Ben Affleck, Argo
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Tom Hooper, Les Miserables

(Warner Bros. Pictures)
Mr. Affleck’s Directorial Team:

  • Unit Production Manager:  Amy Herman
  • First Assistant Director:  David Webb
  • Second Assistant Director:  Ian Calip
  • Second Second Assistant Directors: Clark Credle, Gavin Kleintop
  • First Assistant Director (Turkey Unit): Belkis Turan

This is Mr. Affleck’s first DGA Feature Film Award nomination.

Zero Dark Thirty
(Columbia Pictures)

Ms. Bigelow’s Directorial Team:

  • Unit Production Manager:  Colin Wilson
  • First Assistant Director:  David A. Ticotin
  • Second Assistant Directors:  Ben Lanning, Sarah Hood
  • First Assistant Director (Jordan Unit): Scott Robertson
  • Second Assistant Directors (Jordan Unit): Jonas Spaccarotelli, Yanal Kassay
  • Second Second Assistant Director (Jordan Unit): Tarek Afifi
  • Unit Production Manager (India Unit): Rajeev Mehra


This is Ms. Bigelow’s second DGA Feature Film Award nomination.  She won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for The Hurt Locker in 2009.



Les Misérables

(Universal Pictures)


Mr. Hooper’s Directorial Team:

  • Unit Production Manager:  Patrick Schweitzer
  • First Assistant Director:  Ben Howarth
  • Second Assistant Director:  Harriet Worth
  • Second Second Assistant Director: Dan Channing Williams


This is Mr. Hooper’s second DGA Feature Film Award nomination.  He won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for The King’s Speech (2010) and was previously nominated for the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television/Mini-Series for John Adams in 2008.



Life of Pi

(Twentieth Century Fox)


Mr. Lee’s Directorial Team:

  • Unit Production Manager:  Michael J. Malone
  • Unit Production Manager (Taiwan): Leo Chen
  • First Assistant Directors:  William M. Connor, Cliff Lanning
  • Second Assistant Directors:  Robert Burgess, Ben Lanning
  • Unit Production Manager (India Unit): Sanjay Kumar
  • First Assistant Director (India Unit): Nitya Mehra
  • Second Assistant Director (India Unit): Ananya Rane
  • Second Second Assistant Directors (India Unit): Namra Parikh, Freya Parekh
  • Second Assistant Directors (Montreal Unit): Derek Wimble, Renato De Cotiis


This is Mr. Lee’s fourth DGA Feature Film Award nomination.   He won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for Brokeback Mountain (2005) and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) and was nominated for Sense and Sensibility in 1995.




(DreamWorks Pictures/Twentieth Century Fox)


Mr. Spielberg’s Directorial Team:

  • Unit Production Manager:  Susan McNamara
  • First Assistant Director:  Adam Somner
  • Second Assistant Director:  Ian Stone
  • Second Second Assistant Directors: Eric Lasko, Trevor Tavares

This is Mr. Spielberg’s eleventh DGA Feature Film Award nomination. He won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film three times for Saving Private Ryan (1998), Schindler’s List (1993) and The Color Purple (1985). He was also nominated in this category for Munich (2005), Amistad (1997), Empire of the Sun (1987), E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial (1982), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and Jaws (1975). Mr. Spielberg was honored with the DGA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000.

Here is a graph of how many people have predicted what so far:


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  • representDLV

    For me there are 3 locks:
    Steven Spielberg
    Ben Affleck
    Kathryn Bigalow

    The remaining spots will go to 2 of these:
    Ang Lee
    David O Russell
    Quentin Tarantino
    Paul Thomas Anderson
    Tom Hooper

    I am gonna go with: David O Russell and Quentin Tarantino.

    Ang Lee may be the one, but I enjoyed SLP and Django more than Pi.

  • steve50

    As we enter the life of pie charts…. (sorry, just waiting for the announcement)

    Looks good and could live with those results.

  • Sasha Stone

    It’s certainly possible. And you know, Tom Hooper could sneak in, come to that. It’s a weird year all in all. To be a player, though, this year TWC really needs that fifth slot to be Russell. But you could be right, Ang Lee could get bumped for either of them. Still doesn’t mean Oscar will match 5/5 – hardly ever happens.

  • jp

    I’m not really a big fan of Life of Pi, but I’d say Ang Lee is in. For DGA and Oscars. The Weinstein’s aim this year should be break their own records of most nominations in a year. For that they need Django strong and I still think The Master is coming stronger to Oscars than most think. They are not winning Best Picture this time. Whoever thinks Lincoln can’t win because there’s no passion, because it’s a history lesson and all this silly blah blah blah… should start to think about 2014’s season. The hurricane Lincoln is unstoppable. Thursday it will make a lot of destruction. 12/14 noms and Critics Choice for Best Picture. SLP or anything else are just not beating it.

    Back to DGA/Oscar for directing, I still believe in Tarantino pulling a Coen-bros-True Grit and making it into the Oscars top 5.

  • Bruce L.

    I’m thinking the guarantees:



    Ang Lee obviously could take Russell’s spot, but I think Django is stronger than people think and a lot of people in Hollywood loved SLP.

  • Gage Creed

    What time are they announcing?

  • Eric P.

    ^yes, but DGA LOVES Ang Lee. I think he’s safe. Its that last spot that’s up for grabs. I don’t feel the heat for Tarantino. I really think Russell gets in.

  • representDLV

    Lincoln is kinda looking unstoppable to me for best pic. Zero Dark Thirty was it’s only real competition in my opinion, but with all the torture controversy, I don’t know if it can actually pull off the victory. And that is unfortunate since I find ZDT vastly superior to Lincoln. In fact I find most of the contenders this year superior to Lincoln. I did like Lincoln, but ultimately I found it very forgettable. I wish the film was actually about Lincoln.

    I hope Hooper doesn’t get in. I enjoyed Les Miserables, but only because I really enjoy the music. I thought the direction was actually quite weak.

  • Heath87

    Just announced


  • brett
  • Bruce L.

    Omg. Hooper?? Gotta love the close ups I guess??? I’m surprised.

  • Hawkeye

    Holy #@#$! I got all five right!!! Go Hooper!!!

  • srun

    Disappointed. I hope this is as far as Tom Hooper goes, just like Fincher last year.

  • filmboymichael

    cheers to Ang Lee, jeers to Tom Hooper!

  • Reno

    Way to go Hooper!

  • PaulH

    Ang Lee = luckiest guy on the face of the entertainment business. A goddamn fluke.

  • dinasztie


  • Tye-Grr

    Well, fuck my life… Hooper. Ugh. I don’t get it.

  • Bruce L.

    Yeah I liked Les Mis. But the direction was one of its weaknesses.

  • Edkargir

    Hopper and Lee nominations are a disgrace.

  • dinasztie

    Terrible, terrible line-up, boring nominees. Bigelow easily owns this category. Bigelow >>>>>>>> Spielberg > Lee > Affleck >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Hooper.

  • Christophe

    Hooray for Hooper! But sigh no Wes Anderson, no Bayona, no Tim Burton 🙁

  • Reno

    Hooper was a lock from the very beginning, there’s just too many people in denial.

  • Bruce L.

    I still think that Russell Crowe with snag a Razzie a la “Pierce Bronsan” for his horrific vocals on Les Mis.

  • joeyhegele

    If we still only had five Best Picture nominees, these five DGA nominees would be them.

    It is funny to think how certain people were a few months ago that Silver Linings Playbook was going to win Best Picture. Several of us warned it would likely be the next Up In The Air…and it seems to be even worse. Then again, maybe the DGA just does not like David O. Russell since they did not nominate him for The Fighter either.

    I am very happy for the nominations for Lincoln, Argo, Life Of Pi, and Zero Dark Thirty. I loved Les Miserables, but the directing was pretty weak. I hope Amour or Beasts Of The Southern Wild can push out Les Miserables when it comes to the Oscar nominations for Directing.

  • Akumax

    Just what I thought. Good.

    Ang Lee is the best living director in my opinion. He should win. But also Miss Bigelow made a masterpiece.

  • Zach

    Eww, gross, boo. I’m gonna pull a Julia Roberts and say that I wouldn’t want to live in a world where Tom Hooper gets an Oscar nomination for directing a musical but Baz Luhrmann did not.

    Hell, Tarantino, Haneke, and Russell don’t deserve it either.

  • Reno

    So Quentin, for your next film, probably another revenge fantasy flick, don’t think so much of the DGAs or the Oscars. That way, you’ll come up with a better film.

    Les Miz is ticking all the right boxes on the road to the Oscars.

  • Edkargir

    Beast is so much better pi .

  • Tom Who???!??
    Poor DGA…

  • To say I am ecstatic over Hooper’s nomination would be an understatement. There has been so much negativity in the air, and a refusal to accept his work.

    I stand here, smiling from ear to ear!!!!

    This certainly bodes well for an oscar nod now, since the ACTORS (the largest voting body) will surely in good measure stand behind him.

    Yep Reno, many were in denial for a very long time.

    Let’s party. Ha!

  • smoothcriminal

    @Zach, couldn’t agree more! I still get angry over Luhrman not getting a nod, and still think back fondly when Whoopi Goldberg called them out for it during the show.

    Grr at Hooper, but i’m ecstatic to See Ang Lee get a nod. I finally saw Life of Pi yesterday, such a ridiculously beautiful movie!

  • Jerry

    Way to go DGA, making yourselves a joke by nominating the worse director of the year as one of your top 5. Someone in heaven must really love Tom Hooper.

  • Nah, poor Fabinho would be more apt!

    The DGA is sitting quite pretty, thank you very much!

  • Reno

    7 DGA wins between Bigelow, Hooper, Lee & Spielberg.

  • Keep spinning Jerry.

    You’ll get it right one day!

    Love seeing the LES MIZ haters getting exactly what they have earned.

    Love it!!!

  • Bruce L.

    Hooper won’t make Oscar.

  • moviefan

    Did Sasha faint after posting that or what? lol No terse remarks for the DGA? Personally, I’m very happy that Hooper got in, a think a lot of pundits are underestimating the movie’s popularity with the Academy.

    Love Les Mis, glad Hooper got in over Tarentino. Really liked Life of Pi but loved Beasts of the Southern Wild more.

    Hooper and Bigelow probably won’t win, it’ll be either Affleck or Spielberg. I say give it to Ben.

  • Aragorn

    I dont understand all this negativity toward Hooper. It is his colleagues that nominated him! Those calling him the worst director of the year???? Apparently other directors dont think so!

    I think this is three-way race: Affleck-Bigelow- Spielberg

  • Geremy

    All of these nominations are deserved in my book. Though I was really hoping for Zeitlin to break through :/

  • PaulH

    Dear Christopher Nolan,
    Here is your only way to get back in favor with DGA and Oscar:

  • JP

    Tom Hooper to Stephen Daldry: “I’m the new you!”

  • Jerry Grant

    The predictions (like mine) leaving off Tom Hooper do seem to have been…wishful thinking…
    Of course this doesn’t mean Hooper will get an Oscar nod, but it is looking more likely. “Les Mis” is squarely in the fight to win.
    I think O. Russell would have been in in a weaker (any other) year.

  • I really think that those 5 films will also be the only BP nominees this Thursday. I hope it’s not the case but I just have a bad feeling about it.

    Someone in heaven must really love Tom Hooper.

    More like hell. If a benevolent entity were pulling the strings on Earth, the news wouldn’t be so scary every night.

  • Reno

    Yes, party time Sam! Glad I’m not “On My Own” fending off all the hate.

  • Robert A.

    “This certainly bodes well for an oscar nod now, since the ACTORS (the largest voting body) will surely in good measure stand behind him.”

    Well, the actors don’t vote for the directing nominees, only directors do. Hooper could still be left off the AMPAS director slate, although a DGA nomination definitely helps keep Hooper’s hopes alive. Or do you mean the actors will stand behind getting the film nominated?

  • AdamA

    Affleck’s gotta like his chances against 4 former winners. He’s not a lock, of course, but the “kid who paid his dues” thing works a lot better when the competition has already been recognized.

  • Zach

    Tom Hooper is the Stephen Daldry.

  • José R. Ortega

    I guess now we have 5 sure nominees for BP, “Les Misérables” is totally in.

  • Akumax

    The best thing of Les Miserables is Hooper direction. His choices made something different in a genre and I admire that. It is not the best movie of the year but a very good one for sure.

    Oscar director will match 5/5 the dga in my opinion

  • Zach

    *The NEW Stephen Daldry.

    @AdamA, meh, it’s not like Affleck doesn’t already have an Oscar. I would hope if he’s the only one keeping Spielberg from another win that they don’t think what you’re thinking. Payback time for the greatest living director!

  • Did you hear the DGA sing?

  • Calvin

    Well, AMPAS likes Hooper, we all know that…

  • Reno

    Is this the first time that 5 Oscar winners are nominated in the DGA?

  • Geremy


    Thank you for that exists 🙂

  • Cirque

    Count me as someone who fully supports the Hooper nomination. The venom that has been spewed at this film has been so over the top. What I saw was a film that was a superb adaptation, with some directorial decisions which people don’t associate with the musical genre – that’s why I liked it as much as I did.

  • Danemychal

    Is TWC going to bomb this awards season? That would be good news because I was starting to think he was buying all these awards. Maybe he saved all his money for the Academy though. We will find out Thursday.

  • Joe W

    Would’ve preferred Tarantino over Hooper, but other than that these are pretty solid nominations. Very happy about Ang Lee. Life of Pi was a visual wonder.

  • Glenn UK

    Well Well Well – Mr Hooper did it and good for him. I know nothing about direction like almost everyone else on here. So we listen to critics telling us HOW BAD the directing is and everyone jumps on that bandwagon and continually talks about the movie’s bad directing. I have not seen Les Mis yet – Friday here in the UK – but why would 14,500 directors vote it as one of the top 5 films of the year? WHY???? Because they know there shit and we, on here, know fuck all. If Hooper lands Oscar on Thursday then I feel confident that is a top two contender! Believe that if you like or not. But the critics once again got Les Mis so very wrong!!!!! By the way, from the reviews I have read so far in the UK, the critics are giving good to great notices.

  • g

    I’m thrilled with 4 of the nominees, I haven’t seen les Mis so i can’t judge really but I wish hooper wouldn’t of made it.

