Did They Get it Right? – Best Director – Oscars 2018


Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Alfonso Cuarón (Roma)
Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite)
Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman)
Adam McKay (Vice)
Paweł Pawlikowski (Cold War)

Biggest Snub:

Bradley Cooper – A Star is Born

My Overall Thoughts:

This is a year that once the nominees were announced, everyone knew that this award was a shoe-in and lock for one of these men.  The other four can just be content that they were at least nominated.

My Rankings:

Director

5. Adam McKay
4. Yorgos Lanthimos
3. Paweł Pawlikowski
2. Spike Lee
1. Alfonso Cuarón

Movies

5. ViceBale is mesmerizingly creepy in the title role and gets totally lost in the role. The story works quite well in order to give us a clear picture of how things played out over the course of his rise to power. McKay’s approach to dumbing down the story for the viewer works a bit better here than it did in The Big Short (2016), but something still is missing that would have made this film even more engaging and enjoyable.  Supporting cast work quite well in capturing some of the personalities of characters who are known to everyone due to their exposure in politics.
4. Cold WarAverage love story that works despite the fact that it doesn’t manage to give us a story that feels as if the characters are truly in love with one another. The cinematography is brilliantly set and we get some great shots throughout the film that are really nice to take in. Unfortunately, the biggest problem here is the story which is a bit too choppy and doesn’t manage to stay interesting because it jumps around way too much and doesn’t let the characters develop enough along the way.
3. The FavouriteVery interesting and unique idea to show how politics and power could affect women in the 18th Century. The power plays by these characters work very well and they all try to find ways to outdo the others in order to keep as much control as they can on the matters of state. The cast is great and Colman, Weisz and Stone are all graet here, but the story is told too much like a comedy and that takes away from being able t take things very serious like it should. I’ve never been the biggest fan of Lanthimos and his hand is much too apparent in many of the things done in this film which takes away from enjoying it even more.
2. RomaThis is a very good film especially visually, but there is way too much hype calling it one of the best films ever made. The story itself moves at a very slow pace which is tolerable if you know to expect it, but the attempt to try and imitate life with this story just doesn’t work as amazingly as predicted. From a technical perspective, this film is wondrous to watch and listen to and its easy to see how everything is carefully and expertly chosen by Cuarón. A film like this needs to actually have something happen that is interesting and despite a few great scenes it feels more like a set of vignettes where some work better than others than a masterpiece in film making and storytelling.
1. BlacKkKlansmanGreat film that works on numerous levels. The story is so unbelievable yet the fact that it’s based on truth makes it even more powerful. The film is slightly ruined by the epilogue which tuns things too political instead of letting the story itself sink in for what it’s trying to say about America and how things haven’t changed in 150 years, anyone watching it knows that the same is unfortunately true for today but there is no need to try and politicize that notion. Washington is amazing in the lead role and shows that he has what it takes to be a great actor and might even be better one day than his father

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – No Question About it!  AC was a lock once everyone saw the (supposed) masterpiece in film making which he puts together quite well even if the story and narrative are both lacking.

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

8 thoughts on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Director – Oscars 2018

  1. Cooper was ROBBED!! And if nominated – he should’ve won. I’m on the record as HATING ROMA – so no way I thought Cuaron deserved his win. And Rob – I am totally confused by your call – you seem to be saying that Cuaron – the frontrunner from the start (and DGA winner) was pre-ordained – so – “no question about it!”. But then you go on to write, calling it a “supposed” masterpiece – implying that you disagree – I certainly do – I thought it was boring and pointless and other than a couple of scenes – a massive snoozefest – and “… the story and narrative are both lacking”. In spades!!! So given all of that – how was Cauron a “no question about it” win?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. They 100% got it right especially out of the one’s nominated. Cuaron not only delivers a visual masterpiece but the way he immerses you in this young woman’s life is simply brilliant.

    On the other side I have no idea why McKay is anywhere near a nomination. I thought Vice was a self-indulgent mess of a movie.

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    • Boy Keith, we are polar opposites on this one. On Oscar night – I was actively rooting against 2 possible winners – Glenn Close for Best Actress and Roma for Best Picture. “A visual masterpiece”? Maybe that’s why he won for cinematography, but I can live without close ups of a car tire rolling through a pile of dog shit and slow pan shots across empty rooms and a 5 minute credit sequence with a close-up of a puddle of water – to go between the book-ending shots of the maid carrying laundry. Took me 3 tries to get through this mess. It’s a cure for insomnia. Also – have you even seen The Favourite or Cold War? And that’s with neither Bradley Cooper or Peter Farrelly even garnering nominations in this category – which certainly thinned out the herd for Mr. Cuaron. As for VICE – we are as far apart on our opinions of that as we are on Roma and Cuaron (which makes for a healthy debate I suppose). For the record – I am NOT a McKay fan and did not like The Big Short at all – when I knew what VICE was about – I wasn’t even going to see it, but I did – and I thought it was brilliant.

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      • Funny how movies work, right? I thought Vice was obnoxious and exhausting. I felt McKay’s direction was lazy, messy, and far more interested in his messaging than making an entertaining movie. Detested that film.

        Obviously we disagree on Roma and I saw the craftsmanship I. A much different light. But I have seen The Favourite and found it to be full of good performances but incredibly lightweight in terms of story. I could handle Cooper being nominated but not so much Farrelly. I do love Cold War though.

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        • Farrelly’s an old friend, so I’m prejudiced. Funny that Academy picked GREEN BOOK for Best Picture (not saying whether I agree or not – as long as Roma lost, I was good…), but it’s Director’s Branch didn’t even nominate him. Favourite was more of a (3) character study – so in light of the terrific performances by Coleman, Weisz and Stone – it worked quite well for me. And we agree 100% on Cold War – which, black & white aside – was a far better, more engaging, better written and acted film for me by far than Roma. What percentage of you detsesting Vice was about the film itself – and what portion about its central character? Just curious… And I found it immensely entertaining (end credit sequence at the 45 minute mark?). With it’s subject matter – it would have to be.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Honestly it really had next to nothing to do with the character himself but McKay’s over-the-top demonization of everything that might slightly lean right. It was bludgeoning. Funny thing is Cheney gave sooo much material to cover having to make up so much of it. I also thought he crammed in too much. I thought the Jesse Plemmons twist was incredibly lame. Just not a fan on any level.

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