Monday, January 14, 2008

Awards Season

Awards season pulls me back in!

The Golden Globes were announced rather than gala-ed last night, due to the Writer's Strike. Will the studios actually be so stubborn/greedy as to hold out to cancel Christmas The Oscars? (Academy board member Tom Hanks has urged the studios to get back to the negotiating table so that won't happen, but go ahead Dick Zanuck, blame it on the writers)

I was disappointed of course to see that Diablo Cody (Juno - pictured at left) lost out to the Coen Brothers (No Country for Women Old Men) for best screenplay. In most other awards, these two films are not in competition as No Country is an adaptation. In Best Musical/Comedy, Julie Taymor was up for Across the Universe but lost to Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd.

The National Board of Review of Motion Pictures had given Cody's script a tie with another female screenwriter Nancy Oliver for Lars and the Real Girl. They had also recognized Canadian Sarah Polley's Away from Her, Tamara Jenkins' The Savages, Mira Nair's The Namesake, and the late Adrienne Shelley's Waitress in the Best Independent Film category. They also co-conferred the "Freedom of Expression" award to the animated Persepolis, co-written and co-directed by Marjane Satrapi.

The New York Film Critics awarded Polley Best First Film, for her debut Away From Her and The Online Film Critics Society recognized Polley as Breakthrough Filmmaker. The Onliners also gave Cody the nod for best screenplay and New Yorkers gave Satrapi's Persepolis top Foreign Film honours.

Oscar nominations won't happen until January 22, but they have plenty of great women to choose from, as other announced nominations show. The WGA has nominated Cody and Oliver for original screenplay. Winners will be announced February 9. For documentary screenplay, three female co-writers were up: Elisabeth Bentley for Nanking (with Bill Guttentag & Dan Sturman), and Nicole Newnham and Bonni Cohen for The Rape of Europa (with Richard Berge).

Women abound in the Spirit Awards nominations (awards Feb 23). Tamara Jenkins (The Savages) is up for Best Director and Best Screenplay, and Julie Delpy (2 Days in Paris) for Best First Feature. The late Adrienne Shelly's Waitress is up for Best Screenplay, and three of the five nominations for Best First Screenplay are for women: Zoe Cassavetes (Broken English), Cody, and Kelly Masterson (Before the Devil Knows You're Dead).

Three women are also represented in Best Documentary category: Jennifer Baichwal's Manufactured Landscapes, Pernille Rose Grønkjær's The Monastary, and The Prisoner Or: How I Planned To Kill Tony Blair, co-directed by Petra Epperlein. Laura Dunn is one of three documentary directors nominated for the "Truer than Fiction" award for her eco-flick The Unforseen. Satrapi's Persepolis was nominated in the Best Foreign Film category.

Two of the three nominees in the Producers category are women: Alexis Ferris (Cthulhu and Police Beat) and Anne Clements (Ping Pong Playa and Quinceañera); and four of the pictures up for Best Feature have female co-producers.

4 comments:

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

Wow, this is great to see Polly, I'm glad there are so many women noms out there for the various awards shows. I had no idea that Lars and the Real Girl was written by a woman, that might make me consider seeing it. Might.

Dave said...

I realize that I am in the vast minority here, but I really didn't like Juno, and I'm getting really sick of hearing about Diablo Cody. Maybe it's just the standard gag-reflex one gets when something is overhyped. But I read her first column for Entertainment Weekly, and thought it was essentially incoherent. As for Juno, I wanted to shout at the screen that PEOPLE DON'T TALK LIKE THAT! I've heard the argument that Tarantino and Kevin Smith get away with equally pop-culture-drenched dialogue and no one complains, but frankly I can't stand Kevin Smith and Death Proof was just about the limit for me with Tarantino. Is there anyone else out there who agrees with me that the empress has no clothes?

Polly said...

I have no problem with stylized writing. People don't talk as rapid-fire and intelligently as Sorkin writes them either but we eat it up. People don't talk in rhyme either, but that didn't stop the Greeks. (that's right, comparing Cody to Sophocles!)

Are you hearing more about Cody than the Coen bros? Cuz I'm pretty done with the No Country love-in.

Dave said...

"
I have no problem with stylized writing. People don't talk as rapid-fire and intelligently as Sorkin writes them either but we eat it up. People don't talk in rhyme either, but that didn't stop the Greeks. (that's right, comparing Cody to Sophocles!) "
What do you mean "we"? I HATED the West Wing (a wish-fulfillment version of the Clinton years - too bad the real guy was a scuzzbucket who savaged the Great Society programs), and Studio 60 was an utter and total mess. But it's not even that Juno is stylized. Everything I've head about Juno is about how "fresh" and "realistic" the dialogue is.

"Are you hearing more about Cody than the Coen bros? Cuz I'm pretty done with the No Country love-in."


Hell yeah. Ebert has pretty much taken it upon himself to personally defend this movie against any and all criticisms. There have been *plenty* of articles about Cody as the second coming of, I don't know, Joss Whedon. And except for the lack of women characters (which is pretty much due to the source material, although a they did cut a good scene with a minor female character), what do you have against No Country? It's a great movie. (And what, for that matter, do you have against the Coens? remember Fargo? Marge was no lightweight).

I admit, it's partly professional jealousy. Who wouldn't want to work with Spielberg on their second major project? But I really didn't think much of Juno.