Did They Get it Right? – Best Director – Oscars 2013


Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity)
Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave)
David O. Russell (American Hustle)
Alexander Payne (Nebraska)
Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street)

Biggest Snub:

Spike Jonze – Her

My Overall Thoughts:

This was another great year for nominees but two of them battled it out up until the wire.  Both films are extremely different and it’s not easy choosing between the two of them on any level because of that.

My Rankings:

Directing

5. Alexander Payne
4. David O. Russell 
3. Martin Scorsese 
2. Steve McQueen
1. Alfonso Cuarón

Movies

5. American HustleSuperb acting and an above average story make for an interesting movie, but something is still missing.
4. The Wolf of Wall StreetScorsese knows how to give us epic tales, but this one goes on for much longer than it should and loses a lot of its impact in the final act. Great Scorsese movie. A bit long and very graphic. Hard to believe some of it is true, but still a fun story to watch unfold.
3. NebraskaGreat movie that builds strong characters who make us all realize what it means to get older and decide what is important in life. Excellent cast. Story is written extremely well. Payne knows how tho write great characters and its so entertaining watching the ones here, but is it really a story worthy of being BP?
2. 12 Years a SlaveSpectacular film that tells such an emotional story that is based on so much truth. McQueen doesn’t shy away from showing the horrific treatment of slaves at a time when half of the US states favored such behavior while the other half were against it, but felt unable to do anything beyond their own borders. The cast is superb and Ejiofor, Nyong’o, Fassbender, Cumberbatch, Giamatti, Dano and Paulson all give very poignant and emotional performances. Nyong’o definitely deserved her Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for this very difficult role. This film was definitely a deserving winner of Best Picture at the Oscars despite the fact that Gravity (2013) is a more captivating and an overall better film.
1. GravityAmazing film that is able to recreate a modern “shipwreck” situation in space. The story is quite gripping the entire time and the fact that only two characters appear throughout most of the film, we get to actually feel these impressive performances by both Clooney and Bullock who manage to keep things engaging the whole time.  This film is a technical wonder and there is no doubt that it deserved all 7 of its technical Oscars while creating an amazing story in space.  Cuaron does a superb job directing this film as he pieced together all elements of this seemingly simple story but it is so layered and complex throughout.Not an easy choice between this and 12 Years A Slave (2013) because they are so very different films, but this one is the better of the two.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Most Definitely!  Despite not winning BP, Cuaron does an amazing job with Gravity that shows his talent in melding together so many moviemaking techniques in order to give us such an amazing and gripping tale.

Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!

One thought on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Director – Oscars 2013

  1. Almost agree with your rankings of the directors – except that I would drop McQueen to 4th (I was NOT a fan of 12 years…) and put Russell and Scorsese in a tie for 2nd. As for the films themselves – I LOVED American Hustle (which almost WAS a Scorsese movie tonally). tremendous cast – Jennifer Lawrence KILLED IT for me and I thought she should have won Oscar #2. Nebraska was a bore. WOLF was terrific. And Gravity was thrilling.

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