Oscar's Best Director 2020


Oscar's Best Director 2020 is...
7 votes
Bong Joon-Ho, PARASITE
12 votes
Sam Mendes, 1917
2 votes
Todd Phillips, JOKER
2 votes
Martin Scorsese, THE IRISHMAN
3 votes
26 votes. You may not vote on this poll

The five nominees for Best Director...

Bong Joon-Ho, Parasite
Sam Mendes, 1917
Todd Phillips, Joker
Martin Scorsese, The Irishman
Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
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I guess it'll be Mendes? Seems like a good year for a split if we don't have an obvious masterpiece running away with Best Picture, and we have another Best Picture nominee apart from the favorite that represents a sizable technical achievement.

I want Tarantino to win, but Mendes seems to have this in the bag.
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Recent trend has been split between Director and Picture. I see no reason that won’t continue.
Phillips for director, with 1917 winning best picture.

Ho.. its a no contest.
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^^ Well that didn't come out right!

Seen all but 1917. This is a tough one and I would genuinely be happy whoever gets it. My leat favorite of the 4 but I voted Bong. It would be super cool to see a foreign language film get some love.

Seen all but 1917. This is a tough one and I would genuinely be happy whoever gets it. My leat favorite of the 4 but I voted Bong. It would be super cool to see a foreign language film get some love.
Where is Sean and what have you done with him?

I miss mainstream Sean.

Where is Sean and what have you done with him?

I miss mainstream Sean.
He's not dead. Just watches more movies now. I had Joker and two Netflix movies in my top ten. I'm still a basic bro.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
I feel like this comes down to Sam Mendes and Bong Joon-Ho.

They've already awarded a director for the one-take gimmick with Alejandro González Iñárritu's Birdman, will the added spectacle of it being a war movie be enough to push Mendes over the edge in terms of votes?

I'd love to see Bong Joon-Ho take it as Parasite was my favourite film of the year and the 5 minute "peach scene" montage is the best sequences I've seen this year.

Haven't seen Joker, but have heard that Phoenix is the main draw and nothing else is as good.

Tarantino seems destined to win Screenplay Oscars and nothing else. Would it be cool to see him win this, sure, but I don't think he will.

Scorsese...I don't know what else to say about him. He's a legend. I don't see them awarding him for making another gangster film though...even if the film is anything but that.
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Out of the four I have seen, I would probably lean slightly in favor of Ho, even though a guy like Scorsese is clearly a master at this point in his career. That said, I think he stayed right in his comfort zone this time around, while Parasite was fresh and different, while still being directed extremely well.
"There’s absolutely no doubt you can be slightly better tomorrow than you are today." - JBP

Todd Phillips only previous Oscar nomination was as one of the five credited writers of Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, which was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. Before Joker’s remarkable success he was known exclusively for directing the comedies Old School, Road Trip, Starsky & Hutch, and all three of The Hangover movies. He inched his comedy more towards drama with his previous feature War Dogs, but none of that really prepares you for the assaulting tone and style of Joker. You need only watch Suicide Squad for what a truly bad movie featuring this character looks like, but by jettisoning the genre constraints for this moody origin story Phillips made a gritty response to the spate of Marvel and D.C. tent poles that have dominated the marketplace in recent years. In different hands a Joker origin movie might only be competing for awards handed out by MTV or Nickelodeon, but Phillips somehow pulled off an arthouse/blockbuster hybrid. No easy feat.

It is WAY too divisive and polarizing to actually win come Oscar night as Best Director or Best Picture, but it is probably the ballsiest nom here since George Miller for Mad Max: Fury Road. The nomination is the achievement as nothing like this has ever won before and the odds of it happening this time are beyond remote. Phoenix will walk away with Best Actor and that plus maybe one other technical award may be it for the film’s eleven nominations, which lead the pack. But even without a bag full of Oscars this movie has made its mark.

Martin Scorsese was already the most-nominated living director, second all time. The Irishman makes his ninth Oscar nom for Best Director added to Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ, GoodFellas, Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed, Hugo, and The Wolf of Wall Street. Spielberg and Woody Allen each have seven nominations a piece and Marty needs three more to tie William Wyler for the most ever at twelve. Scorsese’s only win is for The Departed, of all things. He won't win again here, but his epic return to the gangster genre with DeNiro and Pesci is a triumph. Marty's next project is the adaptation of the non-fiction bestseller Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI which will pair his two most oft-used leading men Bobby DeNiro and Leo DiCaprio and may well bring him back for his tenth nod from The Academy.

