Did They Get it Right? – Best Director – Oscars 2012


Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Michael Haneke (Amour)
Ang Lee (Life of Pi)
David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)
Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)
Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild)

Biggest Snub:

Ben Affleck – Argo

My Overall Thoughts:

This was a year where there was much backlash against the Academy for failing to nominate Affleck who won this award in just about every other forum possible (including the DGA, BAFTA and Globes) and his job was so much better than all of these 5 nominees that it wasn’t easy making a choice to award the Oscar for second best.

My Rankings:

Directing

5. Benh Zeitlin
4. Michael Haneke 
3. David O. Russell 
2. Ang Lee
1. Steven Spielberg

Movies

5. Beasts of the Southern WildExtremely boring film that tells a completely uninteresting tale and just doesn’t know how to present it. Wallis is ok as the narrator, but it’s hard to believe that a 6 year old is really so intelligent about how things work. I wanted to like this more but I just couldn’t connect with this story or characters at all and only made it through this film since I don’t allow myself to turn a bad film off once I start it. Perhaps, I just don’t understand what they were trying to say here.
4. Life of PiGreat story that can be understood on multiple levels. They leave things slightly ambiguous which allows the viewer to come to their own conclusion. The story itself comes across quite magical and is visually stunning. The fact that this film uses special effects entirely for the animals makes it even more awe inspiring because they truly seem very real in all of their actions.
3. Silver Linings PlaybookBetter upon second viewing because the characters are complexly written but in a down-to-Earth way for us to understand them. Cooper, DeNiro, Weaver and Lawrence are both great here and it’s understandable why they would all get nominated because the plot is so character driven. Liked how the plot is interwoven between real events to make it seem even more genuine.
2. LincolnGreat portrayal of Lincoln’s political genius during a difficult period in US history. Day-Lewis is once again amazing in his role and deserves to be alone at the top with 3 Best Actor Oscars to his credit.
1. AmourAmazing way to tell such a powerful story. The claustrophobic way that this is shot makes us feel as if we too are trapped in their small apartment watching things slowly spiral downward. The love between the two characters is so effective on screen and we truly believe that they have been together for so long and are willing to do anything for one another. This film deals with the idea that as we all get older, the end is inevitable but the question is how and when we will get there and what happens to our closest companions as this happens. Riva and Trintignant are both superb here because they make it all seem and feel so real.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Not Really!  I understand that this year was a complete mess in this category and Affleck should have been nominated (and won!) but given the list of choices, they chose to give Lee his second Oscar in this category instead of giving Spielberg (who does another amazing job) his third.

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

2 thoughts on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Director – Oscars 2012

  1. Lock step on your director rankings. On Picture… not so much. I HATED AMOUR. With a passion. It was like watching paint dry. That idiotic scene where the pigeons flew into the apartment and he chased them with a dish towel… Went on forever. I could feel my arteries starting to harden. That movie stunk. Would’ve been happy with a Lee/Spielberg tie. Russell 3rd.

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  2. I’ve gotta disagree with you, Rob. I was so happy when Lee won because, beyond its emotional impact, I consider Life of Pi a technical masterpiece. Just as Cuaron was worthy the next year for an effects-heavy film, Lee knocked it out of the park on a visual level alone.

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