Alejandro G. Iñárritu wins the DGA

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This past Saturday, Alejandro González Iñárritu won Best Director at the Directors Guild of America Awards for his mesmerizing work on the best film of last year Birdman. The film is beginning to look like the frontrunner going into the Oscars in a couple of weeks. Ballots are out now, so it is in the hands of the Academy. Hopefully that don’t make a mess out of the awards as they did with the nominations. Birdman has now won the PGA, SAG and DGA. The biggest competition to it is Richard Linklater’s wonderful Boyhood, which has won the ACE and this Sunday, took home Best Picture, Best Director and Best Supporting Actress (Patricia Arquette) at the BAFTA Awards. The Writers Guild will announce their winners this weekend, and I would not be surprised if Mr. Anderson wins one for his fantastic The Grand Budapest Hotel. 

In the last five years, the winner of the PGA and BAFTA have gone on to win the Oscar. The exception here is that the PGA and BAFTA were split between Birdman and Boyhood. Then, the DGA went to Iñárritu and Best Director at the BAFTA’s went to Linklater, but remember a couple of years back, Ben Affleck won the DGA for Argo, but was not even nominated for Best Director at the Oscars. Then you have Boyhood winning the Drama category at the Golden Globes, while The Grand Budapest Hotel won the Comedy/Muscial category, beating out the predicted favorite Birdman. It is really all about these three films in the Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing and Best Cinematography categories. Formats and historical tendencies might be out the door this year. And, Birdman did not receive a Best Editing nomination at the Oscars, so there is that.

These three films — Birdman, Boyhood and The Grand Budapest Hotel, have the most guild and critic support going into the Oscars, and I just have a feeling we will be in for a few surprises come Oscar night. I honestly think the awards love will be spread throughout these three films and rightly so. I am not ready to predict the winners just yet, but I expect multiple victories for all three of these fine films. Throw out the history books, it is going to be an exciting Academy Awards night.

Photo credit by hitfix.com

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2015 DGA Nominations

The 2015 Directors Guild of America nominations are as follows:

  1. Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  2. Clint Eastwood (American Sniper)
  3. Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman)
  4. Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
  5. Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game)

The only surprise is Clint Eastwood getting in, but these American groups love Eastwood: he has been nominated now 4 times at the DGA, won twice (Unforgiven) and (Million Dollar Baby), plus the lifetime achievement award. The easy, easy locks were Iñárritu (second nomination, first for Babel), Linklater and Anderson. Yes, Mr. Anderson is getting some much deserved attention and for an absolutely fantastic film. I feel the same way about Mr. Linklater as well. And Tyldum, although not receiving any nominations prior this year, and his film, The Imitation Game, is loved by the Americans, where James Marsh and The Theory of Everything have been lauded by the Europeans, hence the BAFTA nomination. I really thought Damien Chazelle or even David Fincher would get in over Eastwood, but not totally shocked by that one either.

Moving forward, I feel there is a strong possibility this is how the Oscar nominations on Thursday might turn out, but history says no way. The last time the DGA and Oscar matched up 100% was in 2009 with Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), Daniels (Precious), Reitman (Up n the Air), Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds) and Cameron (Avatar). Linklater and Iñárritu are the 100% locks and Anderson is a 98% lock. Remember Ben Affleck, who won the DGA two years ago for Argo, did not receive an Oscar nomination and that tells you that there can always be a few surprises. But, I am pretty confident Anderson will be nominated this Thursday. It is those last two spots that are up in the air. I have been with Tyldum for almost the whole year and I am not backing out now, especially with a DGA nod. The film is supposedly adored by the Academy and I see him receiving a nomination. The last spot…Eastwood, Damien Chazelle (Whiplash), Ava DuVernay (Selma), Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler), David Fincher (Gone Girl), James Marsh (The Theory of Everything) or maybe even Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher)… Who is it going to be?

Selma will get some love from the Academy, but it has not received any love from the guilds. I am beginning to think DuVernay might be left out of the directors race. Chazelle could be the new director, with the hot film that gets some attention, much like Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild). Eastwood is adored by the Academy, crazy conservative and all, and the film is marketed and hitting its stride with the Academy at the right time. Gilroy’s brilliant Nightcrawler is on point right now as well and he might sneak in and steal nomination from one of these DGA nominees. And then we have the great David Fincher and Gone Girl. One of his best, darkest and funniest films, but the lack of a campaign, love the fact the Fincher could care less about the awards, and the supposed disinterest from some of the Academy members will probably mean no nomination for Mr. Fincher. James Marsh received a BAFTA nomination and I do not expect him to get and Oscar nominee. Probably needed more guild support to achieve that. Miller’s film is too bleak, but very well made. No real push for him anyways.

Not really surprised by any of the DGA nominations and just really pleased Wes Anderson got a nomination. Three of my favorite directors — Richard Linklater, Wes Anderson & Alejandro González Iñárritu — getting nominated is fantastic news and I expect to see all of them nominated this Thursday. It is those last two spots that are up for grabs…

Film Trailers (International): BIRDMAN

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This trailer is even better than the first one. My anticipation is continuing to increase, not that it was not already very high. Looking forward to reading the initial reactions out of Venice at the end of the month. Love the black and white poster. This will easily be the best and most unconventional superhero film of the year. Enjoy!!!

Photo credit by IMDB and trailer by YouTube.