And The Oscar Goes To…: Best Director & Best Picture

84th Annual Academy Awards Preview Part IV

Black and White and Gold all over.

The Oscars are now less than 48 hours away. With my time dwindling, I continue my preview guide for the upcoming ceremony. I’ve already covered the screenplay categories and gone over all 4 acting categories, so there are really only a couple things more to talk about. Here’s the fourth installment of my 84th Academy Awards Preview.

It’s all pretty much behind us now, all that’s left to do is talk about Best Director and big one: Best Picture. Very rarely do director and picture not go hand in hand. In the past 10 years only two directors have won without their picture also winning. I don’t see that happening this year, Michele Hazanavicius and his film The Artist are almost assured their statuettes.

Best Director.
The Nomniees:

Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Michele Hazanavicius, The Artist
Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo

The race for best director isn’t as close as it has been in previous years. Michele Hazanavicius is a huge favorite going into the ceremony. Hazanavicius has created something pretty amazing in The Artist and I don’t have many reservations against saying that The Academy is going to reward him for his feat. On the other hand, I absolutely loved Scorsese’s Hugo. One of the few movies I got to see on the big screen, Hugo was great: fun, imaginative, and creative. Terrence Malick has some good buzz around him as well as many critics are praising his film The Tree of Life as a surefire masterpiece. Someone I would’ve loved to have seen nominated is Nicolas Winding Refn for his brilliant movie Drive. This isn’t the first or the last time I’ve praised this movie on the site.

Favorite: Michele Hazanavicius, The Artist
My Pick: Martin Scorsese, Hugo
No Way: Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Deserved Nomination: Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive


Best Picture.
The Nomniees:

The Artist
The Descendants
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
The Help
Midnight in Paris
The Tree of Life
War Horse

So here it is, the category of all categories: Best Picture of the year. This year we have nine nominees and The Academy has stated that the number of nominees will be between five and ten each year, as long as a picture receives at least 5% of the nominating votes. I’ve been against the increase in nominees from the beginning, I don’t think we need this many. Six, I could live with, but ten is just too many. Just drop it back to five. Having said that, we do have a great list of candidates this year. Of the entire list, there’s only one movie I didn’t enjoy. And that movie was Extremely Loud. Cripes, I really disliked that film, it was shit. Besides that, the rest of the field is pretty enjoyable. The big favorite going into the ceremony has to be The Artist. With great direction, writing, acting, creativity and execution, The Artist is the total package—pretty much what the Oscar stands for. It’s rival for the statuette, Alexander Payne’s The Descendants. I don’t really see the drama taking the award home, The Artist is just too strong a candidate, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention it. Among the other films, Hugo was my favorite. I really enjoyed the movie on all levels. War Horse was the surprise in my viewings. I had no desire to see a movie about a horse, whatsoever. But after only 20 minutes, I was really digging the film. It was beautiful and entertaining, and in a word: majestic. Spielberg really did a good job with it. And I have to say it once again: where is the nomination for Drive? Nicolas Winding Refn’s thrill ride of a drama was probably my favorite movie of the year, so of course I’m more than a little disappointed to not see it at least nominated for the award.

Favorite: The Artist
My Pick: Hugo
No Way: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Deserved Nomination: Drive

So there we have my preview guide for the 84th Annual Academy Awards. I can’t wait for the show on Sunday. I hope you enjoyed what I had to say, I’ll probably come around after the ceremony to talk about things again, like a little recap, or whatever. If you haven’t check out the films nominated, I do encourage you to give them ago. You never know when something’s going to surprise you. Who would’ve thought that I’d enjoy Albety Nobbs so much? And just for fun, here’s how I would rank the Best Picture nominees if I were turning in an Academy ballot.

01. Hugo
02. The Artist
03. The Descendants
04. The Help
05. Moneyball
06. War Horse
07. Midnight in Paris
08. The Tree of Life
09. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

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