As Oscar night approaches, New York film critic David Edelstein and Hollywood producer Lynda Obst are discussing the race. Check back through the weekend for more.
From: Lynda Obst
Sent: Friday, February 23, 2007 2:18 PM
To: David Edelstein
Subject: RE: Overcoming Obamamania
The wide-open Best Picture race: We are a town divided. People like The Departed and think it feels like a best picture, but I sense no real passion for it. They love Sunshine, but when, of course, has a comedy ever won? At this point, it’s about how the votes split. The actors, the largest branch of the Academy, will like both. Anything can happen; The Queen could even “crash” the winner’s circle. I sensed a little nervousness in a Babel producer at the Obama reception, but that could have been the appropriate humility and fear.
I have seen the foreign films, but not the shorts. It’s either Water or The Lives of Others, a terrifying, brilliantly directed thing that made its German director, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, a hot Hollywood property.
This innovation of Laura Ziskin’s to put a Webcam backstage to catch the “spontaneous reactions” of the winners may be great for Oscar.com, but it’s definitely tragic for us TV fans. Now that I think of it, weren’t the Oscars — with Sacheen Littlefeather refusing Brando’s award, Jack Palance doing one-handed push-ups, the stunning and unforgettable “You like me, you really like me” — the first reality TV?
Off to the parties tonight, where I gather the usual “No one will be surprised if …; no one will be shocked if …; tumblers will fall to the ground if …; limousines will crash if …; entourages will disperse if …; people will fall to the ground in their gowns in shock if …” for tomorrow.