Friday, 16 February 2018

Alternate Best Actor 2017: Song Kang-ho in A Taxi Driver

Song Kang-ho did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Kim Man-seob in A Taxi Driver.

A Taxi Driver follows an unassuming Korean taxi driver as he escorts a German reporter trying to cover the Gwangju uprising.

I will admit that my initial glowing reaction for this film was amplified by the fact that I knew nothing about it going in making its particular revelations of what the story entails especially striking. Although do not misunderstand me I like the film a great deal, but it's not a flawless film by any measure particularly not when the film leans the scales of fictionalization perhaps just a bit far in its climax. It takes kind of an Argo approach where it has successfully had a lower key yet very tense climax, but then decides to follow it with a more overt action climax. I will admit the action climax is well done in terms of technique, but it just feels a little excessive. Having said that, what originally made me so invested into the story still stands which is within Song Kang-ho's portrayal of the titular taxi driver. Now I must address my perhaps hasty comment in the past in regards to Song Kang-ho where I described him as a "poor man's" Choi Min-sik. That was an unfair statement as Song Kang-ho is a very talented performer in his own right. This performance is further proof of that in that his work carries the film even beyond the fact that he is the lead of the film. Of course as we open up the film this seems like a fairly lightweight performance by Song Kang-ho. This is right in the first shot where we open with him cheerfully singing along with a song on the radio while he drives his taxi around Seoul. Song makes a rather brilliant decision to approach the role from the outset as though he is the lead in a comedy. That's seen from his energy from that opening sing song realizing a man with a song in his heart though not exactly carefree.

Song's approach is notable though as he navigates the early scenes where he goes about what seems like a normal day for the taxi driver Kim. Song delivers the role as this sort of rascal you'd expect from a little more farcical style comedy as in the early scene he scoffs at some young protestors for having it "so good", and goes about chasing down one of them after they inadvertently cause him to break a mirror on his taxi. What I love here is that Song doesn't play it as though we the audience watching him should notice that anything is wrong about this in anyway. This is just a fun performance to watch as Song brings such an abundance of energy to the part that manages to make Kim rather endearing even as he tries to chase down the young guy. He brings just this right type of exuberance in the role fitting to a hapless comic hero even as he deals with a pregnant couple using his taxi, that wouldn't be out of place in an 80's comedy. Kim briefly chews out the man when he doesn't have the money to pay, and what could be a despicable little scene Song makes work in the sort of humorous exasperation he reveals. Although he's not getting his fare, even this is made properly of no importance as he attempts to complain, until the man promises double the next day, where we get Song's hilariously timed instant switch in Kim to a most accommodating taxi driver. Song's terrific in that he does play Kim as a kind of a jerk, but properly as the kind of jerk who is easy to like.

This is not to say that we don't see that Kim has a few problems, as he we find out he's a single dad who is having difficulty making his rent. This is obviously a problem although it is purposefully not given too much gravity by either the film or Song's performance. Song delivers the right earnest, if somewhat hapless, affection though in his early scene with his daughter. He shows well that though Kim loves his daughter it is obviously not exactly prepared to be this great dad. There is just a touch of sorrow that alludes to their mutual loss, though Song effectively portrays this as enough in the past that it no longer is directly upsetting however is still inherent within his relationship with his daughter. Song naturally uses this as part of our sort of hapless hero who even with those problems still is in no way bogged down by them that would make him lose this unique spirit of his. This spirit that is so well realized by Song as something that is both endearing yet selfish at the same time. That sense of fun is so effectively created by Song fitting to a guy who really isn't overly troubled because in his view his problems are not so great they cannot be overcome. Song though finds this exact way this is created though through the narrow perspective that he portrays that defines Kim. Song specifically delivers every line early on that concerns someone out of his situation as this quick brush off of any such concerns returning always to his own experience which while isn't perfect Song shows that he can get along with it just fine.

