The 71st annual Golden Globes were held Sunday night with "12 Years a Slave" and "American Hustle" winning in the Best Picture categories with Alfonso Cuaron taking home the Best Director award for "Gravity".
If you'd like proof that I may possibly be a psychic then click here to read my article on "Gravity" and its odds for award season.
The ceremony was a pleasant departure from the norm with no one film outshining the rest. Let's hope that the Academy Awards gives us a diverse group of nominees and winners.
After all, the Oscar award has long stood as a symbol of the ultimate achievement in film-making. Actors, directors and others are forever referred to with the prefix 'Oscar Winner'. However, when looking back at the greatest moments in film-making, that preface is oftentimes missing. This spurs many of the arguments against award ceremonies as many films and performances that stand out as crowning moments in film history tend to receive little acclaim during their initial release; possibly, because of who it is determining these 'winners'.
Perhaps no single filmmaker epitomizes this dilemma more than Alfred Hitchcock. The man that single-handedly re-imagined the suspense/ horror genre and created the classics “Psycho”, “The Birds”, “Rear Window”, and “Vertigo” was nominated just four times and returned to England empty-handed every time. He was considered a bit odd and eccentric but the harsh reality is that most of his films were so unfamiliar and innovative that they couldn't truly be appreciated. The thought provoking nature of his films could only light the spark that, years later, would become a fire.
Directors have the distinction of being the artists behind the film, though they have cinematographers who capture the look and feel of the film, editors who form the pace and structure, and casting directors who chose the best actors and actresses for each role. All of these people and others (more than there is time to list) have very distinct and important roles in the final product, but the director is ultimately responsible for each and every aspect of the finished film.
No matter how well every other person involved in a film does their job, if the director falls short, the movie cannot succeed.
Most people’s movie choices are based on its actors. Anyone who’s seen a bad movie based solely on the actors involved has heard or said this phrase, “I can’t believe such a great actor/actress would be in such a bad movie.” Well, obviously, they get paid to act. Who are we to judge what films they should or shouldn't do?
Most of us have never been offered a million dollars to act or do anything else for that matter. The things I would do for that much money could make John Waters puke.
But the most honest answer is that when an actor reads a script, they have no idea of the eventual quality of the film. They can only make their decision and hope to hell that everyone involved is competent – namely, the director.
If the director fails at his job, the movie fails; bottom line. That’s why most people can only name a handful of directors. It’s because the good ones keep getting the opportunity to make films and the bad ones end up directing dog food commercials.
Film-making is an art and when compared to other art forms it is not only extremely young but also evolving at the most rapid pace. Think of all the authors, musicians, and painters who died poor only to have their work unearthed and appreciated years later. Perhaps this is also why so many incredible films and their directors don’t receive the recognition they deserve - because humans seem to have a problem recognizing genius as it’s happening. It’s only in retrospect, once a piece of art has been dissected, savored, and repeatedly imitated that we understand its overall impact on its genre.
So, without further ado, the worst directing snubs of the past 25 years: The Alfred Hitchcock category.
To the Slide Show!