Friday, January 13, 2017

A Season Full of Awards: DGA

I don't know what's happened to me.  I'm completely falling down on the job.  I promised to keep up with the awards this year as a way to boost my personal blogging and I missed the Globe winners AND the BAFTA noms (yes, I saw them or read about them or whatever, but I didn't blog about them) and despite telling myself for like a week that I was going to, I'm not.  I feel like I'm still trying to find my place within the community that I love and part of me feels so out of it.  I HATE that I am not blogging as much as I used to or that I'm not stopping by to comment on your blogs like I used to...I just can't seem to get it together.

Anyways, this was not supposed to be some sob-blog post, but rather a measly attempt to weigh in on the Oscar race.

DGA...the Directors Guild of America.  They don't always get it right, but a lot of times they point us in the right direction.

Who did they nominate?

Damien Chazelle / La La Land
Garth Davis / Lion
Barry Jenkins / Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan / Manchester By the Sea
Denis Villeneuve / Arrival

For those following the Oscar race, ATM, the directing category is really up in the air after the solidified winner, Damien Chazelle.  After that, it's anybody's guess.  I know that this seems like a vapid statement when you look at the fact that Barry Jenkins has won more critics prizes than anyone else, but let's be real here...Moonlight, as good as it may be, is not an AMPAS film, and because of that he is not infallible.  He's most likely getting the nom, but being a black director making a film about the 'gay' black community is not a sure-fire Oscar nom.

He also missed BAFTA.

Lonergan is also very much in this, but not assured considering that he has the least 'directorly' film in contention.  Still, the fact that Manchester By the Sea and Moonlight feel like the closest bet to Oscar BP locks next to the actual Oscar winner (yes, I said it...and I called it in like April) La La Land kind of makes them very likely Oscar nominees.

That leaves us with a slew of names that I can't wrap my brain around.

Mackenzie has been gaining rapid traction for his western, Hell or High Water, which looks like a Top 5 BP contender at this point.  He's been nominated by a slew of critics, including BFCA.  Garth Davis seemed almost dead, but Weinstein must be working his magic because after missing everywhere...he managed the DGA nom.  Villeneuve has been mentioned all year long, and he snagged BAFTA and DGA...but I'm so skeptical because as much as I love Arrival, it is sci-fi and that is never a safe Oscar bet...except for when it is.

And then there is Gibson, who's ultra-violent film has been doing really well with critics for some reason.

But my biggest director question mark is Martin Scorsese.  His film, Silence, hasn't landed ANYWHERE this season (very slight hyperbole there) and it has me wondering if it's dead entirely...except that I'm pretty sure it isn't.  I have a feeling this will be one of those instances where AMPAS showers it with nominations we should have all seen coming, including director.  It also doesn't hurt that every other possibly nominee, outside of Gibson, would be a first time nominee.  Oscar likes to nominate a veteran somewhere.

So...where does that leave us?

Lonergan and Jenkins...very likely.
Davis, Mackenzie and Villeneuve...most likely battling it out for that 'welcome to the club' nom (even though Chazelle, Jenkins and Lonergan would also be first time nominees).
Scorsese...wild card nom statistics defy.

My money, atm, is on a lineup of Chazelle, Davis, Jenkins, Lonergan, Scorsese...but I have many doubts.


  1. Davis getting two DGA noms makes me think Lion will be a Best Picture contender now. I keep wondering if Silence will have that American Sniper moment where it shows up all over the Oscars out of nowhere?

    I'm glad you posted!

    1. I really thought Davis had that 'basic Oscar directorial choice' on lock after this...but I guess that was Gibson.

  2. Ive only seen La La Land and Hell Or High Water at this point, and I'm just gonna peg Chazelle as winner, how can't he? Mackenie is... not happening, the film just kinda feels like a modern version of No Country to me so... Yeah, no. Good to hear from you btw! And don't worry Drew, I'm sure you'll find your mojo soon! ^^

    1. Chazelle has this on lock.

    2. Hey dude where you at? Can't wait to hear what you think of the Oscars :3

  3. Oops, forgot I also saw Manchester ^^; Cqn see a Lonergan nom sure, but the movie doesn't feel "substancial" enough for a win to me.

    1. The movie is beloved...but nothing will top La La Land this year.

  4. Don't beat yourself up so much because it sounds like 2016 has been a roller coaster of bleccch for you. It has not been great for my best friend either. I say this is the year for change almost like the Phoenix went up in smoke so now it is being reborn. You will get back into it when your mind and body is ready. I'm not sure who will win but we now know the films that will be nominated for the Oscar....for the most part.

  5. I'm not much at making predictions, but I think you're right that Chazelle is going home with Oscar gold. His is, to me, the most well-executed vision this year. Jenkins is probably third for me personally actually, behind Lonergan. Moonlight is a lovely film and distinctly stylish in several ways, but I can't agree with you that Lonergan is not "directorly." Definitely not as showy from a visual perspective, but the crafting of his tragedy is impeccable. His directing of the actors and work with his editor is downright perfect. I would love to see Mackenzie get in there. Hell or High Water is brilliant on multiple directorial levels.

    Who knows how it shakes out though? Villeneuve is a great choice here. Garth Davis I don't get. Lion has been poorly marketed. The lack of hype is really putting me off on that one. Still out on Scorsese. Seeing Silence this weekend hopefully.

    1. Yeah, I haven't seen my comment was more intended to mean that his film is very 'actorly'...that's the sole focus of most reviews, and so at times those film get shafted in this category for films that feel more dependent on the direction.

      But so glad he got that nom, because he's a great director!

  6. I do miss all your awards posts! I read them all as soon as I could, and then I actually felt like I knew what I was talking about with friends and family, ha!
    Now I'm lost! I'm just trying to gush about La La Land which I haven't even SEEN YET!
    Seriously though - don't stress, I don't care if you post once a day or once a year, as long as you're still around :)

  7. Love it when you post, buddy! I'd like to start blogging again more too, but I just can't find the motivation these days. At least we have things like the Oscars and our personal awards to keep us somewhat active.

    Best Director is so tough. I could see only two of the DGA noms (Chazelle and Jenkins) making it, or four. I think Davis is out at the Oscars, regardless. Good luck on your Oscar predictions! :)

    1. I...bombed those per usual. LOL!

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