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Friday, August 1, 2014



2012 Awards Season: Oscar Highlight: Best Director

With our annual Oscar Prediction contest underway, now is the best time to look at the nominees and try and figure out who the favorites are and which films should just feel honored to be nominated. Today we will look at the Best Director, which is one of the closer races, at least among the high prestige categories, with the two leading contenders splitting previous major awards.

(Note: All previous awards listed are only for directing and not other categories.)

Best Director

Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris
Tomatometer Score: 93% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: Golden Globe and DGA
Movie's Previous Major Wins: None
Director's Previous Major Nominations: Six Oscars, Four Golden Globes, and Four DGAs
Director's Previous Major Wins: One Oscar and One DGA
Notes: Woody Allen has always done better as a screenwriter than a director and this year it looks like that will continue, as he probably won't go home empty-handed, but he likely won't win for Best Director.

Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist
Tomatometer Score: 97% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: Golden Globe, DGA, and Independent Spirit Award
Movie's Previous Major Wins: DGA
Director's Previous Major Nominations: None
Director's Previous Major Wins: None
Notes: One of the best reviewed films of the year, The Artist is expected to be the big winner at this year's Oscar celebration, and this includes winning for Best Director. It did fail to win the Golden Globe, so there is at least some uncertainty surrounding this category, but its chances of winning are better than a coin toss.

Terrence Malick - The Tree of Life
Tomatometer Score: 84% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: None
Movie's Previous Major Wins: None
Director's Previous Major Nominations: One Oscar, One Golden Globe, and One DGA
Director's Previous Major Wins: None
Notes: This nomination was a bit of a shock. The film's reviews are lower than other films in this category. It opened much earlier. It didn't do as well at the box office. And it was shut out at previous major awards. It could be the longest of the long shots.

Alexander Payne for The Descendants
Tomatometer Score: 89% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: Golden Globe, DGA, and Independent Spirit Awards
Movie's Previous Major Wins: None (One Pending)
Director's Previous Major Nominations: One Oscar, Two Golden Globes, One DGA, Two Independent Spirit Awards
Director's Previous Major Wins: Two Independent Spirit Awards
Notes: See Woody Allen above. Like that writer / director, Alexander Payne has earned more accolades for his writing than his directing and since he is the favorite to win for Best Adapted Screenplay, it's not like Oscar voters will give him this award just so he won't go home empty-handed.

Martin Scorsese for Hugo
Tomatometer Score: 93% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: Golden Globe and DGA
Movie's Previous Major Wins: Golden Globe
Director's Previous Major Nominations: Six Oscars, Seven Golden Globes, Seven DGAs, and One Independent Spirit Award
Director's Previous Major Wins: One Oscar, Two Golden Globes, One DGA, and One Independent Spirit Award
Notes: Martin Scorsese is one of the greatest director working today. Practically every film he makes is an Awards Season contender and for many years he was considered one of the greatest directors of all time to never win an Oscar for directing. That changed when he won for The Departed. Personally, I think he should win for Hugo as well, but while there is a reasonable chance he could, he is still the underdog. He did win the Golden Globe, but Michel Hazanavicius won the DGA, and when those two awards voters disagree, the DGAs are usually right when it comes to the Oscars.

Conclusion: In my opinion, Martin Scorsese should win for Hugo. However, most of the evidence suggests Michel Hazanavicius is the favorite to win for The Artist.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2012-02-23

Movies 
 Midnight in Paris
 The Artist
 The Tree of Life
 The Descendants
 Hugo