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2011 Oscars: Director

  • Feb 25, 2011
Over the past 50 years the best director and best picture award usually sync up. Makes sense the director is there from start to finish and he usually crafts the way the movie is to be made. Unless you have pissed off your editor. So with the big night just a couple of days away let’s look at the best directors of 2010

Darren Aronofsky, "Black Swan"
David O. Russell, "The Fighter"
Tom Hooper, "The King's Speech"
David Fincher, "The Social Network"
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, "True Grit"

First and foremost HOW IS NOLAN NOT ON THIS LIST. I know people in the business have been going on and on about this snub, but it has justification. I mean come on, could anyone else in the industry make a movie like this. And why, because he didn't go to a few luncheons. Seriously. Alright I'm better, let’s continue.

Many speculate that it was the Coen Brothers who knocked off Nolan for the nomination (I know I said I was done bitching about it but this has a point, just wait) so that would make them the last ones invited to the party. I love their treatment of the West and they are at their comfort level in a rural atmosphere. Also working against them is they just won three years ago, and this film is not nearly at the same level as No Country for Old Men so I would have to suspect that they have probably the least possible chance to win.

I really enjoyed both Black Swan and The Fighter but these two movies are pretty much on the opposite ends of the spectrum. For every person out there who loved the almost noir style of the movie, there is another older voter out there who found the movie creepy and unwatchable. This movie is far too polarizing to win. The Fighter is a much safer watch with a happy and uplifting ending for all of the characters involved. But there is nothing to it visually. Russell pretty much just lets the actors be and allowed them to take over the scenes. This will get the movie a couple acting awards but makes it less likely for the film to win for its directing.

Now we are down the big two movies of the year. Tom Hooper has all the stats behind him. His movie is heavily favored to win best picture and he won the Director's Guild's award which also has a 70% carry over rate to repeat a win. So the easy pick would be Hooper to win as best director, but this may be a year to buck the odds. This relative new comer has already won Emmy gold and with the most nominations of the year this movie is going to walk away with some of the biggest awards of the night, but not this one.

The Social Network is an obvious choice for best adapted screenplay and rightly so, everyone notices the fast paced poetics that fly out of the actor's mouths. But the movie is also visually striking. Even in the day light hours there is a dark tone that is present through the entire film and I can assure you this is not done by accident. With the underhanded dealings and all the betrayals going on it the story the lighting captures the mood of the story. The pacing of the movie also has to do with just how the movie is put together. There are a lot of quick cut and close ups that allow you to become intimately involved with the characters. The framing of the story allows for the flow and it never feels like it is being rushed, but rather the time flies by in the movie which is always an accomplishment given so many people's short attention span. The Social Network had such early momentum that was all snagged up by The King's Speech but traces of its early domination can still be seen. The Academy will look to award David Fincher the award for best director, an award he deserves to win for what he did with the movie.

Will this win for Fincher be a telling sign of things to come for the nights last award, will all the Oscar predictors get it right with Speech, or will one of the other eight movies pull an upset and bring everyone on stage, we'll examine that tomorrow.

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February 26, 2011
I am still shocked Nolan is not on here.
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