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Golden Globes Predictions: Best Director

Lee Daniels

Lee Daniels, Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire

Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon in Invictus

Clint Eastwood, Invictus (above, Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon)

Saoirse Ronan in The Lovely Bones

Peter Jackson, The Lovely Bones (above, Saoirse Ronan)

Daniel Day-Lewis, Kate Hudson in Nine

Rob Marshall, Nine (above, Daniel Day-Lewis, Kate Hudson)

Jason Reitman

Jason Reitman, Up in the Air

 

Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin in It's Complicated
Sam Worthington in Avatar
Ben Whishaw, Abbie Cornish in Bright Star (top);Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin in It's Complicated (middle); Sam Worthington in Avatar (bottom)

What a difference a few weeks make. I didn't think that Lee Daniels or Clint Eastwood had that much of a chance to land a Best Director Oscar nod, but now, considering all the hoopla surrounding their films and the unexpected box office success of Precious, they've become likely candidates. Daniels, in fact, is sure to get a nomination. And unless Nine turns out to be a (surprising) box office disappointment, Rob Marshall will be in as well.

True, Eastwood's Oscar chances aren't exactly 100 percent, but when it comes to the Golden Globes I'd be very surprised if he isn't shortlisted. He's a star filmmaker, his movie has an uplifting message about fostering tribalism so as to destroy tribalism (say what?), it features Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman (as Nelson Mandela, no less), etc. etc. And there may go Kathryn Bigelow's chances to get a nod for The Hurt Locker.

In addition to Bigelow, other Golden Globe possibilities in the best director category are: Jane Campion for Bright Star, Michael Hoffman for The Last Station, Nora Ephron for Julie & Julia, Lone Scherfig for An Education, Nancy Meyers for It's Complicated, Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds, and James Cameron for Avatar.

Less likely, but not impossible, are Joel and Ethan Coen for A Serious Man, Steven Soderbergh for The Informant!, John Hillcoat for The Road, Neill Blomkamp for District 9, Guy Ritchie for Sherlock Holmes, J.J. Abrams for Star Trek, Grant Heslov for The Men Who Stare at Goats, and Spike Jonze for Where the Wild Things Are.

Michael Haneke has a good chance to land an Oscar nod for The White Ribbon, but I believe his Golden Globe chances are pretty slim if not nil. In the last 20 years, only four (not two as I'd previously reported) directors have been nominated for movies made (at least partly) in a language other than English: Taiwanese Ang Lee for Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000), American Clint Eastwood for Letters from Iwo Jima (2006), American Julian Schnabel for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007) and Englishman Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire (2008). Both Lee and Boyle came out victorious.

One curious thing about the directors listed above is that five of them are women. Now, that should no longer be a “curiosity” in 2009; the fact that it remains so says quite a bit about our culture.


         
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3 Comments to Golden Globes Predictions: Best Director

  1. Andre

    Aaagh!
    Both of you are absolutely right. Thank you for the correction. I'll amend the text right away.

  2. Alessandro

    Just a correction. Was sayid that only 2 directors was nominated in the last 20 years, but Ang Lee was nominated AND winner for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”.

  3. Allan

    An interesting article. Actually, Clint Eastwood was nominated for directing the excellent Letters From Iwo Jima. If you recall, the film won the GG for best foreign language movie. Unfortunately, it was not eligible for that category at the Academy Awards, otherwise Clint would almost certainly have added another Oscar to his collection.