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Peter T Chattaway

Oscars 2014: Best Director

  

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The Directors Guild of America has announced its nonimees:

 

  • ALFONSO CUARÓN, Gravity (Warner Bros. Pictures)
  • PAUL GREENGRASS, Captain Phillips (Columbia Pictures)
  • STEVE McQUEEN, 12 Years A Slave (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
  • DAVID O. RUSSELL, American Hustle (Columbia Pictures)
  • MARTIN SCORSESE, The Wolf of Wall Street (Paramount Pictures)

 

The winner will be announced January 25. The winner of this award has almost always won the Oscar for Best Director, too (and that, in turn, usually -- though not always, especially lately -- goes to the film that wins the Oscar for Best Picture).

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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I would say it's looking good for 12 Years A Slave to win best picture.  Gravity and Captain Phillips will probably split the intense disaster survival story vote.  And American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street will probably split the "based on a true story" about criminals vote.

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I would say it's looking good for 12 Years A Slave to win best picture.  Gravity and Captain Phillips will probably split the intense disaster survival story vote.  And American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street will probably split the "based on a true story" about criminals vote.

 

But you have to factor in the "self-congratulatory Hollywood savior complex" vote that propelled The Artist and Argo the last two years. That vote would go to Saving Mr. Banks this year.

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I would say it's looking good for 12 Years A Slave to win best picture.  Gravity and Captain Phillips will probably split the intense disaster survival story vote.  And American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street will probably split the "based on a true story" about criminals vote.

 

But you have to factor in the "self-congratulatory Hollywood savior complex" vote that propelled The Artist and Argo the last two years. That vote would go to Saving Mr. Banks this year.

 

 

Mr. Banks also has the feel-good factor going for it.

 

That said, I think the remarkable convergence in 2013 of 12 Years a Slave, Lee Daniels' The Butler, Fruitvale Station, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and 42 (the Jackie Robinson movie), not to mention the likes of The Best Man Holiday, Blue Caprice and Black Nativity, creates an environment in which a feel-good Hollywood film about privileged white people in Hollywood taking down best picture is just going to feel wrong to a lot of people. 

 

Add to that the overall sense of 12 Years a Slave being an Important Movie, and Saving Mr. Banks being an enjoyable diversion (whereas both The Artist and Argo had pretensions of importance), and I think 12 Years a Slave is the film to beat. 

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Oscar nominees:

  • ALFONSO CUARÓN, Gravity
  • ALEXANDER PAYNE, Nebraska
  • STEVE McQUEEN, 12 Years A Slave
  • DAVID O. RUSSELL, American Hustle
  • MARTIN SCORSESE, The Wolf of Wall Street

The academy snubbed Greengrass in favor of Payne!?!

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Vote!

 

And yes, the DGA and the Academy agree on all the nominees but one: the Oscars gave Alexander Payne the spot that the DGA gave to Paul Greengrass.

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I would say it's looking good for 12 Years A Slave to win best picture.  Gravity and Captain Phillips will probably split the intense disaster survival story vote.  And American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street will probably split the "based on a true story" about criminals vote.

 

But you have to factor in the "self-congratulatory Hollywood savior complex" vote that propelled The Artist and Argo the last two years. That vote would go to Saving Mr. Banks this year.

I did forget the "self-congratulatory Hollywood savior complex" factor, but I don't think it goes to Saving Mr. Banks.  I think that vote appears with a slight twist this year.  Instead of a feel good movie praising Hollywood, the lighthearted feel good movie praises acting and performing (or scamming and hustling) as a means of saving oneself from dire straits.  In other words, I think American Hustle has a much, much better shot than I initially anticipated.  David O. Russell has also directed some good movies without winning an Oscar, so he could have support from a sympathy vote.  Whereas McQueen is a relative newcomer.

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