Best Director is naturally one of the biggest categories and a personal favorite because that's what differs a good movie from a great movie. A genius director can use a fantastic story and make a fantastic film.
But it's hard to win, Hitchcock never won, neither did Kurosawa, Fellini or Robert Altman. Tim Burton hasn't yet.
The nominees this year are:
- Woody Allen – Midnight in Paris
- Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist
- Terrence Malick – The Tree of Life
- Alexander Payne – The Descendants
- Martin Scorsese – Hugo
Woody Allen (or Allen Stewart Konigsberg, did you know that?) already has two Oscars and I don't think he's due for another, even if Midnight.. is well received.
Michel is the new star, the writer/director/actor that finally got a break in Hollywood and made a black-white silent movie that had taken everyone by storm. He has a real chance of bagging the prize, depending on if the jury award The Tree of Life the Best Picture award.
Hugo is a wonderful film but it lacks that last percent that I would expect from Scorsese, I think that movie will win Oscars but not in this category. There are too many scenes that he could have made that little better. He also won in 2006 for The Departed, and rightfully so. It was brilliantly directed.
The first years this award the eligibility period spanned two calendar years, but in 1935 they changed it to the format we are familiar with still, films from the last calendar year. They also gave out two Oscars for best director, one for drama and one for comedy.
Last year Tom Hooper won for King's Speech (a real Oscar bait movie, well played but a bit of a yawn if I'm honest and Darren should have easily won for Black Swan) and so far 88 directors have been nominated more than once (with John Ford leading with 4 but dwarfed by William Wyler with 12 nominations in total, hands up everyone that can even name 12 movies by him. I know Ben-Hur and that's about it)
Pictured above: Celluloid history in tweed and total lack of empathy for human life
Sorry, catch you next time
The problem I have with the Oscars (besides them giving it to Michael Moore for best documentary when it has very little to do with reality, and to Al Gore for the very same reason) is that they skip worthy winners because another worthy winner was skipped last time so they have to give the prize to a person, not their creation.
Let me give you a couple of examples; in 1975 Al Pacino was nominated for The Godfather part II but lost to Art Carney because Art was due. Never mind that Pacino put in the performance of his (and therefore everybodys) life.
In 1992 he was nominated again for Scent of a Woman (yeah he drives a Ferrari blind, that's pretty much everything I also remember from that heaping pile of manure) but won because he was due.
In 2000 Ang Lee was nominated for THE movie that brought Asia to Hollywood for real and for ever; Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. But lost to Soderberghs Traffic, so in 2005 Ang Lee was nominated again with an extremely boring movie about two cowboys that was more than just friends and won over Munich, Capote, Crash and Good Night and Good Luck.
Because he was due....
Michel will win, because those none are due this year. Not in this category anyway.