In Contention


TELLURIDE: ‘Never Let Me Go,’ ‘Tabloid’

Posted by Kristopher Tapley · 1:16 am · September 4th, 2010

On the first day of this year’s fest, things are off to an interesting, up and down start. I would bore you with an intro, but it’s late and I’m fading. Let’s get to the reactions…

“Never Let Me Go” (**)

I went back and read Guy’s summation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel “Never Let Me Go” after seeing the film tonight (I’ve never read it and knew nothing of the story’s plot going in). He wrote of a “discussion of mortality and the human condition” in an emotional context that, for a filmmaker like Mark Romanek (who knows from visual emotional storytelling — just look at the video for Johnny Cash’s cover of Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt”), seemed a perfect marriage of material and artist.

Shockingly, however, Romanek’s adaptation kept me at arm’s length from frame one. There is a distance here, a cold sense of removal from what would otherwise be an extremely moving narrative. I wanted desperately to feel for the characters and their plight (I won’t hazard particulars for fear of spoilers). But I felt nothing…at all. I wanted them to rage against their circumstances and show an ounce of the spirit they in one instance even set out to prove they have, but there was, again, nothing.

Perhaps that’s a subtle point of the piece.  If so, I just can’t say it works for me. In his feature work, Romanek seems to have David Fincher’s tendency toward coolly registered emotional tones. And it does him no favors here. Of the cast, I was most responsive to Carey Mulligan’s nearly catatonic state of inward consideration and turmoil, but Keira Knightley gets plenty of time to shine, while Andrew Garfield develops a unique character that nevertheless remained elusive when a sense of connection was sorely needed.

Rachel Portman’s gorgeous score, by the way (perhaps the film’s best bet on the Oscar circuit), plays to an emotional level that’s not there until it’s too late, while Adam Kimmel’s camera lingers on the characters observationally and, at times, quite beautifully. But I was left entirely unaffected by the mixture.

“Tabloid” (***1/2)

It’s a great year for documentaries at this year’s fest and Errol Morris’s latest is right at the top. “Tabloid” tells the twisted story of beauty/tabloid queen Joyce McKinney who, in 1977, was accused of kidnapping her one-time Mormon sweetheart, Kirk Anderson, sequestering him in a cottage in rural England, tying him to a bed and “raping” him for days. The case set UK tabloids alight and was dubbed “The Mormon sex in chains case.”

It sounds too sensational to believe, but it is, every bit of it, absolutely true. And McKinney makes for as fascinating a subject as Morris has ever documented, a deranged, somewhat monstrous woman who you find yourself loathing and pitying with equal measure. And just when the story seems to have been fully unveiled, Morris takes us in a completely different direction in a “wait, it gets better” sort of denouement.

It’s masterful work with Morris’s trademark sense of humor splattered all over it. The filmmaker, as always, chimes in at just the right times for clarification or further questioning. He’s clearly as dumbfounded as we are every step of the way, but he maintains a commendable sense of respect for his subject, even when he’s clearly having a laugh with this cutaway or that graphic. This is one of his best films in years (and the second Telluride debut of his career).

That’s it until tomorrow, which will bring one of the festival’s “secret” sneak peeks: Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours.” Boyle will be here along with James Franco and, a real treat, Aron Ralston himself.




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79 responses so far

  • 1 9-04-2010 at 1:25 am

    an said...

    so far the film seems to have a divided response, i guess it depends on you emotional response

  • 2 9-04-2010 at 1:26 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I’ve noticed that as well. Reactions all over the map. Either you are incredibly moved or you’re left cold. And not just critics, but audiences, as well (from the brief conversations I’ve had).

  • 3 9-04-2010 at 2:31 am

    tony rock said...

    You mention Portman’s score is amazing but then say the film is cold…but isn’t a film’s score the primary factor in whether a movie resonates emotionally? For me it is.

  • 4 9-04-2010 at 3:47 am

    daveylow said...

