Director Kathryn Bigelow holds her DGA Feature Film Award that she won for her work on the film "The Hurt Locker" at the 62nd annual Directors Guild of America Awards in Los Angeles on January 30, 2010. Bigelow became the first woman to win the best director award from the Directors Guild of America on Saturday with her Iraq war thriller "The Hurt Locker," a film gathering awards momentum ahead of the Oscars.     UPI/Jim Ruymen. (Newscom TagID: upiphotos989371)     [Photo via Newscom]

A major crutch has been pulled out from under Oscar voters this year and that’s their reliance on the DGA and the PGA.  For now we’ll focus on how the DGA’s date change could affect the Best Director nominations, expanding on a Twitter conversation I had with Ashley Reynolds regarding Paul Thomas Anderson. The way I see it, the Weinstein Co. will get one of their directors in but they’ll have to make a choice, Sophie. Paul Thomas Anderson vs. Quentin Tarantino vs. David O. Russell.

As it stands right now, Russell has the momentum. But since we won’t see if the DGA chooses him first, we have to rely on the Academy doing that on their own. If you’ve been following the Oscar race for a while you know that there is usually one or two non-matches from DGA to Academy. That’s because the Academy’s directing branch is around 400 where the DGA membership is around 9,000. So while the Oscars might represent a select poll of first-class directors, if you multiply that sampling by a factor of 20 you’re likely to see a much broader range of taste. With that in mind, we can expect the DGA to choose titles with more popular appeal and Russell would have a better shot. PTA has a better shot with the smaller sampling, I figure.

To my mind there are two locks right now: Ben Affleck for Argo and Steven Spielberg for Lincoln. I expect the next two in line will be Tom Hooper for Les Miserables and Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty. But I say this sight unseen.  It’s just a hunch and it’s based on their position in the industry — both have won recently, thus, more attention will paid to them. That leaves the Weinstein slot open. There, I figure, is your cliffhanger. Of course, Hooper or Bigelow could fail to make the cut. Another director entirely could take one or both their spots — like Benh Zeitlin or Michael Haneke. Usually when the Academy splits from the DGA they pick a more obscure choice over a more popular one.  But let’s look at how it could go and then look at the times when the Academy has gone a different way.

In the last ten years, when did the DGA pick a director that the Academy didn’t?

2011: David Fincher, Dragon Tattoo –> Terrence Malick, Tree of Life
2010: Christopher Nolan, Inception –> Joel and Ethan Coen, True Grit
2009: no variation
2008: Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight –> Stephen Daldry, The Reader
2007: Sean Penn, Into the Wild –> Jason Reitman, Juno
2006: Bill Condon, Dreamgirls –>Paul Greengrass, United 93*
2005: no variation
2004: Marc Forster, Finding Neverland —> Mike Leigh, Vera Drake*
2003: Gary Ross, Seabiscuit –>Fernando Merielles, City of God*
2002: Peter Jackson, Lord of the Rings Two Towers –>Pedro Almodovar, Talk to Her*

4 of  the past 10 times when the Academy’s directors branch picked a director that the DGA did not, the variant Academy film did not go on to be nominated for Best Picture but the DGA’s did.

3 of the 10 times when the directors branch picked a director that the DGA did not, the variant Academy film went on to be nominated for Best Picture.

2 of the 10 times matched 5/5 with corresponding Best Picture nominations.

But it’s also important to note that only once since the new rules too effect has the movie the DGA chose not gone on to get either director or picture nomination at the Oscars and that was Fincher for Dragon Tattoo — that it was supplanted by Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and War Horse (neither of which earned directors nominations from either group) tells you a lot about how and why the Academy picks some films. But lingering guilt and perhaps frustration contributed to Dragon Tattoo winning the editing Oscar, making it the first film since 1968 to win editing without a corresponding Best Picture nomination*.  That shows support for Fincher’s work and respect for his team, even if his film didn’t get enough number ones for Best Pic.

*[Forgot about The Bourne Ultimatum and Black Hawk Down both won editing Oscars without a BP nomination .  Thanks Linus!]

