NYJ Walkthrough 12/3/10, a 98 minute film of a final walkthrough of a game plan by New York Jets players and staff, which received nominations for Best Picture, Best Cinematography and Best Supporting Actor, has garnered near-universal acclaim in the cinematic community as a visceral portrayal of futility and despair. The film, which was shot from the stands at the Jets' practice facility, was rumored to be intended for Belichick's personal game preparation, but has instead become a dark horse to triumph in the Best Picture category over films like The Black Swan and The King's Speech.
Belichick has denied comment on the film, stating only "I have not seen the film, i had no role in its making, and I was operating under the belief that the NFL permitted the conduct that the Academy suggest I played some role in. I would decline any Academy Awards that were given to me."
Heralded cinematographer and fellow nominee Roger Deakins (True Grit) rejected Belichick's response as false modesty.
"I've seen few videos that so captured the grace of Right Red 42 and the weaknesses in D'Brickashaw Ferguson's ability to pick up a right end stunt. It was moving. The gravitas of it all was so much that it looked like the Jets could barely even get the ball moving. It was as if Belichick's film just had a paralyzing effect on them, like the Patriots saw everything coming and the Jets saw the futility of the game," Deakins said.
Chicago Sun-Times film critic Richard Roeper was among the critics who lauded Walkthrough's single-hidden-camera framing.
"The single-camera shot is relentless. It takes the intensity of Hitchcock's Rope and says 'listen, if you're going to have nothing but 8 minute shots, we're going to have a single shot that bears down on the same spot on the field for 98 minutes.' And the eerily silent soundtrack really harkens back to Von Stroheim," Roeper said.
LaDainian Tomlinson was alarmed to hear of his nomination as Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of an aging, broken-down running back refusing to concede the inevitable.
"I'd like to thank the Academy, but that's a bunch of shit," Tomlinson said. "I'm as fast as I ever was."
Uncredited executive producer Rex Ryan claimed full credit for releasing the films to theaters in New York and LA against Belichick's wishes.
Ryan said, "I knew this could really appeal to the [expletive deleted] public. I mean, millions of [expletive deleted] people watched the [expletive deleted] Pro [expletive deleted] Bowl. Football sells."
Former Browns and Jets Coach Eric Mangini agreed that the film was worthy of Roger Goodell's attention, but believed the meeting would do nothing to allay Belichick's cinematic career.
"Of course [Goodell]'s calling Belichick in, he probably wants to congratulate him. I mean, this is Roger Goodell, and it's not like Belichick celebrated a touchdown. He'll be fine," Mangini said.