Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Best of the Academy Awards Winners: Best Director

Winner - Frank Capra "It Happened One Night"
Runner Up - Francis Ford Coppola "The Godfather Part II", David Lean "Lawrence of Arabia", Mike Nichols "The Graduate", and Elia Kazan "On the Waterfront

Commentary - If Coppola had won for the first Godfather, this would have been an easy pick. But, while Part II is fantastic, I think that in the absence of the first, there is a clear choice. Frank Capra is one of the greatest, some would argue the greatest, American film directors of all time. He knew how to pull heartstrings without ever being cheesy, and always incorporated darker and more adult themes within the frames. And Capra was no better than he was in the little romantic comedy from 1934, It Happened One Night. A fantastic movie that has served as a benchmark for other romantic comedies. Actually some of the films today should take a lesson from Capra and learn that less is more, that love cannot be manufactured, and that memorable cinema comes from the heart.

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