Aside from that exception, over the past 3 years — since 2009 when the Academy grew the field of BP nominees to ten to establish the current system — any director the DGA picks usually goes on to see his or her film at least get a Best Picture nomination.  In other words, prior to 2007, the variant directors the Academy opted to nominate didn’t have a corresponding Best Picture nomination, but now, with the expanded list, it’s very likely they would have.

But let’s look at a chart that weaves the Golden Globes, DGA and Oscar together.

 + won
GG-Golden Globes
DGA-Directors Guild


DGA / GG Director | Director Oscar | Best Picture Oscar / GG-Best Picture

Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist+(GG) Michel Hazanavicius+ The Artist+/GG+
Martin Scorsese, Hugo (GG+) Martin Scorsese Hugo/GG
Alexander Payne, The Descendants (GG) Alexander Payne The Descendants/GG+
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris-(GG) Woody Allen Midnight in Paris/GG
David Fincher, Dragon Tattoo Terrence Malick Tree of Life
The Help-GG
War Horse-GG
 GG-director only Clooney for Ides Extremely Loud, Incredibly Close


DGA / GG Director | Director Oscar | Best Picture Oscar / GG-Best Picture

Tom Hooper+ (GG) Tom Hooper+ The King’s Speech+(GG)
David Fincher (GG+) David Fincher Social Network(GG+)
Darren Aronofsky (GG) Darren Aronofsky Black Swan (GG)
David O’Russell(GG) David O’Russell, The Fighter (GG)
Joel and Ethan Coen True Grit
Christopher Nolan, Inception (GG) Inception (GG)
The Kids Are All Right(GG+
Winter’s Bone
Toy Story 3
127 Hours


DGA / GG Director | Director Oscar | Best Picture Oscar / GG-Best Picture

Kathryn Bigelow+(GG) Bigelow+ Hurt Locker+(GG)
Lee Daniels Lee Daniels Precious (GG)
Jason Reitman (GG) Jason Reitman Up in the Air (GG)
Quentin Tarantino (GG) Tarantino Inglourious Basterds (GG)
Jim Cameron (GG+) Jim Cameron Avatar (GG+)
A Serious Man
Globes only: An Education
Clint Eastwood, Invictus (GG) District 9
The Blind Side


DGA / GG Director | Director Oscar | Best Picture Oscar / GG-Best Picture

Danny Boyle+ (GG+) Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire+ (GG+)
Ron Howard (GG) Ron Howard Frost/Nixon (GG)
Gus Van Sant Gus Van Sant Milk
David Fincher (GG) David Fincher Benjamin Button (GG)
Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight
Globes nominated only:
Stephen Daldry (GG) Stephen Daldry The Reader (GG)


DGA / GG Director | Director Oscar | Best Picture Oscar / GG-Best Picture

Joel and Ethan Coen+ Joel and Ethan Coen+ No Country+ (GG)
Sean Penn, Into the Wild Jason Reitman Juno (GG)
Julian Schnabel (GG+) Julian Schnabel
Tony Gilroy Tony Gilroy Michael Clayton (GG)
Paul Thomas Anderson Paul Thomas Anderson There Will Be Blood (GG)
Globe nominated only
Joe Wright (GG) Atonement (GG+)


DGA / GG Director | Director Oscar | Best Picture Oscar / GG-Best Picture

Stephen Frears (GG) Stephen Frears The Queen (GG)
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu Babel (GG+)
Bill Condon, Dreamgirls (GG+)
Faris and Dayton Paul Greengrass Little Miss Sunshine(GG)
Martin Scorsese, The Departed+(GG+) Martin Scorsese+ The Departed+(GG)
Globe nominated only
Clint Eastwood, Letters & Flags Clint Eastwood Letters from Iwo Jima*


DGA / GG Director | Director Oscar | Best Picture Oscar / GG-Best Picture

Ang Lee+(GG+) Ang Lee+ Brokeback Mountain (GG+)
George Clooney (GG) George Clooney Good Night, Good Luck (GG)
Paul Haggis Paul Haggis Crash+
Bennett Miller Bennett Miller Capote
Steven Spielberg (GG) Steven Spielberg Munich


DGA / GG Director | Director Oscar | Best Picture Oscar / GG-Best Picture

Alexander Payne (GG) Alexander Payne Sideways (GG+)
Martin Scorsese (GG) Martin Scorsese The Aviator (GG+)
Taylor Hackford Taylor Hackford for Ray (GG)
Marc Forster (GG) Mike Leigh for Vera Drake Finding Neverland (GG)
Clint Eastwood (GG+) Clint Eastwood+ Million Dollar Baby+(GG)


