplay).
The nominees are: A Beautiful Mind,
In The Bedroom,
LOTR: FOTR and
Shrek. I'm pretty sure we can
drop Shrek. It was cute, but
does it deserve an Oscar?
Shrek's got no chance at all,
if the Academy thought it was worth a heck, Dreamworks would have
squeezed out a Best Picture nom, and as we know, they failed
miserably. Unfortunately, we also have to immediately toss out
Ghost World as well. Love it
as I do, I can't see the Ernest Borginines of the Academy voting for
it, can you?
Truth be told, sometimes a script can be better than the Best
Picture nominees. Ghost World
is a brilliant piece of writing, and it's a shame Academy voters
probably won't recognize that. I have to say you're probably right.
The Academy loves to nominate the Elections
and Ghost Worlds of the world
in order to get street cred, but they never have an actual chance of
winning. It's sad, really.
In the Bedroom? It just
doesn't have enough buzz... it's like that was nom'ed because the
Yeah, In The Bedroom got
nominated, and then the screenplay came along, sort of like how
toilet paper sticks on your shoe. Okay, that's a bit harsh, but
nobody's going to vote Bedroom
for screenplay. The strength of Bedroom
is solely the performances, and to a lesser extent, the direction.
That just leaves it as a battle between Mind
and Rings. That saddens me. As
much as I love Rings and
Jackson's body of work, the film is all spectacle. And
Minds, I'm sorry to be the one
that has to breaks it to people, but it sucked.
Yeah, it's sort of a miniature version of the Best Picture race,
Mind, sort of a left-brain vs.
the right brain battle of the ages. And, as we know, the Academy
votes with the right side of its brain (I'll give the members the
benefit of the doubt on actually having said organ), so I think
Mind is going to take it.
Isn't it hilarious that the oh-so-talented writer who brought us
Batman and Robin is going to
take home an Oscar? I just don't think people respect the
Rings script at all...
And when it all boils down, the best nominated script in this whole
category is Ghost World. I
hate the Oscars.
Oh, for me, it's In The Bedroom
all the way. That lobster speech was so subtle and moving that I get
a bit verklempt thinking about it. Just kidding, of course. I'm with
you all the way, in my Dream World, Ghost
World would take it.
And the nominees for Writing (Original
Screenplay) are: Amelie,
Ball and The Royal Tenenbaums.
Original Screenplay usually winds up being my favorite winner of the
night, in the 90's alone movies like Fargo,
The Crying Game,
Pulp Fiction... it seems like
more often than not, the smaller film that SHOULD have won Best
Picture winds up snagging the original screenplay award at least.
I'm going to run through my views one by one, let's see what you
think: Amelie is a great
little movie, but I think it ends up being about the visuals and
atmosphere. It's nice that it was nom'ed but, it doesn't have a
chance. Nor should it.
I totally agree, I was shocked the script even got nominated.
Amelie is all Jeunet.
Memento... it's kooky that it
even got nominated for best original. He adapted his brother's short
story, people! It's about as logical as when O
Brother got nominated for Adapted because it was loosely
based on the Odyssey. If
10 Things I Hate About You
doesn't count as an adaptation of Taming
Of The Shrew, then O Brother
is an original screenplay.
Memento is a great idea,
wonderful in fact. The writers found a hook (a film told backwards)
and made it work, seemingly easy. But there were just too many logic
holes. It's a good screenplay and all, but not one I'd want to see
showered with that much praise.
I thought Memento was a solid
script, myself. We've debated this loophole thing to death, you
picky, picky man! At least you have to give it that it was creative
and new... if you haven't seen that backwards Seinfeld
episode. Really though, it was a great neo-noir, which is probably
my favorite genre.
Monster's Ball, I feel is like
In The Bedroom, meaning it's
all about the performances. There's no buzz on the script what so
Monster's Ball? Eh. That's
another one like In The Bedroom,
all performances, average script. I wonder if in the script they
wrote "Insert pretentious shot of hand in birdcage during
passionate sex scene." Pretentious birdcage shots during
lovemaking should be banned altogether after this film; I think I'll
start a petition.
For my money, and using Dream World logic, the best script of the
year was Tenenbaums. What a
well-crafted piece of writing.
Tenenbaums, written by perhaps
the most talented and creative new duo on the scene, Wilson and
Anderson, is simply brilliant. One minute you're cracking up, the
other moment, you're melancholy. Royal himself was easily one of my
favorite characters on screen in 2001... Hackman wuz robbed! And
then there's Gosford, which
will, of course, win. How utterly original. Geriatric poop, I tell
Yeah, Gosford Park seems to be
the one to beat. It's got all the awards that point towards it
pulling the statue. I guess it's a great script. It was a good film
with great performances and great direction. It just wasn't for me.
