As we edge ever closer to the big day, today we turn out attention to one of the biggest awards of the night: Best Director.
Will win: Alfonso Cuarón (Roma)
Should win: Alfonso Cuarón (Roma)
Also nominated: Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman), Pawel Pawlikowski (Cold War), Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite), Adam McKay (Vice)
Alfonso Cuarón is no stranger to the Oscars. He has won twice before (once for Directing, once for Editing) and his latest cinematic offering, Roma, is almost certain to pick up the awards for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Cinematography on Sunday. However, as if that weren’t enough, he is the resounding favourite to win for Best Director, too.
This is not to say that the brilliance of the other directors is not plain to see. The other four films each bear the unique and distinct stamps of their respective directors, and it’s hard to think of any other filmmakers being able to tell those stories quite so well.
Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War is gorgeously shot, a melancholy meditation on love and what could have been that deserves a larger audience than it has received so far. On the other end of the spectrum, The Favourite is classic Yorgos Lanthimos. Eccentric, dark and offbeat, it is funny and sinister in equal measure. His directorial style is not to everyone’s taste, but it certainly captures the imagination.
In BlacKkKlansman Spike Lee provides a funny but thought-provoking insight on race relations which feels more relevant than ever, whilst Adam McKay’s Vice is assured, brash, snappy and equally critical of Trump’s America and its origins.
Excellent though the directorial work on the other nominated films in this category may be, Cuarón’s delicate, understated take on life in 1970s Mexico is leagues above everything else. There’s a stillness about his work, and a patience in the storytelling, which is deeply immersive. There’s also a gentle innocence to it which makes this portrait of everyday life feel profoundly intimate and personal. The end product is a beautiful piece of cinema, and Cuarón will be a worthy second-time winner of this award.