DGA / GG Director | Director Oscar | Best Picture Oscar / GG-Best Picture

Sofia Coppola, Lost in Translation Sofia Coppola Lost in Translation (GG+)
Clint Eastwood, Mystic River Clint Eastwood Mystic River (GG)
Peter Jackson, ROTK+(GG+) Peter Jackson+ ROTK (GG+)+
Peter Weir, Master and Commander Peter Weir Master and Commander (GG)
Gary Ross, Seabiscuit Fernando Merielles Seabiscuit (GG)


DGA / GG Director | Director Oscar | Best Picture Oscar / GG-Best Picture

Martin Scorsese, Gangs of New York (GG+) Martin Scorsese Gangs of New York (GG)
Peter Jackson, Lord of the Rings (GG) Pedro Almodovar Two Towers (GG)
Roman Polanski, The Pianist Roman Polanski+ The Pianist (GG)
Rob Marshall, Chicago+(GG) Rob Marshall Chicago+(GG+)
Steven Daldry, The Hours (GG) Steven Daldry The Hours (GG+)

I have worked down my list of Best Directors down to:


We only have five slots for the Globes, five slots for the DGA and five slots for Oscar’s Best Director. Three of the names above will have to go. Or it might not look at all like that. There might be other names like Joe Wright, Robert Zemeckis, The Wachowskis and Tykwer, Ava DuVernay (first black female director nominee??), Peter Jackson – it’s still too soon to know.

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  • Kevin Klawitter

    Granted, I haven’t read that many reviews of the film, but how guaranteed IS David O. Russell for “The Silver Linings Playbook”? I can certainly understand the movie being a lock for Best Picture and Best Screenplay noms, but as a romantic comedy, is there really that much directoral flourish that would grab the attention of Oscar voters enough to get votes? I could see more overtly Director-y movies like “Life of Pi”, “Django Unchained”, or “Beasts of the Southern Wild” getting in over “Silver Linings Playbook”.

    Russell is an industry veteran, though, and there IS precedent for him getting in, as Jason Reitman was nominated for Best Director fof “Juno”, but I’m still not sure Russell’s a sure a bet as people are saying.

  • Linus

    “making it the first film since 1968 to win editing without a corresponding Best Picture nomination”

    That’s not true – Bourne Ultimatum and Black Hawk Down both won editing without a BP nomination.

  • I’ve long suspected that Russell wasnt a certainty for a directing nod. My best guess right now is:


    Alternates (in order of likelihood): Russell, Tarantino, Bigelow, Jackson

  • Maxim

    Small correction. Fernando Merielles wasn’t nominated for ‘The Constant Gardener’ but for ‘City of God’.

  • Geraldo

    Sasha, Fernando Meirelles was nominated for “City of God”, not “The Constant Gardener”.

  • We will at least know whom the DGA has chosen before we know whom the Academy has. But I don’t think many Academy voters await the DGA’s nomination announcement before they make their choices anyway. After all, surely those members of the directing branch who are also DGA members (surely either all or almost all of them) have more respect for their Oscar choices than those of the much larger DGA. They’ve ignored the DGA on at least one option almost every year lately. I think their choices align so often because their tastes are the same, and the directing branch’s membership so full of DGA members, rather than that they await the DGA.

    I think, though, that either one or the other will make at least one brave choice, perhaps Michael Haneke (if Amour’s chances hold up) or Benh Zeitlin. But, of course, it’s far too early to say. It’s quite possible that any of the current frontrunners fail to keep their leads by early January.

  • Maxim, Geraldo, thanks! will fix.

    Linus, good catch. Correction inserted up top.

  • Maxim

    And the “Dragon Tatoo” comment is utter guesswork/nonsense. The fact that they awarded editing Oscars to the film also had nothing to do with guilt/frustration. They recognized what they wanted to recognize.

    Also, War Horse was terrific and probably landed closer to the middle then the end of the 9.

  • Also, Heath and Jake are looking TOO FINE in that photo. Ang Lee’s a lucky bastard.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    Hmm, when variations, Academy seems to choose more wisely. In most cases.

