When David Carr Was Focused on the Hollywood Equation

Sasha Stone pays tribute to a valued friend and mentor

AwardsDailyLogoAwards Daily’s Sasha Stone, along with explaining the great deal she owes David Carr for his mid-2000s friendship, advice and generous transcription assignments pay, also offers a wide-screen view of the man. A look back at those almost forgotten days when he patrolled the New York Times “Carpetbagger” beat:

The Oscar race had never seen anyone like David Carr and will never see anyone like him again. It’s sort of like driving a Ferrari to deliver the mail. Any old reporter would do but they got David Carr – whip smart, funny, fearless. His columns on the Oscars really did represent the high bar – that was as good as it gets.

… His covering the Oscar beat wouldn’t last long. He stood it until he couldn’t stand it anymore. He quit being the Carpetbagger and eventually wrote the media column at the Times, which was a much better fit. Coverage of the Oscar race would never get that good again.

As a result, Stone and Carr’s relationship shifted to more of an Awards Yearly pace, with she and Carr chatting once every 12 months ahead of the Oscars. Stone knows the film awards game as well as anyone, so when she deems Carr to be “the best Oscar predictor I knew,” that’s high west coast praise:

Carr thought Boyhood would have trouble winning because it was too subtle for Oscar voters… After we spoke for a while, catching up on things like we usually do, I got the chance to thank him for turning my life around.


@hollywoodspin rhorgan@gmail.com Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.