Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Oscar Nominees: Best Director

My predictions: 3/5
My ballot: Come back in February!
The nominees: Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman), Pawel Pawlikowski (Cold War), Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite), Alfonso Cuaron (Roma), Adam McKay (Vice)

Even in the age of an expanded Best Picture field, there’s still always a huge snub in this category. There were rumblings that it might be Bradley Cooper, whose directorial debut was once the favorite to win big, and that’s what happened, a bizarre omission that feels most like Ben Affleck six years ago. In his place, we have Pawel Pawlikowski (Cold War), who surprised with a BAFTA bid earlier this month and managed to repeat that feat here. Joining Alfonso Cuaron (Roma), this is the first and only time since 1976 that two foreign films are represented here (unless you count 2006, but Clint Eastwood directed one of them). I’m not as fond of the Polish film as most, but I can appreciate its directorial style. I’m most disappointed by the inclusion of Adam McKay (Vice), who really didn’t need to be here. There were so many other people who could have been here instead, like Debra Granik or Steve McQueen. Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman) finally earned his first-ever nomination in this category, along with Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite), whose film tied Cuaron’s for the highest nominations haul.

My current bet to win: I don’t think there’s any taking down Cuaron now with Cooper out of the way.

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