Quick, before I get depressed; what do you think of Best
Supporting Actress? Jennifer Connelly, Helen Mirren,
Maggie Smith, Marisa Tomei and Kate Winslet? Tomei, what the fuck?
Is she really THAT good in Bedroom?
Tomei used to be the anti-Christ to me for winning in '93, but I
think was good in Bedroom, not
incredibly, but certainly decent.
Anti-Christ, how so?
Because she stole what was rightfully Judy Davis' for
Husbands and Wives. When Sissy
slapped her in Bedroom, I
wanted to shout, "THAT'S for your lame-ass biological clock
But she's so cute.
So's Katie Holmes, we can't be giving out the Oscars for cuteness,
or people like Russell Crowe will... never mind.
I think the Oscars should be determined by Celebrity Boxing Matches.
Connelly vs Winslet, Mirren vs. Tomei. Winner vs. Winner and Winner
vs. Maggie "The Brusier" Smith
Oh, after what Connelly went through in Requiem
for A Dream, I think she'd be able to take anybody in the
gang. And I don't mean ass-to-ass.
So who do you think will take it and why?
And if you say Connelly...
Okay, I won't say Connelly.
But you want to, don't you?
That girl who provocatively rode a mechanical horse in
Career Opportunities to many a
young boys delight shall take it.
C'mon, she WAS really good in Mind...
you won't even give her that?
d009an: She was so friggin'
wasted in that film. I think her whole job was to cry, ask questions
and save the baby. Oh and put play-doh on her face at the end and
pretend to be happy and old.
She's been so much better. I believe she deserves an award, but
Jesus, someone should destroy the Oscars and start over giving
awards only when they are deserved, not because they'd deserved one
a few years back.
Hey, her age makeup was light years better than Ryder's in
Scissorhands. She gave an
understated performance in Mind,
when it would have been REALLY easy for her to ham it up.
Ryder stole that make-up fair and square!
Hey, how come CNN can see Ryder's security tape but I can't? I
wonder if they'll start selling it on the net pretty soon for
$19.99. Gotta start saving up for that one...
Hehehe, but back to business: Connelly's a great actress, no doubt.
But Mind sucked for what it
Mind was mediocre, but not the
death of humanity as we know it as you like to put it.
Neither was Freddy Got Fingered,
but we're not talking about science here, we're talking film.
I put things?
Actually, I think a congressional panel DID decide that
Freddy Got Fingered is the
death of humanity as we know it. If you rent Freddy
Got Fingered, then the terrorists have won.
Did "they" flag Freddy?
Like in Se7en?
Oh, if they make a "list" from things that people rent,
then I think my owning Happiness
probably has me on that really, really bad list.
So shall we move on and discuss Supporting
Actor. The nominees are Jim Broadbent for
Iris, Ethan Hawke in
Training Day Part 1, your
buddy Ben Kingsley in Sexy Beast,
Sir Ian McKellen in the Rings
Trilogy and finally Angelina's dad: Jon Voight for
Ali: The Early Years a film by
Michael "No Special Edition DVDs for me please" Mann.
Okay, let's talk the ones that have no chance first. Ethan "I'm
over 30 and still can't play an adult" Hawke? It was a
ridiculous nomination, the Academy oughta have their "asses
tapped" to paraphrase Denzel for nominating him, don't you
Hawke is a fine actor, and a nomination like that reflects something
from his past they want to honor him for. But what?
Gattaca? I don't buy it. I
don't buy the whole movie. I didn't even buy Denzel. Love the guy,
but that wasn't his best performance and he shouldn't want an award
for that role. It was supposed to be a paycheck role, and look what
Hawke is a fine actor?!? You get a little teary eyed when you watch
Before Sunrise, don't you?
Come clean, it'll save your soul! He doesn't even deserve a
nomination for his body, Explorers
and The Newton Boys does not a
d009an: I like Hawke as an
actor. he's watchable. I wouldn't cast him in an epic or anything,
but he's a fine actor. I didn't say great, mind you.
He's... adequate, I guess. In things like Great
Expectations or Reality Bites.
But there's too many deserving actors who have never been nominated,
like Tony Shaloub, so that makes Hawke's nom even more of a
d009an: I fully agree. Hackman
should have gotten it, really.