    I’m seeing Never Let Me Go at TIFF. I respect your reviews though I find I don’t often agree with your tastes. So I’m still hopeful about this one.

  • 5 9-04-2010 at 3:58 am

    The Other James D. said...

    I’m not entirely shocked, as I had instant skepticism when I saw the bleak trailer. No matter how dank a film’s content may be, I will be engrossed in the story. This sort of brings to mind Bright Star from last year–similar September film dump, similar mixed critical feedback, etc.. I had slightly raised hopes with your sudden confidence in it, predictions-wise, but now it’s up in the air again. I never thought the ladies would get nominated this season, but I thought the screenplay and Garfield might, plus techs. So, if this won’t pan out for Garfield, I sure hope our initial belief in TSN will for him.

  • 6 9-04-2010 at 4:03 am

    Sean said...

    You totally should’ve just went with THe Way Back. I think every blogger went with the NLMG/Tabloid route and skipped TWB. Sigh.

  • 7 9-04-2010 at 4:25 am

    Silencio said...

    Hmm, I don’t know how I should take this. Last year I ended up agreeing with you about Bright Star, but I may still give this a shot.

    If you end up not liking Black Swan, that would give some balance to Guy’s opinion, but if you both like it, that tells me something very good.

  • 8 9-04-2010 at 4:25 am

    ninja said...

    @5 “So, if this won’t pan out for Garfield, I sure hope our initial belief in TSN will for him.”

    I`m rooting for Garfield too and expect him to get in with TSN. he`s universally praised by those who saw the movie (also great reactions) and the subject matter is likely to keep it hot and talked about more than NLMG. Fingers crossed something pans out for him.

  • 9 9-04-2010 at 4:41 am

    JJ said...

    So Kris, do you see this playing well or not well for AMPAS?

  • 10 9-04-2010 at 5:26 am

    Andrew M said...

    One thing I get from this is that TS3 and TSN is back on top, Oscar prediction wise

  • 11 9-04-2010 at 6:45 am

    Dominik said...

    “I wanted them to rage against their circumstances”

    I see, but in this point the movie seems to be true to the novel. That´s an aspect of the story that can easily annoy or frustrate audiences, but I believe Ishiguro had a point in handling is subject as he did.
    If it works for me (or the Academy), I don´t know, but it can´t hurt to have a diversity of reactions towards your movie.

  • 12 9-04-2010 at 6:58 am

    kid said...

    Do they let you know what the TBA’s are before the screening begins? Because looking at the schedule a lot of the TBA’s overlap with each other. Also do you think you’ll manage to see The Way Back today or is it at the same time as 127 Hours?

  • 13 9-04-2010 at 7:10 am

    Mike said...

    Yea, definitely try to watch The Way Back today. I mean Weir just had the world premiere of his first film in 7 years and i can barely find any evidence that it even happened.

  • 14 9-04-2010 at 7:12 am

    James said...

    Disappointing to hear this, but maybe emotionally it will connect with me.

  • 15 9-04-2010 at 7:15 am

    Hero said...

    Dominik–I was just about to say the same thing. Frankly, I found the book frustrating. I’m quite sure the character’s resignation is Ishiguro’s point; it’s just not a point I find particularly compelling in this case.

    (And I know “resignation” doesn’t quite cover the complexity of the characters, but I haven’t had enough coffee to phrase it better.)

  • 16 9-04-2010 at 7:31 am

    Room 237 said...

    But then again, you loved The Dark Knight and hated No Country For Old Men…

    I’ve seen NLMG. I definitely disagree about the lack of emotion. It’s a slow, subtle build. In fact, I think Romanek went about as far as he could being emotional and accessible without compromising the material. Instead of Portman’s pretty and feminine score, he could’ve easily gone with something atonal and moody.

    I’m not sure the Fincher comparison is apt, but I believe Romanek’s favorite director is Kubrick, so that could explain your perceived coolness.

