Did They Get it Right? – Best Director – Oscars 2011


Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris)
Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)
Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life)
Alexander Payne (The Descendants)
Martin Scorsese (Hugo)

Biggest Snub:

Tate Taylor – The Help

My Overall Thoughts:

This is an overall weak year for films nominated here and of the lot, Hugo’s direction by Martin Scorsese was the best despite the fact that the Academy’s love for movies about the movies helped skew the votes in a different direction this year.

My Rankings:

Directing

5. Woody Allen 
4. Terrence Malick
3. Alexander Payne
2. Michel Hazanavicius
1. Martin Scorsese

Movies

5. The Tree of LifeTotally incomprehensible film. It tries too hard to be existential and forgets that people are interested in seeing a story happen on screen instead of just nice visuals. Amazing cast is wasted because they don’t really have much to do besides look as if they are pondering life and why we are all here. Director Malick does it again, he tries to be so philosophical with his films that he forgets to actually have a coherent story.
4. The Artist  – Very good movie in a year that didn’t have many amazing movies. The Academy’s ;love for movies about movies shines thru here and they gave this film top honors largely out of sentiment for a lost use of film than for the fact that this was truly the best film of the year.
3. Midnight in ParisSuch a great concept that is all about living in the present instead of the past. The cast is perfect and Wilson is amazing as an Allen doppelganger. The music is perfectly fitting for this kind of pseudo sci-fi film. Loved the way they chose to utilize the time travel aspect of it all and because it’s done so simply, there is no need whatsoever to try and explain how it works; just that it works. The runtime is perfect at around 90 minutes and doesn’t drag at all or even feel incomplete or rushed. One of Allen’s best films!
2. The Descendants Engaging, realistic and thoughtful drama about what we can miss in life if we don’t pay attention. Clooney is great here despite it not being his usual flashy kind of character.
1. HugoAmazing film that is one of Scorsese’s best films from a storytelling perspective. The way the story flows is amazing and it is a love letter to the origins of film because it uses both new and old techniques in order to tell us such an amazing story about the roots of the film industry. The characters are all great and they all have their own unique personality quirks which endears us to them. The use of Danse Macabre in key points of the story adds so much flavor to the wondrous aspects of this film. Proof that Scorsese is capable of making a non-violent film that can be even more powerful than most of his other work. A much better representation of movie about the movies than any others in the genre.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Not Really!  This was a pretty average year for films and Scorsese does a great job with Hugo, but I also understand how much the Academy loves honoring films about the movies so it’s no surprise that they gave this award and BP to The Artist even if its a film that wont age well and also isn’t as impactful as one would hope.

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

2 thoughts on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Director – Oscars 2011

  1. There’s a reason that Hollywood doesn’t make silent films any more – The Artist was an example (although it was French). Hated it. I do NOT understand your rankings at all. Woody’s film comes in 3rd, but his direction is 5th? Sorry. I don’t get it. Tree of Life was a train wreck. I should’ve walked out when the dinosaurs appeared. Placing it 5th and The Artist 4th – total agreement. But since the directors like to think of themselves as God once production begins – their respective films should’ve shared the same spots. Moving Woody to #3. I loved The Descendants and would’ve placed it above Hugo. So that would put Payne slightly above Scorcese in my rankings. I also thought Clooney was going to win his second acting Oscar for that one. He was excellent.

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