I think Hackman would have gotten it if they hyped him in the
correct category, which was this one. There was no Best Actors or
Actresses in that Tenenbaums
bunch, it was ensemble piece through and through, you know? All
I second that.
But then I would have had the conflict of who to root for between
Kingsley and Hackman, and that would be a King Solomon type decision
to make. But anyway, back to the nominees, Voight was only in
Ali for less than 10 minutes,
I don't see him doing a Judi Dench here, do you?
Voight won't pull it. He's full of that an honor to simply be
nominated. I mean, he did give us Jolie. He deserves a nomination
for that alone.
scriptorama: I couldn't agree
more. "Best use of celebrity sperm to create a talented/hottie
actress" goes to Jon Voight. Sorry Mr. Hudson, Kate will have
to remain an also-ran once again... Voight WAS good as Cosell,
though. Wish he had more onscreen time, it would have made the agony
that was Ali a tad more
I'm just about over Voight. I like him, but c'mon. FDR and Cosell in
one year? Does he own stock in some latex company?
Hey, he'll have a great twilight of his career taking roles as
famous 20th century figures. Watch him play Joycelyn Elders in 2004!
If Voight and Hawke are out, then that just leaves Broadbent who is
a great actor, but like I said before, was better in
Iris is a good flick, but I
don't think it's getting any attention. Kingsley was in a flick no
one but you saw. I think McKellen will get it because we need to
award Rings something, and he
is the rightful holder of that honor.
Rightfully holder of the honor of nominee or winner?
Unfortunately, I'll have to agree with you. McKellen's a great
actor, and he really was the heart of the movie. And the Academy was
way too uptight to give him the Oscar for playing a gay man, so this
is a way for them to make amends. But it's wrong, wrong, wrong, I
tell ya. Don Logan would whup Merlin's punk ass. Kingsley's much
stronger in a much more memorable role.
That may be true, but who could argue with you? No one has seen the
I'm sure as many people saw Sexy Beast
as Pollock, and Marcia Gay
snagged the gold!
Pollock had buzz, it had a lot
of buzz. Who's talking Beast
Hey, don't get me wrong; I'm not saying Kingsley will win, I'm
agreeing with ya. I'm just saying Kingsley oughta, that's all.
Oughta, smoughta. Best Actresses
are: Halle Berry, Judi Dench, Nicole Kidman, Sissy Spacek and Renee
"Don't forget the dash over the first E" Zellweger. I
think, just because, Kidman is going to walk from this clutching an
award. Berry got the SAG and that's all well and good, but Academy
wise, Kidman had a bad year personally, but came through with two
great performances. Sure, I can see Berry getting it with all the
African Americans nomination stuff floating around. The Academy
might feel like they have to give it to someone. Of the three actors
nominated that just happen to be African America, Berry would most
easily get it. Denzel and Smith don't really have a chance. In fact,
they might just cancel each other out.
I'm going to disagree on the Berry thing. This year, everybody's
making a big deal out of the whole black thing, and I think it's a
non-issue. I'm no Pollyanna, don't get me wrong, I know racism
exists. I'm a liberal! But here's my take on it, I think that
there's going to be a certain percentage of people who won't vote
for Halle because she's black. Which sucks, but hey, it's true. But
there's also a percentage that'll vote for her BECAUSE she's black,
which also sucks in the other way, of course. But I think the two
factions wind up canceling each other, and she winds up with as much
of a chance as if she were just a Caucasian actress. How do you like
I don't think I like them apples at all, Will. Seriously, I think
Spacek deserves the award for her role. By all accounts she makes
that movie what it is. But I still think Kidman is going to walk
with the gold guy.
Sissy has won almost every award there is to win, and she's going to
win the big one as well. Acting-wise, Kidman was better in
The Others than
Rouge, I think people are
getting swept up in the spectacle that is Moulin
Rouge and confusing a "Hey, that's a ballsy role"
with "Hey, that's an Academy Award-deserving role". But
they'll put their fools heads back on and give it to Sissy.
I want to think you're right, but something's telling me otherwise.
scriptorama: That something is
probably Kidman's agent. Don't believe the hype! Actually, the real
shame is that Tilda Swinton, who truly gave the Best Actress
performance of 2001 and didn't even get nominated. Julia Roberts,
they give an Oscar to, Tilda Swinton, they don't even nominate. The
Oscars are more and more earning as much respect as a Paula
Jones/Tonya Harding bout on Fox.
We'll just leave it that Dench is always nominated, but she was good
in Iris and Zellweger should be happy to be there as far as I'm
concerned. So, the Best Actor
nominees are: Penn, Denzel, Crowe, Smith and Wilkinson.
