Did They Get it Right? – Best Director – Oscars 2004

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby)
Taylor Hackford (Ray)
Mike Leigh (Vera Drake)
Alexander Payne (Sideways)
Martin Scorsese (The Aviator)

Biggest Snub:

Marc Forster – Finding Neverland

My Overall Thoughts:

This was a year where is was a foregone conclusion which film and director were front runners and it was no big surprise when things lined up that way in the end too.

My Rankings:


5. Taylor Hackford 
4. Martin Scorsese
3. Mike Leigh
2. Alexander Payne 
1. Clint Eastwood


5. RayAmazing performance by Foxx but the storyline is a bit choppy and uneven because it doesnt gave enough time to tell the whole story.
4. The AviatorThis is a great idea for a story because there is so much to explore here. That is also the problem with the way that it is presented since the film clocks in at nearly 3 hours and it feels that way. There are too many scenes that move along too slowly and keep the pacing of it all at a breakneck crawl. Great cast helps this along with Blanchett becoming to first actor to win an Oscar for portraying an Oscar winner. They do a wonderful job showing the eccentricities of Hughes but this would have probably been much better if it was tackled as a miniseries instead of a long feature length film.
3. Vera DrakeInteresting story that works quite well. Staunton deserving was nominated for quite a few awards for this role including Best Actress at the Oscars and Globes. The story gives us an interesting perspective on the way abortions were handled in the 1950’s in England even though it was against the law. The story moves at an interesting pace and allows us to slowly digest all that is happening while also allowing us to decide what we believe about everything going on. Leigh does a wonderful job directed and definitely deserved his Oscar nomination for Best Director for this film.
2. Million Dollar BabyPowerful and movie film about decisions in life and living with those decisions.
1. SidewaysAll 4 of the main actors are superb here because they give the film such a realistic feel to it. The story and plot is so down to Earth that it is quite easy for most people to relate because it shows what a real true friendship could be like. The characters have flaws but still we root for them all to get what they want. One doesn’t need to be a connoisseur of wine to like this film because all you need to know is explained properly. Clearly the beat film of the year IMHO and it was beaten out slightly for Best Picture that year by Clint Eastwood’s masterpiece.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes!  Eastwood is a better director than he ever was as and actor and he was quite deserving of this win especially since the film doesn’t conform to mainstream ideas.

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

One thought on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Director – Oscars 2004

  1. Never saw vera drake. Other4 films were all terrific. Always amazed to think that Eastwood won TWO Oscars for directing before Scorcese won his first… I had a major problem with Million Dollar Baby in HOW she got hurt in the ring and how it was handled in the film. Love Sideways. The scene where Thomas Haden Church comes back to the motel room naked and without his wallet – and Giamatti goes back to get it – always make me howl with laughter.


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