    Seems most of the people who dislike it haven’t read the book. Last night, Poland posted a review that called it a masterpiece that will one day be studied in film school.

    We shall see. And you should see it again, now knowing what to expect from it.

  • 17 9-04-2010 at 7:41 am

    Lucas said...

    Kris’ review of this movie mirrorred my thoughts on the book exactly – it always felt too cold to find tragically moving. I was hoping the movie would inject some feeling into a narrative that most people seemed to adore. Still looking forward to seeing it though :)

  • 18 9-04-2010 at 7:42 am

    JJ said...

    I respect Kris’ opinions greatly. That said, ‘Bright Star’ was my 5th favorite film last year, and I remember him not being wild about it (emotionally), and I found it very moving.

  • 19 9-04-2010 at 8:21 am

    zhangjianjia said...

    lLooks like erveybody skips TWB for NLMG because it has hot stars.but I think Jim Sturgess is the real thing.

  • 20 9-04-2010 at 8:23 am

    Hero said...

    Actually, I think most folks picked NLMG because of TWB’s uncertain release schedule.

  • 21 9-04-2010 at 8:28 am

    Mr. Gittes said...

    It seems to me everybody went to ‘Never Let Me Go’ just to be a part of the conversation, to instantly twitter their thoughts like the rest of the pack. Weir makes his first film in 7 years and everybody’s off fucking around. I guess One Hour Photo showed so much promise?

  • 22 9-04-2010 at 8:31 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    oom: I didn’t hate NCFOM, and even if I did, what’s the point in bringing it up. I read through a slew of intelligent comments and then, bam, your lead-in.

    I’m sure I will watch the film again, but I doubt my opinion will change. And Poland loses it for films frequently, and “this one will be studied” is his favorite meme. One guy’s opinion is as good as the next guy’s.

    As for The Way Back, I’m stunned to find nearly no reactions this morning. I wish I had gone with that instead. Hero’s logic is sound (that’s what tipped it for me). I’ll see catch it later in the weekend.

  • 23 9-04-2010 at 8:33 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Gittes: Dumb comment. It’s what Hero said. At least as far as I go, I’m here to cover films that will be in the awards season. A January release isn’t a priority at that point. It’s not like it has been skipped entirely. There will be other opportunities to see it, but for opening night, NLMG was necessary.

  • 24 9-04-2010 at 8:33 am

    zhangjianjia said...

    because i just cant find a single full review.I am a bit sad for weir.

  • 25 9-04-2010 at 8:37 am

    JR said...

    Based on your review, it sounds like, for better or worse, Romanek was very true to the novel. Much of the power of Never Let Me Go is that there is a remove. Ishiguro keeps a cool tone, creating a mood that’s both menacing and comforting. The protagonists are simply attempting to live a normal life. It’s been a while since I’ve read it, but I only remember one, perhaps two, scenes of heightened emotion.

  • 26 9-04-2010 at 8:42 am

    The Dude said...

    Seems that the critical reaction to “Never Let Me Go” is mirroring last year’s “The Road”…some are calling it a masterpiece (a word that I think should be banned from critical commentary, as it is overused), others feel cold. I’ve never read the book, so I’ve been trying to stay away from reading full-fledged reviews (I’ve been warned a number of times that a few bloggers haven’t been keeping the details to themselves), but that seems to be the consensus I’m getting.

    I’m loving how great the festival coverage is this season by you and Guy…really great stuff.

  • 27 9-04-2010 at 8:42 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I didn’t need heightened emotion, mind you. Just a sense that these characters actually felt something. If this distance is indeed in the novel, them I’m left perplexed. Perhaps it reads much better and doesn’t lend itself to cinema, I don’t know.

  • 28 9-04-2010 at 8:45 am

    zhangjianjia said...

    i guess maybe because weir will be at tomorrow’s screnning.

