Total Shocker

When I read this morning that the Producers Guild of America voters had nominated Arrival, Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, La La Land, Lion, Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight for their Daryl F. Zanuck award (i.e., the equivalent of a Best Picture prize)…well, I nearly fell over in my chair. It’s a good thing I have a few percocets left because I needed something to calm myself down. I was literally vibrating.

Seriously, no one is very interested. You have to report on the various guild noms because you have to, but that doesn’t mean they’re of any special interest.

The only PGA-nominated film worth mentioning is a film not worth mentioning — i.e, the reprehensible Deadpool, which I called “a glib, porno-violent Daffy Duck cartoon” while I reviewed it a little more than eleven months ago. I don’t want to think about why this thing was nominated, not just by the PGA but also the WGA guys.

If the ghost of Daryl F. Zanuck was capable of processing the PGA’s bizarre admiration for this wretched joke of a film, his shrieks would be heard among the clouds. He would curse and punch a refrigerator door and then return to earth in order to confront the membership at the next meeting. “You’re nominating a piece of shit like Deadpool? I know it can’t win but this award has my name on it, dammit!”

The PGA backhanded Silence, Jackie, Sully, Loving, Captain Fantastic, Nocturnal Animals, 20th Century Women and Florence Foster Jenkins. None of these films have been in the Best Picture conversation, not really. Some of these contain noteworthy, award-calibre performances, of course, but that’s another ball of yarn.

The PGA ceremony will happen on Saturday, 1.28 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

  • Dr. New Jersey

    The awesome backhanded compliment is Loving receiving the Stanley Kramer Award.

  • Fred’s Hand

    Seriously – of all the PGA nominated films, Deadpool is the only one people will still be watching/talking about in 5-10 years. Good on the PGA and WGA. Why the hell La La Land is getting any script recognition is beyond me.

    • Charles Peligro

      No, the only Deadpool movie will be talking about in 5-10 years is the reboot.

    • Dr. New Jersey

      Thom Phoolery says, “Well, all the Harry films are classics.”

    • Clockwork Taxi

      I’m pretty sure people will be talking about La La Land for ages.

    • Randy Matthews

      Right. 10 years from now, I think most of us will only remember that Deadpool even existed because we are stuck in some hotel room with the cable on, and nothing to watch but TNT (if cable still exists by then).

    • Eric

      People are loving La La Land outside of the moviegoing world too from what I noticed.

      I think Deadpool will resonate how people were HOPING Suicide Squad would resonate.

  • JoeS

    HELL OR HIGH WATER is my favorite of the nominees, but I was happiest by the inclusion of ARRIVAL and HIDDEN FIGURES. Both of which are better than SULLY, LOVING, JACKIE, CAPT. FANTASTIC, NOCTURNAL ANIMALS, 20TH CENTURY WOMEN and, certainly, FLORENCE FOSTER OSCAR BAIT.

    • York Durden

      I don’t know how this old saw translates in the digital era, but the only thing Nocturnal Animals deserves is to be turned into guitar picks.

  • Bobby Peru

    “I don’t want to think about why this thing was nominated, not just by the PGA but also the WGA guys.”

    You should. It’s because DEADPOOL has vision and style and energy and originality and a great Ryan Reynolds bit of comedy, all lent to something that has been a shopworn genre for quite awhile now. I say this as an avowed Marvel hater. Remember when Gene Siskel re-evaluated his 12 MONKEYS pan and took an additional look because he realized the picture resonated with many? Perhaps consider it.

    • Matt of Sleaford

      The only bummer is that Deadpool turns into exactly what it’s satirizing in the last act, a big, loud dumb superhero free-for-all.

      • Bobby Peru

        Never loses its sense of humor through the last act and never feels like overkill.

    • gruver1

      Never!

      • Bobby Peru

        Then how about all the way through ONE TIME.

    • I would also add that it’s the only “big budget” superhero movie that is also a huge passion project for the producers involved. That movie wasn’t getting made, yet despite all odds and clearing every hurdle in the way, it managed to be a movie that connected with audiences, and surprising the execs involved by being an R-rated cartoon that made an incredible amount of money.

      Producers love stories that stick it to the big studio man. Even if it involves men in spandex.

      (My opinion of the movie is neither love or hate. I found it entertaining and funny, but ultimately empty after it was over.)

    • Aaron B

      I didn’t hate it, but what exactly is original about “Deadpool?” It wants to separate itself from the genre but ends up following pretty much all the conventions of it. It’s basically every other superhero movie with swear words and dirty jokes thrown in.

    • Hallick

      Vision? I’m a big fan of the thing, but what’s the vision it has?

  • Brad

    Silence certainly deserved recognition.

    Sully surely does not – one of the most overpraised movies of the year.

    • Bobby Peru

      SILENCE deserves what it got — silence. Movies about big subjects that are not well-executed are simply that — about something important, rather than something important.

