The Oscars Power Rankings
By Alex Corey
Notes on Rankings:
1. Winning seasons defined as any year that a director won at least one oscar.
2. The five films not nominated for both Best Director and Best Picture have been excluded because they seldom win historically.
3. Argo’s low ranking explained.
1. David O. Russell – Silver Linings Playbook
His first feature was titled Spanking the Monkey and from 1994-2009, he received zero Oscar nominations. Since then Russell has coached two consecutive casts in which at least 3/4 primary actors were nominated and both films (The Fighter 2010, Silver Linings Playbook 2012) have received Best Picture and Best Director nominations. The oscar-nominated screenplay, which he helped adapt may also boost his stock. Russell is likely to win with the Best Picture/Best Director one-two punch and how fitting it would be after the Academy nominated him in 2010 for “The Fighter”.
The X factor here is Robert De Niro, who is nominated for Best Supporting Actor, his first in 21 years. His last win was in 1980 for Raging Bull, when Ordinary People won Best Picture, snubbing Raging Bull. Ordinary People had three acting nominations that year; this year, Silver Linings Playbook has four. This is the most complete film in terms of writing, directing and acting.
2. Steven Spielberg - Lincoln
In his previous nine Oscar-nominated Seasons, Spielberg is 2-9. However, in historical films (The Color Purple, Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan, Munich, Letters From Iwo Jima, War Horse) he is 2-6.
This film is stacked at the acting position with Tommy Lee Jones, Sally Field and Daniel Day-Lewis— arguably the best actor to ever grace the screen. The guy is a freak of nature on-camera. In terms of Oscar nominations, Day-Lewis is 2-4 in career oscar nominations. He will likely break .500 this year which would make him 3-5 All-Time. Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep are the only actors with three oscars. Nicholson is 3-12 and Streep is 3-17. Additionally, if Day-Lewis wins, he would become the first actor in history to win three oscars for a leading role.
3. Michael Haneke - Amour
Haneke gained a cult following with Funny Games (2007) and serious award attention for The White Ribbon (2009), however this is his first Oscar-nominated season. Haneke, who is also a playwright, wrote the screenplay for Amour and directed Emanuelle Riva in an Oscar-nominated performance. For Amour, he implemented a minimalistic scheme with great acting and writing along with a simple setting and editing style.
4. Benh Zeitlin – Beasts of The Southern Wild
If the Oscars had a Rookie of the Year award, it would go to Zeitlin who directed mostly novice actors in his debut film. Despite a lack of obvious playmakers (No Daniel Day-Lewis here) his main actress, the adorable Quvenzhane Wallis has become the youngest actress ever nominated. Also, Dwight Henry, who plays her father in the film is convincing in his role, despite no prior acting experience. It is rare for a debut film to win best picture, hence the oscar hopes for Zeitlin are slim.
5. Ang Lee – Life of Pi
Ang Lee won Best Director for Brokeback Mountain in 2005but lost Best Picture which went to Crash. The issue with this film is that it has no bench. Aside from an All-Star director, there really isn’t a whole lot of talent here. The second biggest playmaker on this cast is the computed-generated bengal tiger.
*Ben Affleck - Argo
This is a great ensemble but it isn’t playoff ready because it lacks depth at the actor position. Other nominees Silver Linings Playbook (4 nominations for acting) and Lincoln (3 nominations for acting) have deeper rosters. The Academy nominated Argo for best picture to acknowledge Ben Affleck’s hard work but the lack of a deeper roster and the strength of the other screenplays this year will end Argo’s Best Picture awards streak from the Golden Globes and BAFTA.
Oh my goodness. Julian Casablancas actually has to introduce the name of the song he is about to sing, thats how classic this vid is. I would kill to see these guys in 2001, the energy is more abundant. Still love them of course but I think when a band is playing a song thats new, the performance is edgier.
Incredible artwork by Pixar Animator: Austin Madison (Credits in Ratatouille, Up and Toy Story 3).
It’s cool reading up on what one of your role models does day to day. What are they doing differently from you and why is it successful/unsuccessful? Rembert Browne is an incredible writer. Love how he gives a shout out to all of his friends/role models. Read Up!