Kim decides to essentially steal a rider from another taxi driver after overhearing of the inordinately high fare offered for a trip to Gwangju. The rider being a German journalist (Thomas Kretschmann) from Japan intent on covering the uprising in the city despite the South Korean government's ban of foreign journalists. Kim, not knowing the actual details of the job, takes the journalist and here we advance to what could initially be just the beginning of an old fashioned buddy road trip movie. Song is hilarious here in continuing to portray Kim's self absorbed way as he goes about dealing with the journalist who is a particularly demanding costumer. I must say I have particular affection for Song's purposeful butchery of the English language when pretending he has some degree of fluency in it. Song's delivery in this is sheer perfection of a man just trying to get through the most basic communication to get the journalist to stop talking. Song just rambles out any of the words he can as quickly as he can, but then always trails back into Korean as though he only has a very limited set of words he can go by. The majority of their communication ends up being non-verbal then as the two go off where Song continues to be great in actually being kind of a real jerk yet doing it in such amiable way. As Song puts on such a smiling face while attempting any point of actual communication, particularly when it is about his fare, then instantly switches to almost a death stare, a comedic stare mind you, when he goes back to mock the man in Korean.

The two make for an entertaining pair even as Kretschmann plays the journalist as only mildly annoyed by Kim's lack of conviction towards his job. Song though is great in always portraying that exuberance to please only within the context of making the money for the job, but really a general pettiness when that is not a concern. Song's reactions are very funny as he continues to quietly insult the man still just in that singular frame of mind. A chance for this comes when they initially arrive at Gwangju that is obviously going over some considerable upheaval though they arrive during a calm. Song doesn't break his more comedic side even as they arrive in the strange place though he naturally adjusts just early on in portraying the man's slight confusion at the sight of the place since he had no real awareness of. He's still self absorbed though but now in a different way. When the two show up the journalist is greeted with open arms by the local students trying to protest the government, and who initially offer considerable praise to the taxi driver who brought the man. Song's still very entertaining in just showing the rather sudden burst of a foolish pride, even though he has been more or less complaining the whole way without any awareness for the importance of the trip. Song transitions well in calming the more overtly comedic performance to just a still lightly comic one as he discovers something is going on but doesn't take too much note of it.

The situation though slowly appears to be more dire though and Song's terrific in portraying this slight confusion as this representation of him slowly coming out of his bubble a bit. He is sidetracked though when the locals question his motives, and he changes his relationship with the journalist from comically distant to more intensely so. This is mostly in part when those motives are questions and Song's terrific in portraying almost this defense as instinct as the man who in his mind is doing what he's doing for a good enough reason. When the two begin to explore more of the city Song is so effective in just creating this sense of discovery in the man which at first is with a bit of joy as people start treating him well for his "deed", while also capturing this certain bliss of a man who has no idea what's going on. Song presents this especially well by still showing it as mostly within this stuck perception though on how it specifically effects the man. His interactions with the locals and the journalist Song still makes very curt as he would treat any customer still. When they witness more overt violence though Song again carries this character to next stage so well but does not over step the moment. In that he now finds that same self-absorption though now without any humor and just this sense of concern for himself along with a bit of anger for the journalist who he believes put him in this situation.

Song is outstanding though in how subtly he realizes the change in just the scenes of interacting with the locals and the journalist. In these middle scenes he's very quiet and Song's body language is a man just kind of shrinking into his own fear. The kindness of the locals and the moment of just interacting as people Song brings just the slightest change as he begins to notice the people. Song brings out just hints of warmth conveying a slowly growing camaraderie. I especially love his moments with Kretschmann as he captures this perfect combination of this ever so slight understanding towards the man, but with this striking passive aggressive manner that he realizes in these bits of dark joy he finds at any time he can secretly make fun of the man. In every instance of witnessing another horrific misdeed by the government Song naturally ease out of this state and slowly becomes more open and honest in they way he interacts with those around him. Song has a great scene, after the journalist saved him from a vicious soldier, where he finally reveals something about himself to the man, though sort of accidentally keeps it secret since it's in Korean. It's a powerful moment though as Song exudes the man finally breaking his "man as an island" mentality by revealing his own tragedy in the past of losing his wife. Song replays this loss in his performance capturing the grief in this way of understanding the suffering around him finally suggesting a man who has perhaps now come to terms that he was not alone in his pain.

