Achievement in Directing
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Julian Schnabel
Juno, Jason Reitman
Michael Clayton, Tony Gilroy
No Country for Old Men, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
There Will Be Blood, Paul Thomas Anderson
I always love the Best Director race. This year should be no different. Some really great nominees this year. Sadly only one will win. The clear advantage goes to the Coen Brothers. They won the DGA, which is the best precursor award. It almost always matching up with the Oscar even though it does have two hiccups this decade ('00 and '02). Can a third hiccup happen this year? Let's take a look.
Julian Schnabel for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly blew me away in this film. I think the job he did was phenomenal. It was an emotional journey that was visually stunning. I don't care what anyone says. To make a film about this subject so interesting and moving for two hours has to be applauded. He could play the spoiler, but I don't think support is strong enough.
Jason Reitman for Juno is on pace to have a brilliant career. First, Thank You for Smoking, now Juno. He's probably too young to win this year and I don't think his film stacks up to the other nominees, but don't worry. He will be back.
Tony Gilroy for Michael Clayton proved that he is more than just a writer. And honestly, you have to respect that. At least I do and his work on Clayton was solid. I personally didn't like the film that much, but I can see why people liked the political thriller. Still, his award was the nomination and sometimes there is nothing wrong with that.
Joel and Ethan Coen for No Country for Old Men are the frontrunners. Joel was nominated back in '96 for Fargo (the only nominee with a previous nomination in this category). No Country is such a piece of art. Easily the best Coen brothers' film. People admire this film and it has had support to win countless awards. The Coens are on top of their game with building tension and suspense in this film. It's hard not to like them.
Paul Thomas Anderson for There Will Be Blood has to be applauded for this ambitious work. I admire this movie and him so much, but I think he will have to wait. He's in a tough position since so many people are split on this film. Some love, some hate. It's too bad since this film is so epic and really one of the first masterpieces of the 21st century. After following this director's work for close to ten years, I'm excited for him and the future. There's no denying that P.T. Anderson is here to stay and the best auteur of his generation. It's not a matter of if, but when he will receive his Oscar. Just don't think it will be this year.
The safest bet is the Coens. They have the DGA and people respect them. They probably deserve their moment in the sun and on Sunday, they should get it.