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Best Director: The Case for Steve McQueen

[The Case For is an annual series – we’re starting with Best Director  this is not an advertorial]

Someone on Twitter asked me recently why I so strongly believed that Best Director needed to be tied to Best Picture.  After all, she argued, they really are two separate things. The producers receive the award for Best Picture and the director gets his/her own award. Who gets to take credit for the vision? Sometimes the producer, sometimes the director and sometimes even the actor is most responsible at the center of it all.

I suppose one reason I link director and picture is because since the early part of my life, before my dreams died, I wanted to be a filmmaker and in that dream I was an auteur — a writer/director.   My appreciation of filmmaking has always resided with the director’s vision.  Always.  My heroes were Coppola, Scorsese, Hitchcock, Bigelow, Campion, Kubrick, Capra, Woody Allen and on and on it goes. The director led the way, always, in interpreting the story and devising film language to convey meaning.  That is simply my own prejudice coloring my opinion about how the Oscars should be run.  This is what bothered me most about last year’s choice for Argo.  To have omitted the need for a directing nomination seemed, to me, the end of everything I knew or cared about with the Oscars.  How could they not start with director?

Steve McQueen began his career by being put in a class for laborers at his high school.  Dyslexic, with a lazy eye, and quite obviously black, McQueen was prejudged by the school as someone who would never accomplish anything more than construction work. Maybe he could have been a plumber.  McQueen chafed against their low expectations of what he might achieve in life and headed, instead, towards art.  He would eventually find himself an import at NYU, the former launching pad of Martin Scorsese, Joel Coen and Spike Lee.  But McQueen found the academic instruction also too stifling. “They wouldn’t let me throw my camera up in the air,” he’d said.  McQueen was determined that his vision be a unique one.  He accomplished that with Hunger, and again with Shame, not playing by the predetermined rules of cinema but reinventing the form, disturbingly at times, playfully at other times.  Even now, people don’t quite know what to do with Steve McQueen. He doesn’t fit the accustomed manner in which black directors are marginalized here in America — mostly given a condescending slap on the back for a job (almost) well done. He doesn’t fit in the way we romanticize directors from other countries either.  Even his name, Steve McQueen, makes us think of the actor from the 1960s.

To dismiss 12 Years a Slave for the false narrative that all it says is “slavery is bad” is to miss what the film really is about, or at least partly about: the story of the women Solomon Northup encounters, the women he’s ripped apart from, the women he tries to protect but cannot. It is one of the most beautiful, suffocating things about McQueen’s film, and in other films he’s made. From the beginning of 12 Years a Slave, when Northup turns to meet a woman who’s reaching out to him sexually, to his playing the fiddle in order to bring a trace of calm to the room as a mother pleads in vain to prevent being separate from her children forever.  It is about his trying to protect Patsy but ending up being in exactly the wrong position to protect her. Instead, he is forced into whipping her, a scene simplistically seen by many as “torture porn” — one of the most disappointing and ill-conceived notions about Oscar season 2013.   That scene is pivotal because it requires Solomon to do that which many were forced to do, of course, whip their own sisters because they were ordered to do so. But it is more than that — to Solomon it’s the ultimate punishment.  So far, he’s been able to keep his mind free of enslavement, outwardly projecting his resignation to being a slave while inwardly holding his dignity in reserve. But in being made to participate in the degradation, he is forced to let it all inside his head, to feel it corrupt his own value system, and to thwart his ability to protect women.  In another film (a fictional one) Solomon might not be afforded this fundamental flaw, he would be the hero — he would have been able to spare Patsy that punishment, to bring her with him on his road back to freedom. But the reality was that he must abandon her, with her cries and her pleading, like so many other women he was forced to leave behind. That is the breathtaking thing about the final scenes of 12 Years a Slave — it wasn’t so much the catharsis of seeing Solomon Northup escape — it was just as much about the enduring soul-scorching torment of those left behind.  Northup had no power because he wasn’t even considered a human being.

McQueen was never going to believe the high-school lie that he would only ever amount to a day laborer. Likewise, he would  never have conformed to anyone else’s idea of what kind of artist he was going to be. What a remarkable thing, then, to look at his film’s subject — someone who had no such choices, even as a free man. Though prejudged by the color of his skin, McQueen lives in a world, and in a country, that has unlocked those doors. It is his choice, and his entitlement, to walk through them.