  • 29 9-04-2010 at 8:47 am

    Mr. Gittes said...

    Fair enough, Kris, though I wasn’t including you in the “off fucking around” crowd. You saw Tabloid. If Hero’s logic is sound, then it’s discouraging to me that people ditched on Weir because his film had an uncertain release date.

  • 30 9-04-2010 at 8:48 am

    Hero said...

    Kris,
    I don’t think you’re missing much by not reading the book. Frankly, I found it hugely overrated. I think it suffers from a problem that a lot of literary novelists frequently run into when they write dystopias–namely that they refuse to commit to the genre they’re writing, because then they’d be writing a genre book, heaven forbid.

  • 31 9-04-2010 at 8:49 am

    Ryan said...

    Yep, cant believe no reviews of TWB yet…only sparse twitter reactions(all praising the film) but all randoms which kinda doesnt do anything for me.

  • 32 9-04-2010 at 8:54 am

    JR said...

    Kris, it sounds like that’s exactly the case. When I heard that NLMG was being made into a film, I was very wary. Though the subject matter is very dark and seemingly dramatic, the book is not. If I had to sum it up in a word, it would be elegiac. It’s most certainly not a novel that screams for a cinematic treatment.

    Slightly OT, I just read this week that Colum McCann’s masterpiece, Let the Great World Spin, has been picked up by JJ Abrams. For very different reasons, I fear this novel being filmed. Some books are just better left alone…

  • 33 9-04-2010 at 8:54 am

    Katie said...

    The novel is very emotionally distant and removed. That’s part of the intrigue, as it only hints at what’s really going on. The trailer does seem to reflect this tone, very faithful to the book it seems.

    Interested to see full critical response to this..

  • 34 9-04-2010 at 8:54 am

    Room 237 said...

    I’m always good for a left-handed jab. :)

    I think Poland’s review and yours will be pretty regular positions for viewers of the movie.

    There are a lot of movies by my favorite directors that left me cold at first. It took me 2 years to finally warm up to Fargo. Kubrick can sometimes be the same.

    There are certain directors whose approach is never quite what’s expected and they don’t give you the traditional ins, so to speak. But the more you watch their movies the more you like them. It’s why Kubrick’s films always received polarizing reviews upon releases, but then, as time went by, they’re all classics.

    The reason they don’t fight back or try to escape is because they’ve been conditioned since birth to accept that this is their life. Is it really any different than somebody raised in a cult or a fundamentalist religion? These characters are afraid to even cross a fence, because of stories they’ve been told. They were raised in a bubble, completely naive, and didn’t even experience the outside world until they were almost 20 years old. People who grow up in a bubble usually try to recreate a bubble in adulthood.

    All of that explains why they behave the way they do.

  • 35 9-04-2010 at 8:57 am

    Melissa said...

    Too bad, you didn’t like it Kris. It seems like there are mostly positive reactions. Richard Corliss also loved it.

    As for me, I’m a bit more intrigued.

  • 36 9-04-2010 at 8:59 am

    Room 237 said...

    I think that’s the catch. You wanted to see them fighting back against the system. But I think the point is actually what happens when you don’t fight back.

  • 37 9-04-2010 at 9:02 am

    Mr. Gittes said...

    Typing in “The Way Back Telluride” in twitter will get you a one sentence review from a lawyer in New York who “occasionally writes.” Then again, it’s almost 9am in the morning, and I’m crying over spilled milk.

  • 38 9-04-2010 at 9:08 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I’m skipping Boyle this morning to see it. Feel better? :) (There’s another screening of 127 this evening.)

    Room: But they haven’t been conditioned their whole lives. Sally Hawkins is there very early on spouting off exposition (so the viewers will know what’s up), letting them in on the whole tragic secret of their lives.

  • 39 9-04-2010 at 9:10 am

    Room 237 said...

    And then she’s immediately fired.

    And their lives go on as scheduled.

