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February 28, 2011


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Hooper will be directing BBC TV movies before this decade's out, and that's being generous; being *un*generous would be to wish the Roland Joffe-torture-porn route on him.


Tom Hooper already does direct BBC movies. Like many other directors from the U.K. he directs both television and feature films. Not an endoresment of the victory...just a fact.


Actually, I'm sure he hopes he's left TV behind now. Although the likes of Saul Dibb and Paul McGuigan have gone back to TV after features, I'm sure they would have preferred not to.


Has Wells' Hollywood Elsewhere gone offline out of apoplexy, or is it just me? :-)

Frank McDevitt

I didn't think the King's Speech was THAT bad, and I loved Firth and Rush in it, but I'm thoroughly disappointed about Hooper winning over Fincher. Dunno if this counts as commercialism triumphing over art since King's Speech wasn't really a box office juggernaut, but it's certainly a shame that the Oscar's went back to celebrating the middlebrow fare after last year's Hurt Locker win.


I was hoping to wake up this morning to find out that Hooper winning (and Deakins losing again) was just a drunken hallucination. Nope, it really happened. Unbelievable.

Tony Dayoub

-It was certainly not the worst Oscar show ever, but I think an overhaul of the writing staff will go a longer way to making the show "young and hip" than simply putting two PYTs in front of us.

-While it was disheartening to see Hooper win over Fincher, the facts are (for better or worse) Hooper seems like a mensch and Fincher is tremendously disliked, not a small burden when competing for an award from your peers.

-As a Facebook friend pointed out, while everyone was searching for Banksy, joking that maybe ol' Kirk Douglas was going to reveal he was the artist, NOT laughing at Justin Timberlake's assertion that he was the man, no one noticed that he stood right in front of us, looking about how'd you expect, when he accepted the award for Best Live Action Short Film.

Glenn Kenny

@ Tony: Don't wanna talk out of school here or anything, but don't over-believe the hype about Fincher being "tremendously disliked." Bit of a perfectionist, yeah, kind of a close-to-the-vest player personally, sure, but hardly the man Hollywood loves to hate.


I don't get the hate. I liked TKS well enough, but I preferred CARLOS to everything I saw last year (and still do). It wasn't CITIZEN KANE or anything but it did its job effectively and simply. WTF is wrong with that?


@OC: Wells has gone offline and is questioning his raison d'etre.

Chris O.

Spot-on, Glenn, and I agree with Tony: It wasn't so much Franco (and whether or not he was high) and Hathaway as much as the bits themselves. It seems Downey Jr. and Law or Mirren and Brand could've made great hosts as well because their material was better than the rest.

I'd forgotten Hooper directed the Peter Morgan-scripted LONGFORD, which I quite liked.

Poor Wells. He waits all year for this very day -- so much time, energy and words, words, words -- and then suffers through wifi problems during the event, not to mention THE KING'S SPEECH wins. It'd be funny if it weren't kind of sad... or vice versa.

Tony Dayoub

@Glenn, I never thought the "perfectionism" had anything to do with it, actually. Fincher seems to be sure of himself (not a bad thing, considering his talent) and I've always assumed it was this, and a tendency for him to not suffer fools, that rubs some of Hollywood's sycophants the wrong way. But if I'm wrong,I stand corrected.

@Chris O., sure it's the material. Look what a talented snark like Gervais can come up with when given free rein (again, for better or worse). Even when someone like Letterman or Stewart is brought in to enliven the affair, they seem constrained by requirements to work within the Academy's established structure rather than given anarchic license to run wild. If the Globes "fiasco" is the worst-case-scenario they fear, it still ranks better than any Oscar I can remember in my lifetime, Crystal-hosted or not.

Chris O.

I agree, Tony. By the way, did you read Gervais's joke monologue for Franco/Hathaway at his website? It's funny.


Glenn, thank you for that article. I laughed much. Anyway, I think your coverage is what I will look forward to at next year's Oscars.

For the record, I really liked Anne Hathaway. She rep-ed my generation sure and true. I thought Franco was the weaker half. He was trying to work the deadpan stalwart to Hathaway's bubbly enthusiast, but it just came off as stiff and awkward.

Did anyone else laugh at the bit when they recapped the Governor Awards ceremony and then Coppola, Brownlow, and Wallach emerged from behind the screen? The collective skirting of Godard's absence. No one asking, "where's that French dude who made BREATHLESS?" Oh, yeah, he's still trying to get distribution for FILM SOCIALISME. An idea! He should contract Anne and James to be the guinea pigs for his proposed airdrop experiment. I see it now - Hathaway lands in Libya copies of FILM SOCIALISME on DVD stuffed in a cute little fanny pack.


Whatever you want to say about the ceremony (which was mostly abysmal), or the awards themselves (I didn't mind TKS winning any of its awards except for Best Director; I think it's well-written and well-acted but had mediocre direction), I do get a kick out of the fact Trent Reznor will forever be known as the Oscar-winning frontman of Nine Inch Nails.

Matt S.

If no one else is going to say it, I will: James Cameron cloned himself and named the clone "Tom Hooper." I feel like we all should have paid more attention to the warnings of THE SIXTH DAY.

Which is something I deeply regret having to say.


I was deeply unhappy with Hooper's win, but he's not a bad director at all. Indeed, I'd argue he's often quite good: The JOHN ADAMS mini-series is excellent, and I thought THE DAMNED UNITED was one of the more underrated films of recent years.

Eric in Baltimore

Hooper is a fine director, he just wasn't the best one of 2010.


