Oscar Predictions 2015: Wide Open Best Director Race, or Is It?

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One of the most slippery categories, alongside Best Picture, is Best Director this year. There is really no precedent to what we’ve been seeing at all. While on the face of it, the circumstances look like 2012 all over again, where the consensus was rejected by Academy voters, swapping out the popular choices, Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck with Michael Haneke and Benh Zeitlin, indeed, the DGA itself broke with consensus by inserting Clint Eastwood (American Sniper) and Morton Tyldum (Imitation Game) for David Fincher (Gone Girl) and Ava DuVernay (Selma).

Here are a few things to look at. Only recently, since 2012, did the Academy push its date back to announce Oscar nominees before the DGA announced.  It was previously easier for the Oscar voters to rely on what the DGA said, especially if they really had no clue where the race was headed — or whether they even saw the movies up for contention. “Go with the DGA’s picks, it’s easier.” Also, that thing about humans wanting to be on the winning side? That comes into play big time with larger consensus votes.

In 2012 all hell broke loose with Affleck being shut out. Bigelow, it was silently accepted, “deserved” the diss because she made a movie “advocating torture.” But Affleck? He was just this nice guy making a fun movie that everybody liked. Why did he get shut out? Those mean old Academy members! And so it went.

But cut to: 2013, the following year, LAST year, there wasn’t much of a disconnect between the DGA and the Academy, even with the dates swapped. But last year, unlike this year, there was a clearer consensus. There were a handful of really strong films with popular directors – everyone was mostly in sync, give or take a Paul Greengrass.  Last year, Alexander Payne and Paul Greengrass duked it out.

But in the years since 2011, all the directors who got both Globes and Critics Choice nominations also got Oscar nominations for Best Director. Why?

Because the super-early ballot deadline happened before the Golden Globes, before the surge of a late breaking film. A lot longer ago than the race right now “feels like.”

The David Fincher Factor

He can’t really win with them, as you’ve all seen if you’ve been following this site. Any director with a movie as successful, critically acclaimed and talked about as Gone Girl, in any other era of the Academy’s history, would be in for so many reasons. Any Academy in the past would appreciate a director who makes an adult film that does that well. Only difference here? The woman factor. A movie written by a woman, starring lots of women, aimed primarily at women. Even the really great “Gone Girl honest trailer” proves what it is (straight) men can’t get around with Gone Girl: that he stays. Why can’t they get around it? Because 1) men hate to admit that they are easily pussy-whipped, and certainly don’t want to see that on screen. 2) They are used to having their cake and eating it too (Fatal Attraction) and 3) We are conditioned to see women like that get punished.  This all has to be factored in when predicting this category – because otherwise, looking at the stats, Fincher would be in.

The Globes + Critics Choice Factor

Like Fincher, Ava DuVernay received the Critics Choice and the Golden Globes honor for Director. Only one director since 2011 has not gotten in for Oscar with those indicators and it was Paul Greengrass for Captain Phillips.  But Greengrass also had the DGA, making it even more surreal that he didn’t get in. If you go back to the beginning of the Critics Choice you only have one year, 2007, when two directors were nominated for both significant precursors and did not make either the DGA or Oscar and that was Tim Burton for Sweeney Todd and Joe Wright for Atonement. For whatever reason, they were replaced by the DGA for the more male-centric Paul Thomas Anderson for There Will Be Blood and Tony Gilroy for Michael Clayton, both of those ended up heading for the Oscars.  Clint Eastwood was nominated for Invictus by both groups but was replaced by Quentin Tarantino for Inglorious Basterds.

In 2006, the year before, Clint Eastwood for Letters from Iwo Jima and Paul Greengrass for United 93 both skipped DGA and got Oscar nominations.

The Macho Macho Man Factor

The directors are mostly straight white and male, let’s face it. You can’t get around that. Give them a war movie, a shoot ’em up, anything with violence — think GI Joe toys. This hurts both Selma (woman director) and Gone Girl (all womany up and down it).  ON THE OTHER HAND, in 2012 they picked Beasts of the Southern Wild and Amour – hardly MACHO MACHO MAN stuff. Are the times changing? I don’t know.