That Steve McQueen might break the long-standing history of America’s own closed doors to black filmmakers is ironic.  In 86 years of Oscar history, only two black directors have ever even been nominated  — and only one of them had a corresponding Best Picture nomination.  McQueen has already become the first black producer to win the Producers Guild award, the first to win the Golden Globe and the Critics Choice. Many believe he will also win the Oscar, alongside fellow producer Brad Pitt.  That he could also perhaps win Best Director seems almost inconceivable.  Though they omitted the director from last year’s Best Picture win, there is no doubt that in Hollywood if you win Best Director you hold a power position, even it only lasts for a year or two. That is a luxury never afforded to any black director, not even Spike Lee.

The scenes that linger from 12 Years a Slave are not pretty ones. You often hear people say that it is good but they can’t sit through it again. It is too hard, it is too painful. We don’t go to the movies to bear witness to such horrors.  Is it that we can’t really look at the sickening foundation the United States, and other countries, were built on? After all, Spielberg’s Schindler’s List isn’t a walk in the park either but we can always say — we were never Nazis.   To look fully and completely at 12 Years a Slave is to look ourselves as a nation. Who we once were, who we still remain in many ways, in some regions, the ugly truth we never really wanted to fully own in Hollywood. For decades, Gone with the Wind was the last word on slavery when it comes to voting for Best Picture. The heart wants it wants and it rarely wants to love something so ugly.

McQueen’s painterly vision imprints his shots so vividly in the mind’s eye they are unshakable. Patsy, with her bruised eye, staring vacantly outward, the vibrant young girl drained slowly from her. Solomon’s eerie walk to the market, alone but collared, surrounded by what looks like the natural world. But McQueen constantly reminds us how unnatural that world was because as Solomon makes his way through the weedy marsh he comes upon a lynching, a private, sickening scene where his collar becomes his only identification, his only escape.  Patsy laid back as Epps violates her, as he’s done so many times, probably starting at a very early age, a sexual need that so closely aligned with violence Patsy may never know the pleasures of real sex, born out of love and desire, as the woman in the opening scene does.  McQueen defines the perverse nature of nature in that one scene — the need is too great, the violence is unbearable, they are human, they are inhuman, they must be destroyed, they can’t be destroyed.

At the beginning, just the waves in the water in the wake of the slave ship. At the beginning, the blood from the berry that Solomon will use to write a crude letter to help him escape. The life of a free black man, one day walking around truly free, buying groceries with his family, being treated equally — contrasted with the life of a slave who notices him, follows him into the store and is snapped back by his master. The two worlds spilling over each other hints at Solomon’s fate. The Disney bright colors are deceptive. When we move into Georgia everything seems more natural. The free Solomon Northup was the surreal rarity in mid-19th-century America. The enslaved Solomon Northup very much more the norm.  This message is transmitted with color, light and costumes — sewn together magnificently by a man who still has the luxury of viewing film as art, not as a commodity, not as fantasy fodder for numb Americans who are always on the hunt for a way out of the doldrums of ordinary life.

McQueen is not interested in fantasy. He’s into exposing the raw nature of human beings — that rawness he brings to scenes that sets all five senses alight. We can smell the sweat. We can taste the tears.  The spectrum of the human experience, not just the slave and master experience, vibrates throughout 12 Years a Slave, pain and heartache, jealousy and obsession, ownership and sadism. We don’t get off light here, but we are fully immersed in the reality of nothing less than the most shameful time in American history.  Worse, our country was built on it. We wouldn’t have become the empire we are today without slavery. And yet, and yet.  We want to escape this, somehow.  Even if 12 Years a Slave manages to win Best Picture as some pundits are predicting, that flies in the face of what we know about Oscar voters now.

The last film to win on a preferential ballot that didn’t celebrate the central white male figure was The Hurt Locker. In it, Kathryn Bigelow dared to tell the story from the point of a view of a war machine, a man addicted to the thrill of war. The movie made no money yet she made history by becoming the first woman to direct a film that won Best Director and Best Picture that did not illustrate how great America is, and how awesome we are as human beings. No, it was afforded the luxury of being truthful.

But since then, The King’s Speech, The Artist and Argo all revolve around a man who makes good just when you thought the world was counting him out.  Solomon Northup can’t be that guy.  The color of skin and the era when he lived prevent that very scenario from playing out. He would have to find the one white man who would begrudgingly help him, knowing how dangerous that might be.  Our Oscar voters can’t relate to that so much.  They need to believe that we are all good at heart, that this really didn’t happen and if it did happen it happened a long time ago. We’ve paid for it. We’ve suffered for it. It’s over.  But is it?

