David Fincher, just nominated for a Director's Guild of America award for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Happy 2012, everybody! Time to slough off the holiday glaze and get crackin’ on a new year here at Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule, one which I hope will be as full of reasons to kick off your shoes and stay a while as the past seven (seven?) years have been. I’m hoping also to be a little bit more prolific than I was in 2011, as the year past marked the lowest level of output on this blog ever. But one of the things that I’ve learned in trying to balance the requirements of real life with those of my creative project here is that quality really should trump quantity, and I’ve heard that notion confirmed to me often enough, directly and indirectly, over the past 12 months to convince me of its wisdom. Writing time is too preciously allotted these days for me to be concerned about posting simply to fill space, and those aren’t the kind of posts I suspect most people who read this blog are looking for anyway.
I’ve never claimed this site to be a source for timely reviews of the latest releases or breaking news in the world of Hollywood. You get that from time to time, but truthfully, much like it has eclipsed the immediacy of commenting on individual blog posts, Facebook has also become the go-to outlet for posting smaller items of interest that don’t require much more than a comment or two to get the discussion rolling. For catching up on more timely items, we all have our favorite sources for that—mine include film criticism written by critics like David Edelstein and Stephanie Zacharek, industry analyst Anne Thompson, and coverage of items big and small at sites like The Daily MUBI, INDIEWire and Movieline. I know I can’t possibly keep up with all that expertise, so instead of beating myself up for it I’m really going to try and fully embrace the time I have for writing in 2012 and make the most of it in the ways that I can. I will also hope that this dedication is reflected more in the worth of what’s written rather than how many posts I’ve racked up by this time next year.
But now that I’ve said that, news of the Director’s Guild of America nominations has flashed across my phone (courtesy of Anne Thompson!), so why not pass that info along. The list is an interesting one, as much for the exclusions as for those who got the nod (and there are a couple of surprises there too). The nominees are:
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
David Fincher, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Truthfully, I’m happiest to see the nomination for David Fincher, who probably wasn’t expected to be in the rank because his movie was reviewed slightly more tepidly that last year’s The Social Network and was also the perceived victim of slightly softer box office returns than might have been predicted. (I loved it, and I intend to write about it briefly this week, before including it on my best of the year list.) The other nominations ought not to surprise anyone who’s even halfway been paying attention. Hazanavicius is surviving the backlash on The Artist splendidly, thank you, and both his and Scorsese’s movie benefit from being valentines to the transcendent magic of cinema, in particular to the glory of the silents. Payne makes serious-minded sit-coms that a lot of people like (I have not yet seen The Descendants-- the last Payne movie I really liked was Election). And everybody seems happy that Woody Allen has finally made another good movie. (I think it’s magical too, though I think it’s flawed in ways that those familiar with Allen’s fairly dreary output of late will easily recognize.) But honestly (and here I tip my hat even more fully to my own preferences for the year), no room for Steven Spielberg and War Horse, the best movie the man has made in at least 10 years?
Sigh. So, onward to awards season, eh? Why is it that I’m already looking forward to baseball's opening day?