Let’s look at our locks:

Richard Linklater for Boyhood
Alejandro G. Inarritu for Birdman
Wes Anderson for the Grand Budapest Hotel

Next, you have four names that could be selected:

Ava DuVernay, Selma
David Fincher, Gone Girl
Clint Eastwood, American Sniper
Morton Tyldum, The Imitation Game

Next, factor in the BAFTA’s choice of Damien Chazelle for Whiplash.

The BAFTA did not choose Morton Tyldum for The Imitation Game, which is awfully strange, for it being a British film and all.  That seems fairly significant to me, enough that I personally am going to predict Chazelle in for Tyldum. ON THE OTHER HAND… Tyldum has the DGA, which is also significant and would be more important IF the DGA had announced before Oscar ballots were turned in.

That leaves my own list with four so far:

Richard Linklater for Boyhood
Alejandro G. Inarritu for Birdman
Wes Anderson for the Grand Budapest Hotel
Damien Chazelle, Whiplash

That leaves one spot left. It’s the wild card slot and it could be filled with just about anyone, including Dan Gilroy for Nightcrawler.

Gold Derby says:

gddirectorThe Gurus say:

gurusdirectorVulture’s Kyle Buchanan says:

Linklater
Inarritu
Anderson
Tyldum
Chazelle

Hitfix Guys:

Kris Tapley predicts:
Clint Eastwood, “American Sniper”
Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”
Alejandro González Iñárritu, “Birdman”
Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Morten Tyldum, “The Imitation Game”

Gregory Ellwood predicts:
Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”
Alejandro González Iñárritu, “Birdman”
Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Ava DuVernay, “Selma”
Damian Chazelle, “Whiplash”

Scott Feinberg predicts:

Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”
Alejandro González Iñárritu, “Birdman”
Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Morton Tyldum, Imitation Game
Damian Chazelle, “Whiplash”

I see many different options here with many chances to be wrong. The safest bet is probably Kris Tapley’s above. He’s going 5/5 with the DGA. I don’t think that’s going to happen – it’s incredibly rare and hasn’t happened since the Oscars changed its date to turn in ballots before the DGA announced. So I don’t think it’s going to work – I do think the BAFTA’s decision to count Chazelle does matter.

My final predictions are:

Richard Linklater for Boyhood
Alejandro G. Inarritu for Birdman
Wes Anderson for the Grand Budapest Hotel
David Fincher, Gone Girl
Damien Chazelle, Whiplash
My sixth choice is Clint Eastwood for American Sniper.
But watch out for: Dan Gilroy for Nightcrawler
Hope is the thing with feathers: Ava DuVernay for Selma
Same old song: Morton Tyldum, Imitation Game

The reason I doubt he’ll be included in the Oscar’s lineup is the date. American Sniper’s surge came later and surprisingly – with not enough momentum to gather steam. On the other hand, that the screeners alone were enough to get it in the for the Eddie makes a huge difference here. Morton Tyldum didn’t get in for BAFTA, and that makes me think he won’t get in for Oscar either. Take it all with a grain of salt – as always, follow the better predictors like Scott Feinberg and Hitfix for your office pool.

The only reason I don’t think Ava DuVernay will get in is because the straight white males seemed personally offended by the LBJ controversy that was hitting its peak during voting. It rallied and came back from that but I fear it was too late – I also think this might mean it misses out on a Best Picture nod but I’m not going to take that chance.

My full predictions coming later today.

 

 

42 comments

  1. Liz 7 months ago

    Her’s hoping that’s the director nominees. That would be a wonderful lineup. Although I’m pulling for DuVernay as well.

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  2. Bob Burns 7 months ago

    I like you reasoning better, but:

    4. Clint Eastwood, American Sniper, because Warner
    5. Morton Tyldum, The Imitation Game, because Harvey

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  3. CB 7 months ago

    Hope your prediction slate is right, Sasha! 😉

    I think that if 2012 can be used as precedent (why not?) then it shows that in weaker years upstart directors get surprising play, like Ben(h) Zeitlin for Instagram: The Movie. I think Chazelle gets in (Whiplash is so good! Have to believe anyone who sees it can’t ignore him).