Kim leaves Gwangju without the journalist, in order get his car properly repaired and to return to Seoul to take care of his daughter. While he is getting his car repaired he has time to himself. This is a incredible scene that Song Kang-ho uses so well as this juxtaposition to the man we saw as he entered Gwangju. There we saw the man mostly concerned with his money and his own problems while being oblivious to the obvious troubles around him. In this scene he walks around a celebration and Song's performance conveys the way the man cannot enjoy what is around him as in his mind he shows the man drifting back to the horrors witnessed in the city particularly when all he hears is the government propaganda on what is happening there. This is best realized when he takes off in his taxi again, singing along with the radio as he did in the opening of the film yet now instead of the joyful sing song of a man in his own world Song delivers a wailing tune weighed down by his awareness of the rest of the world. When Kim returns to make sure the journalist makes it out of the city this could come off as overly maudlin yet it is is absolutely earned by Song's performance. In the final act of the film Song's performance becomes mostly reactionary yet it makes no less of an impact. He is fantastic and downright heartbreaking in every scene by showing the full extent of the gravity of the situation in his work. As he watches every atrocity Song's performance ensures the emotion is not lost through realizing how every moment nearly breaks the man. His work with Kretschmann is particularly notable as they don't really say much more to each other yet just the way they look at another powerfully conveys the mutual connection through both their sorrow over what they have seen but also within the conviction to unveil the truth to the world. This is an amazing performance by Song Kang-ho as he pulls the rug out from you by anchoring this film and its tone throughout in such a notable fashion. It is his performance that makes the extreme change in tone from the opening frame to the final shot work. He is convincing in every moment as he goes from this goofy guy in a largely comic work, to a wholly dramatic and devastating portrayal of a man living through and coming to terms with such a horrifying experience.

59 comments:

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Could you review Stan and Jane next. I personally feel Stanton needs to come last as it is his farewell performance.

Luke Higham said...

And I looking forward to getting your thoughts on Black Panther.

Luke Higham said...

I guess we have our top 5 then.

Gosling
Stanton
Day-Lewis
Kang-Ho
Jackman

Bryan L said...

Louis: Do you have the same feeling for Venom as you did for McAvoy in Split and Fassbender in Alien: Covenant? As in the filmmakers are thinking "Eh I've got a great actor here. He'll make this compelling."

And your 90s cast and director for The Place Beyond The Pines? I'm thinking Mel Gibson for Avery.

Louis Morgan said...

Bryan:

Well I can't say since I haven't seen the film. Hopefully that's not the case, and they support Hardy with at least a decent movie.

The Place Beyond the Pines 1990's directed by Carl Franklin:

Luke Glanton: Johnny Depp
Avery Cross: Mel Gibson
Romina: Maria Conchita ALonso
Jason: River Phoenix
A.J.: Christian Slater
Kofi Kancam: Delroy Lindo
Robin: Bill Bob Thornton
Bill Killcullen: Jerry Orbach
Peter Deluca: Peter Boyle

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the voices of Sissy Spacek, Sigourney Weaver, Cate Blanchett, Deborah Kerr and Emily Blunt.

Calvin Law said...

Reading this review just reminded me about how much I like this performance. It's really strong reactionary work from a great actor.

Black Panther was really great. The few nitpicks I had at the beginning mostly dissipated throughout. The cast were uniformly excellent but I have to say, I'm surprised I'm not seeing more praise for Danai Gurira. Also, Daniel Kaluuya's characters just can't get a break eh.

Luke Higham said...

What did you think of Boseman and Jordan.

Calvin Law said...

Boseman was great and I don't understand critiques of him not having an arc, he did, it's there and he performed it very well. I'll have a think about Jordan, but I will say that it's a great collaboration they've got going on here.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: I concur, for now it's a 4/4.5 for Boseman and a 4.5 for Jordan.

Calvin Law said...

For now, I think I'd go with:

Boseman: 4
Nyong'o: 3
Gurira: 4
Freeman: 3.5
Kaluuya: 3
Wright: 4
Duke: 3.5
Bassett: 3
Whitaker: 3.5
Serkis: 3.5
Kani and Brown: 3 (very effective in their limited time)

Still need to think about Jordan.

Charles H said...

Extremely glad he got his first five. Amazing work right here.

Michael McCarthy said...

Louis: If Twin Peaks were made today, who would you cast to play Dale Cooper? I know no one could ever do exactly what MacLachlan did with the role, but I recently had the idea of Daniel Radcliffe in the role and under the right direction I think he’d kinda nail it.

RatedRStar said...

I would say

Boseman: 4.5
Nyong'o: 3
Gurira: 4
Freeman: 3.5
Kaluuya: 3.5
Wright: 4
Duke: 3.5
Bassett: 3
Whitaker: 3.5
Serkis: 3.5
Kani : 3.5
Kasumba: 3
Jordan: 5

RatedRStar said...

I would say Michael B. Jordan successfully captures the best Marvel villain championship from Daniel Bruhl.

RatedRStar said...

