12 February 2007
Picture: L'Enfant (The Child) (141/16)
Director: Guillermo del Toro, Pan's Labyrinth (125/13)
Actress: Judi Dench, Notes on a Scandal (137/13)
Actor: Will Oldham, Old Joy (165/14)
S. Actor: Anthony Mackie, Half Nelson (124/9)
S. Actress: Maribel Verdú, Pan's Labyrinth (143/13)
Screenplay: Frank Cottrell Boyce, Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (112/12)
Scene: The Pale Man, Pan's Labyrinth (84/9)
Undistributed 2004: All the Ships at Sea (Dan Sallitt) (50/3)
[Sorry, I still think this scene is pretty dumb. Let's see, I am in a magical realm being guarded by some creepy looking nonhuman thing that luckily seems to be asleep. The faun told me not to eat or drink anything ("Your life depends on it"); the book reminded me not to eat or drink anything two seconds before I stepped inside; and the moment I picked up a grape from the table I had a face full of fairies warning me to put it the fuck down already. But what the hell.]
This is Del Toro's first Director nod.
Dench previously placed 5th for Mrs Brown (1997) and 9th in Supporting for Shakespeare in Love (1998). Verdú landed at #10 in the lead category in 2002 for Y tu mamá también. Oldham and Mackie are new.
Frank Cottrell Boyce finished 14th in 2002 for 24 Hour Party People.
Posted by md'a at 12:44 AM
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I thought that was pretty monumentally dumb myself, actually; my vote was strictly for what comes afterward.
Victor goes to slit his wrists...
Over what? The Dardennes just missing the top five again? Or did you hate the Pale Man scene?
I didn't care for PAN'S LABYRINTH at all. But yours and Matthew's plausability problems with that scene were the least of it. In fact, that specific scene seemed more too-obvious, if I were to complain about it. One could argue that it seemed too spot-on an echo of an account of some other chick grabbing fruit she was told not to eat. And it isn't as though PAN'S LABYRINTH (or at least that "half" of it, viewed in isolation) wasn't an attempt at something mythopoetic rather than something psychologicallly realistic.
I guess I'll find out tomorrow, but I fear that my tendency to egalitarianism in point distribution may have hurt Luc and Jean-Pierre. I rarely give (maybe once or twice per ballot) more than 20 points to anything, and if memory serves, I've given 30 points just twice (the Nolans' MEMENTO script and Kubrick's EWS direction).
I'd like to console you, but the difference between #6 and #5 this year was only two points.
ASTERISK, ASTERISK, ASTERISK!!!!!
I DEMAND A RE-VOTE!!!!!
Victor goes to slit his other wrist ...
For what it's worth, I know that particular sequence of events -- hero is warned by supernatural being not to do and/or take something upon penalty of death, hero decides apropos of nothing to do and/or take that something anyway, hero manages not to die despite immediate danger -- is a trope employed several times in the tales of the Brothers Grimm. I took it as just one of many such reference Del Taco works into the screenplay.
That's not to say it's not dumb, just that it's dumbness with a history.
"That's not to say it's not dumb, just that it's dumbness with a history."
This is a staggeringly awesome formulation. Good job Steve.
Also, as was pointed out to me by someone who liked PERSONAL PAN LABYRINTH much more than I did (not hard), Ofelia's decision to eat the grape was also in keeping with her willful, even bratty personality. So it sort of works on a psychological level too, but Vic's right about that Forbidden Fruit reference.
Still, dumb. So dumb.
When Sight and Sound interviewed him, del Toro said he'd put that "forbidden fruit" scene in precisely because it was such a universal trope in fairy tales. But with Ofelia getting finger-wagging reprimands right at the point of picking the food up it doesn't really work except as dream logic, and it ought to be rather more ambiguous.
I didn't see that scene as cinematic "low-hanging fruit" at all. The whole story was told with child-like simplicity, as fairy tales should be.
The finger-wagging fairies were an important element in the scene as they became the victims of the girl's selfishness and stubbornness. They raised the stakes and helped fuel Faun's anger at Ofelia post-Pale Man.
Also, their demise reveals that Ofelia may be willing to let innocents die in her place--something that helps intensify the moment with the baby in the lair.
If you want to get Biblical with it in addition to the Eve reference, the finger-wagging fairies (guardian angels?) died trying to save Ofelia from her sins. Booya.
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