      • Clockwork Taxi

        Silence not well-executed? Oh hush.

        • Bobby Peru

          No, it isn’t. It’s a miscast, self-indulgent audience flagellator that fails very early to engender any empathy and goes downhill from there; never once does it attempt to find any narrative build or momentum in its solemn “contemplation” and adds insult to the injury that is its unrelenting narration from Garfield and God by changing its POV to an inconsequential character in the final act. A total chore to get through, and only getting what pass it’s gotten because it’s a Marty passion project. Asking big questions does not a compelling movie make.

          • Brad

            what does it have, like 9 100 point scores from major critics on Meta,?You can have that opinion, but you are on soft ground, it just makes you a lightweight marshmallow movie goer, but that is not a sin.

            • Bobby Peru

              Let me get this straight — I lecture on film probably five nights a week from Bergman to Bresson to Schrader to Allen to Cassavettes to Ozu and then to Russ Meyer, of all people — and I am a “marshmallow movie goer” according to “Brad” am I? Why don’t you read VARIETY, THE NEW YORK TIMES and THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, will you? SILENCE is hardly MOONLIGHT, the best-reviewed of the year.

              • Brad

                Yeah, that is still what I am saying.

                But since you want to ‘credential up’ let’s have your real name and where you teach…

          • Chris Willman

            The narration changes in the final act in the novel as well. There’s a very good reason for that. The beginning and end are told in letters. There is no narration (and no letters) in the middle for obvious reasons. The last part is to leave us wondering what the character is going through, creating some suspense about his state of mind before the final shot. It’s hardly random, in the book or the film.

            • Bobby Peru

              That may well be; what it does not do is make for a satisfying narrative device over two hours into this picture. As I said, I was affected by some of the picture’s closing scenes that felt too little, too late.

        • Brad

          yeah, that was a nonsense statement

      • Charles Peligro

        I was underwhelmed by Silence but it’s waaay better than Deadpool.

        • Bobby Peru

          No, not by far. The measuring stick is how well executed the goal is, not the goal itself, which is noble but muddled in SILENCE.

          • arisp

            Who are you? Silence is better than any of the films that my guild nominated. Are you trolling us?

            • Bobby Peru

              Oh it’s “better,” is it? Is that your subjective point of view or based on facts? As a Scorsese worshipper I can tell you that it most certain is not “better” than the majority of his movies. And I’ve been posting reasoned opinions on this site for years (and years), so if you’d like to troll me, by all means continue.

  • Randy Matthews

    Agreed. That film knocked me out after about 35 minutes. It doesn’t even deserve to be in this conversation, let alone be nominated.

    The only reasoning I can come up with here is that it was an unexpected colossal hit. And producers like films that make money. But using that logic, what has prevented them from nominating films like this before? Maybe because it didn’t follow the same formula as other superhero films? But still … what kind of politics were involved here? This is rather baffling.

    • cyanic

      It was produced cheaply for its genre and rated R which is rare for its genre. It was critically and commercially successful during its run. Hence the affection from the money people.

  • adam____l

    I really like Deadpool and I say that as someone that hates superhero films. I walked out both Dr Strange and CA:Civil War. Those were the only other two I even attempted this year. I normally skip them altogether but I will make an effort if the reviews are good, however I am usually underwhelmed. Deadpool though was creative, fun, well acted, laugh out loud on several occasions and 100% coherent, which is unusual for these things.

    • York Durden

      I turned off Deadpool after 20 minutes or so. Not my cup of tea.

    • Chris Willman

      Walked out on Doctor Strange? I can see being meh on it, if you’re not into that sort of thing, but it’s hardly a walkout movie.

      • Steven Kaye

        That’s because it’s not a walkin movie in the first place.

        • Chris Willman

          Well, 90% on Rotten Tomatoes, so obviously a lot of thinking people thought it was worth walking into and sitting all the way through.

      • adam____l

        I got to the 75 minute mark and I realized I had absolutely no interest whatsoever in finding out what happened next so I bailed. It wasn’t poorly made by any stretch and I have sat through far worse, but there’s something so alien and unrepeatable about most of these kind of films that it’s impossible to care about the characters or anything that’s happening to them. I especially find it impossible to care when you’re not able to determine what’s permitted or not within the internal logic of the film. Take that superman film when he flies around the world and reverses time. How can anything have consequence if it’s un-do-able seconds later. Nothing matters. Anything is possible. I hate it.

  • Bob Strauss

    Zanuck’s studio produced Deadpool. And Shirley Temple films back in the day.

    • Dr. New Jersey

      Now that could make for quite the double feature…

  • Eric

    Silence looks like it may get the miss across the board. Even amongst critics it doesn’t seem to show up on many top ten lists.

  • Hallick

    If you weren’t very interested, you wouldn’t vibrate at all.