McQueen the painter has made a film so beautiful it almost hurts to look at it.  McQueen the director has told a story, the story of an American hero, one that has been all too long uncelebrated. There are many of these buried heroes waiting to be uncovered.   McQueen the man expressed the frustration and sorrow of the fundamental role of man as protector inflicting such horrific crimes upon women.  McQueen is the first to really go there where sex slavery was concerned. Perhaps it is not something we think of when we think of slavery. But for women, controlling their own bodies has been and remains an ongoing battle for power.

There isn’t a more worthy film than 12 Years a Slave to win Best Picture of 2013.  For all of the reasons the Oscars were invented it deserves the honor. For all of the ways Oscar has given itself over much too easily to films that depict our idealized selves, it deserves it. For the beauty of McQueen’s eye on a world most of us want to disappear, for the cries and whispers of those who are gone and buried with no markers, for the nameless, the captured, the murdered, the dead it deserves it.  Maybe something as trivial as winning an Oscar won’t change the past, the present or the future, but if statues are the stuff that dreams are made of, sweet dreams are made of this.

45 Comments on this Post

  1. Rotwinsky

    Passionate article..Please do a similar piece on Cuaron’s visionary work in Gravity

  2. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Passionate article..Please do a similar piece on Cuaron’s visionary work in Gravity

    I will be doing all five.

  3. Rotwinsky

    Thanks SASHA !!

  4. So far, he’s been able to keep his mind free of enslavement, outwardly projecting his resignation to being a slave while inwardly holding his dignity in reserve. But in being made to participate in the degradation, he is forced to let it all inside his head, to feel it corrupt his own value system, and to thwart his ability to protect women… That is the breathtaking thing about the final scenes of 12 Years a Slave — it wasn’t so much the catharsis of seeing Solomon Northup escape — it was just as much about the enduring soul-scorching torment of those left behind.

    What an incisive reading of the film, and very eloquently put. This was what I took away from 12 Years a Slave most: that it is not merely a narrow, personal story, but a universal story. It was Chiwetel Ejiofor’s sorrowful stare down the lens of the camera that brought it back to me. I’m a white Irish boy, more likely to be descended from servants and/or victims of oppression than from slave owners, yet that moment reminded me that this was not just Solomon Northup’s pain and it was not just white America’s problem. It was humanity’s problem.

    And about the ending – for me, there was no catharsis. There was a sense of enormous relief, that Solomon’s enslavement was finally at its expected end. But indeed it was expected, as the title (and my knowledge of the details of the true story) had informed me. And my knowledge of the future for black America, including the Northup family and those left behind on Epps’ plantation, heavily tempered the relief. When Solomon embraces his wife and children in the film’s last scene, the tone mournful, the actors’ faces obscured, it’s anything but a positive, upbeat ending. It’s as harrowing as anything else in the film.

  5. This is one of your most eloquent pieces, Sasha.

  6. Thank you for bringing up McQueen’s “painterly sensibilities”. It’s gorgeous. My mind keeps going back to that overhead shot of the slaves in that wagon just before they are to be filed onto the ship. I loved the way McQueen contrasted the steely gray of the wooden wagon with the vibrant blue and orange of the women’s dresses. Also, I know I’ve brought it up before, but the title card is just gorgeous. It’s so dorky to obsese title cards, but I think they’re really important to a film, and “12 Year a Slave’s” might be the best title card I’ve seen since “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”

  7. John Oliver

    What a beautiful piece, Sasha, no one could have said it better.

  8. What a beautiful and poignant piece. Sasha, you are truly right on the mark of sincerity and urgency. I would love nothing more than for 12 Years a Slave to win best picture and for Steve to win best director. It’s the academy’s duty to award this film.

  9. Now if only all AMPAS members read this…

  10. Fantastic piece, Sasha. I particularly love your points regarding the effect of Solomon’s plight on the women in his life. And it does it quietly, without “look at me” fanfare that the Academy and most others usually fall far. Movies that show, rather than tell, are often the best to my sensibilities. Brokeback Mountain did the same thing, briliantly showing how women are adversely affected by people being in the closet and homophobia. I sure hope 12 Years doesn’t suffer the same fate at the hands of the homophobic Academy that Brokeback did. Their record on racism ain’t that hot, from the snubbing of Hallelujah! thru Do the Right Thing, but maybe they’ll finally “do their duty”, as Johnny R said.

