Nine awards seasons ago, two op-eds — both involving the Miramax film Gangs of New York (2002) — motivated the Academy to begin cracking down on “distasteful” Oscar campaigning, an effort that continues to this day.
Posts Tagged ‘William Goldman’
The 15th annual Hollywood Awards took place on Monday night at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, kicking off a months-long season of self-congratulations and chicken dinners shared by the same core group of people.
There is something special about this event, though, because it offers industry observers our first opportunity to see how dozens of awards hopefuls handle the spotlight. There is no tension about who will get called to the podium, since the honorees are announced weeks before the ceremony (determined by the event’s executive director Carlos de Abreu and a panel of advisors), but there is still plenty on the line. Indeed, a highlight clip, introduction, or acceptance speech can immensely help or hurt a contender’s prospects, as the many studio publicists, executives, and chiefs in attendance (including The Weinstein Company’s Harvey Weinstein and Sony Pictures Classics’s Michael Barker) were well aware.
Based on what I was able to gauge last night from a seat in the audience and access that I was exclusively granted to the backstage area and green room throughout the show, nobody really set themselves back very much at this particular awards show, but a few people certainly came away from the festivities stronger than they entered them.
Last night, I had the great thrill of speaking for about 30 minutes by phone with Aaron Sorkin, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest American screenwriters alive today — right up there with his mentor William Goldman, as well as Woody Allen, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Charlie Kaufman, Tony Kushner, David Mamet, Eric Roth, and Robert Towne. Rather remarkably, though, Sorkin had never even been nominated for an Academy Award prior to this year — not for “A Few Good Men” (1992), not for “Malice” (1993), not for “The American President” (1995), and not for “Charlie Wilson’s War” (2007). (Perhaps the Academy just couldn’t handle the truth!) Next Sunday night, however, he is widely expected to win the best adapted screenplay Oscar for his most impressive script yet, the “Citizen Kane” (1941)/“Rashomon” (1950)-inspired “The Social Network.”
Over the course of my time with Sorkin — who is now in the midst of polishing the pilot script for an HBO show about a cable news anchor, and who talks just as quickly and wittily and intelligently as the characters that he has been writing for the past two decades — he and I discussed…