Monday, January 28, 2013

SAG wins and the big Director conundrum…

So last night Argo solidified its Best Picture Oscar win, which is like the oddest thing in the history of forever; and this is coming from the guy who proclaimed Argo the winner earlier this year and stood by that (more or less) until Oscar noms were announced.  Still, it’s hard to imagine it winning Best Picture when Ben Affleck has no shot at winning Director.  Couple that with the fact that Affleck already has won the Globe and the BFCA and is practically locked for the DGA (not to mention in the running for the BAFTA) and you have the weirdest Oscar race in the history of forever (yes, I know I used that phrase twice, but it just seemed so fitting).

SAG firmed up DDL, Lawrence and Hathaway as Oscar frontrunners and gave us another Sup. Actor winner, although I’m thinking that Oscar will repeat and give us TLJ (unless De Niro wins by some stroke of weirdness).  That still leaves us pondering one race; Director.

Seriously, what the hell?

Argo is steamrolling towards Oscar victory, but the Affleck snub from the Academy has the whole thing feeling very bizarre.  The only other film that won Best Picture without a director nomination was Driving Miss Daisy.  Like, this is just mindboggling.  Affleck seems just as confused as he accepts his awards with this look of sheer shock and excitement.  But who is going to win the Directing Oscar?  I mean, common sense would tell us that Ben Affleck will win with write in votes, but that isn’t happening.  Spielberg’s Lincoln was supposed to steal all of Argo’s thunder the minute Affleck was Oscar snubbed and yet it hasn’t and has turned into the DDL show and so I just can’t see Spielberg winning a lone directing win for a film many think should net both.  Same with O. Russell, who has experienced goodwill thanks to a resurgence for his film.  I can’t see him winning unless his film does.  I know that Lee has hit everything, but he feels like complete filler to me.  He isn’t winning anything.

So that leaves Zietlin and Haneke.  I don’t think Zietlin will win.  This is his first film and debut directors don’t win here.  His film would need to sweep, and while Beasts is clearly loved, it is going home empty handed at the Oscars.  Haneke on the other hand could actually win this.  He is clearly respected and loved and his film is loved and respected and this is his first nomination in a very long and prolific career.  This is also his most accessible film and over performed like crazy with Oscar nominations.  If there is a split, and Argo does win Best Picture, could voters click Haneke’s name in a way to reward the director?  I know it sounds crazy (when has a foreign director won for a foreign film?) but this year is so bizarre that it almost makes sense.  Then again, could they feel that a win for foreign film (which won’t go to Haneke despite the fact that he’ll accept it) and Original Screenplay (which will be his Oscar) is enough?  Could Spielberg actually win his third directing Oscar (second in a split year)?  I just don’t think Lincoln is seen as a director’s film.

Call me crazy, but I think Haneke is seriously in the running here.


  1. Haneke! That's a bold choice. He's probably in 4th place in that category.
    There's no way Ang Lee is "filler", the Academy LOVES him to death and that's one hell of a directing achievement with Life of Pi. Lee is the ONLY director who has received every nomination for Best Director this season (Spielberg missed out with BAFTA).

    1. Oh, Lee is everywhere, but I can't help but feel like he doesn't have a shot at winning. I'd rank him around fourth...above Zietlin, but I think that Spielberg, Russell and Haneke have a better shot. I just can't see the voters checking off Argo as Best Picture and then thinking "let's give the Oscar to Lee or Spielberg AGAIN without honoring their film". Haneke would be a pretty bold yet reasonable choice. He's respected by MANY and has been building that respect for years, and Amour has peaked at the right time. I could easily see voters checking off his name since a split looks inevitable at this point.

  2. I agree on Haneke. It's so strange that it just might happen, especially in a year as crazy as this.

    If I had to guess, I'd rank them:

    1. Spielberg
    2. Haneke
    3. Lee
    4. Zeitlin
    5. Russell

    But, as you said, that seems like a weird win for Spielberg.

    1. It really does. If Russell or Spielberg win, I think their films would have to win also. It is possible, but Argo seems quite unstoppable right now, which is why I think Haneke has a serious shot here. It is so weird, and makes no sense and yet in context it kind of makes the most sense.

      OMG, this could be amazing.