Friday, September 20, 2013

The Dellies - 2012 Best Director

And now we've reached the last award. Sort of. As I've said before, I will do a best and worst movie list, both this weekend. For now, we'll tackle the people who have painstakingly brought their vision to life in the form of these pictures. Click on the titles of my nominees to read my full reviews.

2012 - Best Director

The Real Nominees: Michael Haneke (Amour), Ang Lee (Life of Pi), David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook), Steven Spielberg (Lincoln), Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild)

My Nominees:

Ben Affleck, Argo
It’s a masterwork crafted by Affleck, the director. For me, each of his three efforts from the special chair has been brilliant. He may have made his name as an actor and dater of starlets, but it seems his true calling is behind the camera.

Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master
Paul Thomas Anderson directs his movie in a manner that makes it difficult to look away from. The shots are beautiful and Hoffman and Phoenix command the screen. Many of their scenes together are scintillating. The director brings this out with excellent story-telling skills.

Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Including this one, I've only seen five of the twelve full-length features directed by Ang Lee. Until now, I’ve only liked one, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. If you shared my point of view, you’d understand why I wasn't really buying into the hype surrounding Life of Pi. However, I’ll admit that Mr. Lee has crafted a winner with this one.

Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
Nothing is so effective in the movie than at several points when we merely think something heinous is about to happen. This is when we’re intrinsically drawn to the edge of our seat while simultaneously trying to sink backwards into the thing. It is at these moments when Django is at its best.

Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
By the end, we've been through more than enough ups and downs with this family to become fully vested in them. When life throws yet another thing at them, we duck. Beasts of the Southern Wild is just a wonderfully done film.

Honorable Mention:
Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Ben Lewin, The Sessions
Sam Mendes, Skyfall
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook

The Real Winner: Ang Lee, Life of Pi

And My Winner Is...

Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
Taking another cue from the Blaxploitation era, director Quentin Tarantino wraps this tale about the barbaric ways of slavery in spaghetti western garb. To drive it forward, we get a screenplay chock full of sharp, often funny, often stinging dialogue. Django Unchained continues the director’s tradition of creating great tension through words. This one has more action between conversations than his normal fare, but the relationship between the two dynamics remains the same. Dialogue, complete with dramatic pauses, creates tension, action releases it.

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