London, Feb 8: Many of this year's Academy Award nominees will be gathering Monday in Beverly Hills for the annual Oscar luncheon - primarily to meet and greet each other, but also chat with the media.
Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese (“The Departed”) got a bit of a jump on his fellow contenders last Thursday in Los Angeles, to celebrate his film “Hugo”'s 11 Oscar nominations - the most of any film this year.
He revealed where he was on the morning that the nominations were announced.
“I was asleep and suddenly woke up and began to think, ‘I think the awards are going to be announced, the nominations,'” Scorsese recalled.
“And I just stayed under the covers. And then there was a phone call, telling me that we had gotten a best-picture nomination and a best-director nomination. So, I went back to sleep. I said, ‘Two nominations. Alright.' Then, 20 minutes later, there's another call, ‘God, what's going on?' So, ‘Yeah, I know we got two.' ‘No! You got 11!' And that was the difference.”
Scorsese - known for such classics as “Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore” and “Taxi Driver” as well as the Oscar-winning “The Departed” - said he hoped the Academy attention to “Hugo” would improve ticket sales.
With a worldwide gross of nearly $100 million, it's no bomb. And while its budget hasn't been revealed, its sumptuous 3D images must have cost a pretty penny. One clear problem: The film has proven a challenge to market.
“A lot of my movies over the years - it's been 35, 40 years - the trailers have been interesting,” Scorsese said.
“We've had a similar situation, where if you could get the audience in the theatre, they might really experience something special. We hope. But the films are not that simple to make a trailer of and say, ‘This is the genre you're looking at.' We think. We think - except maybe ‘GoodFellas,' for example, but even then, the studio said, ‘It's playing like a comedy.' I said, ‘Well...yeah... (Laughs) Not with that last half-hour, it's not.' So people, we all tried our best, but here you're right, you're right: People said it (‘Hugo') is 3D, maybe it's a children's thing. But it's not, it's not. And we implore everyone to go out and try to see it in 3D in a theatre.”
What they'll find is an undeniably adult film, a homage to the silent era, coming along in the same year as the silent tributes “The Artist” and “The Tree of Life.”
“It's coincidence,” Scorsese noted.
“And I think it's very important you say ‘silence' because of what we've done to the audience today in many major films, including mine, where we've had to work in the mix. I say, ‘How can we hear silence? What does silence sound like?' Because if it's all crash-bang and noises and gears turning... I'd say the same thing with television. If you watch a news report, there are like guns going off and bombs exploding and then you look over and there's a clip and somebody runs out. It's, in a way, the soundtracks are numbing the audience and we have to get back to moments of calm. We forget: we all love Hitchcock but there's a lot of moments where he builds and builds quietly and slowly, and then something happens - not bang-bang-bang-bang. That's another style. A lot of people like that. But not all the time.”
As for the Oscar ceremony? Scorsese said he'll gladly attend, but will have “great anxiety.”
“But enjoyable,” he continued.
“You get into it. I also get into it for everybody else too. It's like, ‘And the Oscar goes to...' and (laughs) your heart starts to beat. I can't take it.”