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  4. Birdienest81 7 months ago

    I noticed that the last three Best Picture winners that were distributed by one the Big Six movie studios (not including indie/specialty wings like Fox Searchlight or Paramount Vantage) all came from Warner Bros: Million Dollar Baby, The Departed, and Argo. WB is the big studio equivalent of Harvey Weinstein, perhaps? Not saying that American Sniper will win the big one, though.

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  5. Marcus Perriello 7 months ago

    I can pretty much say that we can expect a new winner this year. 2015 will see a Best Director field of first-timers either 4 out of 5, or 5 in all. Here’s how I see the field unfolding tomorrow:

    Clint Eastwood “American Sniper”
    Richard Linklater “Boyhood”
    Alejandro G. Inarritu “Birdman”
    David Fincher “Gone Girl”
    Ava DuVernay “Selma”

    Lately, the Academy has been on a history-making streak with a greater diversity of nominees than ever before. This is why I picked DuVernay to fill the 5th slot. Also, we all know that the Academy just can’t resist the opportunity to spoil Mr. Eastwood. He gets nominated for just about every movie he makes…well, maybe 7 out of 10. But anyway, I would say the odds are in Richard Linklater’s favor. The fact that he took 12 years to make a film using the same cast from start to finish shows the incredible commitment and work ethic he has as a director. Sure, Ava DuVerany would make history by getting nominated here, but again, she would just be a space-filler…unless the Academy felt that another political statement was necessary. Wes Anderson could sneak in here as well, but I think he has a much better chance in the Best Original Screenplay category. So, my pick to win so far: Richard Linklater “Boyhood”

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  6. Dean 7 months ago

    DuVernay out not because she is a woman or because she is black or because politics but because the movies isn’t really that good…,

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  7. Sasha Stone 7 months ago

    I like you reasoning better, but:

    4. Clint Eastwood, American Sniper, because Warner
    5. Morton Tyldum, The Imitation Game, because Harvey

    Right, Bob – I just don’t see matching 5/5 in such a weird year with ballots being turned in before DGA announcement. Also Tyldum not getting a BAFTA nod seems important to me – maybe it’s nothing.

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  8. Sasha Stone 7 months ago

    DuVernay out not because she is a woman or because she is black or because politics but because the movies isn’t really that good…,

    Right so all of the critics are just wrong? You do have a working brain, yes?

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  9. Kyle 7 months ago

    “We are conditioned to see women like that punished. This all has to be factored in when predicting this category – because otherwise, looking at the stats, Fincher would be in.”

    I’m a huge fan of this blog, feminism and David Fincher, however isn’t it possible that there are other factors at play in his DGA-omission other than anti-feminism? Are there really objective “stats” that indicate who should be nominated? Couldn’t subjective, untrackable influences factor in like say, voters not liking Fincher, or voters making selections based on careers rather than individual films?

    My take on the DGA nominees which I think the Oscars will repeat with the exception of Morten Tyldum are this:
    Linklater and Inarritu are obvious choices with career best films
    Anderson is a career-based nomination on a film that happens to be one of his most accessible
    Tyldum is rewarding a newer talent for a great film
    Eastwood is rewarding a veteran talent for a … film? (I haven’t seen it yet)

    Fincher is neither a fresh nor a seasoned veteran with not his best film so…
    I can’t speak for DuVernay because I haven’t seen Selma yet however I predict she’ll take Tyldum’s spot for the Oscars.
    On a separate note, does anyone else think “Into the Woods” could still ninja its way into the BP race even without the SAG?

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  10. Corvo 7 months ago

    “Any director with a movie as successful, critically acclaimed and talked about as Gone Girl, in any era of the Academy’s history, would be in for so many reasons.”

    Save Nolan for Inception. Far more successful than Gone Girl. And no “woman factor” there.

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  11. Ryan Adams 7 months ago

    Clint Eastwood was nominated for Invictus by both groups but was replaced by Quentin Tarantino for Inglorious Basterds.

    Among Academy steak-eaters, two factions: steak-eaters who like their meat over-cooked and dessicated, and steak-eaters who like the meat under-cooked and oozing blood.