This makes the third Best Director nomination for Quentin Tarantino following Pulp Fiction (Robert Zemeckis won for Forest Gump) and Inglourious Basterds (Kathryn Bigelow won for The Hurt Locker). He has two wins for his screenplays (Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained), and this marks the fourth time his films have been nominated for Best Picture (Pulp Fiction, Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood). Despite having legions of fans and an undeniable brand name in the industry he has not won Best Director. He has an outside shot of sneaking in for his ode to the intersection of culture and danger in 1969 Los Angeles, probably his best shot at actually winning since Pulp Fiction. But while the Academy admires Tarantino's signature style they may never crown him Best Director. Hitchcock and Kubrick never won competitive Oscars for direction but that does not diminish their influence and legacy. Tarantino may remain in their company, which is a badge he's probably more comfortable wearing. Proudly.

Bong Joon-Ho's nod for Parasite is the thirty-first time the helmer of a foreign language film has been nominated as Best Director and the tenth this century. Bong is the first Korean and fourth Asian filmmaker nominated following Hiroshi Teshigahara and Woman in the Dunes (1965), Akira Kurosawa for RAN (1985), and Ang Lee for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. To date the only winner of a foreign language film was Alfonso Cuarón just last year for Roma. Parasite has the Best International Feature Film Oscar in the bag. Bong may manage the win for Original Screenplay but seems like a true longshot for Best Picture, meaning he would need a Picture/Director split here. Splits used to be pretty damn rare, there are only twenty-six all time. But eight of them have come in the 2000s and five in the past decade alone: Ang Lee for Life of Pi/Argo for Picture, Alfonso Cuarón for Gravity/12 Years a Slave Best Picture, Alejandro González Iñárritu for The Revenant/Spotlight for Picture, Damien Chazelle for La La Land/Moonlight Picture, and last year Cuarón for Roma/Green Book for Picture. It seems in danger of becoming the norm. Not sure if this is due to the increased sophistication of the voting base being able to distinguish award-worthy directorial flourishes that may not be tied to the quality of the overall film or simply the run-off, preferential balloting in the Best Picture category? Either way it is a trend that cannot be ignored. It has become a toss-up whether the Best Director and Best Picture will match and it used to be this side of a foregone conclusion.

The favorite for Best Picture is 1917 meaning Sam Mendes would be in line to win here minus a split. His only other nomination was when he won for American Beauty twenty years ago. That was his feature debut. He has made seven features since then: Road to Perdition, Jarhead, Revolutionary Road, Away We Go, the Bond pics Skyfall and Spectre, and now 1917. If he wins he will become only the twenty-second filmmaker to win multiple Oscars for direction and would join Spielberg, Eastwood, Iñárritu, Cuarón, Ang Lee, and Oliver Stone as the only six living artists with a pair of wins (John Ford remains seemingly untouchable with his four career wins).

The DGA Awards are revealed this coming Sunday and that will either confirm Mendes as the favorite or give us a hint at who the potential Oscar splitter may be.

It appears as though there will be no split. 1917 will take Best Picture and Director. That's what I'm banking on. Honestly, I don't like it when there's a split. It just feels inconsistent. If I'm the best director then by common sense the film I made ought to be the best, too.

Now, do I believe 1917 deserves it? It's definitely one of my top 4 choices for Best Picture, the others being Joker, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and The Irishman. Joker and Irishman have very little to no chance. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood would be a pleasant surprise at this point. If Once Upon a Time does win, then I hope Tarantino gets Best Director too. In case that happens, 1917 can pick up all the technical awards and call it a day.

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I think the Academy's logic is that the Best Picture award goes to the producers because they're the ones who are ultimately responsible for the film existing so they deserve the "main" credit for the existence of the best picture whereas Best Director is meant to acknowledge individual directors' talents. The real question is whether or not the films that win Director but not Picture are actually better than those that win Picture but not Director.
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