02 February 2013

Oscar Zone Vol. IV: Directing Nominations

Welcome again folks to our needless build-up to the Oscar Ceremony on February 24th. You may vote right now for who you think will win Best Picture on the top tab on the immediate right of your screen, but today we're talking Best Director. We have gone through the writing and acting nominations, and you can see the whole gamut of our predictions right here. But who will bring home the Directing Statue? Keep reading to find out:

We'll rank these from least to most likely to win:

Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild

It's amazing that anything from this picture was nominated. Not for lack of quality, but it's more the kind of film the Internet usually rags on for being awesome but snubbed by mainstream award shows. Well, this year it's received plenty of attention from the Academy, but ultimately it really is just too small and obscure of a film to pick up any major awards. That's the only way this can work - lovers of this film need to still say that this isn't getting the recognition it deserves, and they can't do it if it wins and becomes really popular. It's one of the farthest long shots for Best Picture and arguably even farther for Benny here.

David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook

David O is an actor's director, and all his actors love him for it. Bale snagged an Oscar with him for The Fighter (2010), which was another well recieved film that made it to the top brackets, but like Silver Linings, just isn't the kind of film that wins a lot of major awards besides acting.This may be hitting its most-buzzworthy stride right about now, though, which is the only thing that could go in its favor. Still, with directors voting for this one and not actors, David O's chances are slim.

Michael Haneke for Amour

Oscars are curious things, really. Often they can stand in for many more things than just one filmmaker's vision on screen. They act as makeshift lifetime achievement awards (see, Scorsese), or make-ups for past slights. The following two directors fit these characteristics. Austrian Michael Haneke has been around forever (he definitely saw some SHIT GO DOWN BACK IN THE DAY), and though he's far from a household name, he's well known by the crowd voting for him, and this could be the rare foreign film that branches out into the major award categories, not just Foreign Language Film. Still, no one in the major populace knows who the hell he is, and his chances ultimately aren't that realistic.

Ang Lee for Life of Pi

Here is that past slight we were talking about.Ang Lee should have won for Brokeback Mountain. You know it. He knows it. Paul Haggis knows it. With all of Life of Pi's nominations this year it also seems as if the Academy may finally know it. Successfully filming a supposedly unfilmable book is always a great accomplishment, and an award here wouldn't be unwarranted. The only thing really going against him is the huge support for the next dude, the only two who are nominated for both an Academy Award and DGA Feature Film Award.

Steven Spielberg for Lincoln

Let's first mention two directors who did a better job than Steve did with Lincoln this year. Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck have not only made a great pair of films in Zero Dark Thirty and Argo, respectively, but they are also the most-talked about pair of directors these past few weeks and were both snubbed for this award. It would seem like a cinch for Affleck to grab this after Argo has been cleaning up, including the Golden Globes. The DGA Awards are tomorrow night and the winner there will reveal very interesting things for the Oscars. Or not. It's tough to say what an Affleck or Bigelow DGA would mean. Maybe just that the Academy is cray. Without the competition of one of our most exciting yet douchey young filmmakers and a woman who insanely and generally continues to put her life and carrer in danger, Spielberg has this in the can. He's not even campaigning all that much, besides the occasional Clinton endorsement. There isn't a reason at all that he doesn't win this, though he's really not the one who should this year. Lucky bastard.

So that wraps up the Directors. There won't really be a big surprise this year, but that's mostly just because any worthwhile potential nominee was shoved aside for yes, some deserving individuals, but not really the hottest directors of the moment. Up next we'll finally analyze every single Best Picture nominee. Stay tuned!

Who do you think the Best Director of the year was?

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