Mike Nichols doesn’t worry about awards


Speaking shortly before the announcement of the nominations for this year’s Baftas and Academy Awards, Mike Nichols turns his mind to the whole vexed field.

Does he, I ask, worry about prizes? “I worry about awards having become in people’s minds the point. We’re symbol-struck; we’re screwed. Everything is a symbol. We’re pure market forces. Last night at the frigging ‘red carpet’ everyone was asking: ‘Do you think you’re going to win the Academy Awards?’ I said: ‘Who cares? They’re divine but who won last year?’ Nobody knows. It doesn’t exist and so much energy goes in to this thing that doesn’t exist. It’s worrying. Our television, which was never the greatest to begin with, is now beset with meaningless contests.”

As it happened, Nichols’ current release, Charlie Wilson’s War, confounded expectations, the only recipient of a nomination being Philip Seymour Hoffman’s for best supporting actor in both the Baftas and the Oscars. But Nichols is in the luxurious position of being able to regard this minor disappointment with relative equanimity. Sitting in the discreet opulence of a suite at the Dorchester, he looks like a man supremely at ease with the world. He has every right to be.

Now in his mid-70s, although looking younger and almost glowing with health and bonhomie, he can look back on a career on stage, on record, on small and big screen of almost unparalleled success. He is one of an elite band to have won the major awards in all four of these arenas: Oscars, Grammys, Emmys and Tonys (he has won eight of these). Nearly 40 years ago, with Catch 22, he was the first director in America, and therefore the first anywhere, to receive a million dollars for a single film.

(Source: FT.com)

Awards, Directors

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