Morning Joe | February 25, 2013
>> " morning joe ." mike barnicle is still with us. and joining us on set, the host of msnbc's "hardball" and author
of "jack kennedy: elusive hero," chris matthews . also on board this morning, the editor of "the new yorker," david remnick . the latest issue of the magazine is now out on newsstands. david, good to have you here as well.
>> good to be here.
>> so -- what?
>> nothing. let's go through it real quickly. i can't wait to hear about everything.
>> ben affleck and the crew of " argo " beat out films like " lincoln " and "silver linings playbook" to win best picture at the academy awards . " lincoln " had its day in the sun as daniel day-lewis earned his third academy award for best actor . the most ever in that category. he even flashed a sense of humor during his acceptance speech.
>> it's a strange thing because three years ago before we decided to do a straight swap, i had actually been committed to play margaret thatcher . and meryl was steven's first choice for " lincoln ." i'd like to see that version.
>> pretty good.
>> you know, those two, though, they're the two greatest actors we have right now.
>> you get the feeling they could pull it off. meryl streep as lincoln would be brilliant. i'd go to that movie.
>> daniel day-lewis and meryl streep , without a doubt, are in a class by themselves.
>> as larry bird once said in the three-point contest, everybody else is playing for second. it was great seeing those two together last night.
>> mm-hmm. it was a nice moment. rounding out the top awards, jennifer lawrence took best actress for her performance in "silver linings playbook." i was really happy to see that. anne hathaway won best supporting actress . christoph waltz took home best supporting actor . there were lots of dresses. i don't know how to talk to you all about dresses. i know you're going to say something lewd. this is charlize theron , that's beautiful. anne hathaway had a beautiful dress on. well, me and jessie rodriguez were on the phone when she came out. we didn't agree.
>> you disagree.
>> but she's fantastic. and it was fun to watch. my daughters were watching the red carpet while i was working upstairs, and i could hear howls when they didn't like someone's dress. there's halle berry . i'm sure no one here will argue with that.
>> except for george.
>> judging from the response, charlize theron won the red carpet with her harry winston jewels.
>> no response whatsoever. this is a situation, whatever you say, is going to go terribly wrong.
>> yes, exactly. why don't you just do news.
>> i did think that jennifer aniston in that red looked great.
>> oh, yeah.
>> i think she didn't try to compete. she's just naturally great. i like her, always have liked her.
>> were you surprised that " lincoln " didn't win best picture ?
>> no. i think all these movies are about today. i think movies are always about today. not just "casablanca." movies are made for the audience today and they react to it today. when people saw " argo " they applauded like mad at the end. people don't applaud at movie theaters . the excitement in seeing america , to cooperate with another country, to do it without bloody, killing everybody and to actually end up getting away from a place like iran we don't want to be in, it had all the messages of today. just like "m.a.s.h." was not really about korea. it was about vietnam. and i think movies are about today always. and i think it captures something. i also thought -- my other first impression was jennifer lawrence . when i saw -- i didn't know what to expect with "silver linings playbook." when i saw her, i walked out of that theater and said that is the best actor of her generation, bar none . i had never seen a performance like that. so first impressions are very helpful. 5,000 people vote in this.
>> daniel day-lewis , of course, i keep talking about daniel day-lewis and " lincoln ." i left the movie theater really moved.
>> i was stunned by that movie. i'm not always blown away by spielberg. he find him sometimes mockish. and the very beginning and the very end were kind of syrupy and filmed through gauzy light. i thought that performance and the script by tony kushner , the ability to tell the story and focus on the battle of the 13th amendment , legislative battle. can you imagine the sequel called sequester.
>> do you have some of these chapters in your legislative life? you could do a whole hour and a half movie? i agree with you guys. to find that kernel of story.
>> i also liked the debate about the necessity or lack of necessity for voracity for truth in a historical movie when it came to " zero dark thirty ," " argo ," when the mission went much more flawlessly in real life than in the movie. and lincoln and the battle in the end in the house.
>> as far as " argo ," it's so funny you say that.
>> there was no chase on the tarm tarmac. that didn't exist.
>> when i talk to friends that knew what happened and were actually around when that happened, they said, actually, it went off without a hitch. it was flawless. you couldn't do a movie.
>> unfortunately, the much bigger mission of that period was the big disaster. which was the attempt to free the american hostages .
>> the true story was the canadian version, and that was dull as hell. the american version was fun.
>> it's the ultimate reality , the bigger reality was horrendous disaster on every count.
>> so why are movies still -- you know, we've been talking about how the great stories are not being told on television. and yet movies had -- hollywood had its biggest bx office year, and people are still transfixed. this is one of those few events. and they're getting fewer and fewer every year, but this is one of those events where most -- a lot of america still stops and gets in front of the tv set and watches. why?
>> well, i think first of all, they're great stories told by terrific storytellers, but we're fools if we take it to be journalism or history as such or scholarship. absolute fools. you know, john ford did a movie on " lincoln ," we would never substitute that for doris kerns goodwin history on " lincoln ." these are movies. these are romanticized. " zero dark thirty ." there you had the question of torture. you know, the filmmakers were pretending that this was real journalistic reality, real historic reality when, in fact, it was not. and i think they paid a price. i think the people that were voting on the oscars -- not that this is the most important issue in the world -- but torture is an incredibly important moral issue for the united states , and i think those filmmakers paid a price.
>> by the way, people in the intelligence community that knew what happened, it's very interesting, we've heard one side of the story where the left is saying hey, there are parts of this that just around accurate. there are people that were actually involved in the process that say hey, they've got us carrying people around in dog collars? they've mixed what we do, you know, and having them in dark dungeons when actually they were very clean, you know.
>> john mccain is not the left. john mccain had real problems with this.
