Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Oscar Narrative: July Nomination Predictions - Best Director

July Nomination Predictions
JC Chandor "A Most Violent Year"
David Fincher "Gone Girl" 
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu "Birdman"
Angelina Jolie "Unbroken"
Bennett Miller "Foxcatcher"

Other Contenders - Paul Thomas Anderson "Inherent Vice", Stephen Daldry "Trash", Jason Reitman "Men, Women & Children", Christopher Nolan "Interstellar", Mike Leigh "Mr. Turner", Todd Haynes "Carol", Tim Burton "Big Eyes", Rob Marshall "Into the Woods", David Ayer "Fury", Richard Linklater "Boyhood", James Marsh "The Theory of Everything", Will Gluck "Annie", Lasse Hallstrom "The Hundred-Foot Journey", David Dobkin "The Judge", Tate Taylor "Get On Up", Wes Anderson "The Grand Budapest Hotel", Anton Corbijn "A Most Wanted Man", Ava DuVernay "Selma", Jean-Marc Vallee "Wild", David Cronenberg "Maps to the Stars", Jon Stewart "Rosewater", Ridley Scott "Exodus: Gods and Kings", Edward Zwick "Pawn Sacrifice", Ned Benson "The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby"

Commentary - I am going against my own advice and predicting against Stephen Daldry here. Although, he did miss out for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, even though the film got a Best Picture nomination. So for now I am sticking with that theory. I am also leaving out Paul Thomas Anderson, simply because even when his films get recognition, the directors don't always go for him. Another major contender is Jason Reitman. After Labor Day, I am cautiously optimistic, but Men, Women & Children looks right up his alley along the lines of Juno and Up in the Air. Christopher Nolan has been overlooked so many times here, so it will be one of those, I'll believe when I see it moments. Tim Burton and Rob Marshall either knock it out of the park, or crash and burn. This year, both Big Eyes and Into the Woods look like potential home runs. David Ayer is looking good as Fury's buzz goes up, Richard Linklater is a visionary who has been looked over way too many times by his peers, Lasse Hallstrom could pull heartstrings, and Tate Taylor could go with Get On Up all the way where he failed to do so with The Help a few years ago. But now onto the actual predictions. Angelina Jolie could have a real winner with Unbroken, and the screenplay she has to work with, especially whatever the Coen Bros. contributed, is sure to be an excellent adaptation. This really is a watershed moment for her potential directing career. If she can nail it, it would be a wonderful moment as she transforms from the movie star to the auteur filmmaker. David Fincher narrowly missed on a nomination for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and I think Gone Girl is going to be much more Academy friendly. The book has its critics and certainly its supporters. No matter what you thought of it, I think Fincher will raise the level of the material. Bennett Miller missed on a nomination for Moneyball, which hindsight looks ridiculous considering how damn good that film was. But he could return to the race with Foxcatcher, an early Cannes contender that is riding high at the moment, and will premiere at Toronto to continue its roll. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu was nominated for Babel a while back, but Birdman is a return to English language, and to be honest it looks simply fantastic. Finally, I think that JC Chandor, after Margin Call and All is Lost is on the verge of a huge Oscar breakthrough, and the Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain-led A Most Violent Year could be the one to do it for him. 

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