Waiting for Obst, Edelstein Disclaims and Explains

Salma Hayek and Academy president Sid Ganis announce the nominees in L.A. this morning. Photo: Getty Images

From: David Edelstein

Sent: Tuesday, January 23, 2007 12:25 PM

To: Lynda Obst

Subject: I forgot to say I am so above this

Dear Lynda,

As I wait for your response, I want to mention that several friends and one lively Website have let me know they think I sound altogether too gushy (even "queeny") on the subject of this year's Academy Awards, merely because I decided to get into the spirit of the thing and to spare you my standard disclaimer. (From 2005: "As longtime readers are probably sick of hearing, the Oscars are worthless as a measure of artistic merit, but fascinating as a measure of how Establishment Hollywood hopes to present itself to the world …" Blah blah blah).

A word about my New York review of The Departed, since I've come in for some ribbing about it. It's true the ads identified me as saying that "the movie works smashingly." They did, however, omit what followed: "Especially if you haven't seen its Hong Kong counterpart and haven't a clue what's coming. But for all its snap, crackle, and pop, it's nowhere near as galvanic emotionally." A movie can "work smashingly" and still be a piece of shit, especially if the director is enough of a whiz/speed demon to put it over. (Rocky Balboa works smashingly.) And along with many people I enjoyed some of the Mamet-speak and the splatter. But it was, in retrospect, a too cautious — i.e., wussy — review. I won't let it happen again.


Earlier: Oscar Snubs 'Dreamgirls,' Astonishes Edelstein