02 February 2009

Skandies: #20



Picture: Funny Games (50/6) [NOTE: the original Funny Games placed 16th in 1998]
Director: Woody Allen, Vicky Cristina Barcelona (55/6)
Actress: Galina Vishnevskaya, Alexandra (41/5)
Actor: François Bégaudeau, The Class (52/5)
S. Actor: Benoît Magimel, A Girl Cut in Two (42/4)
S. Actress: Go Hyun-jung, Woman on the Beach (50/6)
Screenplay: Abdellatif Kechiche, The Secret of the Grain (49/6)
Scene: Bank robbery, The Dark Knight (39/4)



NOTE: I couldn't find the entire scene on YouTube, but I did find most of it here. The embed above is actually the scene's brief conclusion. (I couldn't embed the main clip as the dude who uploaded it disabled that function.) There's roughly 30 seconds of overlap between the two.


HISTORY:

This is Woody Allen's first appearance in Best Director. Surprisingly, he failed to make the cut three years ago for Match Point, even though the film placed 13th in Best Picture. Likewise, Kechiche wasn't nominated for writing his only previous eligible film, Games of Love and Chance.

All of the actors are newcomers.

25 comments:

Victor said...

No way does Begaudeau place that low unless very few saw the film. I suppose we'll probably see THE CLASS itself, if it all, tomorrow or maybe the next day. I hate qualifying-only runs. However Skandie-unfriendly, I just hope it makes the most sense for the box office.

md'a said...

I'll go ahead and reveal now that The Class did not place in Best Picture, or even come close to doing so. (#29) How much of that is attributable to its limited pre-deadline release (and more crucially for this group, its absence at Toronto due to opening NYFF) is hard to say. It didn't do especially well in the indieWire poll either (33rd), and I'm pretty sure most of the professional critics who participated had seen it.

Victor said...

(vjm goes off to cry somewhere after having thrown the film 53 points and 4 "nominations" and gone to considerable time and expense to see it at all)

md'a said...

Think of it this way: If not for your expedition to NYC (I assume), The Class wouldn't be represented in the Skandies at all. You are a hero bud.

Alex said...

Why not just reveal how many voters saw The Class (based on Section 2 ratings)? Or is that a spolier imo.

md'a said...

Believe it or not, I don't currently have access to that information. Mark Pittillo, the super-awesome Skandie voter who created and runs the automated ballot, usually needs a few days to tweak the pages for the star ratings and individual ballots.

msic said...

Well, I'll admit to being derelict on this front. I never requested a screener of The Class because I figured I would have the chance to see it before the deadline. As it happened, the Houston press screening coincided with an early dismissal at daycare. So sorry Rightwing Bud.

Victor said...

Curious to know whether some, all or none among the other 5 people who gave Skandies points to FUNNY GAMES did so in 1998

Nicholas said...

I continue to be stunned by the praise for Vicky Christina Barcelona. If not for Penelope Cruz, I think this might be Woody's weakest effort since that murder mystery thing with Alan Alda in the mid 90s. If there are people here who really loved it, could you tell me why? I feel like I must be missing something.

bilge said...

I gave mad points to Esmeralda Ouertani for THE CLASS, but the film and Begaudeau barely missed my top tens in their respective categories, though I dearly love them both. Sorry bud. Also thanks for looking me up when you apparently came to NYC to see the film, not.

Matt said...

I'm not sure about anyone else -- I don't hold a ton of film cricket clout -- but I can personally vouch as to the difficulty of wrangling a screener of The Class from mean old Sony Pictures Classics. They've released it very late here in Philadelphia (it opens here on the 13th), and the only critic's screening they've allowed isn't happening till tomorrow morning (which I will miss, FYI). Nevermind that making it available to more critics means more Top Ten lists, and therefore more press for a movie whose trailer makes it look like Dangerous Mind with subtitles. I mean, head slap.

The lesson: don't sell your Palme D'Or winner to the paranoid, soon-to-be-dying art house wing of a major.

md'a said...

Curious to know whether some, all or none among the other 5 people who gave Skandies points to FUNNY GAMES did so in 1998

Unfortunately, I have no record of who voted for what that year. But the folks who voted for it this year, in addition to myself, were Don Marks, Mark Pittillo, Zach Ralston, Scott Renshaw, and Scott Tobias. Everyone but Zach was already a member by that point. (On the other hand, looking at the '98 roster, I see that there's been a lot of turnover: 18 people who voted that year are now gone. Most sadly, of course, the late Andrew Johnston.)

eugene said...