  • Hannah

    Hooper over the direting of Quentin Tarantino, Sam Mendes, Christopher Nolan…???????? wow! Even Peter Jackson deserves it more this year.

  • Astarisborn

    Ang Lee deserves his nom big time. To Hooper does not.
    Russell should have made it instEad of Hooper.

  • Daveylo

    I don’t think Russell is going to be nominated by the Academy either. But Hooper could be replaced by Tarantino.

  • Daveylo

    “Even Peter Jackson deserves it more this year.”


  • Christophe

    @Glenn UK
    Les Mis is gonna be so huge in the UK, being released 2 days after the Bafta noms and one day after oscar noms, it’s perfect timing. I think I might go to London just to see the movie, it doesn’t come out until mid-February in France :-||

  • Backson

    The reviews for Les Miz have not been bad. Most critics like the film. People were just expecting it to be the next Chicago. It’s not…but Les Miz still got good/great reviews.

    Anyway, Hooper really doesn’t belong in the top 10. The movie is great because of its performances (Hathaway, Redmayne, Barks and Tveit) and technical aspects (particularly sound, costumes and makeup). Hooper’s direction was just…too much.

    I hope Tarrantion, Russell, or someone cool like Rian Johnson gets that 5th spot in the Oscars. (Particularly Tarrantino because then I would get my predictions right!)

  • Ryan Griffin

    Here’s hoping Tarantino makes it over Hooper for the Oscars, for purely fanboy reasons, as I haven’t gotten to see Les Mis yet. I will this weekend though.

  • Backson

    AHH! *Top 5, I mean…although I’m not sure if he’d belong in the top 10 either.

  • Aaron B

    I’ll be the first to say it: I think Hooper’s more than deserving and his work here is even more deserving than his win for “The King’s Speech.” It pretty much all worked for me, including the closeups.

  • joeyhegele

    This is only the second year in DGA history that a woman and a person of color have been nominated. The first time it happened, Bigelow was nominated as well. Hopefully the Oscars follow suit. We need more diversity in the director’s branch of the Academy.

  • Daveylo

    “Ang Lee = luckiest guy on the face of the entertainment business. A goddamn fluke.”

    The Wedding Banquet, Eat Drink Man Woman, Sense and Sensibility, The Ice Storm, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Brokeback Mountain, Lust, Caution, Life of Pi — some fluke!

  • Jerry Grant

    Would have preferred Russell or Tarantino, but I still think Hooper is a decent choice. It is a pretty strong movie when it comes down to it. But mainly because of Jackman and Hathaway, and certain scenes (the beginning, the end). There is plenty of mediocrity throughout… ultimately I would not have put Hooper in my top 5.

  • Jerry

    @Sam Juliano: No I’m not a “Les Miz hater” I happen to love the musical, the book, and the actors performances in the film. What I hated was the directing because it was very, very bad. Some of you are acting like those Twihards. Willing to take a poor product because you like the source material and attacking everyone on the Internet who makes even valid complaints. At least Twihards have an excuse, they are teenagers.

  • Blake

    Glenn UK,

    I am a filmmaker, not a film critic. I’ve seen Les Miserables, you haven’t. I believe I can tell good direction when I see it, and I think most of the people that visit this site have good taste as well. Maybe not you.

    Was Hooper’s direction ambitious? Of course. Was it sloppy and erratic? Most definitely. Does he deserve to be here? Absolutely not. And mark my words, he will be the odd man out come Oscar nomination morning.

  • Apocalypse Pooh

    The Hobbit was a miss. Jackson doesn’t deserve a thing after screwing up such a slam-dunk. It’s King Kong all over again.

  • Hawkeye

    I think we have our five Oscar nominees right here. I know that pretty much never happens, but it’s looking very possible this year.

  • The ghost of easter

    I really am done with the season if this also turns out to be the best director-line-up at the oscars… There’s something very annoying about only nominating past winners…

  • Apocalypse Pooh

    “There’s something very annoying about only nominating past winners.”

    Affleck won a DGA award or an Oscar for directing?

  • Mike

    So happy that Hooper got in. Now if Russel edges out one of the other 4 and gets in for Oscar, that would make me ecstatic. If the 5 for oscars are Affleck, Spielberg, Bigelow, Hooper, Russel; that would make me so happy. If for no other reason to boost the possibility of Les Mis or SLP winning BP bc if one of them misses BD on Thursday than it will make it so much harder for that movie to win Best Picture. But all I know is that this has been one of the most exciting awards races in years and with an extra 2 weeks between nominations and actual awards; it will be really exciting to see how momentum shifts or dips for certain people/movies. In the end if any of the following happens; Les Mis or SLP wins best picture, Anne Hathaway wins B. Supp. and Jennifer Lawrence wins best actress It will be my personal favorite oscar night since “The Departed” and Scorcese won oscars!

  • ska-triumph

    While I’m not thrilled by Hooper being nominated I can’t say I’m surprised. He’s the likely one to not get an Oscar nod, out of films that have considerably more pull and strong positives over his choices. But I can say that all 5 had plenty of epic historical elements to handle. So that alone would put Hooper in. Haneke and Russell were “smaller” in scope; Tarantino and Zeitlin may have been too “wild” and “furious” for the DGA to handle.

  • JimG.

    What I remember from 2011 people felt that Hooper won the DGA because he came from TV and with so many TV voters that helped him win. So his being nominated here could still be some residual love of TV guy making the big time. Like the way Walter Brennan won three Oscars because extras could vote and he came from their ranks. Hooper was always a possibility for a nomination this year. But unlike 2011 I can’t imagine any possibility of his actually winning.

    Imagine Hooper 2, Scorsese 1! The Yellowstone Superv

  • AD

    Happy with Bigelow, Spielberg, Affleck and Lee. I wish the Anderson, Zeitlin or Haneke would have be in instead of Hooper and I hope that Academy members will make a better decision, but at this point I doubt it.

  • Never doubted Ang Lee for a second. The people who did have egg on their faces. Might as well leave it there, cos a second helping’s on its way on Thursday bitcheeeeees!

    Tom Hooper probably won’t be nominated for the Oscar. I’m not sure of that. Just my two cents.

  • filmboymichael

    Blake, your sentiments perfectly mirror exactly how I feel.


  • John

    Good looking list! I still think Hooper is vulnerable come Oscar time. But the man is obviously respected and liked by his peers. Many directors seemed to have loved Les Miserables and admired the ambition of the project.

  • phantom

    The four expected nominees and Hooper. Still, he is definitely not a sure thing for the Oscar nomination, every now and then in Best Director the Academy goes with

    – an underestimated foreign language film like Amour (Le scaphandre et le papillon, Cidade de Deus, Hable con ella ) OR
    – an unexpectedly edgy choice like The Master (The Tree of Life, Mulholland Drive) OR
    – a slightly underestimated film directed by one of their favorites like Django Unchained (True Grit, The Reader, Letters from Iwo Jima, Munich, Vera Drake) OR
    – THE crowdpleaser like Silver Linings Playbook (Juno, Billy Elliot)

    Long story short, although Tom Hooper is now looking much better for that nomination than he did an hour ago, there IS recent precedent that suggests SEVERAL contenders could still knock him out easily (even WITHOUT a DGA-nod) and they are Michael Haneke, Paul Thomas Anderson, Quentin Tarantino and David O. Russell, and that doesn’t even cover the potential shockers (NGNG) like Christopher Nolan, Sam Mendes, Juan Antonio Bayona and Joe Wright.

    Having said that, I’ll probably predict the DGA top5 for the Oscar nominations, but I won’t be surprised at all if Hooper misses the cut.

  • Glenn UK


    Thanks for the comments. You would be shocked how many “sheep” there are on here. For example, you would be shocked how many more people would have LOVED Les Miz if Sasha had ……. do I need to say any more? I will reserve my judgement until I see it on Friday. However, I have many American friends who have loved the movie. And I would reiterate why would 14,500 DIRECTORS vote it a top 5 movie of the year – surely they cannot be fooled like the regular Joe in the street. Wake up and smell the coffee – his peers have given him the thumbs up on his film.

  • JimG.

    What I remember from 2011 people felt that Hooper won the DGA because he came from TV and with so many TV voters that helped him win. So his being nominated here could still be some residual love of TV guy making the big time. Like the way Walter Brennan won three Oscars because extras could vote and he came from their ranks. Hooper was always a possibility for a nomination this year. But unlike 2011 I can’t imagine any possibility of his actually winning.

    Imagine Hooper 2, Scorsese 1! The Yellowstone Supervolcano would explode and break the world in two.

  • Scottish Jellyfish

    Fairly predictable list. Everyone knew Affleck, Bigelow, and Spielberg were in. I especially wouldn’t mind a first time win for Affleck. However, I REALLY didn’t want to see Tom Hooper on that list. Please, do not vote for such a listless director. Spielberg seems the strongest to win right now.

  • Akumax

    K Bigelow or A Lee will win this. Both of them deserve it.

    My vote would be:

    1. Ang Lee
    2. Kathryn Bigelow
    3. Ben Affleck
    4. Tom Hooper
    5. Steven Spielberg

  • Josh

    It’s so mean to give the Les Miz lovers hope with Hooper getting a nod here only to see their dreams come crashing down on Thursday morning when he’s not nominated.

  • Vincent

    Did Mr. Hooper molest your children, kill your dogs, and punch your mothers? He gets NO love on this site; when he was nominated and deservedly won for “The Kings Speech,” people wouldn’t let it go and now this. It’s a little old and obnoxious, in my opinion. He’s a talented man, let him enjoy his nomination … I can’t help but wonder, kids … tsk tsk tsk …

  • Glenn UK


    Please list your film making credits – saying you are a film maker without backing it means that I could also currently be the UK Prime Minister.

    And I quite like my taste in movies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Alfredo

    This was fairly predictable. I don’t know why people are so shocked that Hooper got in. Honestly, I’m more surprised the Ben Affleck actually made it – good for him. I was worried he was losing buzz. As for the Academy I think 4/5 of these directors will actually be nominated on Thursday morning.

  • Hannah

    My personal winner from that list is without a doubt Kathryn Bigelow, that was excelent directing. The worst directing from that list is Tom Hooper… also without a doubt, he.

  • KT

    Holla!!! Akumax–I completely agree. For the work on the screen, Bigelow and Lee are most deserving, putting forth visionary films. I hope one of them wins. If Lee takes it, boy would that be a game changer (not likely though).

    DGA AWARDS NIGHT is going to be crazy!! Especially if Critics Choice goes Zero Dark Thirty, and Globes go Lincoln…

  • Freddy Ardanza

    One thing is sure: Django U, SLP, The Master, Moorise Kingdom and BOTSW are dead.

  • Just for giggles, what are the chances someone like Benh Zeitlin sneaks in and swipes that vulnerable fifth Oscar spot for “Beasts of the Southern Wild”? I have absolutely no expectations that Quvenzhane Wallis has a prayer of a nod, but the pic doesn’t seem entirely dead on the Best Picture front just yet, and I’d argue that the screenplay is pretty close to a sure-thing, so does that give some measure of hope for the Zeitlin nod?

  • Jerry Grant

    Django and SLP will both be nominated for BP. Both are very well-liked and doing very well.

  • Josh


    How are Django and SLP dead, exactly? Your line of thinking is that since say, Hooper is nominated for DGA and the other two directors aren’t, that they are out? Am I right? But Tarantino made the cut at the Globes and Hooper didn’t. I don’t think either of those two movies are ‘out’ at this point…now come Thursday morning we’ll know for sure who is sitting pretty and who is sweating it. But let’s be realistic, any movie other than Lincoln, Argo, and ZDT are ‘out’ if you ask me because they are the clear leaders for directing and pic at the Oscars.

  • Pierre de Plume

    @Jerry: I think you’re hypberbolizin’ when you say that Hooper’s direction is “very very bad.” If that were the case he wouldn’t be on the list. I’m no fan of Hooper by a long shot, and wouldn’t have chosen him myself, but let’s get real.

  • @ Freddy

    If those films are dead, then that means DGA goes 5-for-5 with Oscar, and I just can’t imagine that happens in a year this strong. It’s not completely outside the realm of possibility, but I feel like we’re destined for a 4-for-5 scenario.

  • Ryman

    NOOOOOO!!!!!! NOT TOM HOOPER!!!!! ANYONE but him!

  • Armando

    Tom Hooper/The King’s Speech = Sasha’s nightmare

  • JP

    All the films but Lincoln are dead for the win.

  • Frank

    It’s Ben Affleck VS the veterans?????

  • Sam Juliano.
    Well, little boy, if you are so happy for that ridicule nomination for Hooper, for his weak and poor work in Les MIs, as think the correct choice is “poor Sam Juliano…”

  • Nic V

    **The reviews for Les Miz have not been bad. Most critics like the film. People were just expecting it to be the next Chicago. It’s not…but Les Miz still got good/great reviews. **

    Actually Les Mis got mediocre reviews and most critics did not care for Mr. Hooper’s direction. Most of the time he was cited as being the weakest link. I loved The Kings Speech and John Adams and was very supportive of Mr. Hooper when he was nominated for TKS. Not this time around. Sometimes you succeed at your endeavor and sometimes fail. Last year Spielberg failed with War Horse this year he suceeded with Lincoln. That’s the way it works. Hooper did not succeed this year that there were many other directors who deserved to be in this group than him.

  • JP is so correct. Enough said.

  • “@Sam Juliano: No I’m not a “Les Miz hater” I happen to love the musical, the book, and the actors performances in the film. What I hated was the directing because it was very, very bad. Some of you are acting like those Twihards. Willing to take a poor product because you like the source material and attacking everyone on the Internet who makes even valid complaints. At least Twihards have an excuse, they are teenagers….”

    Right Jerry, I am 57 now, so I’m exaempt from that most flattering generalization. No what I resent, is people like you barging in there with a PERSONAL OPINION on Hooper’s direction like it was a FACT, because YOU JERRY said it!! Maybe a little more humility would have gone further. The DGA has roundly repudiated the AWARDS DAILY anti-MIZ bloggers today and I am over the moon on it. I have seen the original show numerous times Jerry (I live right outside of NYC) and I commend Hooper for his bold direction and the film in general.

    Here’s a suggested approach Jerry:

    “Geez, I wasn’t a big fan of Hooper’s direction, but heck more power to the one’s who supported it” instead of a personal DECREE.

