Friday, January 06, 2006

Best Director = Always Capable of Surprising

Best Director Race: We know that Clooney, Haggis, Lee, Miller, and Spielberg have support. But once you get rid of a huge number of voting bodies in the large DGA and get to the more exclusive AMPAS directors branch, Oscar rarely lines up 5/5.

The two spoilers who still wouldn't surprise me at all --though asking for both is probably pushing it, damn!Cronenberg [career tribute + critical acclaim + other categories possible + enthusiastic campaigning] Allen [comeback: Oscar loves Woody as lone director. 4 of his 6 noms come without BP]

8 comments:

dusty said...

I haven't seen Match Point, but I'm nonetheless worried that Woody's headed toward a complete shut-out for his "comeback" film. If he couldn't score with either the WGA (a nomination I assumed was locked) or the DGA, how can he do both with the Oscars? I just don't know, I just don't know...

JavierAG said...

Fernando Meirelles looks like he could make it as well. He has both mainstream appeal *and* tremendous international recognition, plus we know they must feel proud of having nominated him for "City of God" back in 2003.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Agreed on Meirelles.

However, will we see a big giant out-of-this-world surprise like Meirelles' nomination 3 years ago?

NATHANIEL R said...

out of this world like Meirelles would have to be something like Michael Haneke for Caché. Which would be awesome.

david m said...

Put me down for a Meirelles surprise as well.

Theophilus Jamal said...

Re: Haneke's chances:

For AMPAS, nominating CITY OF GOD was like giving the nod to a foreign-language GOODFELLAS. There's a misanthropy and unfriendliness about Haneke and his work; he's more akin in the reception he likely recieves from AMPAS (and thereby his prospects for Oscar recognition) to Lars von Trier than to Meirelles. The biggest aspect of the "surprise factor" with that one was the early release date. Even if he was a novice and his film wasn't in English, Meirelles made a film that razzle-dazzled folks in a way few world-class auteurs' do. Every single one of the previous awesome out-of-nowhere choices AMPAS' Directors' Branch has made since the mid-'90s seems to be more
Academy-friendly than Haneke, and have more impetus behind it than a potential Haneke nod did:

-Kieslowski was a beautiful man, and I suspect find RED a warm and moving film even at its most complex, as opposed to Haneke being awesome but cold like von Trier (though hopefully not as much of an assface);

-TALK TO HER was enchanting in tone, conjuring a feeling I'm not sure Haneke will ever try to;

-David Lynch, even though he's nevrr Academy-friendly in tone,
has miraculously had a contingent in his corner since the '80s,
presumably waiting for him to hit another career high (wasn't the BLUE VELVET nod just or nearly
as unexpected?);

-Atom Egoyan's THE SWEET HEREAFTER was a knockout drama (one of the bestest movies ever, say I) and, though sheerly emotionally devastating, isn't as opaque or confounding as most of the films he made prior. No one could have made THE SWEET HEREAFTER a better film than Egoyan did, but if another filmmaker had tackled the subject and made a reasonably engrossing drama, it could have had awards traction;

-Cronenberg, infinitely more likely to secure the strange-auteur slot (is there ever more than one? can we hope for two?) has, whatever the subtext, made a smashing genre film. The type of acclaim he's getting from mainstream critics is the type of thing Haneke might be getting for CACHE (which is also reportedly a smashing genre film- I haven't seen it) if he weren't Michael Haneke and thus hadn't already been tagged as being able to deliver this kind of unnerving, thrilling stuff every time he makes a movie.

You know what pisses me off, while we're discussing AMPAS and foreign-film business? That if Senegal had thought to submit the warm and accessible MOOLAADE for
the foreign-film Oscar, and/or it had been distribbed by Miramax, an AMPAS no longer scared of Africa might well have made Ousmane Sembene, an African legend, into an Oscar nominee. OUSMANE SEMBENE! Can you even FATHOM that? I mean holy shit man.)

Theophilus Jamal said...

*"I suspect they'd find..."

wow, i should preview comments first. errrors galore. :D

Kamikaze Camel said...

lol, in one of your threads up above I actually mentioned that Michael Hanake was probably a likely candidate for the out-of-the-blue slot.

Believe me when I said I didn't read this first.