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Is Spielberg Disliked?

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  • OnTheAisle
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    #93944

    Steven Spielberg has seven Best Director nominations with two wins.

    In Academy history, only three directors (Ford, Wyler and Capra) have more wins and only two directors have more nominations (Wyler and Wilder). Yet, the surprising loss this year for Lincoln does again raise the eyebrows.    

    Spielberg was notably overlooked on the nomination lists for Best Director for both Jaws and The Color Purple early in his career. The omissions generated whispers. The whispers grew louder with the loss of the Best Picture Oscar for Saving Private Ryan

    How can Spielberg be one of the most recognized and celebrated of filmmakers in Academy history and still maintain this persistent, residual hint of being distained by his peers?

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    nkb325
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    #93946

    I think it’s probably just the Streep Syndrome. Voter’s keep figuring they’ll have another chance to reward him if they want so they’re waiting for a film that makes them really passionate

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    KT
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    #93947

    Actually I don’t think Jaws is a good example of Spielberg hate or backlash.  It was his first movie to receive awards attention, and being a new director to the scene, largely unproven and unknown, he lost the director nomination to five worthy opponents.  I think he wouldn’t have missed it if he was a little more established and a known quantity within the Director’s Branch, especially considering how difficult the Jaws shoot was.  Spielberg received a lot of criticism for his take on Color Purple, for not investigating and bringing to the screen some of the underlying themes and passages of the book AND yes for telling a black story as a white director.  So even though that one might be seen as more of a snub since the film earned 11 nominations, there were currents that might explain what happened when the notoriously picky Director’s Branch voted and Akira Kurosawa got in (this is not a bad thing).  One nomination I was absolutely shocked that he missed was Best Animated Film for Tintin last year—I bet that one stung, following the Globe and PGA wins, even more than not getting recognized for War Horse (which we all knew wasn’t going to happen).

    Regarding the actual outcome of the Oscars, I think the Academy made the right decision between the 1998 frontrunners: Saving Private Ryan and Shakespeare in Love.  Shakespeare is the more inspired film and it’s really much more than a romantic comedy, with first-rate humor as well as an incredibly dramatic ending.  It works much better as a whole than Saving Private Ryan, and most people that hate on it haven’t even seen it.  I know that Spielberg has outright said that the snub that most burned him was not winning Best Director for E.T.  I would’ve loved for him to get that one, or even for Raiders, but the Academy wouldn’t have gone there that year with Beatty nominated.  Otherwise I think he’s been awarded in the right places.  He was never going to lose Schindler’s List, and he’s rather fortunate to have won director for Saving Private Ryan since I think it’s a very flawed movie that comes up way short next to the great war movies: Paths of Glory, Apocalypse Now, Platoon, The Deer Hunter, The Hurt Locker, etc.

    It still shocks me Lincoln didn’t have the steam to win.  I think this year is a good case for your idea, not so much that Spielberg is disliked (I think he comes across as very likeable, but no doubt there’s jealosy on part of some people in the industry), but more that voters didn’t feel passionate about throwing him another bone.  I really hope that if he does win again, it’s for a project for which he least expects it, that’s always fun.

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    Scottferguson
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    #93948

    Specifically this year, the Lincoln campaign made two critical mistakes that backfired on them (including Spielberg):

    1) The tone epitomized by their tagline that started around Xmas: “For generations to come,” which came across as presumptious

    2) Bill Clinton at the GGs – this by widespread accounts within the community hurt badly (not because Clinton is disliked, but because it overreached, and bringing him to the widely ridiculed GGs made it worse)

    The other thing that hurt was that Lincoln (and ZD30) did not play well on screeners, because of their length, detailed and complicated scenes and darkness. Despite efforts to get members to screenings, most members watch most movies at home. Looking at some recent winners – Argo, The Artist, King’s Speech, Slumdog Millionaire, The Departed more than Hurt Locker and No COuntry – playing well on TV is an advantage.

    I don’t think it is animus that much. He has three Oscars and a Thalberg, making him one of the most honored directors of recent decades (Clint Eastwood, Woody Allen, the Coen Bros. are among the few at around the same level).       

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    KT
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    #93949

    ^^^ Yeah, we had a thread a few weeks ago about how Spielberg/the Dreamworks campaign killed Lincoln.  We ended up being pretty on point: http://www.goldderby.com/forum/topics/view/4086

    Don’t forget Ang Lee on your list, though he doesn’t have any Best Picture Oscars.

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    Scottferguson
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    #93950

    My list was contemporary directors off the top of my head who had three or more Oscars, which Lee doesn’t. Two more though that do are James Cameron and Peter Jackson.

    So Spielberg is in the top tier of Oscar-honored directors already. I don’t think anyone is suggesting the Eastwood or Allen or the others are disliked with their three or more Oscars. 

