Entertainment

One of the biggest disasters of Scorsese’s career?

Andrew Garfield and Shin'ya Tsukamoto in a scene from the movie Silence.
Andrew Garfield and Shin'ya Tsukamoto in a scene from the movie Silence. Kerry Brown

WOULDN'T it be funny if Deadpool got an Oscar nomination for Best Picture but Martin Scorsese's 30-year labour-of-love prestige project, Silence, didn't?

It could happen.

So far Silence is unambiguously the biggest flop of Hollywood awards season.

With its heavy subject matter and historical weight, plus the irresistible detail that the completion of the film represents a triumph because it took one of Hollywood's greatest filmmakers 28 years to get it made after the director first read the novel Silence back in the 1980s, Silence had "Oscar contender" written all over it.

In the film, Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver play Portuguese Jesuit priests searching for a fellow padre (Liam Neeson) who has gone missing in 17th century Japan, where the ruling Buddhists are capturing, torturing and murdering Catholics who refuse to renounce their faith.

In early December, one early reviewer, Roger Friedman of Showbiz 411 said, in a story blasted out to the world via the Drudge Report, that Silence is "a masterwork that is set to ambush the awards race."

Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield in a scene from the movie Silence.
Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield in a scene from the movie Silence. Contributed

But as the film heads into wide release after doing so-so numbers in a limited number of theatres in the US since Christmas Day, it has no momentum whatsoever.

This week, the film got completely left off the list of BAFTA nominations. The Producer's Guild of America didn't give it one of its ten nominations for its equivalent of Best Picture. (Last year seven of the nine PGA nominees went on to Oscar nominations for Best Picture.)

Silence was also shut-out at the SAG awards and the Golden Globes. It got the cold shoulder from the American Cinema editors. It didn't get a screenplay nomination from the Writer's Guild of America. It won zilch from the New York Film Critics Circle, the Los Angeles Film Critics Circle and the National Society of Film Critics.

There are hundreds of movie awards being given out this season. But so far the one film that was set to dominate them has captured only a measly Best Adapted Screenplay honour from the National Board of Review.

Could it be that the 160-minute film just isn't working? Even Friedman broached the possibility when he said, "The word out of Los Angeles on Sunday was that Silence was boring or something."

Or something. Some of the less reverent, least fanboyish film critics have been tearing the film to shreds. Women critics especially seem not to find much to love in the film's combination of emotional vacuity and endless repetition of scenes built around whether or not a Catholic can be coerced into stepping on an image of Jesus Christ.

Liam Neeson in a scene from the movie Silence.
Liam Neeson in a scene from the movie Silence. Kerry Brown

"The torture porn is spectacularly inventive. But its commercial compromises may drive you to distraction ... it is punishingly repetitive and, at nearly three hours, sooooooo, sooooooo long," wrote Deborah Ross in the Spectator (UK).

Even less charitably, Camilla Long of London's Sunday Times wrote, "What is this film actually about? If there is an actor who can persuade me that stamping on an image of Christ is a moment of thrilling drama, it is not Garfield ... It is Scorsese at his most sentimental and his weakest. Halfway into its interminable 161 minutes, I realised that Silence stood for something else as well: the silence of fans and critics, or anyone who might say what a flimsy, tokenistic, ego-driven brainfart it is."

The New York Times' Manohla Dargis derided the film's "crushing lack of urgency" and Kate Taylor of the Globe and Mail said "Without any engaging answer to those questions, the film's emotional tension slackens."

Even the critics who liked the film, such as Peter DeBruge of Variety, admitted that it is "taxing," "punishingly long, frequently boring and woefully unengaging."

Silence, with its $US50 million budget, has little hope of turning a profit, but prestige pictures like this one aren't made to make money. And the Academy Awards could rescue it by throwing it a Best Picture or Best Director nomination on January 25.

But otherwise, Silence looks like one of the biggest disasters of Scorsese's career.

Silence is due to hit Aussie cinemas next month.

This article was originally published on The New York Post.

News Corp Australia

Topics:  adam driver andrew garfield liam neeson martin scorsese movies oscars the movie silence


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Northern Rivers joins global Women's March

Two Womens Marches were held in Lennox Head at the weekend that advocated for womens rights in the wake of American president, Donald Trump's inauguration on Friday.

Lennox Head joins global movement

Is this the Northern Rivers' most dangerous intersection?

BLACK SPOT: The Alstonville bypass intersection, where the Bruxner Hwy meets Ballina Rd at Alstonville has been the scene of numerous traffic incidents.

Concerned residents call for change after highway horror

Words to fill the streets of Lenox Head

Lennox Head Poetry Festival is in the town over the next few days.

Inaugural Lennox Head Poetry Festival kicks off

Local Partners

New co ordinator steps forward to save 41-year-old playgroup

A MOTHER of adult-aged children who attended Ballina Little Pelicans Playgroup 10-15 years ago has come forward to become the new coordinator.

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

See turtles up close on rescue centre tour

SPLASH: This green sea turtle, held by Australian Seabird Rescue general manager Kath Southwell, splashed some of the children on a tour of seabird rescue's headquarters.

The turtles don't mind giving the tour groups a splash, too

Shrek on stage

POPULAR MUSICAL: Shrek (River Fullagar) interrupts the wedding, shocking Fiona (Hillary Goodsell), the Bishop (Grace Pateman) and a furious Farquaad (Lachlan McGeary) in the Ballina Players' latest production.

The best-known green ogre is the star in Ballina Players production

Kristen Stewart to host SNL

Kristen Stewart will host a pre-Super Bowl episode of SNL next month

Louis Tomlinson celebrated his son's first birthday

Louis Tomlinson and Briana Jungwirth celebrate son's first birthday

Kylie Minogue will take husband's name

Kylie Minogue will take her fiancé Joshua Sasse's surname

Nicole reveals her biggest parenting challenges

Actress Nicole Kidman.

Nicole Kidman says her kids are ‘deeply attuned' to her moods.

Suicide Squad director reveals his regrets about the film

Margot Robbie in a scene from the movie Suicide Squad.

DIRECTOR of superhero flick on what he’d change about ‘flawed’ film.

Meet the new Marco on MasterChef Australia: Yotam Ottolenghi

Israeli-born, London-based chef Yotam Ottolenghi will be a guest chef for a week on the 2017 season of MasterChef Australia.

AFTER Marco’s defection to Seven, MasterChef signs a true food hero.

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Pat Rafter's $18m Coast home proves hot property

PAT'S PAD: The Sunshine Beach home of tennis ace Pat rafter is on the market for a record price.

"It's a record for our company and for the Sunshine Coast.''

INTERACTIVE MAP: Which Northern Rivers towns boomed in 2016?

BOOM TOWNS: While Ballina properties continued to attract top dollar in 2016, it was areas to the south that experienced price hikes, including Wardell, Evans Head and Woodburn.

Click on our map to find the median sale price in your town

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!