    P.S. McQueen is just as visionary a director as the great Alfonso Cuaron. It sure isn’t easy pulling off what McQueen did in 12 Years, as well as his unique renderings of Shame and especially Hunger. But again, flash tends to win the day at these things, unfortunately. And prejudice, even more unfortunately. I don’t watch the Oscars, frankly they are more than a joke, they are disgrace, but if McQueen does win, I’ll be sure to youtube the moment!

  11. Well done, Sasha. It’s not often a moment of pure hope, pure survival is then 180’d to pure sorrow. I felt so happy that Northup was discovered for the man he is, and then we see Patsy. You’re right, this isn’t a fantasy. A fantasy would’ve had Northup ask the Canadian to help Patsy too and she would be free. But the reality was that the man, whom Bass called upon, came for Northup and only Northup and the sad, sad fact was that, by law, Patsy was owned by Epps. The reality meant that Patsy had to stay. I felt like the story wouldn’t be finished, what became of Patsy? Maybe nobody knows and that’s the most heartbreaking thing about the movie.

  12. Bob Burns

    needed saying. well said.

    12 years should win because it is excellent and righteous. Comparison with Hurt Locker is the highest praise.

  13. byron e. gray

    I am certainty a 12 Years a Slave supporter but I would hope academy members would vote for McQueen based on his achievement not the colour of his skin. He doesn’t need the race card to win. He is currently one of the most distinguished directors currently on the scene. And Slave doesn’t need white guilt to plug for votes. It’s an achievement that can stand on its own merits.

  14. brainypirate

    Thanks for reminding me of some of the details I had lost sight of in all the talk about the film’s violence. Reading this essay, I realized how much more thematically ambitious 12YAS is from the other front-runner. Which to me makes all the difference in which film should be seen as Best.

  15. SallyinChicago

    Wonderful, just wonderful. Even if 12 Yrs doesn’t win a damn thing at oscar (it could happen you know), McQueen has made his mark. And it’s a pretty big one.

    Would anyone know if his paintings are online to view?

  16. Sally, did Steve McQueen ever do any paintings?

  17. Paddy, I thought I heard he did. I first heard something like that when Hunger came out.

  18. Alex Brando

    I salute the passion, Sasha, 12 Years a Slave truly deserves to be fought for! Also, not to forget that, in addition to the protection of women, 12 Years illustrates greatly through Fassbender’s character that all suffered at this period, even if some more internally. It showed the corruption of human soul in action, how an ideology and power relation can directly bend the moral of people and turn them into something even they, having become to love their evil deeds, hate to their bones. The levels this movie works on is just unbelievable.

  19. Sean Troutman

    I really hope McQueen wins. I am of the opinion that it is certainly possible to separate Best Picture and Best Director, having done it last year when I thought Silver Linings Playbook should have won Picture and Michael Haneke should have won Director. But this year is different. While I’ll admit that Cuaron is a fabulous choice, I truly believe McQueen deserves it. However difficult it was for Cuaron to bring Gravity to the screen, it must have been ten times harder for McQueen to make 12 Years a Slave.

  20. Bryce Forestieri

    I keep forgetting Alexander Payne was nominated. I liked one of his films (a lot) for the first time in a very long time (since ELECTION), but still so removed from what I’d consider a “Best Director” nominee.

    McQueen will easily win the Oscar. Cuaron day will come eventually. Win win situation.

  21. Cuaron is the best director of the year. He deserves to win.

  22. Beautiful piece, Sasha.

    I wholeheartedly relate to this part:

    “I suppose one reason I link director and picture is because since the early part of my life, before my dreams died, I wanted to be a filmmaker and in that dream I was an auteur — a writer/director. My appreciation of filmmaking has always resided with the director’s vision. Always. […] The director led the way, always, in interpreting the story and devising film language to convey meaning.”

    I’ve always believed this, even if I’m betting on a split. But I believe too, or at least it seems to me, that Steve McQueen, for the little we know about him, won’t be so disappointed if he wins the BP and not the BD. I hope so. Saying that 12YAS is the best film with an Oscar win, to me, is the recognition of his vision. The vision he, with the help of many others, put on the screen. Not to mention that, if a BP Oscar represents a win for the producer, although he doesn’t carry the brand “Brad Pitt”, he is one of the producers too. Is a win-win situation from where I’m sitting. And if not this time, maybe a BD won’t be too far away.

  23. Al Robinson

    Sidenote,

    Bryce,

    Did you happen to get caught up in all that traffic jam in the Raleigh, Durham area?

