a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Tom McCarthy 2Tom McCarthy 1I know this is very down-to-the-wire, but at the very last minute, I have to put in a big thumbs up for director Tom McCarthy’s chances of winning the big awards coming up tonight, the DGA, and on Feb.28 the Oscars. He certainly deserves them. He’s one of America’s best young directors. Actors LOVE him. He’s directed previously two very esteemed pictures “The Station Agent” with Bobby Cannavale,  the divine Patricia Clarkson and Peter Dinklage giving career-best performances.

And I brought up Tom’s name to Paul Giamatti and Bobby Cannavale, who I was talking to about McCarthy’s OTHER great, slightly unsung film “Win Win”. I think I mention him at about 3:35 as “one of  America’s Best Young Directors” and Paul and Bobby both totally agreed, and jumped right up on the subject. McCarthy ALSO  co-wrote “Win Win” and “The Station Agent” as he also co-wrote the crisp, terrific and terrifying screenplay of “Spotlight” for which he is deemed to the front-runner and winner of Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars.

(This is a satellite interview where we can hear but can’t see each other.)

It just bugs the heck out of me that this multi-talented guy is being so under-rated for his awards’ chances. He’s an actors’ director. Actors who’ve worked with him, love him, as you can see by Paul and Bobby’s excited reactions, when I mentioned his name.

He’s been an actor, too. And I think he was the original sleep-deprived, put-upon tech guy in the original “Noises Off” on Bway. He was hilariously exhausted. I still remember his collapses from over-work backstage, as a jack-of-all-trades and everybody’s doormat. And he was holding his own with Broadway biggies like Dorothy Loudon, Paxton Whitehead and Victor Garber, too.

So he’s come up through the trenches and everybody who knows him or his work, likes him. And respects him. And “Spotlight,” the presumed Best Picture winner is all his. He wrote it. He directed it. He got it right about a complicated, important topic, exposing child molestation in the Catholic church, by the dogged, intrepid Boston Globe reporters in the 1980s.

If it’s going to win Best Picture, because, as Anne Thompson says, “It’s got the gravitas.” Then won’t the person who directed it, be a likely award winner, tomorrow night, too? At the DGAs I mean. That’s the Director’s Guild of America. And if McCarthy wins there, it’s a clear “game-over” for the Oscar race as the other big awards, especially the acting, Leo, Brie and Alicia Vikander. And I hope-not, he doesn’t deserve it Sylvester Stallone.

In any case, “Spotlight” and all its’ acclaim has vaulted Tom McCarthy into the front-ranks of American film directors. And I applaud that whole-heartedly.Spotlight 4


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