This article was written by Harry Hansford.
I started off this series of articles talking about Beasts of the Southern Wild and how it stood very little chance of winning the Best Picture Oscar that can be read here. I truly believe it should and now I’m going to talk about another one of its nominations that it has little to no chance of winning, and why it should stand a chance to win, Best Director. The other nominations are:
Michael Haneke (Amour)
- The two times Palme d’Or winner seems like a strong candidate. In Amour he gets one of the best performances of the year out of the oldest Oscar nominated female ever Emmanuelle Riva.
- However going on the academies history of giving foreign directors a Best Director Oscar it seems unlikely even if Haneke is the sort of director who deserves one.
Ang Lee (Life of Pi)
- The first director from Asian descent to win the Best Director at the Oscars seemed like a real contender just a few weeks ago when Life of Pi was released but since then the buzz has died down.
- However he gets an amazing performance out of the young and debuting actor Suraj Sharma, who for the majority of the film is alone in a film based on a book that many thought un-filmable which is quite an achievement.
- On the other hand, something tells me he won’t be walking out with the Oscars either.
David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)
- Previously Oscar nominated Russell seems to be a shoe in to secure his Oscar this year. He has the controversial backing of the Weinstein brothers and has made a film about a heavy subject, mental health, in a charming and at times funny way. These two factors usually impress the Academy and could mean we see this film cleaning up.
- However I’m sure the Weinstein’s are mainly gunning for the Best Picture meaning this award may be thrown aside as collateral.
Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)
- Two times Best Director, (Schindler’s List in 1993 and Saving Private Ryan in 1998) is the favourite to win and in the process, claim his third Best Director Oscar for his Lincoln biopic that is set to ravish the Oscars.
- The performances in Lincoln are all solid and are rightfully being lavished with awards and nominations but the fact it has won so many other best director awards and Spielberg has already won this award twice already may go against him as the Academy occasionally like to surprise us.
- However, the fact this is about one of the most proud and important times in America’s history makes this the firm favourite.
So then what chance does our first time director Benh Zeitlin stand against two previous winners and a previous nominee with the Weinstein powerhouse behind him and a two times Palme d’Or winner? Very little to none. It’s such an accomplishment for Zeitlin to be nominated that I’m sure he doesn’t mind if he doesn’t win. After all, he beat out Quentin Tarantino, Ben Affleck, Tom Hooper and Paul Thomas Anderson to get his nomination and this will definitely further his career in a way he could only dream of. To get such great moving performances out of non-actors and to create a rich and deep world all within your debut film is a massive task and is one that Zeitlen has no doubt achieved. Based on this, it has to give him some chance. It’s great the academy are taking notice of this film and these people but now let’s start rewarding them.