Who Is The Best Director?

Richard Linklater is a contender in the Best Director race for his work on the film "Boyhood."

HOLLYWOOD—Last week we took a look at the Best Actor race, this week we turn our attention to Best Director. This is a race that is interesting, as some contenders have popped up that many didn’t expect to make the cut, and those who should have made the cut missed out. I’m talking about you Ava DuVernay “Selma,” Clint Eastwood “American Sniper” and Damien Chazelle “Whiplash.”

So with those candidates out, we turn our attention to our nominees: Wes Anderson “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Morten Tyldum “The Imitation Game,” Bennett Miller “Foxcatcher,” Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu “Birdman” and Richard Linklater “Boyhood.”

Personally, none of these directors are my picks, but someone will be crowned the victor. I think Miller and Tyldum are long shots in this race.  “Foxcatcher” is a bit of an uneven movie and the fact that the movie failed to garner a Best Picture nomination raises the question of how did that happen?

“The Imitation Game” hasn’t raised major eyebrows with viewers which lessens its chances for Oscar. That leaves Anderson, Linklater and Inarritu as the big contenders. While I think many are counting out Anderson’s chances, they shouldn’t? Why? Well “Hotel” did pick up nine nominations and that has to account for something. That means the Academy obviously loved the movie to some degree; it’s quirky and that is always a plus in the Best Director race.

Remember this isn’t always about what was the “best” movie of the year; it’s about the film that was most unique or took a risk. This explains why many consider Richard Linklater is the front-runner for “Boyhood.” It’s a film that takes a unique concept of filming a movie over the course of 12 years. Not literally, that’s the big conception the movie has put out there to the audience, but a specific time period of each year was carved out to tackle filming.

The idea itself is absolutely stunning, but the movie itself is quite lengthy and not as fascinating as one would expect.  This is why I’ve turned my attention to Inarritu. He’s a director who’s known for creating dramatic flair, one of the films that put him on the map was “Babel” starring Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt. It was an extraordinary tale that weaved multiple storylines into one, with absolutely thrilling performances.

The one problem with “Birdman” is the ability to define the movie in one specific category. At moments it’s comedic, at other times it’s full of dramatics. The Academy is not a fan of comedy, but if it wanted to throw a curveball in the direction of those awards analyst “Birdman” director Inarritu would take the top prize.

Bet your money on Linklater, I don’t see how he could lose this prize, unless, the Academy chooses to reward another director whose work they found a bit flashier than the melodramatic tale of a child growing into adulthood.