David Heyman, a double nominee for 'Marriage Story' and 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,' and three other filmmakers reveal their project envy.
The co-director of For Sama, a nominated doc about the Syrian war, was especially impressed by another nominated documentary, American Factory. "I've never watched a documentary on that community; I never knew how that world could be or should be," she says, adding that she's a fan of the project's director, Julia Reichert. "Julia was the first person who opened her arms to me and paid attention to me and introduced me to many other people," she says. "She's helped me continue to move forward in my life."
The veteran producer (a nominee for How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World) would pick Little Women. "If I were still doing live-action, that would be the one I'd want to be a part of. The cast is amazing. I liked the writing," says Arnold. "I've seen every old version, starting way back with the Katharine Hepburn version. Greta Gerwig just did something a little bit different in the way she told the story and how it unfolded, which I found fun. I also liked the women empowerment of it all."
With two best picture nominations (for Marriage Story and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), Heyman already has his hands full. But he says he has a "real soft spot" for Pain and Glory. "It'll never happen, but I would love to work with [Pedro] Almodóvar," he says. "He brings so much humanity to each of his films. And this performance by Antonio Banderas is so tender. He's normally a man who has great sexuality and physicality and intensity, and here, he's so restrained and quiet with such truth. I love that."
The Once Upon a Time in Hollywood producer has a couple of other features she would have loved to work on: "First, Knives Out. That to me was such a wonderful, fun ride. And I also really love Jojo Rabbit. What [Taika Waititi] was able to do with that subject matter and with a child was phenomenal. It just looked like they had fun," she says, adding, "Some people don't seem to have so much fun, but we have a blast. I mean, it's the time of our lives and we're getting to do what we love. It looked like Taika had a blast."
This story first appeared in a January stand-alone issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.