  24. Bryce Forestieri

    Al,

    Freaking took me 2.5 hours to get home from work, an otherwise 20 min trip.

  25. Al Robinson

    DAMN!! I’m sorry that happened to you Bryce. :-(

    Fucking snow and ice!!

    Is it May yet??

  26. Sally and Paddy
    I’ve looked but have never been able to find any “paintings” by him, as such.

    Any comments I read said that he found the standard art schools restricting and moved to photographic or moving images, complaining that the schools wouldn’t let him throw a camera in the air. (Looks like gravity is an old foe)

    Two good sites are an interview that shows some non-narrative art and an exhibit of his work at the Art Inst. of Chicago.

    http://www.walkerart.org/magazine/2013/steve-mcqueen-i-want-be-useful

    http://www.artic.edu/exhibition/steve-mcqueen

    also what he did for the British pavilion at the Venice Art Biennale 09
    http://www.designboom.com/art/steve-mcqueen-british-pavilion-venice-art-biennale-09/

  27. ObamaWins

    Corvo, just give it a rest.

  28. Sasha, I just want to give you a little pep talk, the same pep talk I give myself in the off-chance that McQueen doesnt win an Oscar this year and/or 12YAS doesnt win Best Picture.

    1)In years past, how many amazing movies went home without a Best Picture win?
    2) how many amazing movies went home empty handed?
    3) how many amazing movies werent even NOMINATED for a single Oscar?
    4) before this past Sept/August ….. Many people didnt know or care about Steve McQueen, and now hes a FORCE, whether or not he wins.
    5) who would have thought 6 months ago that Steve McQueen would even BE nominated for 2 Oscars, no less a chance to win one.
    6) everyone now knows about McQueen, his prior films, and this movie right now. Theyve seen it, or theyve heard about it, or they will see it eventually.
    7) critics LOVE the movie. Critics went apeshit, actually.
    8) Most audiences wept through it,
    9) SAG, GG, BFCA, BAFTA … All admired or loved it.
    10) 9 different branches in the Academy acknowledged this film.
    11) it could win anywhere from 1-4 Oscars maybe even 5. And if it doesnt, it wont be a travesty.
    12) it has given Michael Fassbender his first Academy Award nomination; and in an iconic role, to boot.
    13) it could be Brad Pitt’s first Oscar win.
    14) the movie has introduced the world to the beautiful, talented Lupita Nyongo. Simply amazing.
    15) if it doesnt happen to win a couple of the biggees on Oscar night, realize that significant portions of the Academy will have voted for it.
    16) and dont forget that this film is going up against a host of wonderful films this year. The competition is stiff, for sure.
    17) know that this films success (critical, box office, recognition of talent, Oscar noms, possible wins) is a great, great thing; whether or not it doesnt receive the majority vote in most of its 9 categories.
    18) I could go on and on with positives.

    Celebrate 12YAS and not its potential losses. Its a winner. :)

    This film is just one of many amazing films for 2013. Hope this post made you and other 12YAS supporters feel good. :)

  29. Great piece,Sasha! If 12 Years does win BP, it would also mean that the best reviewed film of the year wins the Oscar,something that rarely happens as we all know. In fact, 12 Years is the 2nd best reviewed film since 2000. Only Pan’s Labrynth is higher on MC at 98.

  30. unlikely hood

    well said, a real pleasure to read

  31. Carlos F.

    Loved this piece! And I’m not giving up on McQueen for the directing win.

  32. I see 12YAS as similiar to the Hurt Locker. Both critical juggernauts that storm their way to Best Picture, but sort of fading in the conscience of America as the years go by. The problem is ust that not too many people watched these movies, and these aren’t the type of movies to gain cult following after they leave the theaters.
    12YAS is a masterpiece (unlike Hurt Locker which I found supremely overrated), it’s going to win Best Picture, but Best Director rightfully should go to Cuaron this year. I can’t wait for Sasha’s piece on him.

  33. Are You Kidding?

    The Hurt Locker is no 12 Years a Slave. I really enjoyed Bigelow’s film, but what McQueen did with 12 Years a Slave is beyond that comparison.

    Side note: I was thoroughly satisfied with Bigelow beating that hack Cameron for Best Director/Picture. Reflecting back, I still cannot believe that there was even a debate between both films. Go back and watch The Hurt Locker and Avatar. It’s an utter joke that Avatar was the “main” competition. The film did not age well; trust repeated viewings.

