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DGA Predictions 2012

January 9, 2012 Leave a comment

I really didn’t even feel like doing this. In fact, I’ve always had an aversion to predicting the DGA. Trying to correctly predict these five nominees feels a bit like shooting fish in a barrel with an unloaded gun. Sure, there’s the chance that they’ll be exactly what people are expecting, but…no…they never are. there’s always that fifth slot that never does what you want it to do.

The one nice thing about the DGA is that it makes things infinitely clearer in the actual Oscar race. I can recall only twice in the last ten years that the DGA hasn’t lined up with the Academy’s five Best Director nods with at least 4 out of 5 slots, and twice in those ten years, it’s been a perfect match. Ever since the Academy altered the number of Best Picture nominees, using the DGA as a predictive tool has changed a bit, as well. Instead of using it as a guide for the five nominees, the lucky directors now point to which films are absolute locks. Ironically, during the age of five nominees, the DGA was actually a better predictor for Best Picture then for its own category.

All right, well, here’s how I see the cookie crumbling. I would say that the two locks are Michael Hazavanicius and Martin Scorsese. Of the major contenders, they’ve divvied up nearly all of the critics awards and just seem to have the most clout, right now. Next on that list would be Alexander Payne. While his direction isn’t the strong point of the movie, the film is just too strong of a contender, thus far, for him to simply be left out.

The last two spots get kind of tricky. Despite the difficult time “War Horse” is having with the guilds, Spielberg shouldn’t have much trouble making his way in here. The same was happening with “Munich” in ’05 (a much superior film to “War Horse,” I might add) and he still handled the DGA. This seemed to single-handedly resurrect it back into the Oscar race. To be honest, the DGA has always drooled over Spielberg. Ten career nominations, three wins and a lifetime achievement award. When he has a film in contention, it’s simply more likely to see him nominated than not.

So for the final spot, I am going to make my “out on a limb” choice by saying that Woody Allen will miss. This will be the decision that I’ll likely be kicking myself for tomorrow, but as you are about to read, I have my reasons. At this point in Allen’s career, even if this is somewhat of a comeback film, I feel that the industry will be satisfied with just recognizing his writing. As it has been since the early nineties, nominating the film’s screenplay should suffice, making his directorial efforts easy to overlook.

As for who’s taking his spot, there’s plenty of choices. It’s quite possible Terrence Malick’s clout might carry over into the guild of his peers, yet I get the feeling that “The Tree of Life”‘s support will likely remain among the critics. Until this past week, near-rookie Tate Taylor seemed like a long shot, but the overwhelming love for “The Help” in the guilds has made said nomination more and more of a possibility. If wishing made it so, I would enjoy seeing Bennett Miller show up here in recognition for his steady and assured crafting of “Moneyball.” After all, not many saw his previous nomination coming for “Capote.” Yet, the young artist’s failure to bring in even a single nomination this season has left that option unlikely. One choice that would certainly throw a wrench in the mix would be the stellar Nicholas Wending Refn, who’s work on “Drive” earned him this award at Cannes. But, lack of a PGA mention for the film makes his chances less promising.

That leaves me with the one and only David Fincher. While his re-adaptation of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” isn’t turning quite as many heads as the studio had hoped, the film’s director has something going for him which puts him a step ahead of his competition. That factor is the enormous amount of residual respect leftover from last year’s awards season. After both the DGA and the Oscars incomprehensibly snubbed the master of his much-deserved awards for “The Social Network,” I imagined that there had to be a fair amount of guilt churning around the industry. And while “TGWTDT” isn’t quite as extraordinary as the former, it’s certainly good enough for his peers to throw him an apologetic bone. I’ve had this aching feeling all year long, and with the film nabbing unexpected nominations from the PGA, ADG and WGA, said scenario seems now more likely than ever before.

My Predix:
1. Martin Scorsese – “Hugo”
2. Michael Hazavanicius – “The Artist”
3. Alexander Payne – “The Descendants”
4. Steven Spielberg – “War Horse”
5. David Fincher – “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”

Alts:
6. Woody Allen – “Midnight in Paris”
7. Tate Taylor – “The Help”
8. Bennett Miller – “Moneyball”
9. Terrence Malick – “The Tree of Life”
10. Nicholas Wending Refn – “Drive”

Well, there you have it. Check back tomorrow afternoon to see which choice (or choices) I’ll be crying over.

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NEW “Tree of Life” Poster

March 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Wow. This film either has to be god’s gift to mankind, or it shall be the biggest disappointment in recent cinematic history. I don’t think any film aside from “Inception” has gained such a heavy base of anticipation among bloggers, fanboys and cinephiles, in general.

They seem to be putting a lot of emphasis on the visual images of the film (which are honestly quite gorgeous). Highly respected cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki could be looking at his fifth Oscar nomination, or perhaps even a win. Nothing will ever offset the snub of his loss for “Children of Men,” however, so a reward is irrelevant in my eyes.

One has to wonder whether or not the story is going to come anywhere near close enough to measuring up to the film’s brilliant eye candy. One has to wonder how a film that contains both Brad Pitt as an abusive, overbearing father and dinosaurs make it into the same screenplay. Yes, that’s right. I said dinosaurs. I remember hearing the rumors years ago, which I didn’t truly believe until I noticed the center square on the poster, fourth from the bottom. That looks quite a bit to me, and a lot of other people on the web, like a dinosaur standing the middle of some kind of river. Also, the top left corner appears to feature some kind of asteroid impact, that one could only guess is the rock that killed off life on Earth sixty-five million years ago.

Will this movie make any kind of discernible sense, or will it be a big visual mess of a film. I’m ready for just about anything at this point, and I hope you all are, too.

Check out the full poster after the cut:

Read more…

“The Tree of Life” Trailer Now Online

December 15, 2010 Leave a comment

Those who have been lucky enough to see “Black Swan” in theaters thus far have gotten the treat of seeing the trailer for “Tree of Life,” Terrence Malick’s highly anticipated new film. Terrence Malick is the legendary filmmaker of such visually amazing and influential films as “Badlands,” “Days of Heaven” and “The Thin Red Line.”

Finally, the online community has been given the opportunity to view this stunning (if not a little pretentious) preview. Check it out, if not for the film than for the gorgeous camerawork.

Or check out the Quicktime trailer here.

“Tree of Life” Poster and Synopsis

November 4, 2010 Leave a comment

For anyone else who has been following the insanely secretive and mysterious project “The Tree of Life,” directed by Terrence Malick, I thought I’d quickly post this link. The Collider has reported the brand new poster for the film set to be released in May of next year, as well as a very poetic synopsis.

For as long as I’ve been looking forward to this film, Terrence Malick being the visual genius that he is, both the synopsis and the poster really seem kind of….boring. For sure the trailer will reinvigorate my anticipation, but for now, I’m kind of disappointed.

Here’s the poster and the link for the synopsis, below:

The Collider – Tree of Life Synopsis