Louis: I really like how you have been reviewing recently (you obviously are always great), with the summary of the film and then just underneath, your opinion on the film itself before the review of the performance starts.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Have you given your list of past film roles for Tom Hardy and Matthias Schoenaerts? If not, what are they?

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Could I have your rating and thoughts on Alec Guiness and Bernard Miles in Great Expectations?

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed:

Guinness - 3.5(He's not given all that much to do as he only really has one scene that focuses largely on him. Guinness though, as always, is still good at making an impact between the lines though. He's great though in his one scene though where he releases much exposition while pocket at the same time points out Pip's problematic manners. Guinness not only makes this seem natural enough in coming out of someone's mouth but also just quite an enjoyable scene)

Calvin Law said...

Saw The Square. Peters out a lot towards the end but there's some great sequences and Notary almost cracks my top 10.

John Smith said...

Louis, do you consider Botary to be one of 2017's one scene wonders?

Luke Higham said...

Thinking it over, Jordan's the best MCU villain to date. Would be nice to see him reviewed next year.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your top 10 performances by Korean actors and actresses.

Anonymous said...

Louis: your casting choices for a 70’s and 80’s version of Drive?

Bryan L said...

Anonymous: "For Hardy

Redmond Barry
Stanley Kowalski
Terry Malloy
Frank Macin
James Bond/Red Grant
Frank Troy"

"For Schoenaerts

Hawkeye - The Last of the Mohicans
Stanley Kowalski
Pepe Le Moko
Joubert - Three Days of the Condor
Fiedler - The Spy Who Came in From the Cold"

Bryan L said...

Anonymous: I'm thinking James Caan and Mickey Rourke for The Driver in the 70s and 80s.

Louis: Past film roles for Emma Stone?

Mitchell Murray said...

(Bryan L) You know, when I think of film roles Stone would be good in, as in what previous performer or characters fit her the most, my first instinct would be to compare her to Julia Roberts. I say this because both rely a great deal on charm and personality, while at the same time are criticized for not stretching out of their base line personas. As I think it through, though, I realize that not only does Roberts come off as the far more limited and artificial of the two, but also that Stone genuinely puts in effort the majority of the time, while the same cannot be said for Roberts.

There for, I think I've determined a far better match to Stone in Marisa Tomei, someone who has improved with age, handled drama and comedy with equal skill, and who always seems to retain a spirited presence. To see Stone's version of Tomei's "My Cousin Vinny" role I think would be interesting.

Louis Morgan said...

I saw Black Panther, I liked it.

Anonymous:

Spacek - (Naturalistic Texan perfection.)

Weaver - (Weaver's interesting in that I don't think of her voice as distinct when you actually see here, yet it obviously is as you can pick up on instantly in her voice over work.)

Blanchett - (Notable one in how infrequently we hear her natural accent however when does it is that of the pure theater refinement beauty.)

Kerr - (Actually rather similair type of voice Blanchett in again just that expertly realized grace in the diction.)

Blunt - (A interesting example in that she near that sort of aforementioned refinement though with just a slightly more casual air to it that is rather wonderful.)

Michael:

Radcliffe seems like a possibility, although it is rather difficult to top MacLachlan's perfection in the role.

Tahmeed:

Miles - 3(Captures just the right innate goodness to the character in just a very simple way though that never feels like the character is simple. Miles just brings the right earnest quality to just create a rather honest guy without pretense.)

Ask again in the results.

John Smith:

Yes, though he is technically in more than one scene.

70's:

The Driver: Martin Sheen
Irene: Sondra Locke
Shannon: Keenan Wynn
Blanche: Joan Hackett
Nino: Lee J. Cobb
Standard: Raul Julia
Bernie: Burl Ives

80's:

The Driver: Mickey Rourke
Irene: Julie Walters
Shannon: Harry Dean Stanton
Blanche: Joanna Cassidy
Nino: Jack Palance
Standard: Armand Assante
Bernie: Jackie Gleason

Bryan:

Nora Charles
Norma Rae Webster
Harmony Faith Lane (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang where I'm pretty sure Michelle Monaghan is Emma Stone in that film.)
Jane Craig (Broadcast News)

Calvin Law said...

Thoughts on Black Panther and thoughts/ratings for the cast?

Bryan L said...

Louis: Great choices. I like how you mention Jane Craig in Broadcast News being a good fit for Stone, since you also brought her up when I previously asked for past film roles for Stone's contemporary, Jennifer Lawrence.