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  12. Chris 7 months ago

    Currently predicting Ava DuVernay to have the first lone director nomination since the change in the best picture nominations. I don’t see the support for the film, but I think the chance to nominate a woman of color for the first time won’t be passed up.

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  13. Fabinho Flapp 7 months ago

    My predictions:

    Clint Eastwood, “American Sniper”
    Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”
    Alejandro González Iñárritu, “Birdman”
    Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
    Morten Tyldum, “The Imitation Game”

    But, being Linklater and Iñárritu safe, if I could I’d chande one of others for Xavier Dolan for “Mommy”.

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  14. Zach 7 months ago

    ^Shhhhhhhh!!!! Don’t mention reality or offer counter-examples!!!

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  15. Steven Kane 7 months ago

    It’s funny you say in 2007 they went with the male-centric There Will Be Blood and Michael Clayton yet you don’t acknowledge that Captain Phillips was incredibly male-centric and that got snubbed for best director, a macho director like Paul “Green Zone Bourne Phillips” Greengrass.

    “Give them a war movie, a shoot ‘em up, anything with violence — think GI Joe toys.”
    If that’s your reasoning for why American Sniper got in, is that why The Hurt Locker got in then? How did Lone Survivor miss?

    Keep the faith with Selma! it’s easy to be deterred after the DGA nominations but I really feel the passion swelling for this movie. It’s a shame, though, that people I talk to on a regular basis haven’t heard of the title. I’ll ask if they’re interested in seeing Selma. They won’t know what I’m talking about. I’ll say, “MLK Jr.” and they’re like “Ohhhhh yeah.” It’s as if people aren’t connecting the dots with the title.

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  16. Steven Kane 7 months ago

    Dean, have you even watched Selma? I’ll be the first to admit that critical love does not equal me automatically loving a movie too. I might not understand a movie getting such love but I wouldn’t ever say it’s bad because that’s then assuming I know far more than most critics. Selma is a fantastic piece of art.

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  17. Dan Conley 7 months ago

    Keep an eye on Bennett Miller and Mike Leigh. The director’s branch just likes those guys and may find a place for them. Conversely, I’m not convinced that Wes Anderson is a lock. They’ve never nominated him before, why should we assume this year is different? Personally, I think the actors branch has warmed to Wes more than the auteurs. I’ll take a shot at five:

    Linklater, Boyhood
    Inarritu, Birdman
    Eastwood, American Sniper
    Miller, Foxcatcher
    Leigh, Mr. Turner

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  18. Steven Kane 7 months ago

    Dan Conley, the directors branch never nominated Richard Linklater before either. As a matter of fact, Linklater and Anderson have 2 writing Oscar nominations each, so they’re sort of on equal footing as far as history with Oscar goes.

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  19. Liam 7 months ago

    “Gone Girl” is a feminist film? Are we supposed to take that supposition seriously? If Fincher’s film represents feminism, women are in a whole lot of trouble.
    Perhaps “Gone Girl” won’t be recognized because people in the industry recognize if for what it is — a whole lot of hooey. It’s total pulp, pulp done pretty well, I’ll grant that, but let’s not give it more credit than it deserves. Fincher tries too hard to turn every movie he makes into the Great American Movie whether or not the material warrants.

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  20. Aaron 7 months ago

    I honestly don’t care who makes it–Eastwood, DuVernay, Fincher, Miller, Chazelle–as long as Morten Tyldum is replaced. I know that’s wishful thinking, but still. The Imitation Game had many strengths–the acting, production design, costumes–but directing was not one of them. If he’s nominated, it’s obviously because of the sly machinations of Mr. Weinstein.

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  21. Film Fatale 7 months ago

    I think it’s possible that Selma is being hurt by the fact that everyone thinks it is a good movie — hence the high RT score — but fewer seem to think it’s an all-out great one (though it has its passionate supporters). As far as the critics go, it would be irresponsible to not give the film a good review because it is certainly solid through and through. But a 4-star rave may be something different, and while I haven’t looked deeply into individual reviews, many I know who have seen the film have remarked how much they liked it, but I haven’t heard the sort of deep love or the kind of passion that inspires the #1 votes that are needed here to get to the Oscar nod. Myself, I thought it was moving and well-made and beautifully acted. However, something felt a bit traditional about the storytelling and when I think about it in retrospect I’m more reminded of the issue than I am the humans embroiled in it. I’ll be taking another look at it this weekend, but for it was something that inspired respect rather than awe.

