Thursday, January 10, 2013

Oscar Nominees: Best Director

My predictions: 2/5, picking only Lee and Spielberg
My ballot: Come back next week!
The nominees: Michael Haneke (Amour), Behn Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild), Ang Lee (Life of Pi), Steven Spielberg (Lincoln), David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)

My current bet to win: How did we possibly get here? Basically, three things happened all at once. First, Russell secured the spot held at the Golden Globes by Quentin Tarantino for “Django Unchained” and at the DGA by Tom Hooper for “Les Miserables.” Then, both Haneke and Zeitlin were able to muster enough support to crack the list. Inexplicably, that resulted in Ben Affleck, set to earn his first nomination for “Argo,” and Kathryn Bigelow, who became the first woman to win this category three years ago for “The Hurt Locker” and would now return for “Zero Dark Thirty,” both being omitted. I won’t argue with the inclusion of Haneke and especially Zeitlin, but I do think that both “Argo” and “Zero Dark Thirty” were much more tightly and strongly directed than any of the other three nominees, and that history will remember them as better films. I would have thought that Spielberg could be snubbed here, but I guess not. Russell just doesn’t need to be here, and it’s unfortunate that he needed to claim a spot. I’m still just too shocked to know what to make of this race, especially since I thought Bigelow was going to win. Interestingly, all five of these films are also nominated for Best Picture, but it’s worth noting that, in years past, the Best Picture lineup would surely not have included the two surprise contenders here, making it an especially exciting year.

My current bet to win: Now, I think Spielberg might have an easy time.

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