Previously, in Jack’s 2019 Oscar coverage…
February 19 – Original Screenplay
February 20 – Adapted Screenplay
February 21 – Cinematography
February 24 – Final Predictions on Oscar Night
DIRECTOR – NOMINEES
Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman
Pawel Pawlikowski, Cold War
Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite
Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
Adam McKay, Vice
Who will win: Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
Who could win: Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman
Who should win: Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
Who should be here: Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk
I’m pretty happy with this list overall…it’s kind of a strange year in that I have very few gripes. Personally, and I’ve made this horrible joke at least a couple times, The Favourite was not my favorite movie, and I’d much rather have seen Barry Jenkins made the list again. Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk was almost perfect and without a Best Pic nomination, it won’t get the eyeballs it deserves.
That said, Alfonso Cuarón is taking home his second gold statue, and it’s well deserved. What Cuarón did with Roma is nothing short of masterful. Every single shot was planned to precision, every sight, every sound designed to bring about a visceral, emotional reaction.
Though Cuarón is the odds-on favorite, film veteran Spike Lee has the best chance to unseat Cuarón and take home his first Oscar with the unexpected BlacKkKlansman. Blending social significance, history and racial relations while keeping a film compelling and entertaining is a tough job. Working in Lee’s favor is that he’s long overdue for the gold statue, and Oscar voters like a first time winner.
Speaking of which, Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War is another brilliant directing feat, and it’s kind of interesting that 40% of the Directing nominees got there from black and white films. Cold War easily could’ve been nominated for Best Picture. Like Roma, its shots are so well-planned and considered that it could take a couple of viewings to absorb it all.
Rounding out the category is second-time nominee Adam McKay who followed up on his Big Short success with another film about a difficult-to-keep-compelling-subject. Though Vice isn’t quite the achievement that The Big Short was, it was funny, compelling and kept your attention despite it’s heavy political matter.