Every day until the Oscars ceremony we’ll be highlighting a different category or movie here on the LAMB! Here’s a link to all the posts written so far:
Today, The Vern of That Moment In is here to look at the nominees for Best Director.
I am probably not the right person to be talking about the nominees in this category because I am after all a gender white male and so are most of the nominees, (key word is most). Which pretty much means that I am sexist, trans-phobic, and even racist for not even mentioning any of the great women directors who were snubbed of Oscar nominations. While I fully agree that many terrific women were ignored this year. Including; Lorne Scarfaria for Hustlers, Greta Gerwig for Little Women, Jennifer Kent for The Nightingale, and many more I’m sure I’m forgetting. The focus all over social media and on podcasts seemed to only focus it’s rage on men who were getting these nominations over women. When they should have helped promote movies that are directed by women. There are tons of great female filmmakers that deserve to have your support and this is your chance to help them. So instead of posting how upset you are that Joker got more nominations than Booksmart. Well, now here is your chance to get on twitter and follow and retweet these talented women and their features. They would very much love to meet you. Here are some you can follow today. Please follow them, rent their movies and support them.
Anna Biller @missannabiller – Director of The Love Witch
Lea Thompson @LeaKThompson – Director of The Year of Spectacular Men
Jill Gevargizian @JillSixx – Director of The Stylist
The Soska Sisters @twisted_twins – Directors of Rabid
Maria Galindo @DirectMayhem – Director of A Slice of Life in Barcelona
Amy Taylor – @WalknCandyApple – Director of Hunters Weekend
Liz Manashil – @LizManashil – DIrector of Speed of Life
Now on to the nominees
Sam Mendes- 1917
He is certainly at the top of the nominations list this year after winning big at The Golden Globes and The Baftas. Sam’s only previous win in this category was back in 1999 for American Beauty and it looks like he could do it again. But will Academy voters be in awe of this technically marvel of a movie that is made to look like one take. Well, it worked for Birdman, it can work for this one too.
Bong Joon Ho- Parasite
Parasite is a master class in script writing and direction. You really have no idea of where this movie is heading and when you think you have a grasp of it. He does something to throw you off. It’s like having the audience focus on a shark that is close to its prey. It keeps looming closer and closer and you feel scared for the man who will become shark bait. The shark gets closer and closer but right when it’s about to open his mouth and chomp down it’s revealed that the man just killed two little girls and has now shot the shark. The dynamics of the characters have switched, and that happens quite a few times in this latest feature by Bong Joon Ho. Heroes become the villains, and vice versa in this very unique tale that is such a smart reflection of the class struggle that people are facing today.
Todd Phillips – Joker
The most hated man in this category is the guy who made this movie. Joker is one of the most profitable comic book movies ever made, won a bunch of awards, and it has 11 nominations at the Oscars. Yet, many people want to think this movie just celebrates angry white men culture. Like there are a million of us dudes who are like “man I wish I could be just like him”. Oh I wanted to be Joker don’t get me wrong but not the one Joaquin Phoenix played or even Heath Ledger. I wanted to be the Jack Nicholson or even Mark Hamill because there was a certain kind of charisma with both of them and besides they both had beautiful women by their sides. Nobody wanted to be Arthur Fleck, but you still empathize with him while watching it. Todd Phillips does a really good job at making you feel the isolation and the loneliness this character goes through. In The Killing Joke by Alan Moore, there is a line Joker says that all it takes is one bad day before you lose it, and we see that very bad day happen to Arthur Fleck. It is tragic, it is scary and it is very fun as well. Some will say Phillips’ direction is a rip off of Martin Scorsese’s earlier films. Why? Because it’s set in New York and it deals with an outcast. Why don’t people make comparisons to Joel Schumacher’s Falling Down or Stuart Gordon’s Edmond when talking about this movie. I thought his attention to 80’s filmmaking was really great and thought he was stealing more from Susan Seidelman (Smithereens) than anyone else.
Martin Scorsese – The Irishman
The Irishman is a deconstruction of the mob movies that has established this man’s career for a while. If you are expecting something along the lines of Goodfellas and Casino. You are going to get that for a little bit and then Scorsese is going to slow things down and have you contemplate with Robert DeNiro’s character and you feel that he’s not the anti hero that would have been in one of those earlier Gangster films, and I love those movies. They are still a lot of fun. But what happens when these individuals get older and know they are going to die. Maybe this is Marty’s big last movie in this genre but if it is, It’s one hell of a great goodbye
Quentin Tarantino – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
This is a wonderful fairytale like story about a world that was once around but will never be again. Quentin Tarantino makes me miss being in this time period so much and I wasn’t even born yet. To be living in Hollywood back in the 60’s with all of those wonderful movie theaters around would be heaven for me. I love how the plot interweaves the stories of the three main characters and gives them all equal amount of time on screen. Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio are a dream team and Margot Robbie is sensational as Sharon Tate. I love that they don’t just have her be the victim in this because that’s all she is ever known for. I’m glad Tarantino showed Tate’s actual film clips in this feature. Many have said that the movie is just a series of random things and that there is not linear plot to any of it but I disagree. I think there is a full detailed plot, but it has more to do with internal character actions than just what we see. The pacing Tarantino does to tell this movie is really good. This one is his longest and it never drags once in its entire rutime for me. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood shows us how good things were and if just used a flame thrower or a well trained dog on some certain uninvited issues, things might have been better.