>> john mccain is another issue altogether on the subject. i'm not going to go there. i'm just saying, i agree with your point. we haven't heard the other side of this also, chris, which is there's some abu ghraib in " zero dark thirty ." and i think coming -- both ways, this is a movie that wasn't going to win it at the end because of the backlash.
>> yeah. i think -- i think the academy awards you were saying is really our second great mood ring , like our presidential elections. they really tell us so much about ourselves. they focus on race in the two big movies. "django" and " lincoln ." all about slavery. the first time i've ever seen a plantation since "gone with the wind." this was realistic. i thought seth macfarlane brought back the old days of song and dance . and i know i'm old-time on this, but i thought bob hope and johnny carson were fabulous. i know everybody likes billy crystal . he brought back show biz . he really tried. there were over-the-top jokes about getting into lincoln 's heads. coming back 50 years later singing "goldfinger."
>> i was trying to calculate it. the movie came out -- no, it was like '65.
>> i saw it freshman year. i'm telling you, it was old. 50 years ago. they call her the tom jones of tiger bay . she's an amazing figure. and barbra streisand coming back doing "the way we were." what a great tribute that was. i thought it was great hollywood last night. really rich.
>> and it's a great year for movies.
>> mike was hoping for ursula andress to make her big comeback.
>> a tremendous year for movies. every movie nominated was a terrific movie. the interesting aspect -- one of the interesting aspects, to your point, david, we got all caught up, a lot of us, over the last five or six months on the historical narratives in the movies. it caused me to think maybe we're doing that because we live in a culture and a country now where very few people really pay in-depth attention to current events in history on many sad occasions is so poorly taught by schools.
>> the height of this kind of debate came with the jfk movie by oliver stone which was --
>> conspiracy thinking at the lowest level. and yet there's no doubt about it, oliver stone knows what he's doing as a filmmaker. you couldn't not watch that thing.
>> and i understand we shouldn't get our history there, but unfortunately --
>> a lot of people do.
>> -- this is not only how americans see ourselves sometimes. this is how the world sees america . the impact, the power, the soft power . you want to talk about soft power . all the satellite dishes in the arab world .
>> i think it's true. but i don't think we should hold film -- i think filmmakers should be held to the terms that they're doing it on. if the filmmakers of " zero dark thirty " tell us that this is the absolute historical journalistic truth, then their feet ought to be held to the fire.
>> i didn't say it was anybody in particular. they claim that was kennedy. by the way, the best movies ever are not really ak are rccurate. "laurence of arabia" is my favorite movie.
>> tv laurence wasn't even accurate was the basis for that film.
>> you can't improve on that movie. biography's coming back, i noti notice, jon meacham 's books, o'reilly's books, anything on biography now, i think he's going to -- what do you call it -- jumping the shark, now we're going to killing jesus. i don't think that's going to work.
>> oh, no, it will work. it will sell.
>> i think it's the same o'reilly book club .
>> okay. shall we try and squeeze a little bit of news in here?
>> i just want to talk about this yahoo! story.
>> i love it. this is marissamayer. did you hear about this? she's told people who work at home to come back to work or to quit their jobs. it's the bottom line . insiders say that there are a lot of people who weren't productive who were working at home and that she's, you know, taking a look at the company. and i think that there's a lot of people criticizing her, saying, are you kidding me? a mom telling people that they can't work at home ? having said that, how do you take a look at a company and restructure it?
>> people say i'm going to work at home . depending on what they do and depending on their circumstances and their -- the way they run themselves, some people get a lot more -- i'm going to ruin the day when i get back to the office today. but some people get a lot more done at home because they're not schmoozing with their colleagues or going to lunch. and they really come through. some people hold themselves up at "the new yorker" and do a piece at home in half the time if they had been schmoozing around the office.
>> it depends on the job.
>> yeah. i think if she's trying to make changes there and make it more productive, she does have to actually meet and see the employees that work for her. it could have perhaps been come in three days a week or started in a little bit more of a phased-in kind of way.
>> but how fascinating. an i.t. company that was on the cutting edge in the early 1990s are the ones that are -- that she's actually going against the tide, basically saying this is general motors 1952 . you come to the assembly line or you stay home.
>> absolutely. and when the web began, there was a lot of evangelical thinking about the web. information wants to be free , for example, in my business. no, no, it really doesn't. it wants to be distributed very quickly, but it doesn't want to be free, because then you get bad information. people want to be paid for good journalism. we could all stay home and commute from wherever and we can all meet on skype in some way. and that's not quite as effective sometimes as getting six actual people in a room and hashing out a problem.
>> i don't think you'd want congress on skype.
>> you've got to be collaborati collaborative. you have to actually be there to be collaborative.
>> last night i kept thinking about how people can be creative. you saw it in the film industry . it's all collaborative. and that's why they get that stuff done. it's an incredible effort.
>> i think it depends. and that's what's so interesting is she's having a one-size-fits-all approach. i can tell you -- i can tell you, i create better, i work better, i work longer when i can dress the way i want to dress. when you put me in a coat and a tie and sit me behind a desk all day, i promise you by 2:00, i'm going to start fading and have to stand up and inspire myself to get up and walk around and come back. i think everybody's different.
>> look at the movie " lincoln ." i bet you there were thousands of meetings and maybe effective meetings there. but tony kushner alone in a room.
>> is the basis -- that's how things get written. people don't chat their way toward a masterpiece.
>> the guy that did the filming made it look real. it looked real. it looked like it was happening in the 19th century .
>> as they said in the magazine, it looked like an academic painting of the 19th century .
>>> up next, a lot of news to cover. how might the sequestration cuts affect your town? we're going to talk to oregon governor about the real-world impact of washington's latest deadline debacle along with dr. jeffrey sachs . you're watching " morning joe " brewed by starbucks. [