  • 40 9-04-2010 at 9:16 am

    Hero said...

    But Kris, 127 Hours has a distributor. ;)

    Seriously, I can’t wait to see what you have to say about TWB. Before the distributor problems, it was my most anticipated movie of the year.

  • 41 9-04-2010 at 9:21 am

    Room 237 said...

    If you briefly told a 10-year old fundamentalist Christian that there’s no such thing as God, do you think that would change his view? Or do you think that he’s so surrounded by those who do believe that even if he questioned it, he’s still conditioned to believe?

  • 42 9-04-2010 at 9:35 am

    James D. said...

    Keira Knightley has never been in a good film. Just saying.

  • 43 9-04-2010 at 9:36 am

    Room 237 said...

    BTW/ Variety called it: “emotionally devastating”…

  • 44 9-04-2010 at 9:43 am

    Koto said...

    Eric Bialas at Awards Daily says,

    “The Telluride audience reacted coldly to the movie as well, complimenting the work of Carey Mulligan, but never really being able to say if they liked it or not.”
    http://www.awardsdaily.com/2010/09/eric-bialas-in-telluride-reviews-never-let-me-go/

  • 45 9-04-2010 at 9:54 am

    caro said...

    on Romanek movie,some french journalist agree about the coldiness of the movie:it’s beautiful,it’s perfect image,it’s f**king cold!(it’s on Twitter)

  • 46 9-04-2010 at 9:55 am

    JJ said...

    There have been countless films I’ve seen that have been described as “emotionally devastating” that I’ve liked … but call B.S. on the emotionally devastating part.

    And there have beem contless films I’ve seen that have been described as “cold” that I’ve found to be emotional … but I still didn’t care for it.

    There are all kinds.

  • 47 9-04-2010 at 10:27 am

    Hans said...

    I’m sure many were anticipating your take on NLMG after Romanek so unceremoniously bumped Nolan out of your predictions. Myself included, so I’m glad to see Nolan’s still got a fighting chance.

    Glad to see you’re having a good time, Kris. Looking forward to your take on 127 and TWB.

  • 48 9-04-2010 at 10:42 am

    Frank said...

    Kris, this was my problem with the actual book. It got so much acclaim, but when I read it, I didn’t feel anything for the characters. There was no connection, and so I was left cold. It should’ve been good, but was just passable for me. I hoped the good cast would correct this problem, but I guess not.

  • 49 9-04-2010 at 11:07 am

    Mr. Gittes said...

    Hooray! I wonder how many films Weir has left in him.

  • 50 9-04-2010 at 11:43 am

    Nick Davis said...

    I don’t understand why Mr. Gittes’ perfectly credible observation needed to be slapped down as a “dumb comment,” even conceding your reasoning, Kris. The potential exclusion of the Weir film from the 2010 release schedule is obviously as much an awards season “story” as is an instantaneous reaction to Never Let Me Go, which is about to open anyway. The fact that so many of us looked for Way Back reviews this morning and couldn’t find any is proof that anyone who’d had the gumption to favor the Weir on opening night – an artistically justifiable choice, and a way of making a point to the way the scheduling tide has turned against the film – would have had an eagerly waiting readership, and could have risen above the din of everyone’s inconclusive responses to the Romanek.

    Why not help shape the awards conversation in a different way, rather than automatically following a path that publicists and schedulers have mostly shaped on your behalf? Or at the very least, why the rude retort to your own readers? You admit your own version of Mr. Gittes’ line of thinking in your previous comment, but then immediately call his comment “dumb” for saying essentially the same thing?

  • 51 9-04-2010 at 11:50 am

    Nick Davis said...

    (I should clarify: it’s because I think IC does often go out of its way to shape parts of the awards-season convo as best you can, and because you’ve publicized the weird situation around The Way Back‘s scheduling and distribution so well, that it just seemed like a weird break in form to be so curt or flabbergasted.)