    Ah Ryman, you’ll get over it.

    I got a laugh at Blake’s comment too. So some are coming here with those ‘extra credentials.’ hahahahahaha!!!!!!

    All the negative energy for Hooper at AD for the last six weeks has gone up in smoke.

    How sad. LOL!!!!!

  • Daniel B.

    The ridiculous thing is that outside the realm of internet and particularly this site, Tom Hooper is a very liked and respected director. I haven’t spoken to one person that think “The King’s Speech” didn’t deserve its awards. It is true that David Fincher deserved to win but afterall Hooper does his job pretty good. So, as Vincent said, he didn’t molest your children and you need to back off a little.

  • Cyrus

    Totally disappointment.Tom Hooper? Come on! DGA didn’t give a shit to The Master and Silver Linings Playbook and Quentin Tarantino and they nominated Tom Hooper? UNBELIEVABLE!

    it all started from that 2010 dga’s winner. They didn’t choose David Fincher instead of this Hooper guy and now they nominated him AGAIN!

    go way oscar’s and dga…

  • Gentle Benj

    What this does for LES MISERABLES is cement it as a prohibitive favorite in all the art/tech categories and Supporting Actress. But Hooper’s still not gonna get nominated at the Oscars. Here’s why:

    The LAFCA winner for Best Director always gets nominated at the Oscars.

    The last time the Oscar nominees were without an LAFCA winner was 1989.

    What’s more, the LAFCA winners are frequently the out-of-left-field, “difficult” nominees: Malick last year, Greengrass in 2006, Almodovar in 2002, Lynch in 2001, Figgis in 1995. They get nominated even when their films have almost no chance at a Best Picture nomination.

    So Paul Thomas Anderson is in. Bet on it.

    So who’s out? We know it instinctively, don’t we? And it’s not just because Hooper was the only one of the five to miss the Globe-DGA-CC trifecta. It’s because he made the most over-the-top emotional movie. And while that plays gangbusters with AMPAS at large, the Directors branch? Not so much. Baz Luhrrman in 2001? Nope. Marc Forster in 2004? Skedaddle. Joe Wright in 2007? See ya.

    So go ahead and ink this in for Thursday:

    Ben Affleck
    Ang Lee
    Steven Spielberg
    Paul Thomas Anderson
    Kathryn Bigelow

  • “Ang Lee = luckiest guy on the face of the entertainment business. A goddamn fluke.”

    The Wedding Banquet, Eat Drink Man Woman, Sense and Sensibility, The Ice Storm, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Brokeback Mountain, Lust, Caution, Life of Pi — some fluke!


    Daveylo, I agree.
    I wish be a fluke like Lee… 🙂

  • Kane

    I still think Hooper is vulnerable. Remember Bill Condon? Was in with DGA for Dreamgirls, out with Oscar. As much as I’ve championed PTA I think the Oscars will go with those four and bump Hooper for Russell. I know it’s not much to go on, but in 2008, 2009 and 2010 all winners of the audience award at Toronto went on to director nominations, 2 of them won. And SLP is as loved and admired as Argo with few detractors only to say “slightly overrated”.

  • Yep, AWARDS DAILY has been on Hooper’s case for weeks now. I have been all over the internet, and there is nothing said about Hooper that matches the adverse opinions on display here. And I am NOT blaming Sasha Stone or Ryan Adams or any single person, just the general aura. As it stands even if Hooper misses out on an Oscar nod (50-50 the way I see it) the glorious DGA nod goes a long way towards validation of his direction of LES MISERABLES.

  • Reno

    Sam, if you’re over the moon, I’m in a “Castle on a Cloud!” (I can do this all day!)

  • Daveylow

    Paul Thomas Anderson is not getting an Oscar nomination.

  • Backson

    @Nic V
    Did you read the rest of my comment?

  • The ghost of easter

    @Apocalypse Pooh
    Not an Oscar for directing, but an oscar nontheless…
    There are enough talented directors who can’t even claim that…

  • RJ

    Soooooooo HAPPY that Tom Hooper was nominated. . . LOVED Les Miserables!!!! It is my understanding that the director is responsible for bringing the performance out of the actor, and the actor has to be comfortable with his/her director in order to understand the role and do the role full justice. If that is the case, then Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman are receiving all this critical attention and buzz directly due to Tom Hooper and his direction coupled with their God-given talent. Please correct me if I am wrong?!?!

  • phantom

    Gentle Benj

    Excellent point, although in my opinion, what really hurts Anderson that Oscar-magician Harvey Weinstein clearly thought he had two MUCH stronger contenders (Russell, Tarantino), so it seemed he abandoned The Master and with the early Academy-deadline, there was simply no time to return. Today with the oh-so-crucial DGA ignoring all three of his serious contenders, he has to face the possibility that he might have made severe mistakes during the campaign-season, and one of those was abandoning the edgy critical darling (The Master) in favor of the divisive smash hit (Django Unchained) and the clearly not strong enough crowdpleaser (Silver Linings Playbook)…although it is perfectly conceivable he put all his campaign muscle into the Academy-screenings and will end up with at least one, maybe even two BD-nominees on Thursday…but at this point, unlikely. What we DO know for sure, that without the DGA-nod, NONE of the Weinstein-films will be viable threats for the Best Picture Oscar, even if they manage to sneak into BD.

  • Reno, how about “Two Days More!”

  • Robert A.

    “Paul Thomas Anderson is not getting an Oscar nomination.”

    Remember, that’s the exact same thing people were saying last year about Terrence Malick right up until nomination morning.

  • PJ

    First time I am lost. Same day Life of Pi gets best director nom at DGA it misses at Sound/Sound mixing. Will probably wait until BAFTA speaks before changing or doing nothing because ballots are already in. Plus these noms remind of me SAG. Big names with big resumes. Not a lock Oscar goes same route.

  • Christophe

    one day more until the bafta noms…

  • I won´t waste mu time talking about Hooper,
    A good director in John Addams.
    A burocratic and convencional directing im TKS.
    A misguided and weak direction im Les Mis.
    You can like the movie, but must admit it… please!

  • Reno

    @Sam, I commented last week when the Academy extended the voting “One Day More” that it was a sign of bright things to come Les Mis’ way.

  • I do agree with you Fabinho on Ang Lee, who well-derved his nod for the magnificent LIFE OF PI.

    Hooper won´t.
    Wait and see!

  • phantom

    The industry screenings of Les Misérables have been all through the roof, several perfectly objective Oscar-journalists wrote about the excellent, almost unprecedented reactions, and whatever happens from now on, clearly, we should have paid more attention to those reports, because at the end of the day, it comes down to that : DID THE ACADEMY LOVE IT ? We’ll have an answer on Thursday…what we DO know, that the voters of PGA-DGA-SAG did indeed LOVE it. The only blemish on the film’s track record is the GG BD-snub, but then again, how many people vote for those ? 90 ?

  • Odee

    This could be interesting. Affeck is the only non-winner. Could he pull this off?

  • Robert

    Although Lincoln is by far my favorite film of the year, I loved Les Miserables and thought Tom Hooper adapted it beautifully for the screen (and I’ve never really liked the show on stage). The close-ups and live singing enhanced the emotion and made it more effective. I thought they were bold choices. So this anti-Tom Hooper stuff is very odd to me. I hope he gets an Oscar nomination. I hope Spielberg wins.

  • RMP

    Such a shame to see Tom Hooper nominated. Les Miserables was the most poorly directed “Oscar-calibre” movie I have ever seen. The shot set-ups and framing were so terrible that I spent the majority of the film cringing (though there was certainly more to cringe at than his direction).

  • Freddy Ardanza

    The chances of winning the Oscar for those films not nominated at DGA are dead.

  • akumax

    just my opinion:

    PTA directed a good film The Master: a great great beginning, a flat middle and a confused ending. NOT NOMINATED.

    Tom Hooper did a better job. He was dealing with a beloved well known musical, and approached the genre in a new way that is entertaining and moving.

  • Free

    Hoping Hooper gets dumped in place of Tarantino. Not at all surprised by Russell’s snub. Comedies are like animated films: people don’t think they require direction (and, in this case, I didn’t think Russell was particularly on point).

  • Bryce Forestieri

    I’m done with the DGA!! Fucking Mayans!!!!!


    Can I dance and smile too when Hooper name is not mentioned on Thursday morning?

  • steve50

    Well, four out of five ain’t bad. Condolences to the artists bumped by “what-is-name”, but it’s not over yet for PT Anderson or Michael Haneke. Tarantino/Wes Anderson/Russell supporters will drain more votes from them than they will from Hooper, I’m afraid. The fifth slot is still shaky, but even if TH still makes it into the Oscar nods, the chances of another win – for that – are incredibly remote.

    *phew* that Ang Lee made it. His Oscar chances seem more assured right now, but Thursday will be a nailbiter. Anthing can happen.

  • Melvin

    Someone said there will be a Hooper era just like there was a John Ford era. I think its beginning to come true.

  • Koleś

    Egoyan got in, Almodovar got in, Meirelles got in, Leigh got in, so Haneke’ll also get it, I’m sure.

  • Aaron

    Bill Condon made it here for Dreamgirls, and we all know how that turned out. I think Spielberg/Affleck/Bigelow are locks. Lee is now a near-lock. I think Hooper is easily the most vulnerable, and although he could easily make it in, if there is a surprise in director on Oscar morning, Hooper will be the one left out.

    I really think it is feasible that we could see either one of Russell/PTA/Haneke/Tarantino pop up on Thursday morning. Terrence Malick was virtually absent the whole of last season and yet still managed to score picture and directing nominations from the Academy. They definitely do their own thing.

  • brendon

    Legit there are so many DGA 2nd ADs and 2nd 2nd ADs who have no idea what good directing looks like. The only way to explain Tom Hooper getting nominated.

  • Tufas

    In what world is Tom Hooper’s Les Mis directing a greater achievement than Tarantino with Django?



  • Glenn UK

    Who is to say who is the weakest in the field. For all anyone knows Hooper could be number two on the list. No one knows anything! The Hooper hatred is unbelievable. What the fuck did the guy do? If all you guys on here are so knowledgable about how directing should work why the hell are you not out there directing? The Fanboy hysteria and attitude is shocking.

  • steve50

    Koles – I love your optimism and hope you are right!

    “Someone said there will be a Hooper era just like there was a John Ford era.”

    Whatingodsname justifies a statement like that?

    With all the flurry around Spielberg and Bigelow, Affleck is looking pretty strong, mainstream-wise. If I had to place a bet today….

  • unlikely hood

    I agree with steve50’s take. That leg of the BD table set aside for Ang Lee looks a little…gangly.

  • brendon

    Glenn UK – politely shut the fuck up. I know he’s your countryman, so you have to root for him or some shit, but for anyone who actually gives a shit and knows anything about film, Tom Hooper’s “directing” of Les Miserables is insultingly bad. Cribbing about a dozen shots, repeated ad nauseum, from the careers of more interesting filmmakers (Jeunet, Gilliam, Russell, Burton) and then affixing it to the most beloved, emotionally manipulative musical of recent memory is not “good directing.” The movie is a joke, and you are a joke for defending it.

  • Linc4jess

    Awardsdaily. Thanks for the birthday message.

    As for the DGA nominees….no surprises…same ole same ole. This said, I am thinking that the OSCAR nods just might be different, at least, by one name.

  • Alice

    Reading these comments made my day 🙂
    Enjoy these two days, les mis fans, because thursday morning you’ll all be singing I had a dream.
    The only love that les mis deserves is supporting actress, Hathaway, and she will have it.
    Now. THANK GOD oscar ballots were sent before this joke!

  • Reno

    “That leg of the BD table set aside for Ang Lee looks a little…gangly.”

    (Sorry, just can’t help it.)

    The five previously “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” are now filled by Ben Affleck, Kathryn Bigelow, Ang Lee, Steven Spielberg and Tom Hooper!!!

  • akumax

    Tom Hopper has a better shot at getting an Oscar nom than he had today at getting the DGA list. What are we talking about?

  • vfd88

    Jesus Christ, guys. I don’t think Hooper did a great job with Les Mis, and he’s certainly the weakest link of these five, but still, people need to calm down. The trick is not minding!

  • Hawkeye

    Even if Hooper doesn’t get the Oscar nod (which I’m still pretty sure he will), the DGA nod means a whole lot more. It’s thousands of directors saying that he is one of the five best directors of the year, as opposed to the Academy’s director branch (369 people) saying so.

  • Bryce Forestieri

    Hey listen here! The results have been in for some time, and I have it in good faith that Tim Hooper isn’t nominated for Best Director. Take that as you will!

  • phantom

    If now we consider the Spielberg-Bigelow-Affleck-Lee-Hooper quintet the most likely Oscar-lineup, I think there is a VERY good reason why it went that way : what is the most crucial difference between that quintet and the ‘most viable surprise quartet’ of Tarantino-Russell-Anderson-Haneke ? Yes, that’s exactly it…the ‘quartet’ can be nominated in screenplay, too, so IF the ‘quintet’ happens, it will be probably because the Academy could make the ‘quartet’ settle with writing nominations OR because they split votes with themselves in the end.

  • brendon

    It’s not that Hooper didn’t do a great job with Les Mis. It’s that he’s a profoundly bad filmmaker. It speaks to the deep and abiding and real and true problem with how the contemporary film industry is run when his brand of “throwing as much glitter and shit on a pile” brand of storytelling is recognized as anything other than garbage.

  • brendon

    Again, a huge part of this is because the DGA voters aren’t, for the most part, directors — they’re members of “Directorial Teams” — UPMs and 2nd ADs and 2nd 2nd ADs whose job is largely crowd control and set management. The sort of epic-scale work Hooper does is naturally going to be rather appealing to them.

  • Koleś

    Baz Luhrman – DGA nod, no Oscar nod.
    Rob Marshall – DGA win, Oscar nod only.
    Bill Condon – DGA nod, no Oscar nod.

    The AMPAS might not be into musicals the same way that the DGA is.

  • Greg Y

    Predictable list, but I still feel that it will be a 4-of-5 year. With the DGA it almost always is – off the top of my head over the last 6 or 7 years they’ve only matched one year (the THL/Avatar/etc. year). I expect either Lee or Hooper to be swapped for Haneke.