In a perfect world, Wilkinson would take it. Terrific performance,
totally overshadowed by Spacek's, which is sad.
There's no one talking about him though. I know nothing about him or
I know, that's why it was my Perfect World pick. Poem, schmoem,
Crowe's still walking away with it. He was good, too. A little too "schticky"
for my tastes, you?
I like Crowe, think he's a great actor, but there were some moments
in that film where I just didn't believe he was "not acting".
And those teeth. Jez, they shoulda been thrown out.
Put some bags under a fellas eyes, and he's destined for Oscar. By
the way, I was really surprised that Denzel even got nominated. I
like Denzel a lot, he's a fine actor, perhaps robbed for
Training Day is a fluff movie.
It would be like nominating Gary Oldman in The
Professional. Fun role, not Oscar worthy.
True. I hated that flick and didn't care much for Denzel's acting in
it. Maybe he's not tough to me when he's being overly macho. He's
great when he's good but when he's not great; he's not good at all.
He needs to team back up with Spike, Spike always gets solid
performances out of him. If Malcolm X
had come out this in 2001, I'd vote for Denzel in a heartbeat.
Between Training Day and
John Q, I'd say Denzel ought
to be seriously considering how he's wasting away his talent these
You know, my favorite performance of the year by an actor was Steve
Buscemi in Ghost World. But
after that, I really liked Penn in I Am
Sam. It's not a great flick, but I thought he brought
humanity to the role we don't usually see in the Hollywood version
of the mentally challenged. Rain Man
was a cartoon and Gump was
even worse, yet both actors walk with awards, what do you say to
I loved Buscemi, too. I actually haven't dragged myself to see
I Am Sam yet, because it just
looks too sappy for my liking... the worst of Hollywood
manipulation. And it looks like the role was just CREATED to get in
the Oscar race, which is icky to me. But I do love Sean Penn... I
just wish he would've won for something like Best Actor in
Dead Man Walking or even
Supporting in something like Carlito's
Way. I'm the biggest hater of Gump
alive; I've got a big dartboard with Hanks' face on it after that.
Rain Man, I'm ashamed to
admit... I liked. I mean, the guy was autistic, so the whole thing
was that he wasn't going to be a fleshed out, "human"
character. I mean, does Sean Penn have any major flaws in
Sam, besides the obvious?
I think it's more the fact that he's fighting for something. The
flaws are standard Hollywood. I mean; the film is as standard as you
can get. But he was really, really good in it.
If it were up to me, there'd be a whole separate category for the
mentally challenged, crazy, handicapped, etc. The showy "I have
some deficiency" roles. It's really hard to compare a Sean
aggressively playing retarded vs. Wilkinson subtlety playing
grieving dad, you know?
That's the magic of acting. Did you believe both? It's all
comparable, really. You and I are just torn on the whole Awards
versus deserving Awards thing. Penn did a great role. Plus he
deserves the Oscar for his body. I hate that thought, because I
believe it should always go for the role, but in this case, it all
comes together nicely.
Yeah, I'm definitely not a "body" sort of fella. I mean, I
was rooting for Elisabeth Shue in Leaving
Las Vegas, but her body prior to that consisted of
weak-assed roles in Karate Kid,
Back To The Future. I view the
individual year in its own little microcosm, I don't let the other
years sneak in and warp my brain.
d009an: And that's how I like
to think, but that's not Academy thinking. Face it.
But here, I would seriously vote Penn.
Using Academy thinking that is.
Nah, the Academy thinketh "Sean Penn is a prick for hating us".
Using their thinking, they're going Crowe all the way, he's crazy,
he's loveable, AND he's starring in what's going to win Best
Picture. It's a can't miss.
But he hates the Academy and he's a live nuclear weapon waiting to
go off. Look at the BAFTAs.
He already apologized for being a big ole jerky, he's been forgiven.
Besides, if assy, self-righteous actors were always snubbed, then
Brando wouldn't have won two.
I guess. Didn't George C. Scott stomp around for
Patton and say he wasn't going
to accept and they gave it to him anyway?
Yup, the Academy can take a bitch-slap now and then.
And boy, they need one now and then.
What about Smith. He's lovable, the character he's playing is
basically someone who's currently a walking coma victim, and he was
good enough to get nom'ed.
There goes my pinky bet that Kool Moe Dee or Big Daddy Kane would be
the first rapper to get nominated for an Oscar. I totally disagree
about his deserving a nom, his performance really did nothing for
me. I don't think he "became" Ali, I felt the whole way
though that it was Smith doing an Ali impersonation. I think it's
really bad when you make a movie about one of the most charismatic
guys in sports, and the lead character is much less interesting than
Jon Voight. Even Jamie Foxx was better as his trainer.