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    JulieF
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    #93951

    I do agree with scottferguson.  I think Lincoln was thought of as a little bit too self-serious, a bit talky,  a “call to worship” as one pundit termed it.  It’s also exciting when a presumed frontrunner fell off its pedestal.  That happened with Lincoln and ZD30, and Argo was always there waiting in the wings.

    It’s unfortunate that Kushner lost.

    Spielberg is the pre-eminent filmmaker of his time and probably came closer to the third than others.  I wonder, too, if people want him to branch out and be more eclectic like Ang Lee.  He’s gotten two director Oscars for historical, serious films with great gravitas.

    (What’s so weird is that I never liked Clinton, but I was excited to see him at the Globes. I thought it was great, so it was ironic to me that others who are kindred spirits with him politically didn’t like it.)

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    babypook
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    #93952

    Is Spielberg “disliked” by his peers? LOLOL!!

    A poindexter here and there may ‘dislike’ him. There’s jealousy of his $ucce$$ I suppose. But, because he hasnt won every single time he’s been nominated? If he’s so disliked why all of the nominations?

    He has some rabid fanboys afterall, and judging from some of the reactions to any suggestion that he may lose to Ang Lee, I’d say some of them are right here amongst us.

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    KT
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    #93953

    Check this out: Spielberg in his own words in 1984 on the Oscars (at 23:40) before winning for Schindler’s List.  Very interesting what he says…I’m sure if someone interviewed him today he’d have a lot to say.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ET8qZRDA2xo

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    CAROL-CHANNING
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    #93954

    I don’t think he is disliked.. I just think that the genre of movie he tends to do (the epic drama) is a little dated and not really popular at the moment.  It doesn’t shock me at all that Lincoln underperformed.  I’ve been predicting it to underperform since it was announced.  I think he will have to do something very different from what he’s been doing in order to win a third.

    Jaws was his first big success, so his lack of a nomination isn’t that shocking.  He definitely shouldn’t have been snubbed for The Color Purple, but he did receive a little backlash for it.  Plus, the Academy was (and still is) full of white men.  It is rare that 1. A movie about multiple women is a strong contender and 2. A movie about minorities is a strong contender.  Sad truth.. but in 1985-86, the movie just didn’t have enough support from voters.

    I think he definitely should have won for E.T.
     

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    Scottferguson
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    #93955

    Not sure what you mean by Lincoln underperforming – it grossed the most of any of the 9 BP nominees in the US. It was a major hit.

    It underperformed at the Oscars of course (compared to expectations, not necessarily merit), but it will be considered one of the outstanding successes of Spielberg’s career overall I imagine. 

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    Scottferguson
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    #93956

    Curious factoid – in the first 47 years of the Academy, the best pictures included 10 directors who made at least two (in one case three) of them – Frank Lloyd, Frank Capra, William Wyler, Billy Wilder, Elia Kazan, Fred Zinnemann, David Lean, Vincente Minnelli, Robert Wise, Francis Ford Coppola.

    In the 38 years since, only Milos Forman and Clint Eastwood have two – so directors like Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, Robert Zemeckis, Woody Allen as well as Steven Spielberg have one each.

    I have no idea why this is, but it is a huge change from 1975 to now (Eastwood alone has done it in the last 29 years).   

        

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    seany
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    #93957

    Lincoln should have won no doubt i could have understood if the academy didn`t want to give him a third directing oscar but the fact that Ben “Gigli“ Affleck now has as much best picture wins as Steven Spielberg should tell everything about how they really feel about him.

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    allabout oscars
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    #93958

    it is very bewildering to me that LINCOLN AND SPIELBERG
    paid the price for either poor campaigning or the fact
    that Hollywood was bent out of sorts about Ben Affleck’s non- nomination..
    Either way….Lincoln is a masterpiece and Argo will join the list of
    over rated best picture oscar Winners..

    To answer the thread question..I think Spielberg is beloved by most of Hollywood.
    Maybe some are jealous but his talent is appreciated and respected…

    His oscar history is astounding regarding best film and director nominations..

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    delerian
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    #93959

    Steven Spielberg has seven Best Director nominations with two wins.

    In Academy history, only three directors (Ford, Wyler and Capra) have more wins and only two directors have more nominations (Wyler and Wilder). Yet, the surprising loss this year for Lincoln does again raise the eyebrows.    

    Spielberg was notably overlooked on the nomination lists for Best Director for both Jaws and The Color Purple early in his career. The omissions generated whispers. The whispers grew louder with the loss of the Best Picture Oscar for Saving Private Ryan

    How can Spielberg be one of the most recognized and celebrated of filmmakers in Academy history and still maintain this persistent, residual hint of being distained by his peers?

    Doesn’t that help? Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, and Stanley Kubrick never won Best Director. Tarantino hasn’t won, neither has David Lynch or Ridley Scott. And Ben Affleck wasn’t even nominated this year. I think if you want to be a great director you need to try to do something the Academy doesn’t understand, can’t judge, and won’t give you an award for.

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