  • BFF

    Brendon just wrote the best comment here.
    and let’s just say, Tom Hopper will never have a place in film history, but PTA and Tarantino and Wes Anderson and Haneke already had.

  • Les Mis haters sing “Look Down” to the DGA.

  • Glenn UK


    Why kindly kiss my arse!!! It has nothing to do with Hooper being a fellow countryman! I am not that shallow. Its arsehole comments like yours spewing idiotic comments like he is a seriously bad film maker. You clearly know nothing either so go root for your Dark Knight Rises or whatever other Fanboy film you are supporting. If I want to comment then I will and numpties like you will certainly not stop me from having an option.

  • AKumax


    none of the director you mentioned was strong enough to win an Oscar, Tom Hooper was and after that win he did something different, good, within the industry, making money, and letting big movie Stars shine and young actors shine even more. What else do you need to get an oscar nom?

  • brendon

    u mad bro

  • m1

    Ooh, the Tom Hooper haters are out in full force, as usual. Happy New Year!

  • Glenn UK

    The haters are out because of their fear that Les Mis just might make it all the way. I smell their fear PMSL!

  • Apocalypse Pooh

    Tom Hooper will never have a place in film history? After winning an Oscar for Best Picture and Best Director? He already made his mark in film history.

  • Name * edkargir

    BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD was my choice as best picture of 2012. The film will be way under nominated . should be nominated for BP , BD BASP, BEST ACTRESS, BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR , BEST SCORE at the very least. I do not understand the love for the life of pi

  • brendon

    Apocalypse Pooh: Norman Taurog, Delbert Mann, George Roy Hill, Kevin Costner. Definitely filmmakers we all remember and cherish.

  • Chase Meridian

    Glenn UK, all these idiotic Fincher/Anderson/Tarantino/Nolan fanboys do nothing but sit around all day in one big circle jerk. They think by liking dark, edgy material that they themselves will become cool. Talk to people WHO ACTUALLY VOTE FOR THE INDUSTRY AWARDS and Les Miz is BELOVED. Maybe Hooper can make a music video for the DVD release addressing these losers called “Empty Heads In Empty Bodies”. Viva Les Miz!

  • Hawkeye

    Well, according to the DGA they represent 10,000 directors (or 15,000 directors and members of the directorial team), so for the most part they are directors, with the remaining voters still most likely knowing more about direction than most people. I mean, they’re in the DGA, they must know something about it.

  • Mel

    Wow. Hooper ruined the potential of Les Mis with his choice to try the close-ups and handheld but then not rework the entirely unbelievable storylines to be more realistic. You either gotta go grand and leave it how it was written for the stage so we don’t care how ridiculous and unbelievable to love story is or go realistic and give us a real fucking reason we are supposed to give a shit about Cosette and Marius by developing the stories more.

    He screwed the pooch. Can’t believe they are rewarding him for it.

  • Eric P.


    Follow your own advice, then. I will agree that Brendon’s comments were a bit harsh. But every time someone gripes about “Les Mis” or Tom Hooper, you are so quick to refute their comments. Yet, when someone refutes you (albeit, in hostile manner), you whip out the “I’m just giving my opinion” line. Don’t the non-“Les Mis” supporters have the same rights that you do to state their opinion

  • LSUduck

    Brendon uses “U mad bro?” yet he’s the one who seems to be the maddest and/or the victim of some epic trolling.

  • Chase Meridian

    Brendon, yeah no one still watches The Sting, Slap Shot, or Butch Cassidy anymore. They’re all too busy catching Zodiac, Death Proof, and Hard Eight for the 20th time. Please sir, what size dunce cap do you wear and I’ll order it for you.

  • Koleś


    “What else do you need to get an oscar nom?”

    In short – A LOT MORE!!!

    Are you telling me that Rob Marshall wasn’t strong enough to win the Oscar that year? Surely not J&E Coen strong, but still better than Tom Hooper for “Les Miserables” strong.

    Let this sink in. The last time a musical was nominated for best director was in 2002 (Chicago). The one before that was in 1979 when Bob Fosse was nominated for his ultimate masterpiece which is something much more than just a musical. The one before that was when Bob Fosse won for “The Cabaret” in 1972, 40 years ago. 3 noms in 40 years, that’s how often it happens.

  • Jerry Grant

    It’s really nice to feel lukewarm on “Les Mis”. I’m glad my passions don’t have me spilling vitriol for or against. And it’s fun to watch.

    -It does rattle me a bit though when someone condescends to “fanboys” of someone like Tarantino or Anderson, as if their movies are only worthy of teenager one-note enthusiasm. Those are the directors that will have made history and will have earned their place in film scholarship.

  • brendon…


  • brendon

    I am mad. I’m mad that film culture has degraded to the point where we pretend Tom Hooper is a good filmmaker.

  • Alice

    Nothing personal against Hooper. But hmm not happening people not happening at all!

  • Akumax

    I’m a huge Tarantino fan, I love his films, he is a genius. But I try to be realistic: Django is a remake of an Italian b movie and it is full of blood. The Academy won’t recognize it, it is just that simple.

  • brendon

    I do appreciate the assumption that I’m in some way a partisan for Tarantino or Anderson or some comic book thing, though.

  • brendon

    I didn’t see The Dark Knight Returns or whatever but I’d assume it’s better-directed than Les Mis. The Avengers definitely was — I was actually led to care about the characters, understand what they wanted, understand the geography of the spaces they occupied.

  • Bonditeve

    I’m not going to bash Les Mis as I didn’t hate it (just rather indifferent to it) however I find it hard to believe that anyone would think that it was one of the 5 best directed films on the year!

  • keifer

    I’m in the minority. Spielberg’s direction of “Lincoln” was bland and uninspired.

    I’ll go with K. Bigelow and/or A. Lee for Best Director.

    I was surprised to see T. Hooper on the DGA list. This group sometimes embraces a “newbie”. Would have been refreshing to see the director of “Beasts of the Southern Wild” in here.

    Personally, I think Joe Wright’s direction of “Anna Karenina” was absolutely brilliant (and would have got my vote).

  • daveinprogress

    My first reaction to this announcement, is a big congrats to Ben Affleck. What a career this guy has had. It is a fairly predictible list though. If you have only 5, then they went down a safe line. I agree with other commenters, that Hooper may be the vulnerable one come Oscar list, but as my fellow prognosticator, Phantom, pointed out – it may be 5 for 5. It matters not, Les Miz won’t win Pic or Director. DGA wise? Spielberg is my tip.

  • Apocalypse Pooh

    “Norman Taurog, Delbert Mann, George Roy Hill, Kevin Costner. Definitely filmmakers we all remember and cherish.”

    Costner directed two fantastic films, and one very odd one. I suspect you don’t know how much affection exists for Open Range. Ditto GRH and Butch Cassidy and The Sting. Hell, they still study Butch at the University of Texas. I’ll give you Delbert Mann, but Norman Taurog worked for almost 50 years. No one studies his films these days, but mad props to him for half a century of work.

  • Reno

    @Koles, I counted 17 in 84 years, that’s a better percentage than 3 in 40 years.

    We can choose whatever precedent we want to justify or fortify our beliefs. Me, I don’t need to go beyond 3 years and 3 letters: T-K-S.

  • Larry

    It seems more like it’s gotten to the point where people want to pretend that Hooper is NOT a good filmmaker, when he obviously is. He’s been recognized for his great work before, and now he has been again.

  • danemychal

    Love, love, love the music and performances of Les Mis. Found too many of the directorial decisions to be detrimental to my unabated, intellectual enjoyment of the film. Like Glenn Whipp and Christy Lemire and numerous other critics and bloggers, I am baffled today about Hooper’s nomination.

    He took the DGA’s childhood in his stride. But he’ll be gone when Autumn comes.

  • chrisw

    I’m a huge hater of Kevin Costner, but you can’t dispute the mark he left on film in the late-80’s to early 90’s. As terrible an actor he is, he’s fantastic in Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, and Dances With Wolves is not a bad film. It has a bad rap because it beat a masterpiece for the Oscar, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad film.

    Mann made Marty and Separate Tables, two good films.

    BC and SDK and The Sting are great films, the latter’s sole problem is that it beat The Exorcist, which is a superior film. I think Mr. Hill can hang his laurels on those two films.

    Taurog…you pretty much have me there.

    What I’m trying to say is not everyone is a master, that’s what separates real artists from the rest. However, that is not to say that the other “working” directors can’t make a great film when it all clicks. And just based on the fact that you remembered there names means that you have in fact remembered them. There’s a difference between these directors, who I believe have a genuine love for cinema and want to get their visions across to us, and the guy who directs the Resident Evil franchise.

    On another note: Hooper, I love John Adams and think The King’s Speech was an above-average film(no way should it have won the two big Oscars), should not be nominated for this film. It’s really just not that good honestly.

    I haven’t seen Pi yet so I can’t comment, however, from everything I’ve read it sounds like he did a great job.

    If I had it my way:

    With Nolan, Affleck, and Johnson rounding it out.

    What we’ll get is the solid four and I think Russell gets in over Tarantino because of the acting nods Lawrence, Cooper, De Niro, and possibly Weaver will get.

  • brendon

    But he’s not. He doesn’t understand the basics of shot selection, lensing, blocking actors, modulating performance (see: Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter, Amanda Seyfried, Russell Crowe). His visual language has no relationship to his material.

  • Larry

    He obviously knows more about it than you think. He wouldn’t have taken a DGA award, an Oscar, and then receive another DGA nomination if he didn’t.

  • brendon

    Alternate theory: a lot of people have bad taste. See also: the popularity of Two and a Half Men, the careers of the Kardashians, and the music of Katy Perry.

  • Reno

    @Brendon: That’s his style, you love it, you hate it, you’re on the fence, whatever. From what’s been happening, the Academy, the guilds and many viewers seem to love it!

  • w.j.

    Daveylo: Absolutely Peter Jackson’s direction of The Hobbit is superior to Hooper’s direction of Les Mis, as is the direction of many, many others this past year.

  • Jerry Grant

    On Tarantino:

    I liked “Silver Linings” more than “Django”. “Django” is in many ways a weak-ish Tarantino movie, no match for “Inglourious Basterds” or “Pulp Fiction”. The pacing gets bad in the last half-hour, and the plot is rather predictable as far as Tarantino goes. But I think it is a major mistake to leave Tarantino out of the directing category this year, and a bigger mistake than leaving out Russell. Django will be studied for years. I think it is a very important movie–indeed Tarantino’s MOST important movie–and I hope the Academy recognizes it.

    Decades of American movies that take place in the South have gone by (that may or may not be about black folk) in which the camera is blind to the level of brutality, the kind of atrocities, inflicted upon black bodies at the formation of American history. “Django”–for whatever else it is and does–takes that history, shows it to us, and then turns it inside out. To hear the theater cheer as Jamie Foxx rises to save his girl and jump on a horse take his day as hero is truly a unique thing. To see the heroic American cowboy be a black man, to see the bad guys be–not Indians, not thieves, not madmen–but complacent white landowners (and, significantly, an empowered complacent elderly black man), and to see the level of violence which THEY inflicted, inflicted upon THEM, is a rather important wake-up call. To see the KKK not even given the dignity of a serious scene, but a slapstick schtick that amounted to their literal blindness was–I’ll say–an amazing response to D.W. Griffiths. I watched much of the movie with my jaw dropped. And the crowd around me–mostly black–was ecstatic. It was a very very unique, and I think important, experience.

    Anyone who thinks this is just Tarantino’s violence porn, and that it’s not fundamentally about cinema and sociology and history and slavery, is either blind or cynical. Its weaknesses as a tight, coherent Tarantino script are made up for in its ultimately amazingly bold thematic ambition. Django rules. Sam Jackson is fascinating. Give this movie some love, Academy.

  • Larry

    You’re really going to compare industry professionals’ picks for the best directors to the general public’s bad taste in media?

  • Brendon

    Paul W.S. Anderson’s direction of Resident Evil: Retribution is superior to Hooper’s direction of Les Mis.

  • brendon

    As someone who works in the film industry, I can tell you that most people in the film industry have bad taste. They’re not special by virtue of working in the industry. The Emmys consistently nominate Two and a Half Men for awards, the Grammy nominate Katy Perry for awards. And the Oscars have Tom Hooper, I guess.

  • unlikely hood

    This brouhahooper is hi-larious. I’m neither lover nor hater, but I will say that if he does get the nomination, we will look back and consider it a token smooch for directing the highest-grossing musical of all time. You walk into any pitch meeting in Hollywood, utter the word “musical,” and half the young guns will roll their eyes before you say “Wait…wait!” It’s a third rail, much like Westerns. Yet both these genres defined American cinema before the 70s, and a lot of older voters grew up during and are nostalgic about that time. AND those voters have been in a pitch or two in the last 20 years, so they know how hard those films are to get made.

    Degree of Difficulty. It’s why dancers or foreign-dialect masterers or cross-dressers or other stunt performances beat merely “great” performances of the type that Annette Bening usually gives. And it’s why Hooper may eke out a nod. (Eek!)

  • Jerry Grant

    As for Les Mis, not a perfect directing job. A lot of mediocrity. But it’s the ambition, stupid. And the success. How many people has Tom Hooper brought to tears now? Who directed Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway and that stunning final scene? A nomination for him is fine by me in theory. Too bad it crowds out others, though.

    And it continues to make me sad that Baz Luhrmann was not nominated in 2001, as THAT was real ambition, and real vision.

  • Larry

    Well, at the very least, you’ve managed to confirm Paddy’s earlier comment.

  • Blake


    You haven’t seen Hooper’s Les Miserables yet, so why do you even care so much? Did you grow up singing the Les Miserables soundtrack 1000 times in the car in your girly cockney accent, while your mom and dad sat passively in their seats wishing they had a gun in their glove compartment so they could blow out their brains?

    I’m not here to toot my own horn, but if you really care about seeing my filmmaker credits, you can search “Blake Blasingame IMDb” and you’ll find a link to my IMDb page. There are thousands of filmmakers out there in the world, and there’s only one UK prime minister, and you’re not him.

    While you’re watching Les Miserables this weekend, when you hear Little Cosette singing “LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LAHHHH!, I want you to say to yourself, “I’ve never heard such profound lyrics in my life!”