Astonished that md'a, who seems to recoil at the slightest hint of the didactic, is such a fan of Funny Games, which is basically a feature-length harangue.

msic said...

The lesson: don't sell your Palme D'Or winner to the paranoid, soon-to-be-dying art house wing of a major.

Um, is there something we should know about SPC, Matt?

md'a said...

Funny Games is indeed didactic, but in a unique and to me genuinely thought-provoking way. I find it masochistically powerful that the film essentially forces you to question why you're still sitting there watching it.

Don Marks said...

Checking my old files, I see that I gave the original FUNNY GAMES the same number of points that I gave this new version (have I really been part of this survey for over a decade?), but the remake ends up higher on my top ten list because 2008 was such a lacklustre year.

I did also throw some well-deserved points to THE CLASS, but I never thought to do the same for any of its actors. Sorry, Victor. A well-timed FYC post might have swayed me, but there's something about Begaudeau that bugs me a bit, even though I can't quite put my finger on it. Instead I gave points to Jean-Claude Van Damme, I am pathetic, etc.

md'a said...

there's something about Begaudeau that bugs me a bit, even though I can't quite put my finger on it.

I recently met a French-American woman (she grew up in both countries) who went to school with Bégaudeau and knew him pretty well. I told her he comes off weirdly arrogant in his self-deprecation in the movie and she said that fits him in real life to a T.

I am also insanely hot for this French-American woman, but that's a more pathetic story.

Victor said...

Sylvie Testud is half-American?

Victor said...

Also however didactic FUNNY GAMES is (a LOT) ... it's not the kind of didactic that comes across as smug or arrogant or self-righteous, to me at least, and that is the reason didacticism bothers me most of the time.

With almost all "preachy" films, the preaching is against some "They," some (usually straw-man) "Other." And the film implicitly congratulates itself and its audience for being on the side of the angels against the demons.

Whatever else may be said -- that is not the case here. FUNNY GAMES's didacticism (underlined by its multiple-level sadism and its meta-cinematic qualities) is aimed at the audience, its own audience. It's one of the only three or four truly "challenging" films I've ever seen.

Victor said...

Don:

I only saw the film Saturday afternoon, making a day trek up to New York after realizing only Tuesday that it was a 2008-Skandie film. (I was fooled by the one sheet and site that said "Opening Jan. 31 in NY and LA," which convinced me it was a 2009 film.)

Otherwise, it was "not see the well-reviewed latest film by the oh-TOOR of the era's greatest film TIME OUT in time for the Skandies." That was not gonna happen.

Ryan said...

Best one sheet of the year, in a walk. Also second V-Mort on THE CLASS' idiotic rollout. I do think it's be a top fifteen finisher if as many folks saw it as had seen A CHRISTMAS TALE.

md'a said...

I'm still skeptical. Most everyone likes it, but it doesn't seem to be a film that inspires a whole lot of passion. (Admittedly I may be projecting somewhat.) Certainly you can't blame its tepid indieWire result on its release pattern—almost of all those folks had seen it, I'm sure.

Mark Asch said...

I wonder if it's true, that you can't blame its indiewire nonshow on its release schedule. Some of us (just me?) are disinclined to think of weeklong runs as in the same category as 'true' 08 releases. (Or, in the case of those of us who can't make every NYFF screening, are more likely to skip a fim already slated for release next year.)(This may be especially with something like Hunger or Gomorrah -- or 4,3,2 last year -- which qualified in L.A. and not New York.)

Again, maybe just me, but between the 08-09 identity crisis and the general acute annoyance at the practice of the weeklong qualifier, I did not make the effort to see The Class in December. But it's my best film of 09 so far (I have not yet seen Taken).

md'a said...

Hey Mark. Well, you may be right. I wasn't at Cannes last year, but I had the general impression, based mostly on coverage in Film Comment and Cinema Scope, that The Class didn't fare as well with many higherbrow crix as it did with the jury, and the iW results seemed to reflect that. But it could easily just be year-end fatigue, and the fact that it wasn't at Toronto is still significant given how many iW voters aren't based in NYC. If that's the case, hopefully it'll fare better in next year's wrap madness than, say, the Mungiu did with stragglers this year.

matt prigge said...

Me: The lesson: don't sell your Palme D'Or winner to the paranoid, soon-to-be-dying art house wing of a major.

Msic: Um, is there something we should know about SPC, Matt?


Right, sorry, it's not going anywhere soon. I was merely prophesizing that SPC will eventually go the way of Warner Indie (or at least Paramount Vantage).