Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Saving Dr. Davis

Remember when Saving Private Ryan did an eight-month march to the Oscar ceremony, confident of victory before its 11th hour upset by Shakespeare in Love? Remember how regal Lauren Bacall looked in her seat, bizarrely nervous when everyone knew she was going to win Best Supporting Actress at the 1996 ceremony, until Kevin Spacey shook the Shrine Auditorium by calling out "Juliette Binoche"?

There have been bigger upsets. Rosalind Russell was so sure she was going to win Best Actress in 1947 that she actually rose from her seat, even though the name that had just been called was Loretta Young's. Shelley Winters did worse in 1951 – girlfriend starting walking down the aisle, and had to slink back, in front of all of her peers.

I'm not quite Shelley, but hear y'all go: two and a half hours before my exam today, I got a call from my head advisor saying that the conversation would be better and the exam more productive if we put it off a few weeks. It seems that he wasn't fully satisfied with one of the chapters, at least one and maybe two of my other advisors hadn't been able to read the whole dissertation, and the missing section from the end of the conclusion, which I had planned to fill in based on their comments, ruffled a few more feathers than I'd thought. So, an ever so slightly crestfallen Nick's Flick Picks, down but not for the count, postponed but not for long, will be reinstating the countdown and keeping the Dwarf-o-Meter alive for a few more weeks, pending our rescheduled date.

I hope I didn't max out all my good wishes - you have all been so supportive and so kind through these last few days (and weeks!) I'll letcha know where we go from here. We'll be popping the bubbly and doing our Compton Clovers routines soon enough.

Right now I've got my Nicole Kidman '01 face on—that's all right, Halle, you go, etc. But come July, it's Nicole Kidman '02. Fine, it was her all-time least flattering Oscar ensemble, and Julianne Moore obviously deserved it. Surely, there's a better metaphor. It'll come to me.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

am busy thinking up appropriate celebrity/war analogies for you....

am also thinking that you should totally take a break for a couple days and indulge in some summer movies. 287pp is kick ass and should be celebrated!!

ps and this is from ladyshazizzle whose brain is so addled she can't remember her blogger password and had to post as anonymous

7:41 AM, June 21, 2005  
Blogger Dr. S said...

I say, "Listen to Lady Shazizzle." I'd be celebrating that thing anyhow. It's like you won the battle already, but the other side decided, "Um, I don't think I'm ready for this jelly."

I can tell even from your table of contents that this project freakin' rocks. I can tell you that if it looks like a book I'd read, and it's not even anywhere near my field, and I don't even *like* reading criticism much of the time, you rock the house. Which we all knew you did anyway. Maybe the next two weeks are "Operation: Ph.Pre"? A regimen of movie-going and mojito-drinking?

8:57 AM, June 21, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe this is more like the 1933 Oscars? You know, "Come and get it, Frank!" except there were two Franks up for Best Director. Except your name is Nick, and... never mind. (Thus ends my lame attempt at levity.) Sorry, man. I third Lady Shazizzle's prescription.

10:55 AM, June 21, 2005  
Blogger summer of sam said...

i second dr. s.

get drunk, yo.

hell, i'm gonna celebrate for you anyway.

11:53 AM, June 21, 2005  
Blogger Dr. S said...

OK, this has nothing to do with anything, but I thought I'd tell you anyway: The bird (who has inspired me to decide to get a bird of my own when I get back from California in August) has two new toys in his cage today, as a result of my reconaissance mission to the pet store (which was pretty dismal). One is a chain of interlocked plastic circles, inside each of which is a mirror about the size of a quarter, and at the end of which is a bell with two little pink beads hanging from its clapper, so that the bird can pick the whole thing up and swing it around. This toy is about eight inches long and hangs from the top of the cage. The other isn't a toy, per se, but the bird has liked playing with water so much, since I started squirting him with my ironing squirt bottle last week, that I got him a water dispenser that hangs outside the cage that he can just sip from without having to go down to the bottom of the cage. He seems mightily in love with both.

On my way home from the pet store, I thought I passed my landlord's wife, which made me think, "Oh no! I'm going to have to give the bird back!" I imagined convincing them that I would take care of the bird until I leave town in a couple of weeks. These are all signs that I'm supposed to have a couple of parakeets in my life pretty damned soon. I'm trying to decide what to call them. I had thought I would just get one and name it George, but they're apparently much happier when they can hang out with someone else their own age and marital status (I know this feeling).

5:13 PM, June 21, 2005  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

@All of you - I'm double-featuring tonight, and no one can stop me. Then I'll come home and re-read this "mess" of Ch. 2 so that it's fresh in my mind when my chair breaks it down for me at 10am tomorrow. He could well be right; we have all experienced this kind of thing before. I sure timed it well, though, huh?

Whatever, I'm feeling fine, and I've been eating and hanging with the fam all day until they just left. A good day, with encouraging e-mails from the advisors in question.

And goatdog, it's especially reassuring to hear from someone else who speaks Oscar in a time of distress. I was gonna go for a Rod Steiger '65 allusion, but he got a lot more bent out of shape than I did.

Now I'm thinking I'm like Nick Nolte and Ian McKellen and Edward Norton in '98. Losing to Roberto Benigni is totally absurd, though not entirely unpredictable, and it doesn't change anyone's mind about who's gonna be a star in five years and who's already a has-been. Then again, those men are still all Oscar-less. Whatever, where are the martini glasses? ;)

5:15 PM, June 21, 2005  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

@Dr. S: If you name one George, do not name the other one Martha, under any circumstances. Braying, caterwauling, alcoholism, delusions, and co-dependency are sure to follow.

5:17 PM, June 21, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bummer. But you do so clearly rock the house, and I suspect you're just making those killjoy powers that be nervous with your sheer brilliance. Think of it more like the will-they-actually-snub-Charlize-for-Diane Keaton hoo-ha that fluttered ever so briefly before the 2003 awards. They're not gonna.

4:25 AM, June 22, 2005  
Blogger Dr. S said...

OK: because of the picture of Bacall here, I watched The Mirror Has Two Faces. And while I liked it a lot (though the dance to that awful song that was, I think, the reason I didn't see the movie in the first place, all those years ago, was a little much), I was struck yet again by how funny the movies' vision of academia is. Someday, perhaps I will give a "literature" lecture like Barbra does when she talks about courtly love and Jungian archetypes. I did like it when she called her students on their ogling. That was awesome.

8:52 PM, June 23, 2005  
Blogger Dr. S said...

Best bird findings yet: 1) she (my parakeet book suggests she's a she) likes to drink from a straw; 2) she loves PJ Harvey. Am playing Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea to much bird-acclaim.

2:30 PM, June 25, 2005  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

That is one rockin' bird. Exquisite taste. C'est exquise.

2:47 PM, June 25, 2005  

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