  • Nic V

    Backson…yes I read your entire comment and I understand that you also seem to believe there were better directorial efforts. I was basically addressing the good/great review part of your commentary. Sorry if it sounded like I was taking you task for that wasn’t the intent. I think it’s important that we acknowledge the fact that the reviews for Les Mis have really been rather mediocre.

  • Hawkeye

    My goodness, the hate is strong with this crowd! I thought Hooper did a great job. Very happy that he got in over Russell, Tarantino, and the rest. Resident Evil directed better than Les Mis? That’s just nonsensical.

  • Blake


    Oh, one more thing Glenn. I live in LA, and I can tell you from personal experience that there are a lot of fucking idiots out here that vote for these awards. They are the type of people that are lookin’ for a good cry, and like The Blind Side, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Les Miserables is the kind of film that screams, “LOOK! ANNE HATHAWAY IS CRYING! YOU MUST CRY TOO! THIS IS YOUR CUE TO CRY! CRY LIKE A LITTLE BITCH SO EVERYONE AROUND YOU CAN NOTICE AND START CRYING WITH YOU! THAT WAY, EVERYONE CAN MARK MY NAME DOWN ON THEIR BALLOT AND I CAN WIN MY SECOND OSCAH! Sincerely, Tom Hooper”

  • filmboymichael

    I’m certainly not angry or incensed that Tom Hooper is included here – take it easy folks, it’s just an award. We all knew it was a possibility.

    Do I think that Tom Hooper is a bad director? No not at all – I thought John Adams was brilliant and The King’s Speech was an excellent film as well.

    I do think, however, that he made a big misstep with Les Mis. For me – and I know a lot of people don’t feel the same, and that’s ok – the direction was the glaring problem with the film. In particular, despite her accolades, I felt that he failed Anne Hathaway immensely.

    There were definite moments of grandeur in Les Mis, particularly the finale, however, the extreme closeups – again for me – took me out of the film and with it the emotional impact.

    All that being said, I know people who can’t even talk about the movie without getting choked up. That was what I was expecting and hoping for in my experience. Just not the case here, and I lay blame in Hooper.

  • unlikely hood

    Jerry Grant –

    An even better response to Griffith is Spielberg – who gives a lot more money to university film classes than QT does, and thus perhaps owes us such a response more – casting Tommy Lee Jones in the role that Griffith had made a villain for film classes throughout the 20th century, letting Jones chew scenery, allowing Jones to emerge as a hero and conscience of the film, giving him the great 3rd-act twist of who he’s in bed with – and then, in Jones’ final shot, letting him look at the camera as though to say “Mr. Stevens, now Mr. Griffith no longer controls your reputation. You’re welcome.”

    3 things about Django – 1) too linear, QT does better with sudden temporal/spatial disruptions; 2) no strong women, which is weird for him; and 3) Django needed an arc. When he’s convincing the Australians to let him go, that scene should have shown us how far he’s come – we should have understood that he could never have delivered such an effective con in that first scene at night in Texas. I’m not saying every film needs to follow screenplay 101, but Django the character was curiously unchanging – and almost a blank slate – and that made the film less involving than it should have been.

    Everything else about it was great. I agree with most of what you wrote (couldn’t speak to an “ecstatic” black audience; mine was in Oakland CA, and I’d say the mixed audience was happy, not cheering. I laughed when someone in my crowd yelled “He was faking!” right after Django killed the sister and it looked like SLJ was throwing away his cane – it was only a moment, then Django shot his knees and it was back to where we’d been). I think what you’re trying to say is kinda like the argument for, say, My Dinner With Andre or The Joy Luck Club or even Kowannisqatsi – we don’t really have enough films that are ANYTHING like this, so let’s honor this and encourage more to be made. On that we agree.

  • The hate has indeed been intense. I am simultaneously laughing and gloating at these small-minded people. The criticism is coming from people who have no idea what film directing is all about as none have directed a single scene in their lives.

    The real translation here really has nothing to do with Hooper’s direction, but rather a general dislike or at least indifference to LES MIS.

    Negative energy usually tells you more about the person making it than about the film or aspect in question.

    Geez, if Hooper’s name is also read off on Thursday are we going to have suicides here?

  • akumax

    “As someone who works in the film industry, I can tell you that most people in the film industry have bad taste. They’re not special by virtue of working in the industry. The Emmys consistently nominate Two and a Half Men for awards, the Grammy nominate Katy Perry for awards. And the Oscars have Tom Hooper, I guess.”

    Bad taste or your taste? Debatable…

  • chrisw


    I guess you really didn’t read my comment or didn’t comprehend what I wrote. I would hate to think that you would be base enough to pick and choose a segment from a sentence from a 3 or 4 paragraph post just to try and make your argument more valid.

    If you read it carefully you’ll see that I defended directors like Costner, Hooper and etc. I said they AREN’T like the, for lack of a better word, crappy Anderson. Like I said, I love John Adams, enjoyed King’s(not award worthy though), but thought Les Mis was not a very good movie.

  • Glenn in the UK +1

    Blake -1

  • John

    Jerry Grant said it best a few comments above.

  • Bette


    Your comments show you are more knowledgeable about film and film history than virtually anyone else on this site. Good for you for fighting the good fight. But if I were you, I’d give it up. Your audience consists of people who actually think the Academy has a history worth admiring. It doesn’t. Its not just the shockingly unforgivable choices of Valley over Kane or Crash over Brokeback (very bad politics), their poor taste is revealed throughout their choices virtually every year. Vertigo and Touch of Evil weren’t nominated the year Gigi won. Mulholland Dr. wasn’t nominated the year A Beautiful Mind won. C’mon, why does anybody still care about the Oscars????

    For people who truly love and care about movies, go to the Sight & Sound polls of critics and directors. See what films came out on top, and watch them. Most are pretty great. You won’t see that many Oscar Best Pictures on the lists (a few, to be sure, but in 84 years they can’t ALWAYS be wrong, haha!).

  • Hawkeye

    Chrisw –

    I wasn’t even responding to your comment, which I did not read. My reply was in response to Brendon. Sorry about that mix up.

  • Bryce Forestieri

    “Paul W.S. Anderson’s direction of Resident Evil: Retribution is superior to Hooper’s direction of Les Mis”

    Word. EVENT HORIZON is the shit, and the first RESIDENT EVIL is so re-watchable<3

  • Andrew

    Why all the fuss about the nomination for Hooper (who IMO directed poorly)?

    Are you guys ignorant? Why do you still pretend that these awards are actually about the BEST achievements of the year? They are more about popularity, politics and marketing than quality. I thought we all knew that.

    Since when have any of the nominations in major categories at the Oscars, or the guilds, actually reflected “the best”??

    Get with the program, guys

  • JJ

    God, I did not like Les Miz. I’m surprised Hooper got in. To me a good director is also good at casting and his choice of Crowe for Javert discredits his entire effort.

  • “Glenn UK – politely shut the fuck up. I know he’s your countryman, so you have to root for him or some shit, but for anyone who actually gives a shit and knows anything about film, Tom Hooper’s “directing” of Les Miserables is insultingly bad. Cribbing about a dozen shots, repeated ad nauseum, from the careers of more interesting filmmakers (Jeunet, Gilliam, Russell, Burton) and then affixing it to the most beloved, emotionally manipulative musical of recent memory is not “good directing.” The movie is a joke, and you are a joke for defending it.”

    Wow, Brandon is a MAJOR ASSHOLE. Them’s fighting words! I am not British I live outside NYC, I’m a 29 year teaching veteran, I’m Italian-American and weight 260 pounds. My wife, my five kids and I loved the film, and I defended Hooper’s direction in a full review!

    You are a joke for saying what you said to Glenn!!!!

  • phantom

    brendon, with all due respect, I think the 10-15 thousand DGA members probably have a slightly better idea about worthy directing achievements than any of us here, so while we all have our highly arguably personal opinions, I think we can agree that while we most certainly CAN disagree with the DGA choices, we are probably not in a position to belittle them. And I say this as someone who didn’t like Les Misérables, I will give it another shot before the Oscars, it could have been just a bad day or something, though.

    Also, people who passionately trash the film, should realize that they were the ones who provided the film its VERY Academy-friendly narrative : they made it the underdog, the one that needs passionate support, something it probably wouldn’t have now , had people who didn’t like it expressed themselves in a more subtle way, but because they felt the need to trash it big time, the LesMis-fans are now out in full force…and a lot of them could be Academy members…

  • JudiB

    Tom Hooper what have you done to so many on this site to cause such hostility? Good for you and you will be on the list of Oscar nominees come Thursday morning as well. Hey it makes for fun reading & the discontent & malice that is spewed regarding this man. Totally unwarranted but boy it’s fun reading….

  • Hey Andrew. If you feel that way why pray tell are you on this thread now? Looking to buy a new sewing machiine?

  • Hey “Bette” why don’t YOU go over to SIGHT & SOUND then? We all know our movies here (my #1 film was THE TURIN HORSE this year) and we all know what happened to BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (I wanted it to win too!) but let us all have fun here instead of looking down your nose at everyone else!

    Maybe you should write a book on the Oscars instead of coming here with your regular and boring complaints. Most of us know SIGYT & SOUND inside out but we still come to AD to discuss the expectations. You come because you have an axe to grind. Period.

  • There are thousands of filmmakers out there in the world, and there’s only one UK prime minister, and you’re not him.

    DCam’s a wanker anyway.

    Poor Glenn! What’s he even done? Blake, leave off. There’s no need for you guys to all be so dicky to each other!

    There’s also no need for the Katy Perry diss, brendon. Totes inappropes. Oh KP <3

  • Chase Meridian

    Brendon, so you “work” in the film industry. Being a fluff girl for Charlie Sheen is hardly something you should put on a resume.

  • C’mon, why does anybody still care about the Oscars????

    Comment from an Oscar watching site. Real smart.

  • Christophe

    that’s already how TKS won! all the hate directed at Hooper coming from self-righteous “cinephiles”, who acted like arrogant jerks somehow reflected very badly on TSN and cemented the wide support for Hooper and his movie. that might happen again due to the completely irrational backlash from some critics, even though the odds were against Les Mis winning bp or bd when the season started.

  • Denni

    I was rooting for O’Russel!!’ Oh well, at least Ang and Ben made it in! Spielberg is so overrated!

  • If those suicides occur, will they deliver the same Javert crunch?

  • Blake

    Sam Juliano,

    I think part of the reasoning for why the backlash is so intense is because there are so many Les Miz fans attached to the source material (the musical, that is), that they will praise the film and the creative team behind it before they’ve even had a chance to see the movie for themselves.

    My point being, I don’t really understand Glenn UK’s reasoning to passionately support a film he hasn’t even watched, while making snide comments to the community like “I know nothing about direction like almost everyone else on here.” There are a good chunk of people on here that are cinephiles and it doesn’t take a degree in film production or film criticism to understand what good direction is.

    Having seen the film, I realized there was a lot of wasted potential. Tom Hooper didn’t see the musical until 2009 or 2010, and maybe could have let the project marinate for a little longer before rushing it into production. Russell Crowe does not have the vocal range to play Javert, character and plot development was really rushed to make way for more singing, and there were really odd directorial choices, like the loud crunch you hear when Javert breaks his neck, or the decision to have Valjean and Marius covered in shit from head to toe. I mean, seriously? I understand that when you dive into a sewer, you’re going to get some shit on you, but really, head to toe covered in shit? I’m sorry, I can’t help but laugh.

  • chrisw


    It is I who am sorry for the mix-up. It was my fault for not reading prior comments. I am sorry.

  • Blake

    @ Sam Juliano

    Wow, Brandon is a MAJOR ASSHOLE. Them’s fighting words! I am not British I live outside NYC, I’m a 29 year teaching veteran, I’m Italian-American and weight 260 pounds. My wife, my five kids and I loved the film, and I defended Hooper’s direction in a full review!

    Uhh, why is it necessary to bring your age, race, family, and weight into a discussion about Les Miserables?

  • OK Blake, you have explained yourself intelligently and rationally. I can’t take you to task on that. I must say I rather like Blake’s passion myself, and as I’ve stated on numerous occasions I think Hooper made some smart directorial decisions. No film could ever equal the Broadway show, but in large measure I thought the spirit and deep emotional resonance was captured in the film version. There is division for sure, but I am on the side who felt it worked.

    But fair enough.

  • amy

    Yess!!! Hooper’s in!

  • M

    Did they really think abour directing? Where is Paul Thomas Anderson>

  • Brendon

    The dismissive response to my comment about resident evil:retribution is pretty much a perfect example of what’s wrong with how people understand directing as a craft. Is that movie a piece of shit? Of course. But Paul WS Anderson does a thoroughly competent job with dumb material: he understands mental geography, varying shot size as a means of conveying meaning, tracking thought processes and using the camera to articulate subjective experiences. None of which are even attempted in any real manner by Tom Hooper in Les Mis. Subjectivity is limited to the same wide-angle close up over and over — it’s lazy, it’s inarticulate, and it’s tiresome.

  • My age: Because this shows I’ve been around a while to have been exposed to this material.

    My family: To show I have some glowing support under my roof.

    My race and weight: To show I am a passionate guy who will physically defend my turf.

    Get the picture now?


  • Jerry Grant

    @unlikely hood:

    I agree with most of what you said. Lincoln is actually still my #1 for the year. No qualms from me on the singular importance of Spielberg. And I think the critiques about Django’s script are fair, though in retrospect I find myself putting those problems in parentheses, because my admiration for the whole project is just too strong.

  • Linc4Jess

    Well, I suppose I will go on record as saying… “Lincoln” will win the best picture OSCAR, but, Ben Affleck, will win the Best Director Oscar. Why? Because this is the way it should be at the end. This is how the race is shaping up to me before the OSCAR nods are announced.

  • Blake

    @Sam Juliano

    My age: Because this shows I’ve been around a while to have been exposed to this material.
    My family: To show I have some glowing support under my roof.
    My race and weight: To show I am a passionate guy who will physically defend my turf.
    Get the picture now?

    No, I still haven’t got the faintest idea why your physical attributes have anything to do with your intellectual abilities to state your opinions on the internet.

  • Daveylo

    “Apocalypse Pooh: Norman Taurog, Delbert Mann, George Roy Hill, Kevin Costner. Definitely filmmakers we all remember and cherish.”

    George Roy Hill redeemed himself by directing Slap Shot which is a very funny sports film. And The Sting and Butch Cassidy have their Newman-Redford moments.