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  22. gwynn1984 7 months ago

    I’ve got a Top 15:

    Richard Linklater
    Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
    Wes Anderson
    Morten Tyldum
    Damien Chazelle
    Ava DuVernay
    Clint Eastwood
    James Marsh
    Mike Leigh
    David Fincher
    Pawel Pawlikowski
    Angelina Jolie
    Bennett Miller
    Dan Gilroy
    Jean-Marc Valle

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  23. LCbaseball22 7 months ago

    I think it’s possible that Selma is being hurt by the fact that everyone thinks it is a good movie — hence the high RT score

    This is fundamentally flawed given the fact that the average rating for Selma is 8.7/10 and among “top critics” 9.2/10; on par or exceeeding past Best Pic winners. It also has an 89 Metascore with almost twenty 100 point reviews…

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  24. Alfredo 7 months ago

    Film Fatale…I felt the same way with LINCOLN. A film I really admired and liked quite a bit. It had great acting, costuming, cinematography…but I didn’t love it. I generally think that how most people felt about the film. Now here’s my question to you (and everyone else at AD), how come LINCOLN had no trouble getting it’s nominations yet SELMA is fighting every step for recognition and both films are expertly crafted?

    Why did SELMA have to be amazing in all aspects yet mediocre, run of the mill movies like Theory of Everything and The Imitation game are given the green light all the way to an Oscar nomination for Best Picture??

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  25. LCbaseball22 7 months ago

    Selma is also on the rise on IMDB (currently 7.7/10) as more who actually see the film voice their support with 10’s to offset the clearly trollish or racist 1’s that currently account for 8.3% of the rote

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  26. Jesus Alonso 7 months ago

    So, I tend to agree with Kris… this is what I voted in the predictions contest (which lacked the Song cathegory)…

    Boyhood Picture, Director, Sup. Actor, Sup. Actress, O. Sc., Film Editing – 6
    The Grand Budapest Hotel Picture, Director, O. Scr., Cinematography, Production, Make Up, Costume – 7
    The Imitation Game Picture, Director, Actor, Sup. Actress, A. Sc., Film Editing, Production, Score, Costume – 9
    Birdman Picture, Director, Actor, Sup. Actor, Sup. Actress, O. Sc., Film Editing, Cinematography – 8
    Whiplash Picture, Sup. Actor, A. Sc, Film Editing, Sound, Sound Editing – 6
    The Theory of Everything Picture, Actor, A. Sc, Score – 4
    American Sniper Picture, Director, Actor, A. Sc, Sound, Sound Editing – 6
    Nightcrawler Picture, Actor, Sup. Actress O. Sc – 4
    Gone Girl Picture, Actress, A. Sc, Film Editing, Cinematography, Score – 6
    Still Alice – Actress – 1
    Cake – Actress – 1
    2 Days 1 Night – Actress – 1
    Big Eyes – Actress – 1
    Foxcatcher – Sup. Actor – 1
    The Judge – Sup. Actor – 1
    Into the Woods – Sup. Actress, Production, Sound, Sound Editing, Costume – 5
    The Lego Movie – O. Sc, Animated, Song – 3
    How to train your dragon 2 – Animated – 1
    The Boxtrolls – Animated – 1
    Big Hero 6 – Animated – 1
    The Tale of Princess Kaguya – Animated – 1
    Mr. Turner – Cinematography, Production, Score, Costume – 4
    Interstellar – Cinematography, Sound, Sound Editing, VFX, Score – 5
    Maleficent – Production, Costume – 2
    Guardians of the Galaxy – Sound, Sound Editing, VFX, Make Up – 4
    Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – VFX – 1
    The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies – VFX – 1
    Godzilla – VFX – 1
    Noah – Make Up, Song – 2
    Selma – Song – 1
    Unbroken – Song – 1
    Annie – Song – 1

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  27. Scott 7 months ago

    Clint Eastwood is the most famous name on the list and he is still respected in the industry. I reckon his name will be called tomorrow.

