The Oscars, Analysed, Best Director

Oscars2013-620x350So, our penultimate category, Best Director, before the big one. In which the Oscars truly threw all expectations out of the window.

The Nominees:   Steven Spielberg  ‘Lincoln’;  Benh Zeitlin  ‘Beasts Of The Southern Wild’; David O. Russell   ‘Silver Linings Playbook’;  Michael Haneke  ‘Amour’   and   Ang Lee ‘Life Of Pi’.

The Oscars threw a bombshell by not nominating Ben Affleck for his film ‘Argo’. ‘Argo’ was expected to dominate the awards season, and it more or less has, winning BAFTAs and Golden Globes. So it was weird that the Oscars ignored him.

At this point it must be said that I think the five nominees are all excellent, but such the quality of this year that this category could’ve been increased to ten nominees and it would still have been hard to get. High profile snubs include Tom Hooper for ‘Les Miserables’ (It’s not deserved in the first place, but ‘Les Miserables’ was quite a big movie and the Oscars might have gone for it, glad they haven’t though).

Also Kathryn Bigelow for ‘Zero Dark Thiry’, and she and Affleck were expected to be there instead of Zeitlin and Haneke. Also, I don’t think Russell, as good as his movie ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ was, deserved a nomination, not with other directors who I thought did better jobs, like Quentin Tarantino for ‘Django Unchained’, Wes Anderson for ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ and Paul Thomas Anderson for ‘The Master’. But, for me, I would actually have loved to see Sam Mendes in there, for his magnificent work on ‘Skyfall’. Finally a Bond movie with a conscious and self awareness. As I mentioned earlier though, all the five films are accomplished, and this only helps make the Oscars more interesting.


Who Should Win: Ang Lee  ‘Life Of Pi’. No doubt about it. Lee has made a full blown blockbuster (More than $600 million dollars grossed worldwide), but that’s not too special these days. What he did was a full blown spiritually enticing, uncynically straightforward and thought provoking, and lyrically beautiful blockbuster. And he also manufactured the best use of 3D ever. It’s quite an achievement. I wouldn’t be against Haneke winning for “Amour” as well, and Spielberg is a hero of mine so him winning always cheers me up.


Who Will Win: To be honest, I don’t have any idea. If Affleck was there I would’ve said him. I can rule out Benh Zeitlin, that’s the only certainty I can offer. Russell could win it, especially as I think ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ has a chance at Best Picture, and his BAFTA screenplay win has given him some momentum. ‘Lincoln’ has the most number of nominations, and the movie has been a big hit in America, so Spielberg might take as part of a big sweep. ‘Amour’ has gotten plenty of love from the academy this year, same with ‘Life Of Pi’. I would say Ang Lee has a chance, maybe the Oscars will want to give the award to a 3D film finally. I think the votes will be pretty split up, and I think it’s gonna be between Ang Lee and Steven Spielberg at the end, with maybe Spielberg edging it.

Yazen Al Samen

The Oscars, Analysed, Part Two



Continuing my rundown of the Oscars with the Best Editing Category

The Nominees:  William Goldenberg  ‘Argo;;  Tim Squyres  ‘Life Of Pi’;  Michael Kahn  ‘Lincoln’;  Jay Cassidy & Crispin Struthers  ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ and  Dylan Tichenor & William Goldenberg  ‘Zero Dark Thirty’.

Another category, another tough competition and another set of snubs. But still, the  five nominees are pretty pretty good. I could have done without the nomination for “Silver Linings Playbook”, as there was better work out there. Fred Raskin for ‘Django Unchained’ or Peter McNulty & Leslie Jones for ‘The Master’ would’ve been good choices.

But, the movie I wanted in here was ‘Skyfall’ (Stuart Baird & Kate Baird), a well choreographed and beautifully edited action picture that would’ve spiced up the category a bit. As for the winner, I think it comes between ‘Argo’ and ‘Zero Dark Thirty’.


Who Should win:  William Goldenberg & Dylan Tichenor  ‘Zero Dark Thirty’. Crisp work in assembling all the movie and the change from procedural to action picture is seamless. This is the best out of the nominated 5, although I like Tim Squyres work for “Life Of Pi”.

Who will win: William Goldenberg & Dylan Tichenor  ‘Zero Dark Thirty’. I think out of the nominated five this is the best editing work and I think the academy will agree here. However, ‘Argo’ and ‘Life Of Pi’ might still win. I doubt it though.