  • John F.

    Has this really gotten to the point where we’re comparing Les Mis to Resident Evil? All Anderson does with those POSs is make them as flashy as possible so people will pay attention because they have nothing to offer in the way of narrative, characters, or anything else. Les Mis was very delicately directed (and no, I didn’t mind the close-ups. I found they actually enhanced the film quite a bit.) Hooper brought out great performances from all involved (whether you liked Crowe’s singing or not, he still gave a really good acting performance). I just don’t see why people complain so much. He did quite a good job.

  • brendon

    I mean. “Delicately.” There are a lot of words a partisan could use to describe Hooper’s direction and spin it as a positive: “expressionistic,” “imaginative,” “forceful.” Delicate is not one of them.

    As for Crowe, the man didn’t express a single emotion the entire film. He was straining so hard to sing he forgot to act.

  • Blake you have no sense of humor at all.

    Too bad. But after reading your lame comments I can’t say I am at all surprised.

  • Jack

    If you people are this pissed now what I’m wondering is, what are you going to do if Hooper gets in on Thursday?

  • Linc4Jess

    As much as I liked the film “Django Unchained”, which is still on fire at the box office as it did almost $2m yesterday, I really don’t see it as something the Academy is going to embrace like the top five films, mostly family type films, that are often mentioned as the best. This is why I am thinking Tarantino won’t be on the list of Directors. I disagree with some person who said Tarantino made the film in a way that he would get recognition at OSCAR time and therefore spew hate on the Director. Quite the opposite from where I sat. The film is violent, nasty, crude and profane, something I would think the Academy would not even considered honoring as the best of the best and especially in a year where several violent random killings has occurred including one in a theater full of people but the excellent film is also very entertaining with great performances delivered from an intelligent script, humor, music, photography, well paced and delivers excellent action sequences. I sure would like to see the film and the director get recognized on Thursday by the Academy because If it was up to me he and his film would be represented as one of the top five. But like many of the folks who post on this site I don’t get to vote just voice an opinion.

  • PJ

    As the only nonwinner, Ben Affleck stands good chance to win at DGAs. That and likely GG directing win makes it seem like Argo is frontrunner, not Lincoln.

  • Larry

    I’d definitely call Hooper’s direction “Delicate.” It’s what made the film have as big an emotional impact as it did. As for Crowe, I thought he did a fantastic job, vocally and acting-wise. His rendition of Javert’s final song in particular was done very well.

  • brendon

    I declare victory over this thread.

    For further reading, I recommend Manny Farber’s “White Elephant Art vs. Termite Art” — which provides the theoretical underpinning for my Les Mis vs. Resident Evil: Retribution comparisons. It can be found in his indispensible collection “Negative Space: Manny Farber on the Movies.”

  • SallyinChicago

    but Django the character was curiously unchanging – and almost a blank slate – and that made the film less involving than it should have been.

    My thoughts exactly. I blamed it on Jamie Foxx acting, but now I know that QT underwote the character.

  • Mohammed

    Hooper should change gender, make Michael Bay type action films that are pro war and torture and change name to Hoopalow. I’m sure more “cinephiles” would kiss his ar** then. It’s not enough to be skilled filmmaker you see. You have to be certain type of filmmaker. As if Spielberg is nominated almost yearly just for the quality of his work.

    I have yet to meet someone who’ve said that Lincoln would’ve even had a chance without DDL.

  • If someone has an opinion about a film they have seen, that person’s opinion is valid. If someone has an opinion about a film they haven’t seen their opinion isn’t valid. If someone has an opinion about someone else’s opinion about a film they haven’t seen then that person is an asshat.

  • Larry

    “I declare victory over this thread.”

    That gave me a good laugh. People are just going to have to accept that Hooper made it, end of story. I too can’t wait to see what will happen if Hooper makes it on Thursday. This place will go even more insane.

  • Akumax

    “If someone has an opinion about a film they have seen, that person’s opinion is valid. If someone has an opinion about a film they haven’t seen their opinion isn’t valid. If someone has an opinion about someone else’s opinion about a film they haven’t seen then that person is an asshat.”

    Perfectly said, I couldn’t agree more Antoinette.

  • Calvin

    “This place will go even more insane.”

    I will not visit this site on Thursday, especially if Hooper makes it. I’m afraid.

  • steve50

    Cripes! Looks like I missed all the fun! I love a passionate thread and you can always count on one with Tom Hooper involved.

    “He already made his mark in film history.”
    Too easy – “dog…meet carpet”

    He’s in, accepted, but that doesn’t make him a good director. He’s not a good director. That makes me a hater, a hipster, a fanboy? Sobeit.

    And antoinette has the comment of the day, worth repeating: “If someone has an opinion about a film they have seen, that person’s opinion is valid. If someone has an opinion about a film they haven’t seen their opinion isn’t valid. If someone has an opinion about someone else’s opinion about a film they haven’t seen then that person is an asshat.”

    *hearts* to you, m’dear.

  • “He’s in, accepted, but that doesn’t make him a good director. He’s not a good director. That makes me a hater, a hipster, a fanboy? Sobeit.”

    Oh no Steve you have it all wrong. You are none of those. You can only be acused of being WRONG. Nothing more than that! Ha!

    Antoinette is witty and gifted. Without a doubt.

  • Groucho

    This is great!! It’s like the Ain’t it Cool News message board, with better vocabulary and fewer anatomy references.

  • steve50

    Damn, can’t I pick one of them, Sam? (“wrong” fits but it’s boring)

    Thursday’s gonna be wild, whatever the results.

  • Winston

    The Critic’s Choice Awartds had six nominees. The DGA has five. Makes me think that the Oscars should have some flexibility in certain categories like they do with best picture.

  • rufussondheim

    Haven’t had time to read the thread, just got in from The Impossible (It was OK).

    Now I will go back and read the 250 or more comments, which I’m pretty sure can be summed up as follows “How did that hack Spielberg get in and not Joachim Trier!”

  • Linc4Jess

    Just happen to read an exception article by Ezra Dulis on the film “Django Unchained” in where he states… “Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” is not only a great film but the greatest display of liberalism in movie theaters this past year. An inspiring original film from one of this generation greatest artist, Quentin Tarantino.” Lets see if the Academy are as astute in knowing what makes a great film as the regular movie critic. We shall see on Thursday.

  • rufussondheim

    The Impossible was ruined because of the ending. Not that it was a bad ending, it’s just that pretty much every press article about the ending revealed it. Since much of the film was about that suspense, well then I guess we can just fast forward since there wasn’t stuff in there to keep one interested.

    What I did like was when it was about the communal experience of surviving such a catastrophic catastrophe. I wish there was more of that rather than the story of the five family members.

    It was almost good, I did tear up a few times, but ultimately it didn’t sustain itself. I suspect parents will love it more than me, though.

    Not sure if it will be enough to get that 5%, but I did like Naomi Watts and won’t mind if she gets nominated over some of my faves like Michelle Williams and Aubrey Plaza even though I didn’t think she was as good as her character was largely one-dimensional (but a very strong one dimension)


    As for these silly awards. Zero Dark Thirty will win. It’s too good.

    If I have time tomorrow I will go over the critic’s top 10 lists of the last few years and explain to you exactly why it will win.

  • rufussondheim

    If Django Unchained is the greatest display of liberalism in Hollywood this year then I better cancel my subscription to The Nation and subscribe to the National Review quick!

  • Blake

    @ Sam Juliano

    I’d like to think I have a sense of humor, I just don’t find statistics about your age, weight, and the number of kids you have to be particularly funny nor enlightening, not to mention it has nothing to do with the topic at hand. So I’ll just try to ignore you from now on.

  • Daveylow

    I didn’t think it could get worse than when King’s Speech starting sweeping the guild awards but it has. Just console yourself that Les Miz will not win best director at the Oscars or best picture and be happy. Tom Hooper is not going away soon but you don’t have to go to his movies anymore if you hate him so much.

    What I don’t get is that he studied The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and Fiddler before making Les Miz and learned nothing.

  • Tony

    Bigelow will win BIG!!! All the way to the Oscar glory! Simply because ZDT is “not the movie that fucks”! won’t u agree with me Sacha!?

  • “@ Sam Juliano

    I’d like to think I have a sense of humor, I just don’t find statistics about your age, weight, and the number of kids you have to be particularly funny nor enlightening, not to mention it has nothing to do with the topic at hand. So I’ll just try to ignore you from now on.”

    Yeah please do me a favor and stay clear. I tried to inject a little comic relief and it went completely over your head! it wasn’t MEANT to have anything to do with the subject at hand. But yeah, I’d rather you stay away, thanks.

  • unlikely hood

    Thanks Sally!

    If Django Unchained is the greatest display of liberalism in Hollywood this year…

    Who said that? I’m too lazy to check.

    Popular films usually have specific reasons (beyond “hey it’s good”) for liberals AND conservatives to like them. Django is a liberal fantasy, but with conservative underpinnings (guns, radical individualism, family). Sorta like Forrest Gump. Yeah I said it

  • keifer

    All this nonsense about Hooper getting a DGA nomination. The real disgust should be the love for Spielberg, definitely one of his lesser moments.

    “Lincoln” is as dull as dishwater.

    Mark my words. He will win the Oscar. And in 10 years time, people will incredulously wonder, “What were they THINKING?”. . . just like we look at Scorsese’s snub in 1990 for Goodfellas over Kevin Costner, or oopie Ken Howard beating Robert FUCKING Altman!

  • Oh that’s right Blake is the “filmmaker” on this thread! He takes me to task for trying to inject humor into the thread, and for me bringing in ‘personal attributes’ as having nothing to do with the matter at hand.

    Yet he is allowed to brag to everyone that he is a “filmmaker” as if this would even impact a perdonal opinion.

    Right. Keep spinning. Your past comments on this thread show an amazing lack of maturity.

  • helios

    Finally saw Lincoln. I didn’t love it but I’m not American so perhaps that is one of the reasons but found the film strangely more entertaining than I had expected. Day-Lewis was adorable at times LOL!
    ZDT is still my favorite and unless the torture controversy gets in the way, I think it should win. Lincoln is actually the perfect Oscar bait that could easily walk away with BP and that would be fine. What I fear is an Argo win; BARF!

  • The Japanese Viewer

    Congrats to all the nominees. I picked Tarantino over Hooper (and O. Russell et al for that matter); as far as this year’s DGA goes, the other four, including Ang Lee, are all the locks to me.

    Good for him though. [No sarcasm intended.]

  • Helios—

    I would think that LINCOLN at this point is the heavy favorite to go all the way.

    It is surely among the best films of the year.

  • numil

    I am convinced more than ever that Les Mis could win the Best Picture Oscar!

  • rufussondheim

    By any objective standard, Lincoln is not the best movie of the year and I wish people would stop acting like its win is inevitable.

    Because it isn’t. Maybe by Sunday it will be, though. If BFCA and Globes pick it to win and it clearly dominates in the number of nominations it gets on Thursday it might become inevitable.

    But as for nominations alone, you know it will get more than Zero Dark Thiry simply because it has the advantage in getting Costume, Art Direction and Hair and Makeup noms, plus it has more “buzzed about” performances. But there have been plenty of Best Pic winners who haven’t gotten the most nominations nor the most acting nominations. (Maybe phantom has these statistics at the ready?)

    But Zero Dark Thirty and Argo clearly have the most critics awards and Zero Dark Thirty is far more likely than Lincoln to be the number one spot on their lists.

    And with the exception of The King’s Speech Five of the Last six Best Pic Oscars went to the most critically successful film of the top 3 favorites. The Social Network lost because it was emotionally distancing. Zero Dark Thirty does not have that characteristic.

    Now if Lincoln wins THursday Night and Sunday Night I will brace myself for that Lincoln Win, but until then, you really have to consider Zero Dark Thirty to be the frontrunner.

  • rufussondheim

    And if I had to list the top 5 movies by chances for a win, it’s very possible I would put Lincoln at number 4. ZDT and Argo have more critics love and Les Miz has some major passionate support at the opposite end of the spectrum.

    Lincoln has the civil war history buffs and the Spielberg fanatics down pat. Now let’s see if that constitutes 51% of the academy.

  • For those people who are still reading this thread, and may have seen the row I had here with the humorless self-proclaimed filmmaker “Blake” I’d like to qualify in public what this man was apparently unable to negotiate earlier.

    When I announced one this thread that I was 260 pounds, and Italian-American, I was trying to paint a caricature of a gruff-voiced mobster with abig family that would engage in a physical duel with anyone who doesn’t agree with me. It was an attempt to break the LES MIS impasse with some intende dhumor. If this man has an ounce of personality or creativity he may have came back with something like: “OK Sam, I’ll meet you half way somewhere in St. Louis” or “I outweigh you, actually.”

    But no. This pompous individual, obsessed with his own importance would rather poison this thread with inane arguments comparing LES MIS with some hokey emotional dramas and slandering other commenters here with vile insults to the tune of their “girly cockney accents.”

    You vile little shit. The only filmmaking you’ll ever do is looking at youself in the mirror and recording the memories in your head.

  • John

    Ok. Some peeps aren’t wild about Hooper’s direction style. But directors just might know what their talking about, what they do, and who they vote for.

    Can someone here explain to me how, say, PTA’s or Tarantino’s direction was much better?

    I’m serious.

    What precisely makes one directors work OMGamazing and someone elses so awful? How do we know? Please tell me all the specifics, will you all?

  • Hawkeye

    I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. It really seems like the Best Picture race is down to Les Mis, Argo, and Lincoln, but even more so now that they’re the only ones to get nods from the top three guilds (PGA, DGA, and SAG). Zero Dark Thirty failed to get the Best Ensemble nod and there has only been one instance of an eventual Best Picture winner not receiving one (Braveheart was the film, but even that was an extraordinary circumstance because I don’t think anybody expected it to beat Apollo 13, the winner of all three top guild awards). Nor did ZDT pass what I call the “Ebert Test.” He only gave it three stars, and there have only been two instances in his 45-year career where an eventual Best Picture winner has gotten three stars from him (The Godfather II and Midnight Cowboy), so at this point it’s not looking good for ZDT. As for Best Director, it could still get it, but we’d probably have a split ballot.

  • John, you are right. The directors have spoken and in large number. It is easy for an AWARDS DAILY blogger to say that Hooper can’t direct. That is the company line translation for not liking the film that the director helmed.