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

Again I liked film but I'll start with my slightly negative feelings. The royal intrigue stuff I actually didn't love, not that I disliked. It just was positioned as a more complicated idea, with all the sort different factions, but in the end was pretty simplistic. As were most of the character arcs. Unfortunately what would have been was a more compelling arc was already handled for T'Challa in Civil War, his arc here was fairly minor. I mean seemed already like he wanted to do what does at the end early on anyways. It lacked sort of the arc within victory usually woven in, as he Black Panther loses initially just because, and then he wins just because. Okoye's whole duty/sentiment battle was extremely quickly resolved, and W'Kabi's switch seemed perhaps a little too extreme. There also just few other minor flaws. For example one character surviving something probably should have had some reason for that, like some gadget from the Q scene for example, him just surviving seemed a little much given what happened to him. The CGI occasionally is a little weak, and I'm not sure why Martin Freeman was even in the film. Also though this isn't exactly a flaw I just thought it was a little strange that the whole Kilmonger backstory shared so much with Hela's story from Thor Ragnarok.

I'd say the most notable thing is actually Coogler's visual direction, I mean in terms of camera movements more than anything which are bit more dynamic than most MCU films. The film works best I found when it was just having fun with the characters particularly in the Seoul sequence. Boseman, Gurira, Nyong'o and Wright were a whole lot of fun together. Their interactions were the best parts of the film. I particularly liked how it implemented the comedy which nicely did at the right points, and thankfully used T'Challa as a straight man in these moments. Killmonger, despite that aforementioned similarity, was a good villain with a nice emotional heft and striking performance behind him like Loki, and The Vulture. Again it was nice entertaining film, though I guess I don't adore it as some do.

Robert MacFarlane said...

What made Black Panther work for me is the themes. I think it's the first time I watched an MCU movie and thought "hey, this is actually saying something". Yes, the tropes and story beats are familiar, but Coogler is more daring and blunter in terms of social commentary. Its exploration of race, culture, colonialism, "country first" mentality, and hypocrisy clicked with me more than anything else this franchise has. I've liked my share of MCU flicks as fun popcorn fluff, but this one has an social intelligence to it that makes it more than that.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I will say I think it needed to be fifteen minutes longer just for pacing issues. The second half feels a tad rushed. And yeah, the CGI was off.

Louis Morgan said...

Boseman - 4(Strong reprise once again and does well with the largely stoic character without becoming boring. He brings enough of an emotional current within the character's sort of stable command of his attitude. Boseman always keeps a certain level of calm and reveals something more palatable at the right times. He maintains the style of the man effectively though without making him seem overly constrictive. In addition he excels in just those small moments of comedy that he plays through well again as the straight man. )

Nyong'o, Gurira, Wright - 3.5(I thought all three did quite well in each differentiating from each other in their scene, sort of, all together. In Gurira delivering just this sheer intensity in her work though with just the right slight comedic bent within that intensity. Wright is right on the other side in bringing just such an over abundance of energy in a rather delightful way. Nyong'o is the right balance in between the two in finding her presence with a more modest style while also having a nice unassuming chemistry with Boseman, though I wouldn't say it was too notable.)

Freeman - 2.5(He was fine but I don't think he made his character really have that much of a purpose.)

Duke - 3(I thought he managed to make something entertaining out of his role by playing him as this troll.)

Kaluuya - 2.5(It was fine here in general but I thought something was a little lacking in portraying the emotional conviction of his character's choices.)

Bassett - 2.5(Felt she was kind of wasted actually though still fine.)

Whitaker - 2.5(Well thankfully he wasn't horrible, though I didn't think he was all that great either. Also though Denzel Whitaker looked like him when he was younger, he is rather unconvincing as a young Forest Whitaker now.)

Brown - 3(Quite good in his two scenes in offering the right emotional intensity to his character's motivations in very limited screentime.)

Serkis - 3(He was on kind of a tight rope here, and occasionally was dancing right on the edge. There were times his ridiculous routine did work but other times he just seemed a little too ridiculous.)

Robert MacFarlane said...

I would go higher for Brown. I found him to be the best of the supporting cast (outside of Jordan).

Calvin Law said...

I'd go much higher for Whitaker and Freeman who I found really moving and entertaining, respectively. I'm also not quite sure about Serkis, I found him a lot of fun but he did seem on a different sort of wavelength to everyone else.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I agree, Whitaker's theatrical style actually really worked for that character. It's the most I've liked him in years.