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  28. Jesus Alonso 7 months ago

    … and I have to say, I got irritated with Birdman, and hated, hated, hated American Sniper. Plus, think Interestellar is one of the most silly and pretentious at the same time, films of the year. Was unimpressed by Into the Woods and Whiplash, and the only film I’m predicting for several noms, that I loved, is The Lego Movie. I wish those other films mentioned before, had only 50%, all together, of the wit, intelligence, and depth, those lego bricks offered.

    Next in line would be Grand Budapest Hotel (loved it but don’t think it’s actually better than, say, Fantastic Mr. Fox) and The Imitation Game (which I liked but felt lacked the punch and was too constraint and classic, not specially creative). Gone Girl was way more than OK, but didn’t feel was one of the better Finchers, either, great film, but I wouldn’t nominate it in my top 10, any year.

    Still need to see Boyhood, Nightcrawler, Selma, The Theory of Everything,

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  29. Antoinette 7 months ago

    how come LINCOLN had no trouble getting it’s nominations yet SELMA is fighting every step for recognition and both films are expertly crafted?

    Because LINCOLN was a contender from the get go. I’ll hazard a guess that most of us were sold when we saw that first photo of Daniel Day Lewis in character. And in contrast SELMA came out super late. So much so that it wasn’t even ready really until right before it was screened. That’s why the screener situation happened.

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  30. Film Fatale 7 months ago

    @Alfredo

    I’d echo what Antoinette has said; also, it was Spielberg. The pedigree was much higher all the way around.

    Also, in no way would I call The Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game “run of the mill” or “mediocre” — AT ALL. Theory is a an incredible story, and one told largely from a woman’s perspective, I might add, about love. And that’s important and it means something. It is not about Hawking’s journey through life dealing with ALS. It is about Jane’s ability to understand how expansive love can be, and what the ultimate limitations are, and both of those things are beautifully rendered in that screenplay as well as in Felicity Jones’ performance. The Imitation Game is a breathless movie with an insightful screenplay that is highly intelligent in its depiction of three eras and the global and personal conflicts therein; it uses its code-breaking plot to get at something else, much deeper, and the two lead performances are unimpeachable. It’s a very smart movie that functions as history and as social commentary, and it has a very progressive depiction of a relationship of love between two unlikely and unhappy people. It’s a high-order thing that many are quite unfairly dismissing as BBC-fare.

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  31. daveinprogress 7 months ago

    Thank you film fatale for such an eloquent write up of those two movies. It is refreshing in the comments section to read a positive and considered response to films. You have whet my appetite further for these two.

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  32. Scott 7 months ago

    I think as with the Spielberg factor mentioned above that Eastwood gets an automatic boost in regards to a nomination even if his film opened later than most.

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  33. Film Fatale 7 months ago

    @Daveinprogress

    What a nice thing to say. I really appreciate that, my friend.

    F. Fatale

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  34. Q Mark 7 months ago

    “Also, we all know that the Academy just can’t resist the opportunity to spoil Mr. Eastwood. He gets nominated for just about every movie he makes…well, maybe 7 out of 10.”

    Eastwood has directed 34 movies and been nominated for Best Director four times, winning twice. That’s far from a 70% nomination percentage. His last nomination was in 2006, which seems surprisingly long ago since a) he averages about a new movie per year and b) it ‘seems’ like he’s always getting Oscar buzz since Eastwood usually directs high-profile projects with major stars.

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  35. Danny 7 months ago

    Man, the Bigelow / Zero Dark Thirty snubs still really chap my hide. I’ve never been so disappointed in my fellow Hollywood liberals. Every single one of the blowhards who spoke out against that movie should issue public mea culpa’s. The issues at hand:

    1) Zero Dark Thirty says we used torture. (We did. It’s been admitted. It was known before that movie came out and it’s certainly known now.)
    2) Zero Dark Thirty says torture works. (This is debatable. But ok, let’s say that it does. You know what? Torture does work (or rather, it can). I know that’s an uncomfortable truth and an unfortunate reality. The challenge with torture is knowing that it works and STILL CHOOSING not to do it. That’s the mark of a great society).

