This year’s Best Director race seems to be a fairly easy one to predict, with one director dominating all the pre-Oscar awards.
The nominees for the award are Darren Aronofsky for “Black Swan,” David O. Russell for “The Fighter,” Tom Hooper for “The King’s Speech,” David Fincher for “The Social Network” and the Coen brothers for “True Grit.”
This year’s Best Director race is filled with a lot of great nominees, but will probably be predictable. David Fincher, the always impressively detailed director (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”) behind this year’s awards phenomenon, “The Social Network,” is going through the season full-force, winning nearly every award and positioning himself well to be the frontrunner for the Oscar as well. Fincher is one of those directors who consistently delivers one fantastic film epic after another, but Oscar gold has eluded him up until now.
Hooper crafted an immensely likable film, “The King’s Speech,” which is as affecting as it is serious, and tells a familiar story in an enlivening way. The film has been very popular, likely because it is uplifting and audience-friendly, and that’s a testament to Hooper’s ability to craft the film so that it can be a crowd pleaser without losing its integrity.
Russell, in what is the biggest surprise in this years director’s category, rode the success of his boxing drama “The Fighter” all the way to a deserved nomination. Russell directs his actors to such a high level that the film exceeded all expectations and became more than just a clich&e underdog boxing movie.
Aronofsky, one of the most daring and creative directors working today, was an obvious nominee for his work on the frightening and gripping “Black Swan,” and might even be a winner in a year without “The Social Network.” The way he manipulates his audience and, in the end, leaves them ravished is deserving of a nomination by itself, but he also plants emotional and beautiful moments to make a movie that you literally can’t take your eyes off of.
And the Coen Brothers, those old Oscar standbys, are back with another reliably interesting and exceedingly good film, this time a remake of the classic Western “True Grit.” The brothers do a great job of both doing the genre proper justice along, respecting the source material and bringing their own sensibilities to the project.