Thursday, 13 January 2011

Oscar Talk: Achievement in Directing (with random thoughts on the DGA)

The DGA nominees were announced earlier in the week and every Oscar prognosticators is wondering whether or not their shortlist of directors is going to match the list that AMPAS releases in the next few weeks. Speak to some critics and they’d tell you that the director award is more prestigious than the picture, and now with the ten-wide Picture field that sentiment seems more apt. It’s no surprise then that the DGA, like every other precursor this year, offered a list of the same group of frontrunners. I don’t have any legitimate complaint to lodge against them, because if these are the five they think have been most outstanding then there’s nothing to criticise there. The cited nominees were Arronofsky (Black Swan), Fincher (The Social Network), Hooper (The King’s Speech), Nolan (Inception), and Rusell (The Fighter) – if you’re paying attention you’ll notice that these are the five films up for the Golden Globe for Best Picture, Drama.
From all suppositions one could assume that this is the set of nominees that we can expect from the Academy, although most forecasters are predicting an upset for True Grit. Maybe I’m still a bit naive in this sense, but I still don’t see the correlation between boxoffice and awards’ accolades. Most are citing the surprise success of True Grit at the boxoffice as indication of a recent surge for the film awards’ wise. I’m neither here nor there on that. What strikes me as even stranger, though, is the sentiment that the DGA voted for the race as it was two months ago, and the AMPAS voters (many of them in the DGA) will have to take True Grit’s financial success into consideration to consider the race right now. Poppycock, I say. Who knows...maybe the voters are that fickle, but that just sounds absurd. Does the film being a success make it any better or worse directed? I have no idea (and by that, I mean a thousand times *no* it doesn’t). I’m thinking there will be an upset in the directing race, but I’m not sure I think it’ll be the Coens, but if not the Coen’s then who? The film that you’d most have expected to make a year-end surge (The Way Back) seems to have bowed out of the race with barely a whimper and I want to think that they’ll remember Choldenko but her work is really low-key and they’ll prefer to honour her in the screenplay category. I’ll stick to this quintet for now
Predictions: Arronofsky/Fincher/Hooper/Nolan/Rusell
Not an awful group by any means and better in spades than last year’s line-up I did not care for. So I suppose I should be glad for small mercies.
Enough with predictions, though. If you had the choice to trade out one of the purported five who’d you take out? Who’d you replace them with?


Walter L. Hollmann said...

I'd trade out Nolan for Luca Guadagnino, I Am Love. Though I think Nolan really did do an excellent job, Guadagnino astounded me with his operatic execution of an intimate story that's also an ensemble film. Amazing.

Oh, and I hate to be "that guy", BUT: Russell, not Reilly.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

oy. thanks walter (and i'm usually that guy. i've had o'reilly o. russell on my mind lately and i have to admit the pretentiousness of that name (not his fault, but still) makes me misspell and whatnot. gah, too many names. (this is what happens when you write an article without secondary material.)

TomS said...

No surprise here: remove Nolan and include Cholodenko!

Robert said...

I'd get rid of Nolan and replace him with Debra Granik. Winter's Bone wasn't necessarily one of my favorite movies of the year, but gosh was it well directed. The atmosphere of that film was absolutely PERFECT.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

so both you guys want to boot inception: i agree.

tom god, that would be excellent. ugh.

robert there have been so much good direction this year (granik among them) it's a shame the same names keep showing up everywhere.