Best Directorial Achievement
Continuing our breakdown of the top eight Oscar categories, here in December, let’s look at the Director category. There are fewer options here, as opposed to Best Picture, but that’s only to be expected considering the fact that only five nominees are allowed here, as opposed to the ten that could possibly pop up in Best Picture. That isn’t to say that there aren’t surprises, and sometimes we’ll see this particular voting branch think outside of the boxes that the rest of Oscar have placed them in. Think about those surprise nominations for Mike Leigh and Michael Haneke and Fernando Meirelles. This branch likes to spread the wealth and reward auteurs for doing accessible work when they have the chance.
That doesn’t mean they don’t nominate bland, by-the-numbers direction if it is in an Oscar frontrunner. I mean, look at the Tom Hooper and Taylor Hackford.
But, let’s take a look at how things are looking this year.
|Dude, dude, guess what...I'm winning an Oscar!|
So, much like in Best Picture, there are two directors who are way out in front. Richard Linklater has 22 mentions and 14 wins, while Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu has 14 mentions and 3 wins. They aren’t getting snubbed.
After them, Ava DuVernay looks like the safest bet. Not only does she have 9 nominations and a win under her belt, but there is so much buzz surrounding what her nomination would mean for Oscar (not only is she a woman, but she’s African American, and would be the first female African American nominee in the history of the awards) that for her to miss, it would be deemed a tragedy and I’m not sure that AMPAS is ready for that kind of backlash.
Then we have two names who continue to pop up; Wes Anderson and David Fincher. Anderson was a shock, but he’s his BFCA and Globes and has 11 nominations. Fincher has also hit the two big ones, and has 9 nominations. It would seem that Wes is in the better position, but I still feel like Gone Girl is in the better position, BP wise, and that means something here as well. While it may seem that both of them are in at this point, there are the two ‘by-the-numbers’ directors to take into consideration, Marsh and Tyldum. Tyldum would be in the better position, considering that his film is better poised for a possible BP win, and he has Harvey, and Marsh has nothing yet (not even a single nomination). Tyldum has 3 mentions.
|Do you think they know what they're doing?|
I think that two of these four are making it in, at this point, but trying to figure out who is frustrating. My gut says that Tyldum is taking a spot, but my heart says he misses.
I guess I better bite the bullet.
After that, there are a few stragglers to consider. Chazelle is getting a lot of support for Whiplash. I don’t know if that’ll mean anything for a film that isn’t a Top Five contender, but his 9 mentions and 2 wins are nothing to scoff at. Mike Leigh could also surface, if he gets a lot of BAFTA love. He’s a previous nominee and his film has made an impact I didn’t expect it to.
Who’s getting tossed off of the Award’s Tally Page?
Jolie (who just got put on for her BFCA nom), Eastwood (who won the NBR), Nolan (who has one mention) Miller (who won in Cannes and then disappeared) and Vallee (who took home a HFA Breakthrough win). They don’t have a chance in this field. Now, if one of them manages a DGA nom, I’ll reconsider, but I don’t see that happening.