Louis Morgan said...

Yeah actually Brown should at least be a 3.5 since he made quite an impact in so little time.

Calvin Law said...

Robert: Anything would have been an improvement over Rogue One, but yes, I concur it's probably his best turn since, I don't know...Last King of Scotland?

Louis: I will say I agree with you on W'Kabi, I suspect they might have tried expanding his role too much with too little material/time with the hype of Get Out at Sundance.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I'll agree W'Kabi was a bit of a missed opportunity, but I'll give Kaluuya full marks for being the king of distrustful stares.

Anonymous said...

Louis: If Robert Shaw had lived, what do you think of the idea of him playing Connery's role in The Untouchables?

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

That would have been amazing, though I've always felt Richard Harris would have been the perfect choice for Malone.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your cast for a 60's Crimson Tide.

Alex Marqués said...

I saw The Shape Of Water. The fact that Del Toro will probably win over PTA (and the fact that it got a Best Screenplay nom) is pretty ridiculous, but hey that's why no one should take the Oscars seriously after all. Del Toro is a lovable guy, but this movie is such a mess (even if I enjoyed it in parts).

Giuseppe Fadda said...

I think Del Toro will be very deserving of a win (I haven’t seen Phantom Thread). His direction is basically the reason why the movie works and it’s his vision that elevates a potentially paper-thin screenplay.

Calvin Law said...

I'd personally be very happy with any of the 5 nominees winning.

Alex Marqués said...

I think he should have dedicated much more time to the development of the "central" relationship instead of trying to put so many elements in the movie. I just never felt that the social commentary of the film complemented the romance very well (and viceversa), no matter how many music montages and fairytail references were used. Yes, some moments like the musical number were very good, but I feel they're way too short and sparse to achieve the "sweeping" effect that the fans of this movie talk about. From a merely technical aspect the movie is terrific, so I guess I shouldn't complain that much, and I know many people loved it, but it just left me more cold than I had expected.

Alex Marqués said...

I guess what I'm saying is that his direction was good, but it didn't elevate the story for me.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I'd rank Del Toro fifth of the nominees. His craftsmanship is undeniably impressive, but his control over any sort of tone is non-existent. Gerwig's direction may not have been ultra-dynamic or flashy, but she clearly knew what she was doing in terms of blocking, framing, and editing for comic timing that few comedy director actually do. (Looking at you Apatow and Feig)

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Crimson Tide 1960's directed by Sidney Lumet:

Lt. Commander Ron Hunter: Paul Newman
Captain Frank Ramsey: Spencer Tracy
Chief: Ernest Borgnine
Lt. Ince: Richard Erdman

Robert:

I'd argue that Del Toro very consistently controlled his tone, that being the tone of a melodrama, much like the films referenced in the story, though that means all and only extremes. I understanding not liking that choice though.

Giuseppe Fadda said...

@Robert: I’d agree Gerwig completely deserved her nomination and I’m thrilled she got in instead of McDonagh.

Calvin Law said...

As much as I'd have loved Villeneuve and Bigelow to get in, don't know who I'd remove.

Calvin Law said...

Also I'm re-watching TSOW today, we'll see which side I end up falling on.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Giuseppe: If McDonagh got in Director, it would have been one of the worst nominations in the category of the 2010's, right next to Adam McKay.

Calvin Law said...

Robert: Would've thought Mel Gibson would be up there with you. Agreed about McKay, especially when they could have gone with Coogler, Haynes, or Crowley.

Calvin Law said...

*for you

Mitchell Murray said...

I looking at the decades directing nominations now, and there's no one I remember being particularly displeased at. I guess if I were forced to omit someone it would be all of David O'Russell's nominations, plus McKay, Morten Tyldum (Imitation Game) and perhaps Kenneth Lonergan. I hate to disagree with you Robert but I'd even keep Gibson.

Giuseppe Fadda said...

I have yet to see The Big Short, for the moment I think the weakest nominations for directing of the decade are Alexander Payne’s (The Descendants), Tom Hooper’s, Kenneth Lonergan’s and Mel Gibson’s. I’d have to rewatch The Imitation Game, but yeah Tyldum’s work was not nomination worthy.

Alex Marqués said...

To be fair, I think this year's lineup was pretty solid overall (still haven't seen Gerwig's work), even if Villeneuve would've been deserving as well.