  • m1

    as a romantic comedy, is there really that much directoral flourish that would grab the attention of Oscar voters enough to get votes?

    Woody Allen got a nomination last year for Midnight in Paris. Russell could easily get a nomination for SLP.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    I had to check… Since 1968 there have been more of those Editing winners without BP nomination. The Matrix, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and that 1968 film Bullitt.

  • m1 — that’s an interesting exception to the general rule. But it does serve to prove the point. The structure of Midnight in Paris was High Concept. It was a sleight-of-hand trick that demanded a deft director’s flourish, don’t you think?

    Silver Linings Playbook is straightforward. Nothing slippery. (The slippery stuff when Jennifer Lawrence sleeps with everybody in her office all happens offscreen, right?)

  • Yeah, but, Ryan, David O. Russell’s done straightforward before – The Fighter – and it got major awards attention. Three Kings and I Heart Huckabees, though…?

  • Jack

    Ben Affleck
    Tom Hooper
    Ang Lee
    Paul Thomas Anderson
    Steven Spielberg

    Ben Affleck-closest to lock

    Paul Thomas Anderson- Michael Mann went gaga for his DIRECTION, mind you. Even if the film isn’t as regarded, many were still impressed by his vision. Working with 70mm cameras wouldn’t hurt

    Ang Lee- Oscar winner, highly respected, 3D, visually impressive

    Tom Hooper-previous winner, if Les Miserables turns out to be the favorite I doubt he’ll miss out

    Usually the DGA has one alternate not nominated for Oscar-last year fincher, Nolan the year before, etc.

    Spielberg has had a strange relarionship with the DGA. He won for Color Purple without even being Oscar nominated. If Playbook is as acclaimed and maintains strong buzz like say The Descendants, O Russell could surely stay.

    Nolan-the dGA loves him, his last Bat film-massive scope, IMAX cameras
    Haneke-will the foreign film get enough love from directors
    Wes Anderson
    Joss Whedon

  • Brad

    It seems to me that Silver Linings playbook will follow a path similar to As Good as it Gets. It will get praise for its acting, its screenplay (most of all), and the movie will get credit. I dont think that Russell is quite the lock everyone thinks he is. The fact that he’s directing what is essentially a romantic comedy, partnered with his less than stellar reputation, we could see him obverlooked, especially in a year with so many other likeable, well-known directors.

  • Evan

    THE MATRIX also won Best Editing without a corresponding Best Picture nod.

  • And the “Dragon Tatoo” comment is utter guesswork/nonsense. The fact that they awarded editing Oscars to the film also had nothing to do with guilt/frustration.

    It’s not guesswork. The word you’re looking for is “speculation.” And it’s basis is well-founded.

    It’s absolutely valid to consider the possibility of a “protest vote” to demonstrate passion in the only way the final ballot allowed.

    My god, Maxim. Millions of people use Presidential ballots to express “protests” in the very same way. Are you really suggesting that none of the Academy voters could have possibly factored in any of their personal feelings about Fincher’s film being snubbed in other categories? Please get real, my friend.

  • Mac

    What the heck is wrong with a romantic comedy? Were movies like When Harry Met Sally, Roman Holiday, Bringing Up Baby, It Happened One Night, Annie Hall, The Apartment, His Girl Friday, Tootsie, Working Girl, and The Philadelphia Story easy to direct? Any of the directors for those films are way more deserving of a nomination than recent nominees like Stephen Daldry, Stephen Frears, or Ron Howard and their somber movies.

  • Erik Anderson

    Also, the Dragon Tattoo/editing/1968 stat is actually that it’s the first film to win Editing as its only win since Bullitt in 1968.

  • Brad

    Mac –

    I’m not questioning the merit of romantic comedies, but rather bringing up the fact that the academy does not seem to reward the directors of romantic comedies. Of the 10 movies you listed above, only three of those films were made after 1980 (Tootsie, Working Girl, and When Harry Met Sally). Of those three films, one (When Harry me Sally) wasn’t nominated for Best Director at the Oscars. Working Girl was directed by Mike Nichols, a proven Oscar winner (and someone Oscar loves to nominate), and Tootsie, which is the only nominee that you have listed that can compare with the situation silver Linings Playbook is in this season (But Tootsie did have Dustin Hoffman in drag. So….)

