Categories One-by-One: Best Director

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Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Feb 27, 2010 12:21 pm

Sabin wrote:I see Avatar being the most likely beneficiary of this rather than The Hurt Locker. There are those out there who just don't think The Hurt Locker is that great, whereas pretty much everybody at least enjoys Avatar on a 1 - 3 ranking

I think the reverse is true. I think Avatar has far more vocal opponents than The Hurt Locker who I think will rank in the upper-five slots of most ballots while far more ballots will be ranking Avatar in the bottom.

That said, regardless of what will win Best Picture. I think Kathryn Bigelow has the Best Director Oscar in the bag.

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Postby Hustler » Sat Feb 27, 2010 12:05 pm

There´s no doubt that Bigelow will be the winner in this category.

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Postby ITALIANO » Sat Feb 27, 2010 5:46 am

No, Sabin, if a movie is going to have problems under these new voting rules it's Avatar. It could still win, but if it does it's despite this new system, not because of it. Avatar is exactly the kind of big commercial movie which many Academy members will hate (most of them probably belonging to the Acting and Writing branches) or if not hate at least consider not "artistic" enough to win Best Picture (its director might also be not liked by everyone). The Hurt Locker may have other problems (not a box office hit, etc.) but unlike Brokeback Mountain it's the kind of movie that anyone, pro-war, anti-war, whatever, in America but as we saw at the BAFTAs in other militarily aggressive countries as well, can agree on. It's far less divisive than Avatar.

It's true that this system could in theory result in a "compromise" choice, but then there MUST be a believable compromise, and with Up in the Air too bitter, Precious too small and Inglorious Basterds (still the most possible of these three) probably too edgy, I'm afraid that The Hurt Locker will fit this role, too (other than being one of the two "official" front-runners).

Let's not forget that, had Crash won under these new rules, we'd have all thought of it as the typical compromise pick, while, as we know, it still won over Brokeback Mountain according to the old, "just-choose-one" system.

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Postby Sabin » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:02 am

For the first time since the nominations were announced, I'm not so sure that The Hurt Locker has this one. I'm starting to think that Avatar might just happen. The reason is that the voters have to rank the Best Picture nominees in order of preference. For whatever reason, I didn't know this until now. I assumed they just picked one. But they're not!

Um, is it too late to recant my reasons for why I like this new system?

This isn't going to isolate the film with the most passion but create an aggregate of tolerance, so to speak. I see Avatar being the most likely beneficiary of this rather than The Hurt Locker. There are those out there who just don't think The Hurt Locker is that great, whereas pretty much everybody at least enjoys Avatar on a 1 - 3 ranking. I'm starting to think that The Hurt Locker is going to be remembered as a film like Brokeback Mountain, one that had it in the bag but for one reason or another it did not transfer over, an epic film of intimate scope. The Hurt Locker is more about a specific job than a war epic.

The Hurt Locker had to wait a year to peak from when it premiered at festivals to when it stiffed at the box office to now where it seems to be winning everything in sight. This is not what happened with Brokeback Mountain, a movie that won everything in sight from the get-go. So this is not a case of peaking too soon, because it is peaking right now. But I'm concerned (as less a fan of the film, but rather as someone who views it as a far more important film than the other front-runners) that this isn't enough. The Hurt Locker might not be the type of film that wins. Neither was No Country for Old Men either, but when forced to rank a slate of ten nominees, I doubt No Country for Old Men could win either.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

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Postby Greg » Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:20 pm

Even though Cameron can be egotistical at times, it kind of rings unfair, that in articles like these, nobody mentions how gracious he was when he won the Golden Globe for Best Director and said he though Bigelow deserved to win.

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Postby Big Magilla » Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:28 pm

I have nothing new to say about the race, but I found this interesting take by Peter Howell, film critic for

Call me perverse, but I actually feel sorry for James Cameron.

This is a very strange admission to make, because I'm not in the habit of extending sympathy to wealthy and powerful directors who have Changed the Face of Cinema ™ with a $2 billion-grossing film about sexy blue giants.

But I feel vaguely melancholic for how badly Avatar has slipped in recent Oscar polls.

In awards terms, the film has gone from being unstoppable to being almost an also-ran. Latest indications are that The Hurt Locker will take Best Picture at the Academy Awards on March 7, along with Best Director for Kathryn Bigelow, Cameron's ex-wife.

How fleeting are the fickle enchantments of love! Wasn't it just yesterday that we were all loving us some Na'vi, turning ourselves blue in the face with excitement over Avatar potentially becoming the first pure sci-fi film to win Best Picture?

This doesn't seem likely to happen now – The Hurt Locker is on a roll, winning international awards and new converts – and Cameron isn't going to take it well. He was prepared to let Bigelow make history as the first woman to win Best Director, but he wanted a Best Picture trophy to join all the Titanic hardware he has on his mantel.

Avatar will still likely win a slew of technical awards, but for a guy as competitive as Cameron, that's like kissing your sister.

Really, though, he has only himself and his ego to blame.

The tide starting turning against him at the Golden Globes last month, when Avatar beat The Hurt Locker for best dramatic film.

A puffing and preening Cameron acted as if he'd discovered the cure for cancer, and not just made a very popular picture that sold one hell of a pile of popcorn.

He compared his fake Avatar world of Pandora to Earth and suggested that his movie hasn't just Changed the Face of Cinema ™, it's also an excellent example for tree-huggers to follow.

"If you have to go 4 1/2 light years to another, made-up planet to appreciate this miracle of the world that we have right here, well, you know what, that's the wonder of cinema right there, that's the magic," he boasted.

He spoke part of his acceptance speech in his fake Avatar language of Na'vi, delighting fanboys everywhere but making true cinephiles cringe.

You could almost hear the air hissing out of Avatar's sapphire zeppelin right then and there. Hollywood loves a winner, but not a braggart.

Many pundits made comparisons between Cameron's Golden Globes debacle and his much-mocked "I'm King of the World!" boast at the Academy Awards in 1998, when he accepted his Best Director prize for Titanic, one of 11 record-tying Oscars that film won.

Here's where I actually do have genuine sympathy for Cameron. I've gone onto YouTube and looked at the tape of Cameron accepting that award. I think he looks sincerely honoured, not arrogant.

"I don't know about you, but I'm having a really great time," he begins. He thanks his cast and crew: "You guys gave me pure gold every day, and I share this gold with you."

He gives special thanks to his parents ("my original producers"), seeming almost about to break into tears when he mentions them being in the audience.

When he lets loose with his "I'm King of the World!" yell, it sounds more prideful than boastful, even when he punctuates it with a couple of whoops and a Rocky-style champion arm lift. The "King of the World" line is a key one in Titanic; he didn't just confer the title upon himself for no reason.

The only reason to knock Cameron's speech is for its length. At 1:34, it's more than double the 45-second maximum requested by the Academy. But he was not alone in ignoring a time limit that the Academy has only recently started to get serious about.

I think he's been unfairly maligned over this incident, probably because he generally is a pretty arrogant guy. Modesty doesn't come easily to him.

He will have to get used to it, though, come March 7, when The Hurt Locker wins Best Picture and Kathryn Bigelow is crowned the Queen of the World as Best Director.

Sorry, Jim, but you "blue" it.
“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” - Voltaire

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