  • 52 9-04-2010 at 12:18 pm

    JJ said...

    I wonder if – 2010 release date aside – people just felt like seeing ‘Never Let Me Go’ rather than a ‘hard sit’ (however great it may be) in ‘The Way back’ on opening night.

    Or, I have no idea what I’m saying, cause I’m not there. Just kicking around ideas.

  • 53 9-04-2010 at 12:29 pm

    JJ said...

    make that 2011 release date

  • 54 9-04-2010 at 1:31 pm

    Duncan Houst said...

    Wow, I think this has been the most heated argument I’ve seen on this comment board for a while.

  • 55 9-04-2010 at 1:41 pm

    Hero said...

    Duncan,
    Did you read the Black Swan trailer comments?

    Also, Kris has tweeted that The King’s Speech is excellent. I can’t wait for his full report!

  • 56 9-04-2010 at 2:03 pm

    JJ said...

    Ditto. The King’s Speech is a highly anticipated one for me.

  • 57 9-04-2010 at 2:11 pm

    Matt King said...

    So Never Let Me Go is this year’s Bright Star (a movie that Kris, who I respect him very much, similarly was left cold by, but moved me immensely)? I’m now even more excited. Though that also means it will be completely ignored during the awards season.

    I hope this doesn’t sound mean or rude or disrespectful or anything. I don’t think it will, but the internet changes things (like words).

  • 58 9-04-2010 at 2:30 pm

    Danielle said...

    Kris, what do you feel are its awards prospects now? Do you think Carey and/or Keira stand a chance at nominations?

  • 59 9-04-2010 at 2:32 pm

    an said...

    127 hours twitters buzz is extremely positive, i have only seen one mixed comment

  • 60 9-04-2010 at 3:35 pm

    MovieMan said...

    I would say Keira’s been in two good movies: “Love Actually” (which was only okay) and “Domino” (which is underrated).

    I hope that this film doesn’t turn out to be like “Atonement.”

  • 61 9-04-2010 at 3:45 pm

    The Other James D. said...

    Pride & Prejudice is magnificent, and superior to both of those disgraces.

  • 62 9-04-2010 at 3:54 pm

    Matt King said...

    If it turned out to be like “Atonement” that’d be awesome.

  • 63 9-04-2010 at 4:16 pm

    James D. said...

    MovieMan, you have the strangest choice in movies I have ever seen.

  • 64 9-04-2010 at 5:16 pm

    MovieMan said...

    The Other James D.: I have not seen “Pride & Prejudice,” so I can’t comment. I’ve heard it’s fabulous, though. And I am definitely one of the biggest fans of “Domino” you’ll ever find. Loved it.

    Matt King: Not for me. I was left unmoved by “Atonement.”

    James D.: Well, thank you. Doesn’t matter whether that was compliment or not, because I’ve already taken it as one. :)

  • 65 9-05-2010 at 7:11 am

    dave said...

    I definitly see knightely and mulligan being nominated

  • 66 9-05-2010 at 7:41 am

    Ash said...

    “But I felt nothing…at all. I wanted them to rage against their circumstances and show an ounce of the spirit they in one instance even set out to prove they have, but there was, again, nothing.”

    That’s exactly why I hated the book. HATED.

  • 67 9-05-2010 at 8:01 am

    kel said...

    kris – will NLMG be this year’s ATONEMENT and slip in because it is a “weak” year?

  • 68 9-05-2010 at 8:03 am

    Hero said...

    You know, some of us like Atonement.

    *grumbles*

  • 69 9-05-2010 at 8:28 am

    The Other James D. said...

    As some of us should, Hero, considering it’s a superb film.

    Plus, Kel, that argument doesn’t hold any water whatsoever, given that 2007 is widely considered one of, if not the, strongest year of the past decade. (Note: Not by me. Hi there, 2008 & 2006!) While the acting categories were a hot tranny mess, the BP noms were very agreeable…with the exception of the exclusion of Once, of course.

