Did They Get it Right? – Best Director – Oscars 2009


Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker)
James Cameron (Avatar)
Lee Daniels (Precious: Based on the novel Push by Sapphire)
Jason Reitman (Up in the Air)
Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds)

Biggest Snub:

Duncan Jones – Moon

My Overall Thoughts:

This is a year where one could make a convincing case for any of these 5 nominees to win because each film is spectacular in their own way. After most of the other award shows, it was down to Bigelow and Cameron who could conceivably have split BP/BD easily.

My Rankings:

Directing

5. Lee Daniels 
4. Jason Reitman
3. Quentin Tarantino
2. Kathryn Bigelow
1. James Cameron

Movies

5. Precious: Based on the novel Push by SapphireNot an easy film to watch because it deals with some very powerful issues. They don’t shy away from discussing these issues openly and frankly but in doing so makes the audience feel both uncomfortable and enlightened at the same time. The cast is quite powerful and Monique gives a very worthy performance here in a role that gave her both a Golden Globe and Oscar as Best Supporting Actress. It was also able to win Best Adapted Screenplay. This film is too dark and despite being poignant, I will probably never want to see it again.
4. Up in the AirGreat movie. Perfectly cast. Shows how people try to hide their loneliness until it just bursts out.  Very realistic portrayal of real life situations that is quite powerful to watch.
3. The Hurt Locker Very gripping (anti-) war movie that tries to show the truth about war and its effects on soldiers during and afterwards. Not THE best movie of the year, but amongst them.
2. Inglourious BasterdsQuintessential Tarantino film. Great dialogue. Interesting plot and storyline and above all an amazing cast.
1. AvatarVery entertaining movie with amazing special effects but the story itself isn’t so original. If the story had been slightly stronger it could have definitely won Best Picturebut it still was the most entertaining and enjoyable film nominated.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes and No!  I can understand how this film could win both BP and BD, but it had more to do with political motives due to the message of the film.  Overall Avatar is a much more engrossing film experience and Cameron should have won at least BD.

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

2 thoughts on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Director – Oscars 2009

  1. So Precious comes in 5th because of its tone and the fact you never want to see it again and NOT based on how good it is as a film (very) and daniels comes in 5th as well – getting no credit for directing a novice and a comedienne (Mo’Nique) to an OSCAR win! See where i’m going here? Inglourious IS quintessential Quentin (complete with his own alteration of history), I’ll grant you that. NOT a fan of Tarantino or this movie. Both would be 5th on my list. Also – not an Avatar fan – but since this is all Cameron (and I usually am a Cameron fan) – as director, he’d spot in 2nd, behind his ex-wife. You ARE right that the story is derivative and fairly unoriginal. All about the EFX.

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  2. One quick follow up thought – owing to Quentin’s outsized ego – maybe the movie should’ve been called “Vainglorious Basterds”

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