As Sarah noted yesterday in her coverage of the BAFTAs and the Directors Guild of America awards, Everything Everywhere All At Once was the DGA’s choice for Best Picture, honouring Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert for their work on the film.
Everything Everywhere All At Once leads at the Oscars with the most nominations but it’s a weird movie, a lot of people don’t get it, so Best Picture at the Oscars is not a slamdunk. And it’ll be interesting to see what happens next weekend at the Producers Guild awards because there’s a sense in the industry that Top Gun: Maverick is big with that crowd. But speaking of Top Gun: Maverick…
Judd Apatow hosted the DGAs and he made fun of a lot of people that night – Austin Butler, The Daniels, Todd Field, his own daughter, Maude Apatow, and himself too. But he went particularly hard at Tom Cruise, targeting Tom for much longer than the others, and some would way meaner too. Per Variety:
“The jokes began with the topic of the “Top Gun” star’s height: “The special effects in ‘Maverick’ were so top notch, I couldn’t even see the stack of phone books Tom Cruise sat on to reach the flight controls.”
“Remember when Tom Cruise jumped up and down on the couch and we all thought, ‘What a lunatic!'” Apatow said, referring to the infamous 2005 incident on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” “And now he rides a motorcycle off a cliff and BASE jumps and we’re all like, ‘Tom’s fine!'” “Tom is not fine. Someone needs to explain to him something called CGI. You’re 60. Calm down,” Apatow continued. “But every time he does one of these new stunts, it does feel like an ad for Scientology. I mean, is that in Dianetics? Because there’s nothing about jumping off a cliff in the Torah.”
But Apatow wasn’t done roasting Cruise. Next, he moved onto poking fun at the actor’s family life and his opinions on mental health. “The only thing he seems to be afraid of is co-parenting and antidepressants,” he said. “I doubled my Prozac today just for this. I doubled it! Do you think if Tom Cruise took antidepressants, he’d be like, ‘I’m not jumping out of a fucking cliff. I’m rich!'”
According to Variety, Joseph Kosinski, who directed Top Gun: Maverick, was “unamused”. And, yeah, the quality of these jokes is embarrassingly low. There are ways to mock Tom Cruise that don’t have to be so lazy. Jerrod Carmichael did a great job with this at the Golden Globes.
#GoldenGlobes host Jerrod Carmichael makes a dig at Scientology: "Backstage, I found these three Golden Globe awards that Tom Cruise returned...I think maybe we take these three things and exchange them for the safe return of Shelly Miscavige." https://t.co/m069JEKekW pic.twitter.com/fw25ng5nU2— Variety (@Variety) January 11, 2023
By comparison, Judd’s shots were… amateur hour.
Beyond the mockery though, I wonder if there’s something else at play. There are indeed a lot of people who are looking at Top Gun: Maverick like the savior of theatrical release – and that could be a factor in Oscar voting. But maybe there are others, like Judd, within the industry, who do NOT want to see Tom Cruise and Top Gun: Maverick come out on top at the Oscars on March 12. This is campaign season and Judd, in a roomful of voters, tried to clown Maverick. Whether or not the jokes were good enough for that to work is one thing. But whether or not that was actually the intention is another. And it’s not like Judd isn’t influential in his own circles.
Judd and Paul Rudd, and Seth Rogen, and Jimmy Kimmel, and Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox and Steve Carell and Jason Bateman and Gwyneth Paltrow – that whole circle, some of whom were involved in the push for Andrea Riseborough which resulted in an Oscar nomination. What are they saying about Tom Cruise and Top Gun: Maverick at those dinner parties? That’s where all the good gossip happens, where they all talk sh-t about each other. And if that’s the sh-t Judd’s saying about Tom in public, what’s he saying about Tom in private?