    In these “taste” disclaimer mean NOTHING as today’s results have confirmed. And it’s true that Tarantino and/or Anderson did not “direct” their films better than Hooper in the minds of those who cast ballots.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. No matter how forceful anyone on this thread is one way or the other it always comes down to the great equalizer.

  • JP

    I don’t get: why do Zero Dark Thirty has to be considered the frontrunner? Because it won New York-NBR. Because it is the best reviewed? Come on. I think we’ve already got over those arguments.

    The bleeding will be intense Feb. 24.

    And one last question I don’t know exactly the answer: what was the biggest difference between the number of nominations of the BP winner and any other of the nominees in the case the BP winner did not lead the noms? Annie Hall over Star Wars, Turning Point and Julia. Chariots of Fire x Reds and Casablanca x The Song of Bernardete, A Beautiful Mind x The Lord of the Rings… Very few cases. And it’s likely to repeat itself on Thursday…. Lincoln, let’s say 12, x ZDT 7 and Argo 6.

  • montfort

    I liked Hooper’s direction in Les Mis. He took huge risks. He did something no one else could have done, in a way no one else could have done it. You don’t like the movie: fine. But Les Mis was about the epic journey of the human heart, and it took great bravery to tell that story using close-ups instead of sticking to the formulaic, video approach to filming songs. And if the audiences with whom I saw the movie with are any indication – regular theatre goers who paid for their seats – this adaptation is more than a musical, it is an experience. I never clap or cheer at the end of a motion picture. But the audience did. Hooper succeeded with a very large, passionate subsection of the American theatre going public. And this project was a heavy lift. I don’t know anyone who could have done it better. Just recording all the songs – live – without having the costume rustle all over the track was a feat of genius.

    Truthfully, there were several great movies this year, and the five nominated directors are all in great company, as are several who were left off the list. We all have our favorites. The DGA has now chosen theirs. And I think there’s a very good chance the Oscars will match this list name for name.

    Predicting the Academy Awards is not about picking the best films anyway! It’s about predicting what the membership will do. And Lincoln still looks like a consensus choice (though Argo and Les Mis could both slip past it in the eight, nine or ten picture universe). Maybe even Zero Dark Thirty will surprise, as so many want!

    Excited that there are still so many full-fledged contenders running in a crowded race of high-quality contenders.

  • Bravo Montfort!

  • JJ

    I hate when people knock dances with wolves. That movie is beautifully made. Tatonka!

  • @John

    I will explain to you why those of us who are film fans will say who we think are great directors and who are not even though we are not film directors ourselves.

    If you are a fan of films you watch a lot of them. The longer you are on Earth, the more films you watch. As you accumulate hours of watching films you start to learn what’s good and what’s not. You also start to learn how directors differ from each other. Even if you’ve never stepped behind a camera. A person may have a favorite fashion designer and have never sewn a dress, right? Same thing. So as you go through life you start not only accumulating a list of favorite films, you accumulate a list of favorite directors. You may read a great deal on the subject. You may get into debates with other film fans. You may watch decade after decade of awards ceremonies. You may see films that were dismissed become classics, cult or otherwise. So at some point you may start to recognize what kinds of films will stand the test of time.

    This is where I usually part with AMPAS. I think they vote in the moment. You catch them in a certain mood and they love a movie for reasons that have little to do with its quality. And my biggest pet peeve about the way they generally vote for Best Picture is that they don’t seem to take history into account. They don’t look back at what they’ve voted for, see some times when they should be embarassed by their choices and make adjustments into the future. No, they just go right back to picking on a whim. And that’s how you get crappy Best Pictures, Best Directors, Best Actors, etc. in the history books. And then those history books tell people that this was the best we could do as humans in any given year. If people don’t really bother to watch all the films themselves, they’ll look at the list of winners and say, ‘hmm, well I guess that was a bad year’ or ‘that guy’s movie was the best that year? well I guess I don’t have to bother watching any others from 2012. I thought that one sucked’. And then if you’re a fan of certain people you want them to go down in history with the proper accolades. Maybe when we’re all dead no one will know that Stanley Kubrick was a great director because well, he’s not on the list and we won’t be around to tell future generations that they got it wrong that time.

    So as you watch directors, you start to see their definitive styles. Their own particular mastery of their artform. Let’s call that your team of directors that you root for because you think they’re great. Then a rookie comes along. And you get all excited that there’s a new great director. So you’ve heard. Then you go and see their film and you’re let down. You thought it was bad. Well, at least your team is still there. Then awards time comes around and some of your team doesn’t get nominated. And you say, “Hey, no fair, that guy bunted and went around the bases on pop-up flys and slid into home on a stray pitch and a bad call. My guys all hit homeruns. How can he be MVP?” That explains the complaints. But how do we decide who’s direction is better or not?

    Easy. You walk into a bar and you’re instantly attracted to someone. Maybe it’s their smile, the way they carry themselves, or they look just like all your exes because you definitely have a type. Same with directors. Quentin Tarantino comes on the scene with a striking style that he’s amalgamated from his extensive mental cinema library. And he’s made it into a style all his own so that he has long term fans. He’s his own brand. The way he composes his shots. The way he uses music. His writing. His humor. It’s a brand that to some of us keeps improving. Like if Dr. Pepper kept tasting better but also started having less and less calories. Paul Thomas Anderson also showed up with a signature style. I’m not as big a fan of his but I know his style and I like it. I think the only film of his I didn’t really like was PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE. But he’s built up this resume of great films. So has QT. Their films draw us in. They’re respected time and time again, by people who enjoy film. And yet, they just happen to keep missing Best Director? Really? Everyone, who dishes on film and loves movies, seems to concur that both these guys are great directors and neither of them managed to get a Best Director trophy? That just doesn’t make sense. So these new classics that everyone loves just directed themselves did they?

    So I look at Les Mis. I don’t like the choices he made. I think if Tom Hooper has a style, it’s very average and looks like the work of a lot of people. Mainly TV people. I’m not drawn into his movies. They go past like an old bus. It may get you where you want to go but are you going to remember it later? Will it leave an impression on you and future generations? Will it be a classic? There are many films that will be classics from 2012. They have their directors fingerprints all over them. If they are not recognized then it’s another missed opportunity. Opportunites the Academy are becoming expert at missing.

  • Predicting the Academy Awards is not about picking the best films anyway! It’s about predicting what the membership will do.

    I’m not here to predict who will win. That’s Sasha’s job. I’m here to cheer on my favorites. So if you guys are just having fun winning the guessing game, then you’re here for different reasons than I. I’m not a gambler. I’m a movie fan.

  • Eric P.

    Oh this thread made me laugh. I started out defending Brendon because I thought he was the victim. But he just became cruel and cocky. My god man, we’re all here because we love film. I didn’t love Les Mis either, but no need to insult those who did. Les Mis lovers, the same goes for you. We all have our opinions. And we all have a right to excise them in public. That’s the beauty of this nation. Let’s all respect that.

  • Eric P.

    Btw, I just saw ZD30 today. I didn’t flip for it. It was well made, but it wasn’t The Hurt Locker. I think it will prove too cold for the Academy. I personally think Moonrise Kingdom was the best film of the year, and I’m praying for a BP and BOS nom. Think it’s gonna be “Lincoln” or “Argo”. Maybe a split. That would be exciting

  • I must say I quite like both THE KING’S SPEECH and LES MISERABLES and to me that will last and will will sustain a “classic” status. And I do believe Hooper made a number of bold decisions that worked in the latter.

    It’s that thing called *taste* again. There is no right or wrong, correct or incorrect. There never was.

  • rufussondheim

    JP – it’s simple why ZDT is the frontrunner (in my current opinion)

    Check out the trends. I will list the two (or three) films the race for BP came down to over the last six years…

    2011 – The Artist, Hugo, The Descendants
    2010 – The Social Network, The King’s Speech
    2009 – The Hurt Locker, Avatar
    2008 – Slumdog Millionaire, Milk
    2007 – No Country for Old Men, There Will be Blood, Juno
    2006 – The Departed, The Queen, Little Miss Sunshine

    Except for 2010, the Academy went for the film with the most critical appeal and success. So what went wrong in 2010? Well, The Social Network was probably too emotionally distant for the Academy, and so they went a wild swing the other way, to the King’s Speech.

    It’s interesting to note that this trend started after Crash’s upset win over Brokeback Mountain. And that this “trend” doesn’t hold before 2005. So my entirely unproveable theory is that a lot of Academy Members kind of “snapped to it.” Well, whatever the reason, it’s a trend that’s pretty remarkable.

    So that brings us to this year. It’s still too early to knock it down to two or three films, but it’s pretty safe to say the Oscar will go to one of four films at this point.

    1) Zero Dark Thirty
    2) Argo
    3) Lincoln
    4) Les Miserables

    Of these, Zero Dark Thirty is the clear critical favorite, and Argo is a pretty solid second if you go by critics prizes, but it is only slightly ahead of Lincoln if you look at top 10 lists and #1 placements. I include Les Miz here even though it’s critical notices are relatively weak because it’s entirely possible that there is a large enough passionate group of supporters that could propel it to an unlikely win.

    So right now, until we get more information (such as the winner of the BFCA and Globes, I have to go with recent trends and go with Zero Dark Thirty.

  • Eric P.


    That was awesome. Loved the monologue.

  • rufussondheim

    And by the way, if you haven’t noticed, I am on team Joachim Trier and Steve McQueen! While I am not the founder of the Steve McQueen AD fanclub, I conside myself on the Board of Directors.

    But as for Joachim Trier, I am the Chairman.

    (I’m also a member of the Kelly Reichardt fanclub, but I am not a charter member 🙁 )

  • m1

    Except for 2010, the Academy went for the film with the most critical appeal…

    Actually, in 2006, The Queen was the best reviewed nominee, followed Letters from Iwo Jima, THEN The Departed. It’s amazing what lengths Tom Hooper haters will go to to bash him.

  • Scottish Jellyfish

    Wow. The comments that have transpired on this article from several users actually have me nostalgic for Ching or Chang or whatever the ardent Avatar supporter’s name was back in 2009/2010. That’s not a very comforting sign of future opining on this site.

  • rufussondheim

    m1 – no

    Check out the lists here…

  • rufussondheim

    Oh, and I’m not a Tom Hooper basher. Les Miz would be my #2 of the Oscar Contenders and is currently #4 on my fave of the year list.

  • Ah Rufus, I have always had confidence in you myself and those numbers are music to my ears!

  • Billy

    Going by Rotten Tomatoes:

    The Queen – 97%, 8.4/10
    The Departed – 93%, 8.2/10
    Letters from Iwo Jima – 91%, 8.2/10
    Little Miss Sunshine – 91%, 7.7/10
    Babel – 69%, 6.7/10

    I guess it just depends on whose numbers you go by.

  • Scottish Jellyfish / January 8, 2013

    “Wow. The comments that have transpired on this article from several users actually have me nostalgic for Ching or Chang or whatever the ardent Avatar supporter’s name was back in 2009/2010. That’s not a very comforting sign of future opining on this site.”

    hahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!! Love it!!!!

  • oscar

    Nominations for Achievement in Directing (Oscars)

    Ben Affleck – Argo
    Quentin Tarantino – Django Unchained
    Tom Hooper – Les Misérables
    Steven Spielberg – Lincoln
    Kathryn Bigelow – Zero Dark Thirty

  • rufussondheim

    Billy, those numbers and metacritic as well should be discarded. (Why do I have to explain this all the time!) Those sites don’t measure the enthusiasm behind a certain film.

    Oscar Voters don’t just check yes/no and the highest percentage wins. They list their favorites from #1 down to #5-10. So it matters what they put at #1, not if they like or dislike a film.

    The best way to duplicate that is to look at critic’s top 10 lists, you check out how many top 10’s it got and how many #1’s it got to see the true measure of a film’s support by the critics.

  • rufussondheim

    Let me belabor the point and describe it another way. Rottentomatoes and Metacritic judge films against a “neutral” score. Each film is in a competition with an abstract “other” that’s not readily definable.

    The critic’s top 10 lists, on the other hand, pit the films in competition against each other. And for that reason, it’s a better option for seeing what the most critically successful film is.

  • Billy

    So you’re talking about the preferential voting system as opposed to how well they were reviewed, which is what I believe m1 was originally talking about.

  • rufussondheim

    Hmm, perhaps I was unclear. But when I say “best” I mean the film that got the best reviews. And to me that clearly goes to the critics top 10 lists (which I champion constantly as the best way to see what the critics really liked)

  • steve50

    I have to agree with rufus on the whole numbers thing vs criticstop10. It presents a more realistic view of placement as opposed to scoring, which is more important in the long run.

    Interesting, but not surprising, is that since 2000, only 3 times have the Oscars agreed with the critics: 2006 (The Departed), 2007 (No Country for Old men), and 2009 ( The Hurt Locker). If it happens again this year, the increased frequency would make a case that critics and AMPAS are getting closer.

    btw, I’ll be glad when we’re on the same side next year – Mr McQueen et al.

  • Hawkeye

    It seemed like you were talking about films’ placement on lists as opposed to how well they were reviewed individually. The method you’re speaking of is the Academy’s preferential voting system.

    I’ve been looking at the top choices on that site for the past few years and they seem a bit off. Tree of Life as #1 for last year? The Artist was the clear critical darling.

    2010: King Speech down at #7?
    2009: I’d love to think Basterds was in 2nd (it was my favorite of the year), but even I had to admit it wasn’t loved THAT much.

    I guess I just prefer the good old critical numbers when it comes to accuracy.

  • Billy

    That’s what I thought, Hawkeye. The placement of some of those movies seemed a little weird.

  • Billy

    I’m particularly surprised about 2005. A history of Violence at #2? King Kong at #5? Doesn’t seem particularly accurate.

  • steve50

    They are using two criteria, as I understand it: the number times a film appears on individual critics’ top ten lists plus the number of times it is designated as that critic’s number one film. Like a final verdict. All the prelim scores are long ago erased (which is the way most of us choose our favorites in the end).

    Numbers work to get there, but at some point you have to go with how you feel about them all, and that’s what this list represents, imo.

  • Unlikely hood

    Antoinette: awesome.