So you think he's totally out? Then what about Wilkenson. I heard an
Oscar analyst confuse him with Broadbent. I do that all the time
myself, he's nameless and faceless in a room full of huge stars.
I'd like overweight British character actors for $300 please, Alex.
Wilkinson did play the role to perfection. I don't think there're
many actors out there who would play a scene with a drunk, grieving
father, and not overact the hell out of it. He has no chance at all.
Because the Academy will only vote for a "nobody" if they
do a showy role, like Rush in Shine.
Subtlety gets you nowhere, unfortunately.
So for my money, I'd like Penn to walk. You're a Crowe man?
If we're talking like, I'm all over Wilkinson. If we're talking
will, it's Russell "Rain Man"
I refuse to acknowledge the wills, but yeah. Okay, next up is Best
Director; we got Opie Howard for Mind,
Scott for Black Hawk, Altman
for Park, Jackson for
Rings and the dark horse Lynch
I was so ecstatic that they nominated Lynch! Mulholland
got so screwed. But of course, Lynch and Scott immediately have no
chance whatsoever since their movies weren't nominated, so no use in
talking about them. I think it's a three-way race between Jackson,
Howard, and Altman. Out of those 3, Jackson totally deserves it for
making a movie that, even though I wasn't a big fan, was an
incredibly well directed flick. Lesser directors would have mangled
Rings, for sure. I think that
in a normal year, Opie would have this one locked since it's paired
with what they're going to vote for Best Picture, plus they can do a
"whole body" thing. But Ron's going to lose because in
terms of the "whole body" thing, Altman has decades of
more snubs than Howard, and he definitely doesn't have that many
more movies in him. So it's the quick, give it before he keels sort
of thing. Altman's taking it.
I really don't have anything to say, because you summed it up
nicely. My favorite director was Jackson. As a cult horror fan, it's
like a local boy made good. But I don't think he can walk away with
an award. If the Academy keeps showering praise on the
Rings films over the next two
years, then I could see the third film getting everything: director,
script and picture -- just because it would be like honoring all
three films at once. If they honor it too much this year, it's like
having to give the Oscar to all three films for the next two years
because by default, they're just going to get better. Howard is
expecting it, but the Academy may simply HAVE to honor Altman. So,
wow, this is winding down quicker than I thought it would. We can
finally off this discussion with Best
Bedroom. Who's got the best
I can't believe we agree! I had my dukes up and everything. Well, as
you can tell, I obviously think Mind,
in a grand tradition of award feel-good fluff, is going to win Best
Picture. It has everything the Academy loves. Gump
2. Rings is going
to be the closest that a fantasy or sci-fi flick for that matter,
will ever come to winning the big one. But I think there's a whole
chunk of the Academy that really doesn't care for that sort of
thing, so it'll come up short. Of course, if believe the hype these
days, than Rouge is going to
take it. Not gonna happen. Only way it could possibly happen is with
some crazy assed split between Rings
and Mind, but I don't see it
going that way. And of course, Bedroom's
just there because of the Miramax machine. Shame Miramax's
Amelie didn't take this slot.
Poor Amelie got dissed, big
I hate to admit it, but yeah, Mind
is the flick. I hated the film so very, very much. But jeez, you
can't fight logic can you? What a shitty year for movies.
Only in terms of the Academy Awards though. If it were up to me, it
would be Mulholland Drive,
Tenenbaums, Donnie Darko,
and Ghost World for Best
Picture, and I think all of those movies are going to hold up
through the years as solid, solid flicks.
Yeah, I meant for Academy Award movies. There's always great movies
coming out, but sadly, not enough people see them. I guess that's
what I like about DVD. I get to go to a theater everyday in my own
home. And the floors are only occasionally sticky.
And that's why I don't come over so much.
It's true, Drew doesn't come over much. But we talk all the time.
We hope you enjoyed reading our thoughts on the Oscars, which are
coming to you live this Sunday. Will Denzel get the award, or will
his archenemy from Virtuosity
steal it away like some mad serial killer computer virus? Will
Mind be dubbed the best film
ever (of 2001) or will Lord of the Rings
sweep? Who knows? But you know that somewhere out there, Drew and I
will be sitting in our separate living rooms cursing under our
Watch for more Conversations with Drew
and Doogan right here in the pages of
The Digital Bits. And
here to let us know what you though of this one! Keep spinnin'