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Thursday, February 21, 2013

2013 Oscar Preview: Best Director

Click here for my introduction


  • Michael Haneke (Amour)
  • Ang Lee (Life of Pi)
  • David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)
  • Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)
  • Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild)


ANG LEE: Life of Pi was great and much of the credit goes to Ang Lee. The film is beautiful to look at, the story in engaging and entertaining, and the use of special effects is wonderful. There is sneaky buzz going on about Ang Lee winning Best Director and I hope that comes to fruition.

DAVID O. RUSSELLI really enjoyed Silver Linings Playbook and it was my #4 film of 2012. Normally, when a film is that good, you have to give the director lots of credit. However, in Russell's case here, I think his job as a writer and the actors deserve most of the credit and not necessarily Russell as a director. Since I loved the film it is hard for me to poo poo this nomination; however, considering the laundry list of Best Director snubs, DOR probably could have made way for a director who did just a little bit better of a job in 2012. 

STEVEN SPIELBERG: My disdain of Lincoln is well documented so I absolutely hate this selection. I love many of Spielberg's films and the man obviously has talent, but let us also not pretend that Spielberg has never made a stinker either (Remember The Terminal?). I thought Spielberg did a terrible job directing this movie. For starters, Tony Kushner's script is a difficult one to master. It has lengthy and complex dialogue throughout which is not really in Spielberg's wheelhouse. Also, the movie is overscored (as usual for a Spielberg film) and is way to melodramatic than it needs to be. I really hope Spielberg doesn't win this year.

BENH ZEITLIN: I can't stand Beasts of the Southern Wild. I understand what Zeitlin was trying to say but he did not find an entertaining way to tell his story. I saw this movie last summer and thought it was just OK. The pacing it off and it's just flat out boring. I have no doubt that Benh Zeitlin will be able to make a film I want to watcher over and over again because you can see bits and pieces of greatness in Beasts; however, his craft is not ready yet.

MICHAEL HANEKE: I have not seen Amour so I can not judge it.


  • Ben Affleck (Argo)
  • Rian Johnson (Looper)
  • Ang Lee (Life of Pi)
  • Sam Mendes (Skyfall)
  • Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained)


  • Ben Affleck (Argo)
  • Ang Lee (Life of Pi)
  • Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)
  • Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained)
  • Katheryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty)


  • WHO SHOULD WIN (OSCAR FIELD): Ang Lee (Life of Pi)
  • WHO SHOULD WIN (ENTIRE FIELD): Ben Affleck (Argo)
  • WHO WILL WIN: Steven Spielberg (Lincoln) Ang Lee (Life of Pi)


What a crock of shit these five actual nominations are. Objectively and realistically, there should have been four guaranteed spots: Ben Affleck (Argo), Katheryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty), Ang Lee (Life Of Pi), and Steven Spielberg (Lincoln). Then you leave the fifth spot to either Michael Haneke (Amour), Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained), or Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild). That would have been fair, right, and just. If Haneke or Zeitlin had gotten the 5th spot over Tarantino then maybe people would have been extremely upset, but Django wasn't *THAT* good and you don't really hear people clamoring for Tarantino now (although it might be hard to hear them Tarantino lovers over the roars of the Affleck and Bigelow fans...) 

The Director's Guild of America (DGA) nominated Affleck, Bigelow, Lee, Spielberg, and Tom Hooper (Les Miserables). The main critique of Les Mis is that is it poorly directed because Hooper uses WAY too many close ups so no one cared that he didn't get an Oscar nomination. Now Haneke, Tarantino, and Zeitlin were not eligible to be nominations for DGA for a variety of reasons, but these three men still did not deserve a nomination over the core-four. 

BTW, David O. Russell *IS* eligible for a DGA and he didn't get a DGA nomination. Again, I don't mind his Oscar nomination but it's not like he absolutely deserves to be there either. 

No matter what, these nominations are a joke and the winner should have an asterisk next to his name. If Argo doesn't win Best Picture because of this I might have to go find the important and individual members of the Academy myself and do something about it.


Who would get your vote for the best director of 2012?


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