Did you love the best picture nominees? Did you know you didn’t see the whole film?
No matter what some directors or producers might assert, no film makes it to the screen with every frame shot. There are always a few scenes that just couldn’t be made to fit. Length can be an issue, but cuts are also made for clarity and plain old storytelling. So what didn’t you get to see? Here, six filmmakers talk about the shots that couldn’t fit — and, in some cases, where you can still see them!
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Missing in action: Meg (Emma Watson) and Marmee (Laura Dern) have a conversation in which Meg doctors the account books because she’s spent money she didn’t have. Her mother disapproves, and Meg becomes frustrated.
Why’d it go? “It was a beautiful scene, and I loved the acting in it — but ultimately there was a truth on Meg’s face that gave the audience all the information it needed,” says director-screenwriter Greta Gerwig. “The conversation became unnecessary, because Emma communicated the content of the conversation, which was, ‘I want something I can’t have, I’m frustrated and I’m spending this because this is my way of coping.’ Sometimes, actors convey the message with their faces — and words aren’t necessary.”
Missing in action: Due to the one-shot nature of how “1917" was filmed, there are no actual “deleted” scenes that were shot. But Kristy Wilson-Cairns (co-screenwriter with director Sam Mendes) says there was one she’d wanted to include that was “a bullet point on our treatment”: a gas attack that finds Lance Cpl. Schofield (George MacKay) in a crater, pinned down under fire. If he stays he’ll be gassed; if he gets up he’ll be shot at.
Why’d it go? “Very quickly we thought, ‘How far is too far? How far before you stop living in 1917 and start living in Hollywood?’” recalls Cairns-Wilson. “It was a real tightrope act, and we couldn’t push the reality too far — or we’d have broken it.”
Missing in action: As Jojo matures and starts to see the world more clearly, his imaginary friend Adolf Hitler begins to feel threatened and tries to guilt-trip the boy into keeping him around. He shows an (imaginary) Hermann Göring who’s fallen apart since the lonely child who’d invented him has moved on. “He says, ‘That’s what happens to us when you guys leave us,’” says director Taika Waititi (who also plays Hitler).
“Jojo Rabbit” deleted scene
Why’d it go? “Like most deleted scenes, it only extended the film a little bit and didn’t add much,” says Waititi. “That’s part of the tragedy of editing a movie; you’ve got to get rid of some great stuff. But at least it’s on the [DVD’s] deleted scenes!”
“Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”
Missing in action: Timothy Olyphant and Luke Perry (in character as “Lancer” actors) pull up in a carriage and don’t yet know they’re half-brothers. When they find out they’re related, they make fun of each other, and proceed to go see their father, who they’ve been told will give them $1,000.
Why’d it go? “The movie was already [two hours, 45 minutes], and you have to get it down to a manageable time,” says producer Shannon McIntosh. “While trying to get to the timing of the movie, we just didn’t feel like we needed those introductions to get to the crux of the moment. It pressed pause on the journey of the movie. And it’s on the DVD in Blu-ray, if you want to see it.”
“Ford v Ferrari”
Missing in action: Ken (Christian Bale) sings “The White Cliffs of Dover” in a tiki bar while getting drunk with other drivers.
Why’d it go? “The sequence in the movie after Christian wins Daytona shows Matt [Damon, as Carroll Shelby] and the rest of the racers greeting him at the bar,” says director James Mangold. “Originally, that was a three-minute musical sequence. It was charming, but it ended up that we were waiting for nightfall to do the bar scene, and there was this beautiful twilight sky. Phedon [Papamichael], the DP, and I set up the camera outside the bar and just winged this scene of Christian walking to the bar and Matt and everyone calling him over. It was so much more economical and effective than a musical sequence — it captured everything in a single shot.”
Missing in action: A salon scene in which the Kim family is getting their hair done, discussing how nice and gullible Park Yeon Kyo is.
Why’d it go? The scene was set to appear after Ki Woo mentions Jessica to Yeon Kyo after his first day of infiltrating the Park house, writes director Bong Joon Ho. “The details in that [salon] scene and performances were great, but we deleted it for the sake of pacing. The process of infiltration had to feel fast as all four members [of the Kim family] complete their mission one by one. So in the final film, after Ki Woo mentions that Jessica is not easily available, the scene transitions to them in front of the gate, Jessica in her new hairstyle and professional outfit doing the Jessica Jingle. It was an important decision that heightened the overall speed and tempo of the infiltration process.” And, he notes, the scene will be on the Blu-ray of the film as a special feature.
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