Oscars 2010: Best Director Prediction


Here comes the good stuff. Director is the only glorified job in film behind the camera. Sure, everyone knows a few good famous score composers or a few writers here and there when someone like Diablo Cody gets an Oscar, but director counts.

And rightfully so, as much as I like to pull for the writers and other jobs here and there. The director is the puppet master, the “visioneer” for the film. Like that? I made it up. But it’s true. Ultimately, the director is responsible for whatever goes in front of that camera and wherever that camera is and what it does. Normally when we refer to the mystical “They” when talking about a film, as in “how did they do that?” or “it was so cool when they ___,” it’s usually the director who we’re talking about. All of these five nominated directors have moments like that in their films.

Best Achievement in Directing

  • James Cameron for Avatar
  • Jason Reitman for Up in the Air
  • Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker
  • Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds
  • Lee Daniels for Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire

This category has been buzzing second most to the gigantic Best Picture category. Why? Because people love drama and nothing is juicier than ex-husband and wife vying for the Best Director award for two outstanding pictures that couldn’t be more different from one another.

The real achievement, however, is that for only the fourth time in history, a woman has been nominated for this category. The last was Sofia Coppolla in 2003 for Lost in Translation. The fact that Bigelow has a great chance to be the first women to win it is something even more special.

The Hurt Locker was exceptionally well-made from start to finish and Bigelow has been generating all kinds of excitement for women filmmakers and anyone interested in seeing someone who has a shot at making history. The Academy likes those stories too. Having won the Directors Guild Award, Bigelow is now historically the favorite to win.

But how do you discredit James Cameron’s amazing vision to create the biggest and highest-grossing movie ever made? That’s hard to do. Boil it down and there’s Cameron who would win for his imagination or Bigelow for her ability to create powerful suspense and a sense of gritty realism.

Look at the rest of the nominees and it’s hard to ignore the work of Jason Reitman and Quentin Tarantino. Lee Daniels did a fine job with “Precious” as well, but it doesn’t stack up to these four.

Reitman does his best work yet with Up in the Air. I love his process shots at the beginning showing how his main character (Clooney) goes through airport security with everything so finely choreographed. There’s great choreography throughout his entire work on this film and that’s part of what makes him a director with such mass appeal. One day he will get his due. They always do.

Inglourious Basterds is a great looking film. It was too wild for me and I never fully got on board with what it was trying to do, but no one works a scene better that Tarantino. It starts with excellent writing and it builds from there. He definitely captures your attention with this gutsy film.

Prediction: Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker

All voters have to do is side with history for this one: not in the sense of women directors, but DGA winners almost always win. The last DGA winner to lose was Chicago director Rob Marshall to Roman Polanski for The Pianist. It’s a great excuse to make history for a director undoubtedly worthy.

1 Comment

  1. Jenni Hanley says:

    If I had to vote, I would pick Avator for the sheer enormity of the project. Cameron spent over ten years working on it, and he used all kinds of new techniques that will take film to whole new levels. I mean, just look what’s happening with 3D now.

    If Avator weren’t in the race, I’d pick Inglourious Basterds, so I guess we disagree. I thought it was incredibly gutsy, very Tarantino, and he got some great performances out of his actors. A lot of people say this is his due, because he was robbed for Pulp Fiction.

    I wasn’t as moved by The Hurt Locker as everyone else. I should probably watch it again to see what I’m missing…

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