    If Hooper is a BD nominee, that will say less about him and more about the rest of the field. I agree that PTA and QT are artists, but I also agree with the nagging feeling that these films aren’t really on the level of their best work. Russell is unpopular – I think actors who don’t know him are inclined to believe lily tomlin on that infamous YouTube clip. That wouldn’t matter if he’d made the hurt locker (as he once did, with 3 kings), but SLP is barely a notch above Along Came Polly. Nothing wrong with Haneke or Zeitlin or their films, but they’re slightly obscure and the academy may not be paying attention.

    Les Mis was a huge risk, the live singing was a gamble, the close ups were wild, and the film is kinda paying off. If he gets it I see it like the year they nominated Scorsese for Last Temptation of Christ. It wasn’t because they loved the film (it didn’t get a BP nom). It was because they knew him, they liked that he took risks (have you seen the Christ film? It’s nutty!), and they wanted to pat him on the back for that.

    Too well reasoned? Ok never mind – you’re all douchebags!!!! There that ought to be a popular post. 🙂

  • Hawkeye

    Yeah, Brokeback is believable at #1, everyone seemed to love it, but I don’t recall hearing much about History of Violence at the time. Personally, I loved it, but it didn’t seem to get much attention from critics. King Kong didn’t seem to get much attention either.

    Or how bout 2004, Million Dollar Baby down at #6. People wouldn’t shut up about that movie when it came out. Seemed to get all the critical attention.

  • John

    Antoinette, thank you for responding to my question(s). While I don’t completely agree regarding Hooper (but I definitely see what you’re saying about QT), I really enjoyed your thorough commentary and see where you are coming from on the topic. 🙂

  • John

    Liked yours, too, unlikely hood.

  • Billy

    I’m going to have to concur that RT seems a better judge of these things. Those lists just seem a little too inaccurate to be good indicators.

  • Scottish Jellyfish

    I didn’t mean my for my previous comment to offend anyone. I think there’s more hubris as to who’s going to win this year, because a good majority of these directors are returning winners. People want to see their returning favorites to win or vice versa for their haters. Everyone has a strong statistic to put in their favor for their favorite to win. Now people have to invent more ludicrous reasons to support their favorites. After today, it’s not as clear cut as to who is going to actually win in previous years. Spielberg is probably still taking a slight lead. I’m not even a fan of Lincoln, tbh. Place is heating up!

  • Chris138

    I saw Les Miserables today and when I returned home I saw this list and couldn’t believe my eyes. DGA members really thought Hooper’s direction was that good? If anything I think it is the central problem with that film. I don’t think he will be nominated by the Academy, though.

  • Unlikely Hood—

    Your argument is a good one for sure, well-reasoned and thorough. I’d only add that this year will be abit different than the year when Scorsese was nominated but not his film (LAST TEMPTATION) LES MISERABLES is 100% certainty for a Best Picture nomination, while Hooper stands at 50 to 50 (he was lower before today) for a Best Director nod.

  • Chris—
    I think it’s more that the voters thought LES MISERABLES was a worthy choice and that Hooper just happened to be the film’s director. I know that his bold choices alienated some (yourself included) but at least just as many are applauding the risks he took.

    Hence those who love the film will argue Hooper was inspired, while most of those who hate it will blame Hooper.

    Personally I liked the singing live, and a good deal of the close-ups.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    Wow, this comment section is heated.

    There’s this one thing people should stop staying. If you want to be condescending to someone, at least don’t say stupid stuff like “What have you done? Go make your own movie”. Many of us probably would like to, but don’t get the chance. I promise you that if you gave me 10 million dollars for a film, I’d deliver one hell of a product. Having said that, my low budget full-length movie (shooting on RED) looks to be ready within two years.

  • Having said that, my low budget full-length movie (shooting on RED) looks to be ready within two years.

    It’s your movie, Tero, so call it whatever you like. But Shooting On Red sounds a little like a porn title.

  • rufussondheim

    Regardless of whether you think the critics top 10 lists is the most valuable way to measure the “best reviewed film” the point of my original post is the same, of the major contenders over the last six years, the one with the best ranking won five of those years. The one exception being the emotionally distant one.

    Now we can argue whether Zero Dark Thirty is emotionally distant or not if you want, but if the trend continues Zero Dark Thirty will win.

    Now, of course, other trends point to ZDT not winning (such as SAG Ensemble nomination) but I think those are more easily explained away then the one I describe above.

    But, of course, trends are trends until they’re not.


    Steve, 2 points

    1) I think the guy only uses number of lists for the ranking. If there is a tie, he gives it to the one with the most #1 mentions.

    I would actually prefer to see a second list that goes by #1 mentions. If that were the case the top 10 would look like this…

    1) Zero Dark Thirty – 65
    2) The Master – 48
    3) Holy Motors – 46
    4) Argo – 35
    5) Moonrise Kingdom – 32
    6) Amour – 30
    7) Lincoln – 24
    8) Beasts of the Southern Wild – 22
    9) This is Not a Film – 20
    10) Django Unchained – 15

    This way that garbade film Silver Linings Playbook doesn’t make the top 10 🙂

    2) While early bets are on 12 Years a Slave, I certainly don’t want toappear to be a partisan come Awards time. This year some put me in the Les Miz camp early on because it topped my predictions and I argued passionately for it. But I was never in that camp.

    So I run a danger of being in the 12 Years a Slave camp, and it’s going to be hard to maintain some neutrality here because McQueen is clearly a better filmmaker than Hooper.

    But there are other films I think could be just as good or better

    August Osage County (yeah, it’s John Wells who I think hasn’t done anythign great outside of TV, but the source material is blazingly good and Killer Joe showed that Letts’s words should translate well to the screen)

    Foxcatcher by Bennet Miller – I rate Capote and Moneyball higher than the average person, and the true story it’s based on is one I know well as I followed it as it happened. I think it’s right up Miller’s alley and it should be impressive.

    Then there’s the two Gosling efforts Place Beyond the Pines and Only God Forgives, and if Blue Valentine and Drive are any indication, they should both have aspects of greatness to them.

    And then there’s a slew of other topnotch directors releasing stuff in 2013. It could be another banner year.

  • Mel

    Did Hooper take risks or did he just do the only boring same old shit he knows how to do? In all honesty it even seems like live singing makes it easier later on the editing. I swear to christ have we seen so much fucking dutch angle since the batman tv show? Good God, Gert. I just don’t get it. I really, realllly don’t. It is so boring and standard tv-caliber stuff. When I am thinking of achievments in directing, I’m thinking of stuff that was unforgettable……I saw Les Mis not even two weeks ago and I can only think of how disappointing it was and how an opportunity was botched. I’m not a “hooper hater” but I am truly baffled why his mediocrity continues to be rewarded. I feel like any one of us could have done what he did with that movie, which was turn something that ought to be grand into a turd whirling in a toilet bowl….shot in a dutch angle and extremely close!

  • JP

    @ rufussondheim

    Don’t agree with you on the use of those top 10 lists from 500 critics to evaluate what is the best reviewed. It’s an interesting research to discover consensus choices from the critics. And the Academy usually chooses consensus; average choices. That’s what approaches them to the Oscars system of choosing BP. I see your point there. But they don’t indicate the best reviewed one. Imagine how many “Armond Whites” are in making top 10s there!

    Come on:
    * you truly believe Avatar was better reviewed than Precious?
    * Basterds number 2? And this is coming from someone who thought this film should have won Best Picture.
    * GHOST WORLD NUMBER ONE OF 2001???? Over The Fellowship of The Ring and critics’ darling Mulholland Drive?
    * The Aviator better reviewed than Million Dollar Baby?
    * The Curious Case of Benjamin Button with 70 rotten reviews (I know RT is not always trustworthy… but 70) ranked number 6 in 2008?
    * The Queen and United 93 behind The Departed?
    * Inception number 2 of 2011? Over Toy Story 3 and (as far as i hate to admit) TKS? You truly believe TKS reviews were inferior to the ones of Inception? Or inferior to the ones from Black Swan?
    * The Artist behind Drive? Again, I know RT has many problems… but it’s got 4 ROTTEN reviews… and at Metacritic… 14 perfect scores against 5 of Drive.

    I truly don’t believe they awarded any of this films because they looked at it and said: wooow! This has the best reviews of the year. In all the cases they thought about the reviews. ALL. But I really don’t believe that the Academy members are like us and spend time discussing/thinking which is the best reviewed. Their thinking is probably much more like this (not my opinion of how should they think when voting).

    The Departed: Marty lost so many times… we’ll award him directing… it’s such a great achievement … why not awarding picture too?

    No Country for Old Men: substitute Marty for the Coens.

    Slumdog: I was so moved by the story. Great directing, great script, great performances great cinematography… great everything. It’s the movie of our times. Recession. Obama. A cheap independent film with unknown stars about hope.
    (this is the biggest hurricane in the history of the awards season… never seen such a dominant film… not only they likely thought about everything I just said but… they really had no options… Benjamin Button is 2008’s Les Mis. So divisive. There was no way it could win. And a biopic about a gay ativist is not exactly the Academy’s cup of two. WALL-E is animated. Actors hate to vote for animated. TDK is a superhero film. Doesn’t need the Oscars. Slumdog won every single guild.)

    The Hurt Locker: Who could imagine that a women would direct such a powerful war movie? And she’s Jim Cameron’s ex-wife. We have to award her. And the film deals with such an important issue in such an amazing way. That’s our BP.

    The King’s Speech: I was so moved… TSN is amazing but so cold. BP is a film I need to feel. This is our champion.

    The Artist: This is a truly amazing tribute to us. Never thought I would enjoy so fucking hard a mute black-and-white film. Hugo is also great. I like both. But Hugo is a bit of a children film.

  • JP

    One aspect that you also forget that was never in play for the past years: there was no case in which the most anticipated film of the year awards-saying (tied with Les Mis) was a period film that dealt with such nobles and important issues centered in one of the most important personalities in history. Then this film is directed by Hollywood-symbol director. Then the guy who happens to play the lead character is the one most think it’s the greatest actor alive. Then the screenwriter is a Pulitzer winning playwright. Then it has a cast full of stars. Then it gets outstanding reviews. Then it makes more than 150 million dollars in the US.

    And I’m dealing with facts. I’m not putting my personal opinions about the film (which I loved). For example: expectations matter. Everyone think it would be a bore and it’s actually quite entertainment.

    Why do i have to consider another film the frontrunner?

  • Unlikely hood

    Thanks john, sam, guys.

    Mel – not saying I think hooper took the right risks. Just that they may see it that way, especially to say thanks for bringing back the musical.

    JP – hysterical and I love your recap of their thinking 2006-present. Probably close to right, and also the best argument against rufus’s critic-oriented approach.

    Now, the better question is if ZDT is gonna win, what will be the one-sentence narrative?

  • Daniel B.

    And it seems that whoever likes Tom Hooper is going to be bullied on this site. It is as if I am reading comments on a shallow pop culture forum. Everybody is entitled to an opinion so please respect it. There isn’t one good director, there are more than 10, so I don’t see the problem if I am a fan of Fincher, Nolan, Lee, Hooper etc. They are just different.

  • Unlikely hood

    One last thing before I go to bed – if Hooper wins it sorta proves phantom right – he mentions upthread that a lot of the directors we like will be honored as screenwriters anyway. What he doesn’t say – but Sasha has said – is that the academy is kinda against directors that write their own scripts. Not always (woody Allen), but often enough you feel that they felt: “hey who the fuck is Wes Anderson or these Coens to invent a film out of the clear blue sky and then tell me to vote for them as best director and picture?” (the Coens won when they adapted – literally.) perhaps that sort of bias works this year against PTA, QT, Haneke. Whatever else you want to say about hooper, it’s not quite as…well…selfish to make Les Mis your first post-Oscar movie. Just a thought. Good night.

  • Scott

    Who cares if Quentin or Paul Thomas Anderson never win an Oscar? They still have Boogie Nights and Magnolia and Jackie Brown and Pulp Fiction on their resumes_ movies to love for eternity.

    Robert Altman and Alfred Hitchcock are also-rans. And Paul Thomas Anderson is an Altman admirer if not downright imitator. Oscars are a popularity contest. Period. It’s not worth name calling or getting into a frenzy over. The game and it is a game is to figure out who is most popular.

    Will Anne Hathaway showing her snatch to the world put her over the top? What on earth can Sally Field do to top that?

  • mecid

    why argue with rufus about SPIELBERG, JP. He is Spielberg hater. Rip-off of Jeff Wells.

  • rufussondheim

    JP, the website doesn’t lie. I stand by my theory. Your “explanations” as to why each film won may be correct, but still, my trend holds no matter how much you explain it away.

    And now with Lincoln getting the BD snub from the British, well, maybe, hmm…

  • Tero Heikkinen

    Ryan, I didn’t have a final title for it yet. ‘Shooting on RED’ sounds about right. Only if you knew 😀

  • brendon

    “Oh this thread made me laugh. I started out defending Brendon because I thought he was the victim. But he just became cruel and cocky.”

    I gave you a full emotional experience. A true character arc. Watch Tom Hooper try to pull that off.

  • brendon

    Mel: “Did Hooper take risks or did he just do the only boring same old shit he knows how to do? In all honesty it even seems like live singing makes it easier later on the editing. I swear to christ have we seen so much fucking dutch angle since the batman tv show? Good God, Gert. I just don’t get it. I really, realllly don’t. It is so boring and standard tv-caliber stuff. When I am thinking of achievments in directing, I’m thinking of stuff that was unforgettable……I saw Les Mis not even two weeks ago and I can only think of how disappointing it was and how an opportunity was botched. I’m not a “hooper hater” but I am truly baffled why his mediocrity continues to be rewarded. I feel like any one of us could have done what he did with that movie, which was turn something that ought to be grand into a turd whirling in a toilet bowl….shot in a dutch angle and extremely close!”


  • “I’m not a “hooper hater” but I am truly baffled why his mediocrity continues to be rewarded….”

    Uhh, let’s try, maybe because thousands of directors disagree with you. Just maybe……what you see as “mediocity” many other professionals see as audaciousness. But heck, what would they know. If these people thought his work was mediocre as you propose why pray tell would they be voting for him?

  • brendon

    Because mediocre (and outright bad) filmmakers need someone to look up to?

  • Oh I get it. It’s the old ‘everyone is stupid’ and ‘I’m smart’ mentality when you don’t get your way.

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