Has there been any confirmation that "Tom Hooper" is not, in fact, a reality-show character played by "Eastbound & Down"'s Steve Little? I mean, the visual evidence is overwhelming:

Victor Morton

"I was deeply unhappy with Hooper's win, but he's not a bad director at all."

He's not. THE KING'S SPEECH was competent and professional. And that's all.

Have you seen LONGFORD, btw ... Samantha Morton and Jim Broadbent in a Brady-Hindley movie.


And am I the only person that ALWAYS initially writes "TOBE" instead "TOM" Hooper? Today would be much more personally significant if the director of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" were polishing his gold statuette.


Yeah, I dunno if it's the James Cameron resemblance or what, but something about Tom Hooper rubs me the wrong way. And am I the only who thought The King's Speech was actually full of directorial miscalculations? Hooper has a fine touch with actors, but some of those "arty" formal choices (like the off-center framing and bizarre diagonal shots) struck me as awfully pretentious. (I felt the same way about Joe Wright's Atonement, another stately British film that thinks ridiculous, elaborate tracking shots will magically turn a middlebrow costume drama into ART. Give me the clear, direct, lucid style of something like Howards End any day.) And they were doing so well up to that point, giving The King's Speech the cold shoulder! Poor David Fincher. I didn't love The Social Network as others did, but he really deserved to win. In fact, any of the other four nominees would have deserved it more.

Oh, well. There's a terrific new David Foster Wallace story in The New Yorker, which proved to be a nice antidote for the morning-after Oscar blues.


I know i should'nt really criticise a movie i haven't seen, but The King's Speech seems like a load of sappy pro-monarchist propaganda. It's a movie i will never, ever see. I'm really quite shocked at the way this film has been given a never-ending hand-job over here in the UK - the film needs a solid kicking, unfortunately there seem to be few journalists/critics willing to step up to the bat. I was only eight i think, when the Sex Pistols released the God Save The Queen single - how i wish we had something as incendiary as that over here at the moment.
I actually do kind of hate Tom Hooper. He's got a face you'd never get tired of kicking.

Owain Wilson

I was crestfallen when the Tom Hooper and The King's Speech both won. It's a perfectly nice film, but surely only its mother could truly love it. It will be forgotten just like all the other perfectly nice films which fall under that peculiar genre which ticks me off more than any other: the 'Academy Award' movie.

There's nothing more shrug-inducing than a perfectly nice 'Academy Award' movie, loaded all that prestige and tasteful marketing that no one actually really feels anything for. The King's Speech, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, Atonement, and every single Mirimax movie that was based on an acclaimed novel.

I was hoping that something genuinely good might win this year but, sadly, it was not to be. It's like the 1980s (the most perfectly nice Academy Award decade ever) all over again.


I don't know about "poor David Fincher". Based on all the interview and profiles I've read, and the impressions I get from people who've met him, he could have cared less about that statuette. Or even if he did care somewhat, he wouldn't like to admit it.

Here's to the success of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" easily the film I'm most anticipating this year. Unless, that is, HHH pulls some kind of a miracle and manages to finish his wuxia film.


Did i really write that last part? I really shouldn't have done that, i apologise. There's just something about this movie that really winds me up, especially the way in which the Queen Mother is portrayed so affectionately, considering she was a snobbish, parasitic, over-priveledged waste-of-space.


I actually always got the creeping feeling that Fincher secretly does care a great deal about that Oscar. He certainly plays the awards season game about as well as anybody. I don't see anything wrong with that, btw. I mean, he's a terrific and ambitious filmmaker, why the hell shouldn't he want that recognition?

For that same reason, many of us would like to see him win that Oscar, as many of us did with Scorsese.

I think sometimes film buffs have a need to project this too-cool-to-care attitude onto their beloved filmmakers, even if said film buffs themselves actually seem to care a great deal. (Exhibit A: This thread.)

Glenn Kenny

@ Bilge: I neither want to overstate the case nor seem like I'm being cryptic or "I-know-something-you-don't-know"-ish, so I'll just say, yeah, I know people who know people who know Fincher well, and the impression I get from that tenuous connection is that he certainly didn't NOT want the Oscar. (Or the DGA Award, for that matter.) His method of campaigning wasn't as schmoozy as Hooper's Weinstein-stage-managed performance. But he walked the walk, in his way, which was a lot more honest and straightforward than all that "movie that makes you FEEL/stuttering isn't funny" blather. What are you gonna do, if you're not willing to grease the wheels with those extra gallons of smarm? At least he loses with dignity.

The film-buff "too cool to care" projection is of course a coping mechanism, because we hurt, too. Kinda like me saying I hate Tom Hooper when I don't even know the guy, who actually seems like he could be lovely.


I mean, who wouldn't want an Oscar to their name? It's something that can only help one's career. You get a certain level of prestige, and with that comes respect and maybe some increased influence and independence (maybe, maybe, maybe, and maybe not). And, of course, you get some (or a lot of) ego inflation, but I just don't see Fincher going home cursing Tom Hooper under his breath. Christ, he's in the middle of shooting another film. He has plenty else on his mind.


"There's just something about this movie that really winds me up, especially the way in which the Queen Mother is portrayed so affectionately, considering she was a snobbish, parasitic, over-priveledged waste-of-space."

Many Americans have asked English me to explain the history and meaning of the title 'Queen Mother'. I think I should just quote the above instead.

Oh, and not all of us think Ricky Gervais is funny either. But I digress...

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