    But to further the comparison between Silver Linings Playbook and As Good as it Gets…

    Both movies deal with a central lead character who suffers from a mental condition who looks at the world differently. Each man is greatly affected by a new woman who enters their life… I know the movies are not necessarily similar when viewed, but, as soon as this movie moved into the Oscar race, the first thing that crossed my mind was “this movie is the As Good as it Gets of this year”

    I think Silver Linings Playbook will, more than likely, get a DGA Nomination (like As Good as It Gets did) but be shut out of the Directing category at the Oscars.

  • David

    [David — This was your 3rd comment in 2 days written for no other reason except to throw a hurtful insult. Wouldn’t you like to see something you wrote show up on the site sometime? It’s easy. Just stop being a pain. Can you please try that?

    Dude, you and I have been having this same battle for over 5 years. Write to me at if you need a little guidance, ok?]

  • steve50

    Outside of whatever minor influence the critics cicles will have, we can only speculate on which directors the directors branch might think should be nominated.

    Affleck is solid – actor-turned-director is always considered to be an industry unicorn that always attracts affection. Add to that the fact it’s a hit AND a damn good movie.

    PTAnderson is highly respected but needs momentum from the critics awards to even be considered. That’s probably what saved Malick last year. If The Master doesn’t reap a bundle, he’s probably out.

    Spielberg, hmm. I would have counted him out if he hadn’t made such a departure with Lincoln, but will the credit fall to him or Kushner. Not certain he’s a sure thing, but we’ll probably know more in a week.

    Lee and Pi – can’t wait to see his vision and I think he’s got a good chance. He may be the “visionary nod” of this year.

    Hooper. Les Mis better blow the socks off the critics and the BO, or I don’t think he’ll make it.

    Russell and Bigelow have a better chance. I think Russell is almost certain as SLP is building a resume of kudos and has Harvey. Zero Dark Thirty, I’m guessing/hoping, will be the surprise of the season. Good thing Argo came out as early as it did so the two reality thrillers don’t have to compete, and it was nice for Ben A to whet the audience appetites for a good thriller and will probably get a Xmas card from KB.

    Wes Anderson, Ben Zeitlan, Tarantino, Haneke and the rest, will need a miracle.

    My completely uneducated, biased and foolish cat-herding guess:

    DGA: PTA, Lee, Affleck, Russell, Hooper
    GG: Affleck, Lee, Russell, Hooper, Spielberg
    Oscar: Bigelow, Lee, Affleck, Russell, Spielberg

    or not.

  • phantom

    I think there are three contenders in particular we tend to underestimate and I think we shouldn’t : Ben Lewin has the kind of story the Academy loves to appreciate; Juan Antonio Bayona’s film received early raves, is already an international BO-sensation and could very well be the surprise hit of the Holiday Season; and Michael Haneke who could have a better-than-expected shot considering every now and then, the Academy tends to go for foreign language films in the Best Director category. I’m not saying these 3 will end up in the top5, I’m saying at this very moment, they are probably closer to it than we think. Anyway :

    1. Ben Affleck (crowning moment of his stellar comeback ?)
    2. Steven Spielberg (unlikely critics would turn on him now)
    3. Tom Hooper (still a big question mark, still a potential frontrunner)
    4. Kathryn Bigelow (ditto)

    5. Paul Thomas Anderson (strongest directing achievement of 2012 ?)
    6. David O. Russell (TWC-crowdpleaser a.k.a. this year’s Hooper/Hazanavicius ?)
    7. Quentin Tarantino (it does sound rather Oscary for a Tarantino-film)
    8. Andrew Dominik (he’ll have the reviews, but Harvey will be busy)
    9. Dustin Hoffman (the Academy LOVES actors in the director’s chair)

    10. Ang Lee (they will either LOVE it or ignore it)
    11. Wes Anderson (Midnight in Paris sneaked in…but that was Woody Allen)
    12. Benh Zeitlin (unlikely, but still, remarkably promising debut)
    13. Michael Haneke (the Academy tends to go for foreign films in this category)
    14. Joe Wright (IF US-critics fall in love with it…that’s a big if)
    15. Lana & Andy Wachowksy, Tom Tykwer (wishful thinking ?)

