Oscars 2019 POV: Best Director

Over the next four weeks, I will share my own humble point of view (POV) on which films, filmmakers and actors should be honored with an Oscar. Bear in mind that 2018 produced one of the most fertile crops of cinematic brilliance in a long time. So, in my opinion, not everyone worthy of an Oscar will be receiving the golden trophy. I will write about just a few of the categories.

This week, it’s nominees for Best Director:  Spike Lee for “BlacKkKlansman”, Pawel Pawlikowski for “Cold War”, Yorgos Lanthimos for “The Favorite”, Alfonson Cuaron for “Roma” and Adam McKay for “Vice.”

My POV –

“BlacKkKlansman” is distinctly made in the unique style of director Spike Lee – at once colorful, bold and full of direct impact. The film plays like a rap video with dramatic emphasis and comedic banter set against a narrative that follows a true story about the fight against racial discrimination.

“Cold War” is an exquisitely mounted tragic love story that mirrors the Cold War through the lives of its characters over several years in the 1950’s. This gorgeous black & white film is perfectly balanced and boasts superb performances by its stars, Joanna Kulig and Tomasz Kot. Polish Director Pawel Pawlikowski has created a perfectly balanced, lushly depicted historical film reminiscent of David Lean’s 1965 masterpiece, Doctor Zhivago.

“The Favourite” is disguised as a classic early 1700’s period piece based on historic letters. However it is a completely unexpected comedic romp through the hilarities of human nature. I like to think that this is an entirely more realistic portrayal of historic figures than most. Director Yorgos Lanthimos likes to allow his audiences to draw conclusions from his cinematic implications rather than spell everything out in the narrative. Here he displays a superb command of choreography and comedic timing.

In “Roma”, legendary director Alfonso Cuaron uses the qualities of light and shadow that can only be produced in a black and white film. He has created a poignant alternate reality of his childhood years in Mexico City. The resulting dreamlike movie will probably bring back memories of your own early years. This highly unique and touching film is beautifully made.

Director Adam McKay’s “Vice” is an in-depth study of Vice President Dick Cheney. It’s a thought-provoking, disturbing story of his relentless rise to be one of the most powerful men in the world under the administration of President George W. Bush. McKay has pulled together an ensemble of actors who give extraordinary performances. The film does not have the comedic punch of his political dramedy, “The Big Short”, However it is a critical lesson in how one man can coerce our country’s politics to his own vision.

My opinion is that all of these films deserve an Oscar. However if I were a voting Academy member I would choose Yorgos Lanthimos to win the Best Director Oscar for his unique, imaginative and hilarious “The Favourite”. Who do I think will actually win?…probably “BlacKkKlansman” or “Roma” – and deservedly so.

Kathryn Whitney Boole has spent most of her life in the entertainment industry, which has been the backdrop for remarkable adventures with extraordinary people.  She is a Talent Manager with Studio Talent Group in Santa Monica. kboole@gmail.com

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