I had the good fortune to speak with Greta Gerwig earlier today. She's had a terrific year co-writing and headlining the comedy Frances Ha, one of the year's true cinematic triumphs. But, due to the timing of our scheduled conversation, I also had the misfortune of being the bearer of bad news. I didn't realize when I clumsily brought up the Gotham snub, that she hadn't yet heard that the first awards show of the season, which previously honored her with a "breakthrough" nomination for Greenberg (2010) had passed this time around. But she was game enough to answer my questions about movie awards, anyway. She likes to watch, she quickly offered but "it's not really party of my orbit"
But that led me to wondering if the reception of her work is important to her at all, or if she's one of those actors that's solely focused on the process.
I'm incredibly about how it's received but I don't -- but awards seem to be even beyond that. It has, like, its own rules. I want people I respect to like what I've done. I hope it touches people. I'm not making art in a closet because I want to have the experience of people watching it and liking it.But awards are so kind of arbitrary. I think it's amazing to be recognized and I think good films are certainly recognized but I don't really see any connection between...
Her voice trails off then before she wraps the topic up with a funny bow.
I think if you're in the film business long enough they eventually get around to you somehow. Or at least when you die a picture of you goes up onscreen.
Um, but I don't know. I also think filmmakers who I love -- sometimes the movies they get recognized for aren't as good as some of their other movies. 'Oh, we sat on it when it was fascinating in the 80s,' or something 'so now we're going to do it!'
That's some truth telling, right there. That's exactly how it works. This fine actress knows more about awards season than she thinks.
Frances Ha is currently available for pre-order from Criterion Collection and arrives on November 12th. The Film Experience's full interview with Greta Gerwig in which we talk musicals, filmmaking, and casting is coming soon.