    16. Christopher Nolan (if they snubbed him for The Dark Knight…)
    17. Peter Jackson (first part of a trilogy, still, if it’s LOTR-good…)

    18. Ben Lewin (Polio survivor directing crowdpleaser about Polio-victim)
    19. Juan Antonio Bayona (I think he could be the big shocker in the long run)
    20. Gus Van Sant (absolutely NO buzz…for now ?)

  • Question Mark

    Affleck is the only true lock at this point. Spielberg and Hooper are both probables but they could fall out if their much-hyped films don’t quite measure up once everyone gets a chance to finally see them. To a lesser extent, Bigelow and Russell also share this same thing.

    The reverse, however, applies to Tarantino and Lee. I think they’re the real wild cards since if their movies break big so late in the voting period, they can make late surges towards nominations or even BP consideration.

    Despite all of its acclaim as a novel, the Life Of Pi adaptation kind of flew under the radar — while we all saw Spielberg’s Lincoln and Hooper’s Les Miz coming as obvious Oscar bait, it only seems to have just dawned on folks that “Life Of Pi directed by Ang Lee” has Oscar contention written all over it. Django Unchained seems to be looked at as a ‘minor’ Tarantino work that will be more fight scenes and violence, but everyone said the same about Inglourious Basterds and that ended up with a pile of nominations (and, if I had to guess, might’ve come closer than we think to a Best Picture win).

    I think PTA is a stretch for a nomination unless he just starts cleaning up the critics’ awards, and even then it’s not certain. As much as The Master received praise in some circles, it received scorn in others, and plus there are enough other great directing jobs done this year that different groups will split votes in potentially several different directions.

    I dont think that Russell is quite the lock everyone thinks he is. The fact that he’s directing what is essentially a romantic comedy, partnered with his less than stellar reputation, we could see him overlooked, especially in a year with so many other likeable, well-known directors.

    You make some good point but Russell was nominated for ‘The Fighter,’ so I think we can put the “Academy voters won’t vote for DOR because they think he’s a jerk” theory to rest.

  • Jake

    ive only been in the Oscar game for about three to four years now and its getting annoying. I cant stand to watch another year where the best movies of the year get snubbed and the “best”(oscaryy movies) get nominated. I really cant.

  • Haggar

    I’d nominate the following, just going by the trailers.

    KB – Zero Dark Thirty
    TH – Les Miserable
    AL – Life of Pi
    QT – Django Unchained
    PTA – The Master

    Oscar will go to either Lee or Bigelow.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    I think Bigelow’s nomination is a stretch, not alone winning it. You know how kind Academy has been to female directors, and certainly they will not want to show that there’s only one that they actually like.

    Even if Zero Dark Thirty is nominated (seems that way now), its director will not be.

    This is not how I feel personally. Just a cruel fact of male domination.

  • Glenn UK

    Hmmmm I’m not seeing Bigelow in the mix. It is too similar a subject (war/milatary)for which she has already won. She has not stretched herself. Same team around her bla bla bla. She needs to show some versatility and move completely away from that genre for future consideration – just my humble opinion. As of now I see:


  • Tero Heikkinen

    Ben Affleck
    Paul Thomas Anderson
    Tom Hooper
    Ang Lee
    Steven Spielberg

  • Chris138

    @Glenn UK

    It sounds harsh but I agree. I’m not getting an Oscar-vibe from Zero Dark Thirty, especially since it’s such similar subject matter to The Hurt Locker. I could be proven wrong, and I’ll freely admit it, but that’s just how I feel based on the early promotion for the film.

  • Bryce Forestieri

    Personally rooting for Michael Haneke to get in…

  • Dan

    Christopher Nolan is going to get nominated for Best Director and TDKR will get a Best Pic nomination too

  • FelixU

    You’ve been hawking Duverney in a vacuum for a while but today what sits in my mailbox but my shiny new EW and the film is all over it. Long shot contender for 1) Director and 2) Actress and on this week’s 3) Must See List. Not enough people have seen the film to count it in thus the lack of comments here. But once its seen, it’s hard to deny that talent. A very unexpected voice working at a very high level that I think is being dismissed as more Sundance drivel which is really too bad.

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