Thursday, January 08, 2009

Tis the Season: Directors Guild of America

I don't know about you but I am all guilded out. Lucky for me, the last of the guilds has finally made their announcement of their choices for the best directorial work of 2008. Yup, you guessed right. I am talking about the Directors Guild of America. You may remember the DGA as the guild that settled their contract negotiations in almost no time last year, setting the tone for the Writers Guild to get all their I's dotted. The DGA likes to keep it simple. Five nominees, one category. Here are the five DGA choices for best director of 2008.





Christopher Nolan, THE DARK KNIGHT

Gus Van Sant, MILK

These are the elite, ladies and gentlemen. Go read a book, Stephen Daldry. Take out your aggression in the ring, Darren Arronofsky. Take a gun to your head and pull the trigger, Clint Eastwood. I'm afraid that if you didn't see your name here, then you don't have a great chance to see it come up among the Oscar nominees. The DGA has a very solid reputation for predicting the nominees as well as the winners in the Best Director category. I also feel like these five films have the best chances of getting the Best Picture nods. We won't know that for sure though until January 22 when the nominations are announced. I have to say though, although I haven't made up my own mind about who my favorite director of the year is, I am very excited to see Nolan among the nominees. THE DARK KNIGHT has improved its Best Picture odds immensely this last week after scoring the Writers Guild, Directors Guild and Producers Guild nominations. The only other guild that didn't throw their support behind THE DARK KNIGHT were the actors. Aside from Heath Ledger's performance, THE DARK KNIGHT is not an actors' piece so this isn't a big shock. Still, you cannot deny this last minute support and I feel like the Academy will ride this wave. My sentimental favorite, Van Sant for MILK. The director's passion is present in every frame and you cannot help but feel like you know him that much more when its done.

Next up ... The American Film Institute narrows down their choices for the Best of 2008.


Anil Usumezbas said...

Among the nominated ones, I wouldn't think a second and choose Christopher Nolan. Both his career and this specific work deserve it for many reasons. But if I could nominate my own, I would say Tarsem, whose 'The Fall' went largely unnoticed, much to my surprise and disappointment.

And about Milk, here is an article by Jim Emerson that, in my humble opinion, makes a valid point:

Let's see who wins

Anil Usumezbas said...

Oh, and I almost forgot: The credibility of DGA has increased dramatically for me when I saw that Eastwood got no nominations this year. He simply doesn't deserve anything this time (then again, when did he really deserve something as a director?)

Black Sheep said...

Hey Anil. Having seen both FROST/NIXON and MILK and enjoyed them both, I can't say I agree with the Sun Times article. I did not find MILK manipulative or contrived in the least. In fact, I felt the film, through Van Sant's delicate and passionate direction, was a sensitive cry for human rights. As for FROST/NIXON, it was the most enjoyable Ron Howard film I have ever seen. The reality is that the latter is based on an insightful stage play and yes, would have inevitably been translated to film. The other reality is that they did a good job.

I did not catch THE FALL. I always feel like Tarsem, for all his imagination, is a limited director as the works tends to look the same all the time. I will check out THE FALL when I get a second.

As for the DGA, I am rooting for Van Sant or Nolan, hands down.