When you think of the words “Best Director”, What comes to mind? Francis Ford Coppola for Godfather II (believe it or not – he never won for the Godfather. Look it up)? Scorsese for not winning so many times? Oliver Stone? Ford for… well, everything? Regardless, history happens with this nomination. 18 times men (every winner has been a man) have been repeat winners (for 40 of the 81 Best director oscars ever given out)
Basically, win 1, and you have a chance of potentially winning again if your nominated.
This is only the 2nd time an african-american has been nominated for an Oscar (first Was John Singletary for “Boyz in the Hood”, who is also the youngest nominee in history) and the 4th woman in history. The Academy is notorious for not taking first time nominees, or directors early in their career – is there a reason for that? Maybe because there are many fine directors who have never won, maybe because it takes many years to hone this craft, and you have to pay your dues to get the respect of the directing community.
So – who wins?
I find it hard to believe that Jason Reitman has paid his dues – though he has made a very solid and fine film – to get an Oscar this time through. The same goes with Lee Daniels for Precious; though the film was good, I doubt he can get the statuette this time through. As a result – that leaves us 3 films
Quentin Tarantino seems to be here every time he makes a film. His self proclaimed masterpiece, 10 years in the making, “Inglourious Basterds” is a fine film in the vein of Tarantino films. At the same time, Tarantino doesn’t really make a film that does anything daring directing-wise. He is solid, and a pure student of film, constantly watching films from around the world, in all genres and all points in history. But proclaiming something as your masterpiece does not a masterpiece make.
Kathryn Bigelow has paid her dues and then some. In her first film in 7 years after being basically blacklisted after the debacle known as “K19 – The widowmaker” in 2002 (affectionately known as K-19: The Careertanker) she has come back to create a true masterpiece, a film that not only encapsulates the Iraq war disaster, but the feelings of being on the front line.
In a year where Avatar earns more money then any other in global ticket sales, gets 9 nominations – I can see James Cameron going home empty handed.
MY PICK: The Hurt Locker
ACADEMY AWARD GOES TO: The Hurt Locker