  • 70 9-05-2010 at 8:29 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Nick: It was “slapped down” because of the dubious thought process involved. I didn’t just “want to be in the conversation” as it pertains to NLMG. It simply was a priority because it was officially in the race this year, where as Weir’s film is not, as of yet. Simple. I don’t like having my intentions stated to me.

    And FYI, I never have and never will consider IC a place that “shapes the awards season.” That’s not my job.

  • 71 9-05-2010 at 10:01 am

    Nick Davis said...

    Well, okay. Apologies for being presumptuous, but given how many places you’ve now stated yourself that you wished you’d gone to the Weir instead, I was just surprised by the tone of the rebuke. Obviously your prerogative.

    I am interested, more neutrally, in the fact that you don’t see your site as helping to shape the awards convo. I don’t mean editorially playing favorites, and I understand that you don’t aspire to be preferential in your coverage. But in lots of ways, I think IC does shape conversations in its way: bringing attention to “tech” categories and artists that otherwise wouldn’t get it, tracking buzz, reminding folks of early-year work that deserves to be remembered… Even keeping a running tally of contenders, leading and otherwise, seems like a clear way to augment perceptions of who’s pulling ahead or falling behind, if we’re forced to think of this as a horse race. Isn’t it impossible to “cover” buzz without influencing or participating in what that buzz is? These all seem like ways of “shaping the conversation,” in a helpful way.

    Obviously your sense of where you and your site “fit” within awards season is more informed than what we imagine as your readers, but it seems like a lot of publicists, marketers, and voters take note of what IC has to say. I imagine that even now, having published such a glowing notice for “The Way Back” and publicly wishing a distributor would have gotten behind it (or could still get behind it), you see yourself as calling attention to work that deserves consideration. Not necessarily saying it deserves to win, but that it deserves a shot. But I’m just a reader and don’t know. Is that not actually how it works? Should I not imagine that there’s an edge of advocacy behind what you do? I’m asking because I’m truly interested.

  • 72 9-06-2010 at 12:44 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    That regret has drifted in as the days have gone by, really. Not something that was there immediately. I have a responsibility is all. Gittes knows I wasn’t trying to be arbitrarily dismissive (at least I hope he does).

    As for the rest, I appreciate that there are those who may think we shape the race here. I’ve always been ambivalent of it because once you make yourself aware of that, it becomes tricky. I know when a film needs a boost and I’ll do my part, I suppose, but I don’t want to put too much on that because ultimately I just want to call things as I see it, be it film reactions, award predictions or whatever.

    And that list of contenders may augment perception, but I can only speak to its intention: to reflect how I think the race COULD go at every turn.

    It’s a back and forth, truly. I don’t want to come off like I’m trying to be pure. Inherent in passion for films is a sense of advocacy, so sure, we call attention to things and I imagine publicity takes note (and takes note of how it might manipulate our coverage as well).

    You don’t have a skewed perception on things, though. I get what you’re saying. I’m only trying to state my intent, and actively, that is nothing more than forecasting and reacting. The rest is a byproduct, and yes, I recognize it.

  • 73 9-06-2010 at 8:44 am

    Holden said...

    Never Let Me Go must actually be pretty good. I saw the trailer, and I nearly cried at how laughable it all looked. Nothing stuck out for me, but maybe it will be all right.

  • 74 9-06-2010 at 9:08 am

    Ryan said...

    I just think its a shame that things(so far) arent faling into place for The Way Back. First…the programmers pit it against NLMG/Tabloid…next screenings its up against the world prem. of 127 Hours…then like Kris said a “massive” outdoor screening last night…and zero reactions so far. And here we are on the last day of the only festival that Weir’s bringing his film too and we’ve got what like 3 substantial reviews? And even with them being great reviews, there seems to be such little buzz happenin for the film. Sad and suprised cause i looked at this film as being THE ONE to see here.