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  36. DaneM 7 months ago

    Selma’s in. Not sure about DuVernay. The DGA went for broad appeal, AMPAS directors don’t give a rip, so it’s possible. Rod Lurie is a member of the AMPAS director’s branch, and I get the feeling based on a Tweet of his that she’d make his top 5.

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  37. Jerry Grant 7 months ago

    Bravo Film Fatale for standing up for films that are regularly treated as trash here. They are not trash. It reminds me of when you had to have enormous balls to say anything good about David O. Russell or Quentin Tarantino because you would offhandedly scoffed at.

    “Man, the Bigelow / Zero Dark Thirty snubs still really chap my hide. I’ve never been so disappointed in my fellow Hollywood liberals.” Me too. What a travesty. ZDT is one of the best films of the new decade, and an unbelievable work of direction. Fouled by misdirected outrage.

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  38. Claudiu Dobre 7 months ago

    “Selma is a fantastic piece of art.”

    I’ve just seen it, finally. Like I said, I always expected it would be one of my favorites of the year, and it’s almost exceeded my expectations. Expertly done, engaging from start to finish, powerful, moving… It’s now 2nd on my list, just behind Birdman (I still connect just a little bit more with that one, especially the characters, and think it’s a touch more fascinating, although Selma is definitely the more powerful of the two). As for DuVernay, I would say her not getting nominated for Best Director would be a very bad choice by the Academy, as I think her direction is easily top 3 for the year, maybe even the best. And, of course, based on what I’ve said so far, you can imagine I would strongly disagree with Selma not being nominated for Best Picture. I hope that doesn’t happen, though I do deeply fear it, to be honest… :(

    As for my BD predictions, I think the best bet, like Sasha said at one point, is, indeed, to go with precisely the DGA 5. But I hope Eastwood and Tyldum are replaced with DuVernay and Fincher, or maybe Marsh (well, I’m not actually hoping for that last one, as it’s too unlikely, but rather just voicing my support once more).

    “Thank you film fatale for such an eloquent write up of those two movies. It is refreshing in the comments section to read a positive and considered response to films.”

    Seconded! (I’m not as sold on The Imitation Game, though it’s definitely rather good. I do love Theory, however, as I think folks around here know by now.)

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  39. Al Robinson 7 months ago

    I’m gonna stick with the idea that back when 5 movies would be nominated for Best Picture, usually at least 4 of them would match for Best Director. I think if 5 this year:
    American Sniper
    Birdman
    Boyhood
    The Grand Budapest Hotel
    The Imitation Game

    So, with that in mind, I think 4 will match that.

    My BD predix:
    Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel
    Damien Chazelle – Whiplash
    Clint Eastwood – American Sniper
    Alejandro G. Iñárritu – Birdman
    Richard Linklater – Boyhood

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  40. Rhett G 7 months ago

    I’m gonna go ahead and disagree about why they might not like Gone Girl. If it were based so much on sexism, Gillian Flynn wouldn’t be in the running for adapted screenplay. Rather, I think it’s gonna miss out for the same reason The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo: It’s a pulp-y thriller that has more populist ambitions than it does Oscar ambitions. Which sometimes works, but never when Fincher is directing. If Fincher wants in, he has to make something either so obviously in their wheelhouse (Benjamin Button) or something that presents itself as the epitome of class and intelligence (Social Network). Anything else? Technical and acting nods is all you’re getting, buddy.

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  41. SAMMY 7 months ago

    DGA award is called “Outstanding Directorial Achievement” but I see DGA top five as a best picture thing rather than pure directorial performances. It is impossible to assess the directorial performances with that broad number of voters.

    My prediction:

    DuVernay
    Tyldum
    Inarritu
    Linklater
    Anderson

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  42. SallyinChicago 7 months ago

    So GLAD Wild was recognized. I really liked that movie.
    It must be me, because everybody else liked Selma but me. What killed it for me was the mis-casting of the Brits and their southern drawls, esp. Tom Wilkinson and Tim Roth.
    I could only sit through 1 hour of Selma and then I left. It wasn’t as engaging as the Butler. Give Lee Daniels credit for one thing — he knows how to cast the right actors.

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