Monday, August 28, 2006

Verhoeven for the Gold ?

If or when one thinks of director Paul Verhoeven one thinks of either lurid sexuality (The 4th Man, Showgirls) or grotesque violence (Robocop, Starship Troopers) or perhaps one thinks of both at once (Basic Instinct). If you're a fan you think the sex and violence is in service (usually) to brilliant satire. But your mind probably doesn't race to Oscar, does it?

Nevertheless, that's where the Dutch provocateur could be headed. Seems that the Netherlands have selected his latest film Zwartboek (Black Book) to compete in Oscar's Foreign Language Film race. The IMDB description begins thusly:
Set during the end of WWII, Black Book is the story of a German Jewish girl who narrowly survives the war in Holland...
Every year in this particular race, Oscar's committee views about 50 films and chooses five as nominees. (see last year's entire competition here) Every year about 1/3rd of the 50something films submitted seem to be about World War II. I'm exaggerating but not by much.

Now, I can't really call myself a "fan" of Verhoeven's work but it'd be a shame (and par for the course) if it took him neutering his distinctly satiric NC-17 voice for a World War II drama for him to get any Oscar recognition.

The Film Experience foreign language Oscar pages for 2006 will be put up piecemeal during the next few weeks. If you have info or opinions on what your country should submit please share your thoughts with me. It's a big job for one person and this one person is highly appreciative of reader input. Speaking of... thanks to Ralph for this info.

Tags: foreign films, , , Paul Verhoeven, Holland, Oscars, Academy Awards, cinema, Film, World War II

7 comments:

vince said...

I thought the Oscars recognized "Instinct" with an appropriate nomination for Jerry Goldsmith's score. (They also got one for editing) It was so lush and distinct (probably not the best words, but I'm working off of a limited vocabulary here). I thought the production values overall were outstanding. And I think Eszterhas' script deserved recognition also. I mean come one! "Are you going to charge me with smoking?" Sure, it's trashy, but some of the lines are brilliant. There's trash. And then there is good trash. And "Instinct" is some beautiful, good grade-A trash.

And, lastly, Sharon Stone easily delivered one of the five best female lead performances that year (vag shot or no). I haven't seen Indochine, but, she deserved a slot that year moreso than the jilted Sarandon and, gulp, dare I say it (DARE I SAY IT!) ... okay, I'm not going to say it, because I have too much respect for Nate. :)

Does that count as saying it? I hope not. Because I didn't say it! ... but frankly, that year, that certain someone WHOM I DIDN'T SAY, still should have gotten nominated, but for another movie and in the supporting category. AND SHE SHOULD HAVE WON! (Seriously)

NATHANIEL R said...

i have to say i've never quite understood the fuss over Stone's performance in that movie.

I think she's brilliant at being famous but I've never seen a performance of hers that I'd consider brilliant.

is it just me?

I think she overdoes it in Casino and again, other than charisma, not seeing what's special about the BI work.

vince said...

You're right, though, she's a great 'Star,' but not much of an actress. So, I appreciated the bombast that Stone delivered in BI the most. I think her nom for Casino was the Academy's way of recognizing her for BI retroactively. Though, was it you who said anyone who simulates giving head to Joe Pesci earns their nom just for that?

NATHANIEL R said...

if i did say that i love myself.lf.
if i didn't i wish i did.

Ryan said...

The "editing" nomination for Basic Instinct was one of the Oscars editing branches finest moments.

And I fully agree Vince, Stone deserved a nod in 1992. (God bless the HFPA) Sure, she was playing herself sometimes but the charisma, the line delivery, the subtle little glances and yes, the vagina exposure. Looking sexy is one thing, but acting THAT SEXY (while hinting at homocidal impulse) is another.

PS. SHUE should have won the Globe and the Oscar- to a degree I can't even begin to verbalize... but STONE deserved both nominations for Casino. Scorsese was "pushing" her to turn that volume up and I think it really worked.

- Her "fuck- you" match with Robert DeNiro was pure gold.

Aldo said...

Nat did you receive my info on Mexico's possible submission? I sent it about one month ago.

Kamikaze Camel said...

1995 was such a full year for Best Actress candidates that I am glad they found room for Stone. Sure, I would've loved them to recognize Kidman and/or Silverstone for their comedic highs but they're comedy and the academy is scared on comedy so in light of that, Stone (i think) was completely deserving.

I like Sharon when she's on. Ya know, when she gives a damn. She was great in Casino and was fun in Basic Instinct, however my favourite Stone perf is The Muse. She was delightful in that (remember when she sent gold watches to all the HFPA members when she got nominated. LOL. Sharon, you silly woman)