DGA…and the lusty month of May

It’s pretty much official now…Terrence Malick will be ignored for a Best Director Nomination for this year’s Academy Award. I imagine the writing was on the wall as soon as “The Tree of Life” won the Palme d’Or in May, with gossip about it receiving “boos and catcalls” at Cannes during its initial screenings. It arrived here in the U.S. soon after with its lofty reputation and the predictable mix of notices ranging from rapturous to scornful. Of course, you should count me among the former. I was enthralled from the musings on grace and nature, through the much-debated(and ridiculously derided in many quarters)”creation” section, straight through to the emotional wallop of a conclusion. Do me a favor…ask anyone who has seen and despised “The Tree of Life” to name who helmed it. If they can’t answer within 5 seconds dismiss their review. Simple as that. Call it elitist or snobbery, but it is what it is. If you are not there to see a work from Malick, chances are you shouldn’t have purchased a ticket(or rented a DVD…or popped in a screener)in the first place. Terrence has earned his rep, his plaudits and(I guess)his detractors too. But if you don’t know who he is or what he has done…get lost. There is a big enough room for the uninitiated—this is a private party. Malick left us for two decades at one point and I don’t want some yahoo scaring him off again. Which brings us to the DGA nominees. So, David Fincher is firmly part of the establishment now? “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”…really? Full disclosure-it is the only one of the 5 nominees that I have not yet seen. At least not this version, as I’ve certainly already visited the Swedish one and its two follow-ups just over a year ago. But Americans can’t be expected to read subtitles OR frequent foreign films, so thank GOD for Hollywood, right? Bring in an Oscar-nominated director, tattoo and pierce some mostly unknown wisp from a famous football family and call James Bond. Presto chango..an international hit. Fine…except for the fact that it’s Malick’s spot. The Payne, Scorsese and however the hell you pronounce and spell the name of that guy who directed “The Artist”(sheesh)noms had to be expected. They garnered the majority of the pre-Oscar critics awards-deservedly or not. Also, “The Descendants”, “Hugo”, “The Artist” and “TGwtDT” all opened in November and December…and memories are notoriously way too short. Miraculously, Woody Allen did get noticed for “Midnight in Paris”, also a May release, and probably his best film since 1989(“Life Lessons” or “Crimes and Misdemeanors”…take your pick). Shouldn’t I, at least, find solace in that? Resoundingly, NO! One May remembrance cannot replace a gutless May omission. “The Tree of Life” is a virtuoso’s life ponderings. It ripped at my gut and enraptured me like nothing else in 2011. I was utterly charmed by “Midnight in Paris”, but it is a trifle compared to what Terry gave us. Shame on the DGA for ignoring it. Why not just release EVERYTHING in the final two months of the calendar year? Try digging through that pile, ya bozos. May, indeed.         ML


2 comments on “DGA…and the lusty month of May

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