Lee Daniels‘ “Precious” somehow was ignored entirely by the Gotham Independent Film Awards last night. There were no nominations, and no one came from the film. The Lions Gate table was empty most of the night at Cipriani downtown.
“Precious” cost about $10 million, was shot by a former casting director whose first two directed movies bombed. It was made in and about New York ‘ which is presumably what “Gotham” refers to ‘ and features an entire cast of mostly low-profile African Americans. It was made independently and sold to Lions Gate at Sundance. It’s a must-see, most talked about film of the year.
“A Serious Man” was shot in Minnesota by famous directors, cost $8 million, and features a cast of character actors. It was financed by Universal Pictures’ Focus Features via Working Title Pictures. I love it, as do other bar mitzvah boys from 1970, but it has ‘ let’s face it ‘ severely limited appeal.
Focus was well represented last night, as a sponsor of the awards show. The guys from Working Title got a special award. The Coen Brothers made a rare appearance. The Universal tables were filled.
The “Precious” situation was an embarrassment for the prestigious Gothams. It’s hopeful that they examine what happened so it doesn’t happen again.
And then there was “The Hurt Locker,” which won everything anyway. Made independently for $11 million, it’s become sort of the bastard stepchild at Summit Entertainment, where the booming “Twilight” series has overwhelmed all business. “The Hurt Locker” opened last summer, is the most agreed-upon Oscar nominee of the year, and has made only $12.6 million. How is that possible?
Last week it played on 138 screens. Maybe Summit should put some of that “Twilight” movie into “Hurt Locker.” They could become a prestige house. At this rate, the Bigelow movie is going to be a stealth Oscar nominee. Again, very strange. At least Summit could have bought them another table!