Wednesday, 28 October 2009

2008: The Directors

Sometimes I can see some films that just had that air of being directed really well, and then some times I’m just wholly stumped and end up mirroring my best picture line. Oh well, here’s the list.
          
The Finalists
Woody Allen for Vicky Cristina Barcelona
For some reason I rarely think that Woody Allen films are palpably well directed. It’s a complex I suppose. I mean you know that he pours it all into the scripts so I don’t really see any big direction.
                    
Clint Eastwood for Changeling
I liked this movie more than I liked Clint directing it, it did meander a little and I think he could have done a better job of reconciling all the elements. Over all though, I though it came of god despite him.
                
Ron Howard for Frost/Nixon
Very tautly directed. I wouldn’t fault his nomination, he gave a valiant effort.
              
Christopher Nolan for The Dark Knight
He did the best he could but a middling script prevented him from doing anything truly outstanding. Still, he has lots of potential. I'll see what happens with Inception.
                                  
Martin McDonagh for In Bruges
What an underrated piece. It was just a wicked romp and though the last bit does get a bit clichéd he pulls it off well.
                           
The Nominees

Darren Aronofsky for The Wrestler
The sum of the parts didn’t make a good movie, but his direction was good. It’s not hard to see why he didn’t pick up traction, but he would have been ideal for the lone director spot. But then he’d have had to knock out Van Sant or Boyle, and that wasn’t going to happen.
               
Coen Brothers for Burn After Reading
Every shot of this hilarious romp is crisp. It’s done so directly which only adds to the hilarity and ludicrousness of the whole.
                
Stephen Daldry for The Reader
I suppose I’m biased towards him, and yeah I was glad to have predicted his film making it all the way but the middle section of the film particularly comes to mind as being well directed.
              
David Fincher for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
He’s a diverse director, that much is obvious; and more power to him. All the ostensibly incongruent parts of the story blend together to create a beautiful picture. It seems so effortless.
                   
Sam Mendes for Revolutionary Road
Mendes is smart enough to avoid cheap tricks. It’s arguably the most economically edited and directed film of the year. There’s never a superfluous moment or shot, it’s just always precise. Underrated.

6 comments:

Univarn said...

Loved In Bruges, one of my top 5 of 2008, and nobody got on its bandwagon. Burn After Reading for me was 2/3rds of a good film, the last 1/3rd I barely limped through in check. Though for 2008 I really championed David Fincher and Danny Boyle, two insanely diverse directors one that finally got some love and the other still seeking some.

joe burns said...

My bet is that Revolutionary Road is your choice for Best Picture

Walter L. Hollmann said...

Good on you for Fincher and Aronofsky! And isn't it incredible how consistently great Daldry is? I wish I had seen The Reader in time for my own noms, but none of the theaters in my area thought to pick it up until AFTER it was nominated (naturally).

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

Univarn, Walter: God I'm glad people liked Fincher's work.

Joe: Good guess but you're wrong. [Whew]...don't worry you'll know in about ten hours.

Walter: Daldry is indeed incredibly consistent. What's more unnerving is the diversity from Billy Elliot to The Hours to The Reader.

Alex in Movieland said...

This is easy for me. No. 1 has got to be Tomas Alfredson for easily the best movie of 2008 :D Let the Right one In.

Checking the archive, here's the top 5:

1. Tomas Alfredson – Let the Right One In
2. David Fincher – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
3. Christopher Nolan – The Dark Knight
4. Andrew Stanton – WALL E
5. Sam Mendes – Revolutionary Road

with Shanley as runner-up for Doubt

Danny King said...

I disagree that The Dark Knight had a "middling script". One of the things that makes me so mad about the Oscar voters is how hypocritical they are. They run around praising Heath Ledger's performance and then they don't recognize the script at all. One thing to understand about Ledger's performance -- besides how good it is -- is that a lot of it is built on signature moments and lines that wouldn't be there without the great script. Ledger could have been the most talented actor in the world, but if there wasn't a special script and great direction, I think his performance would have come off as over the top.