    I really loved Gravity. After Children of Men, Cuaron really brought it with this feature. I really have no problem if Gravity takes Picture and Director, but dammit 12 Years a Slave was the best film I saw in 2013. Then again, this is the same Academy that denied Michael Fassbender a Best Actor nomination for Shame. I mean…really. He should have won that year. So Sasha and I shouldn’t be surprised that the circuit has gone the way it has. It’s ok, though. Look on the bright side; the films that were nominated this year were all quality.

  34. If you want to see McQueen’s direction, watch his previous movie called Shame, not 12 Years a Slave.

  35. John, in all honesty I think about everyone on this site predicted McQueen would have 2 Oscar nominations 6 months ago. Most of us knew it before summer started and the movie wasn’t even released yet.

  36. Ok, then. I didnt think it was a so much a sure thing because of the relatively AMPAS-unknown director, actors involved, and challenging source material.

  37. @Are you Kidding – “I really loved Gravity. After Children of Men, Cuaron really brought it with this feature. I really have no problem if Gravity takes Picture and Director, but dammit 12 Years a Slave was the best film I saw in 2013. Then again, this is the same Academy that denied Michael Fassbender a Best Actor nomination for Shame. I mean…really. He should have won that year. So Sasha and I shouldn’t be surprised that the circuit has gone the way it has. It’s ok, though. Look on the bright side; the films that were nominated this year were all quality.”

    I share your sentiments. Back in 2006ish, when I was actively posting at Gold Derby, I was one of the main cheerleaders for Cuaron getting Best Director – I loved Children of Men that much. I will not be upset if Alfonso won best director for Gravity. He has consistently proven to be an outstanding and reliable director. But my heart strongly supports Steve McQueen because he did for 12YAS what NO OTHER director could do, dared to do, or wanted to do. No one wanted to touch the topic of slavery, seriously, on the level that McQueen did. My concerns for him to win director is the blatant, calculated even, snubs of music score and cinematography. I mean, really? What the fuck is that all about?

    In regards to your comments about Michael Fassbender’s snub for Shame… it still stands out as the most disgusting, deliberate snub of an actor. All because he was nude, male frontal nudity. So damn disgusting to this very day. When Michael wins the BAFTA this Sunday, while Oscar ballots are still in people’s hands, I hope they remember his work in Hunger and Shame, and watch 12YAS and see what a fine actor he is and deserving of the Oscar. Screw the empathy factor of a lovable character, what about the process of the performance itself? It’s not easy playing a nasty evil character.

  38. We are in 2014 and we are still talking about nudity in cinema and how that affects an actor’s career. Embarrassing.

  39. Bryce Forestieri

    You can put it on writing, I’m changing my prediction. Best Director will go to David O. Russell. He’s killing it out there and many (MANY) more people have come to *love* him in the course of the last several weeks. McQueen and Cuaron will split the [whatever you wanna call it] vote while Russell’s base is steadily growing and they *don’t* change their minds. Call it the surprise of the night. 12 YEARS will win Best Picture with AMERICAN HUSTLE as possible spoiler. GRAVITY is out and might only win 3-4 Oscars.

  40. Bryce, do you have a fever? ;-)

  41. filmchick

    This. This. THIIIIISSSSS!!!! OMG THIS!!!

    Sasha, I think you plugged into my brain when you wrote this piece. Well done!

  42. Bryce, I love how you guard your favorites by vocalizing the worst possible scenario. My partner does the same thing, sometimes to the point where I have to lock him in the garage.

    It’ll all be over soon.

  43. “Best Director will go to David O. Russell. He’s killing it out there and many (MANY) more people have come to *love* him in the course of the last several weeks.”

    Wait. What happened?

  44. Claudiu Dobre

    “This is one of your most eloquent pieces, Sasha.”

    This.

    And I really hope your prediction (BP+BD for 12 Years) comes true this year, even though you don’t believe in it too much… I think it’ll be a split (12 Years & Cuaron or, possibly, AH & Cuaron), like most, it’s a known fact, but I definitely would be very happy to be wrong about that if your current (official) prediction did, indeed, come true!

    “The Hurt Locker is no 12 Years a Slave. I really enjoyed Bigelow’s film, but what McQueen did with 12 Years a Slave is beyond that comparison.”

    Agreed. The Hurt Locker is a very good film – even great, in places -, but 12 Years a Slave is a complete masterpiece.

    “Bryce, do you have a fever? ;-)”

    Exactly! :) Though his scenario, however unlikely, is still possible…

  45. Disney17

    Dumbest article ever!

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